Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hain Celestial Earnings

Hain Celestial(HAIN) announced Q4 and fiscal year 2017 earnings today.  The company reported Q4 EPS of exactly $0.00 on revenues of $725 million.  For 2017 the company reported EPS of $0.65 on revenues of $2.85 billion which were down from $2.88 billion in 2016. I'm sure you can see a few problems with these numbers. While the EPS figures don't show it the company did post a modest profit of $313k for Q4 which was largely impacted by it's Tilda plant fire recovery, and ongoing accounting review costs.

But we see even bigger problems and that was revenue has actually gone down, albeit some of it due to currency fluctuations. Looking at the company financials we see they actually have a USA problem. Sales declined -3.5% for the year, which is strikingly odd considering most other companies have been showing better growth at home, than abroad.  With the US portion of Hain's business by far it's largest, it more than offset 13.8% growth in Europe, and 7% growth in Canada.

I think this is more to do with Hain competing on a much larger scale as the natural products category has really exploded the last two years.  The accounting scandal didn't offer any help as it kept management distracted.  I think the company is going to work on righting that ship much faster. They've already announced plans the last year to focus more on the brands it has, and develop better marketing.  Still investors will get impatient if things don't turn around after 12-18 months.

The company provided the following guidance for 2018.

  • Total net sales of $2.967 billion to $3.036 billion, an increase of approximately 4% to 6% as compared to fiscal year 2017.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $350 million to $375 million, an increase of approximately 27% to 36% as compared to fiscal year 2017.
  • Adjusted earnings per diluted share of $1.63 to $1.80, an increase of approximately 34% to 48% as compared to fiscal year 2017.
I think the sales figures are a bit low.  Not that I think the company is low-balling us, it's just that the company used to grow sales at a 10%+ clip regularly.  I'd really like to see something around 7-8%, but maybe those days are gone for the company.  As for the adjusted numbers I don't pay much attention to that.  I like to follow GAAP which doesn't lend management as much room for playing around.  

Here is what CEO Irwin Simon had to say:

"We are pleased to have achieved sales growth in all of our business segments on a constant currency basis in the fourth quarter, despite an ever changing operating environment for food manufacturers and retailers," said Irwin D. Simon, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hain Celestial. "Building upon our core platforms and cost savings initiatives, our global team has made significant progress during the year executing on our strategic plan. The business momentum and operational improvements we experienced in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 reinforces our confidence in the tremendous opportunities ahead to generate the growth we know we are capable of achieving over the next several years."

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