BOCA RATON, Fla., July 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Q.E.P. CO., INC. (OTC: QEPC.PK) (the “Company” or “Q.E.P.”) today reported its consolidated results of operations for the first quarter of its fiscal year ending February 29, 2020.

Q.E.P. reported net sales of $102.6 million for the quarter ended May 31, 2019, an increase of $14.7 million or 16.8% from the $87.9 million reported in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.  Net sales growth for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2019 reflects the positive impact of businesses acquired during fiscal 2019, offset by reductions due to the divestiture of certain non-core product lines, declines in certain core product categories and the impact of currency translation due to weakening currencies in Europe and Australia.  As a percentage of net sales, gross margin was 26.1% in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, as compared to 27.5% in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

Lewis Gould, Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented on the Company’s results, “We are pleased with the Company’s sales growth that has been achieved through our ongoing acquisition strategy.  During the first quarter, we continued to make investments in new products, samples and displays for our distributors.   While these investments negatively impacted the quarter’s results, they are expected to benefit us in the future.  We also worked to right-size the cost structure of these businesses by reducing headcount and integrating back office operations, which should also benefit future quarters.”

Mr. Gould continued, “We continue to work hard to offset the impact of product, manufacturing and shipping costs as well as tariffs in our core business as well as generate new business from sale of domestic manufactured goods that are not subject to tariff in the United States.”

Mr. Gould concluded, “We have worked diligently through a period of significant investment in the Company’s future and believe the Company is now better positioned for future earnings growth.”

The Company’s gross profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 was $26.8 million, representing an increase of $2.7 million, or 11.0% from $24.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, which was driven by the same factors that impacted sales growth.  Gross margin as a percentage of net sales was negatively impacted by changes in product mix; costs related to facility, production and product rationalization, increased transportation, product and manufacturing costs; and higher tariffs placed on the products the Company imports from China.

Operating expenses for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 and 2019 were $30.4 million or 29.6% of net sales and $22.0 million or 25.0% of net sales, respectively. The increase in operating expenses was due to the incremental costs assumed with the businesses acquired during the fiscal 2019 and one-time costs related to restructuring activity.

The increase in interest expense during the first quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2019 was due to incremental borrowings under the Company’s credit facilities to fund acquisitions and support sales growth, along with increases in interest rates.

The benefit for income taxes as a percentage of income before taxes was 28.0% for the first quarter of fiscal 2020, as compared to a provision for income taxes of 28.0% for the first quarter of fiscal 2019.  

Net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 was $1.3 million or $.42 per diluted share, compared to net income of $1.4 million or $.44 per diluted share for the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

Earnings (loss) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) as adjusted for non-operating income, corporate development and other one-time expenses for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 was a loss of $2.1  million compared to income of $3.3 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

   For the Three Months
    Ended
    May 31,
    2019   2018
      
 Net income (loss)$(1,320) $1,422
      
 Add:Interest expense, net 678   180
  (Benefit)/Provision for income taxes (513)  553
  Depreciation and amortization 1,190   919
  Non-operating income (2,399)  -
  Corporate development and other expenses 234   259
 EBITDA as adjusted for corporate development   
 and other expenses (1)$(2,130) $3,333
      

(1) EBITDA as adjusted for corporate development and other one-time expenses represent non-GAAP measures and exclude charges or credits not indicative of our core operations, which may include but are not limited to corporate development expenses, acquisition integration and acquisition costs.

Cash used in operations during the first quarter of fiscal 2020 was $4.5 million as compared to cash provided by operations of $4.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, reflecting a decrease in operating income and an increase in net investments in working capital, principally inventory and accounts receivable.  During the first quarter of fiscal 2020, the Company sold certain non-core product lines and recorded a gain on the sale of $2.4 million before income taxes, which is recorded in non-operating income.  During the first quarter of fiscal 2019, the Company acquired businesses for $14.3 million.  In the first quarter of fiscal 2020, operations, capital expenditures and seasonal inventory growth were funded through cash on-hand, proceeds from the sale of a product line and borrowings under the Company’s credit facilities.  In the prior year’s first quarter, investments in acquisitions and capital expenditures were funded by cash from operations and net borrowings 

Working capital as of May 31, 2020 was $39.0 million compared to $43.9 million at the end of fiscal 2019.   Aggregate debt, net of available cash balances at the end of the first quarter of fiscal was $55.5 million or 75% of equity, a decrease of $0.3 million compared to $55.8 million or 74% of equity at the end of fiscal 2019.

The Company will be hosting a conference call to discuss these results and to answer your questions at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. If you would like to join the conference call, dial 1-866-548-4713 toll free from the US or 1-323-794-2093 internationally approximately 10 minutes prior to the start time and ask for the Q.E.P. Co., Inc. Investor Conference Call / Conference ID 8924732. A replay of the conference call will be available until midnight July 23, 2019 by calling 1-844-512-2921 toll free from the US and entering pin number 8924732; internationally, please call 1-412-317-6671 using the same pin number.

Q.E.P. Co., Inc., founded in 1979, is a world class, worldwide provider of innovative, quality and value-driven flooring and industrial solutions. As a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor, QEP delivers a comprehensive line of hardwood and laminate flooring, flooring installation tools, adhesives and flooring related products targeted for the professional installer as well as the do-it-yourselfer. In addition, the Company provides industrial tools with cutting edge technology to the industrial trades. Under brand names including QEP®, ROBERTS®, Capitol®, Harris®Wood, Kraus®, Naturally Aged Flooring®, Vitrex®, Homelux®, TileRite®, PRCI®, Plasplugs®, Porta-Nails®, Tomecanic®, Bénètiere®, Elastiment®, X-TREME Board™ and AppleCreek™, the Company sells its products to home improvement retail centers, specialty distribution outlets, municipalities and industrial solution providers in 50 states and throughout the world.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding economic conditions, sales growth, price increases, profit improvements, product development and marketing, operating expenses, cost savings, acquisition integration, operational synergy realization, cash flow, debt and currency exchange rates. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results could differ materially from our current expectations.  Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to current presentation.

-Financial Information Follows-

 Q.E.P. CO., INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
 (In thousands except per share data)
 (Unaudited)
     
   For the Three Months Ended
   May 31,
   2019   2018 
     
 Net sales$102,604  $87,876 
 Cost of goods sold 75,777   63,718 
 Gross profit   26,827      24,158  
     
 Operating expenses:   
 Shipping 11,238   8,091 
 General and administrative 9,858   8,107 
 Selling and marketing 9,463   5,962 
 Other income, net (178)  (157)
 Total operating expenses 30,381   22,003 
     
 Operating income   (3,554)    2,155  
     
 Non-operating income 2,399   - 
 Interest expense, net (678)  (180)
     
 Income (loss) before provision for income taxes   (1,833)    1,975  
     
 Provision (benefit) for income taxes (513)  553 
     
 Net income (loss)$  (1,320) $  1,422  
     
 Earnings per share:   
 Basic$(0.42) $0.45 
 Diluted$(0.42) $0.44 
     
 Weighted average number of common   
 shares outstanding:   
 Basic 3,160   3,194 
 Diluted 3,160   3,196 
     


 Q.E.P. CO., INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
 (In thousands)
 (Unaudited)
        
      For the Three Months Ended
      May 31,
      2019   2018 
        
 Net income (loss)   $(1,320) $1,422 
        
 Unrealized currency translation adjustments    (548)  (582)
        
 Comprehensive income (loss)   $  (1,868) $  840  
        


 Q.E.P. CO., INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
 (In thousands except per share values)
     
  May 31,
 2019
 February 28,
 2019
  (Unaudited) (Audited)
 ASSETS   
 Cash$4,726  $6,467 
 Accounts receivable, less allowance for doubtful accounts of $768   
 and $751 as of May 31, 2019 and February 28, 2019, respectively 48,449   53,295 
 Inventories 81,239   91,684 
 Prepaid expenses and other current assets 7,033   7,360 
 Current assets   141,447      158,806  
     
 Property and equipment, net 16,151   16,695 
 Deferred income taxes, net 3,277   3,271 
 Intangibles, net 15,390   16,815 
 Goodwill 6,014   6,140 
 Other assets 20,494   1,056 
     
 Total Assets$  202,773   $  202,783  
     
 LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY   
     
 Trade accounts payable$28,484  $36,611 
 Accrued liabilities 26,794   29,358 
 Income taxes payable (prepaid) (2,806)  (2,217)
 Lines of credit 47,584   49,398 
 Current maturities of notes payable 2,355   1,733 
 Current liabilities   102,411      114,883  
     
 Notes payable 10,307   11,101 
 Deferred income taxes 193   193 
 Other long term liabilities 16,208   1,084 
 Total Liabilities   129,119      127,261  
     
 Preferred stock, 2,500 shares authorized, $1.00 par value;  0 shares   
 issued and outstanding at May 31, 2019 and February 28, 2019 -   - 
 Common stock, 20,000 shares authorized, $.001 par value;   
 3,821 shares issued, and 3,142 shares outstanding at   
 May 31, 2019 and February 28, 2019 4   4 
 Additional paid-in capital 10,963   10,963 
 Retained earnings 75,709   77,029 
 Treasury stock, 679 shares held at cost at May 31, 2019   
 and February 28, 2019 (8,700)  (8,700)
 Accumulated other comprehensive income (4,322)  (3,774)
 Shareholders' Equity   73,654      75,522  
     
 Total Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity$  202,773   $  202,783  
     


 Q.E.P. CO., INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
 (In thousands)
 (Unaudited)
     
   For the Three Months Ended
   May 31,
   2019   2018 
     
 Operating activities:   
 Net income (loss)$(1,320) $1,422 
 Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash   
 provided by operating activities:   
 Gain on sale of business (2,399)  - 
 Depreciation and amortization 1,190   919 
 Other non-cash adjustments 91   46 
 Changes in assets and liabilities, net of acquisitions:   
 Accounts receivable 4,001   (1,800)
 Inventories 7,385   (308)
 Prepaid expenses and other assets (19,174)  (642)
 Trade accounts payable and accrued liabilities 5,767   4,607 
 Net cash provided (used in) by operating activities   (4,459)    4,244  
     
 Investing activities:   
 Acquisitions (875)  (14,254)
 Capital expenditures (313)  (948)
 Proceeds from sale of business 4,691   - 
 Proceeds from sale of property 84   18 
 Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities   3,587      (15,184)
     
 Financing activities:   
 Net borrowings (repayment) under lines of credit (525)  1,077 
 Net borrowings (repayments) of notes payable (89)  (214)
 Purchase of treasury stock (30)  (30)
 Net cash provided (used in) financing activities   (644)    833  
 Effect of exchange rate changes on cash (225)  (59)
     
 Net decrease in cash   (1,741)    (10,166)
 Cash at beginning of period 6,467   16,134 
 Cash at end of period$  4,726   $  5,968  
     

CONTACT:
Q.E.P. Co., Inc.
Mark S. Walter
Senior Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer
561-994-5550