Lifeway Foods, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2020 Results

Third Quarter Net Sales Increase 14.6% Year-Over-Year to $26 Million

Morton Grove, Illinois, UNITED STATES

MORTON GROVE, Ill., Nov. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lifeway Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: LWAY) (“Lifeway” or “the Company”), the leading U.S. supplier of kefir and fermented probiotic products to support the microbiome, today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020.

“I am pleased to report that our growth trajectory accelerated in the third quarter of 2020, with a 14.6% increase in sales compared to the third quarter of 2019,” commented Julie Smolyansky, Lifeway’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our core business continues to show improved velocities and our decision to focus on digital engagement to fuel online grocery purchases and grocery list initiatives has paid dividends in a retail world that has been shaped by COVID-19 buying habits. We are still investing heavily in customer acquisition strategies as we continue to market products that fit the needs of a growing number of consumers. The trends for multi-serve products with immunity supporting attributes such as probiotics, vitamin D and protein look good for the remainder of 2020 and beyond, and we intend to build on our messaging to tell the Lifeway story to those new to the category. Our results show that retailers that have partnered with Lifeway are seeing gains as we drive category growth. We look forward to expanding those partnerships with increased variety to create a win-win scenario for both consumers and retailers.”   

Third Quarter Results
Net sales were $26.0 million for the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 14.6% from $22.7 million in the third quarter of 2019.

Gross profit as a percentage of net sales was 29.1% for the second quarter of 2020, an increase of 140 basis points from 27.7% for the second quarter of 2020. Gross profit percentage was 22.8% in prior year period. The increase versus the prior year was primarily due to the impact of favorable milk pricing, and to a lesser extent favorable freight costs. Additionally, depreciation expense increased reflecting our continued investment in manufacturing improvements.

Third quarter of 2020 selling expenses decreased by 21.0% to $2.1 million compared to the third quarter of 2019 at $2.7 million. Selling expenses as a percentage of net sales were 8.1% during the third quarter compared to 11.8% for the same period in 2019.

General and administrative expenses decreased $0.4 million or 4.6% to $8.7 million during the nine month period ended September 30, 2020 from $9.1 million during the same period in 2019. The decrease is primarily a result of lower compensation expense due to organizational changes made in 2019 and lower incentive compensation, partially offset by increased professional fee expense.

The effective income tax rate for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was 29.3% compared to 8.8% in the same period last year. The increase in effective tax rate is primarily the result of non-deductible compensation expense related to equity incentive awards and state tax receivables reducing the benefit associated with a pre-tax book loss in 2019, partially offset by a benefit recognized in 2020 due to the enactment of the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (the CARES Act). The Company consistently reflects non-deductible officer compensation expense, non-deductible compensation expense related to equity incentive awards and separate state tax rates from year to year. Although similar items were reflected in 2019, the percentage effect is substantially different due to the difference in pre-tax income in 2020 compared to the pre-tax loss in 2019.

The Company reported earnings of $0.12 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2020, an increase from earnings of $0.06 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2020, and as compared to a break-even of $0.00 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2019.

Conference Call and Webcast

A pre-recorded conference call and webcast with Julie Smolyansky discussing these results with additional comments and details will be available today at approximately 8:00 a.m. ET. The webcast will be available over the Internet through the “Investor Relations” section of the Company’s website at An audio replay will be available through November 30, 2020. North American listeners may dial 844-512-2921 and international listeners may dial 412-317-6671. The passcode is 11142402.

About Lifeway Foods, Inc.

Lifeway Foods, Inc., which has been recognized as one of Forbes’ Best Small Companies, is America’s leading supplier of the probiotic, fermented beverage known as kefir. In addition to its line of drinkable kefir, the company also produces cupped kefir and cheese, frozen kefir, specialty cheeses, probiotic supplements and a ProBugs line for kids. Lifeway’s tart and tangy fermented dairy and non-dairy products are now sold across the United States, Mexico, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Learn how Lifeway is good for more than just you at

Forward-Looking Statements
This release (and oral statements made regarding the subjects of this release) contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding, among other things, future operating and financial performance, product development, market position, business strategy and objectives. These statements use words, and variations of words, such as “continue,” “build,” “future,” “increase,” “drive,” “believe,” “look,” “ahead,” “confident,” “deliver,” “outlook,” “expect,” and “predict.” Other examples of forward looking statements may include, but are not limited to, (i) statements of Company plans and objectives, including the introduction of new products, or estimates or predictions of actions by customers or suppliers, (ii) statements of future economic performance, and (III) statements of assumptions underlying other statements and statements about Lifeway or its business. You are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events and thus are inherently subject to uncertainty. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from Lifeway’s expectations and projections. These risks, uncertainties, and other factors include: price competition; the decisions of customers or consumers; the actions of competitors; changes in the pricing of commodities; the effects of government regulation; possible delays in the introduction of new products; and customer acceptance of products and services. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties, and other factors can be found in Lifeway’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and the Company’s subsequent filings with the SEC. Copies of these filings are available online at,, or on request from Lifeway. Information in this release is as of the dates and time periods indicated herein, and Lifeway does not undertake to update any of the information contained in these materials, except as required by law. Accordingly, YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THE ACCURACY OF ANY OF THE STATEMENTS OR OTHER INFORMATION CONTAINED IN ANY ARCHIVED PRESS RELEASE.

Lifeway Foods, Inc.
Phone: 847-967-1010

Consolidated Balance Sheets
September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019
(In thousands)

  September 30,
  December 31,
Current assets        
Cash and cash equivalents $7,616  $3,836 
Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts and discounts and allowances of $1,410 and $1,100 at September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively  8,159   6,692 
Inventories, net  6,472   6,392 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets  1,339   1,598 
Refundable income taxes  189   681 
Total current assets  23,775   19,199 
Property, plant and equipment, net  21,082   22,274 
Operating lease right-of-use asset  380   738 
Intangible assets        
Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangibles  12,824   12,824 
Other intangible assets, net  35   152 
Total intangible assets  12,859   12,976 
Other assets  1,800   1,800 
Total assets $59,896  $56,987 
Current liabilities        
Accounts payable $6,036  $5,282 
Accrued expenses  2,890   4,087 
Accrued income taxes  176   154 
Total current liabilities  9,102   9,523 
Line of credit  2,763   2,745 
Operating lease liabilities  198   488 
Deferred income taxes, net  1,292   922 
Other long-term liabilities  35   58 
Total liabilities  13,390   13,736 
Commitments and contingencies        
Stockholders' equity        
Preferred stock, no par value; 2,500 shares authorized; no shares issued or outstanding at September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019      
Common stock, no par value; 40,000 shares authorized; 17,274 shares issued; 15,605 and 15,710 outstanding at September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively  6,509   6,509 
Paid-in capital  2,532   2,380 
Treasury stock, at cost  (12,450)  (12,601)
Retained earnings  49,915   46,963 
Total stockholders' equity  46,506   43,251 
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $59,896  $56,987 


Consolidated Statements of Operations
For the three and nine Months Ended September 30, 2020 and 2019
(In thousands, except per share data)

  Three Months Ended
September 30,
  Nine Months Ended
September 30,
  2020  2019  2020  2019 
Net sales $26,039  $22,729  $76,441  $70,497 
Cost of goods sold  17,710   16,813   53,613   51,223 
Depreciation expense  752   743   2,326   2,235 
Total cost of goods sold  18,462   17,556   55,939   53,458 
Gross profit  7,577   5,173   20,502   17,039 
Selling expenses  2,116   2,679   7,411   8,509 
General and administrative  2,805   2,710   8,681   9,100 
Amortization expense  39   39   117   152 
Total operating expenses  4,960   5,428   16,209   17,761 
Income (loss) from operations  2,617   (255)  4,293   (722)
Other income (expense):                
Interest expense  (27)  (65)  (96)  (202)
Gain on investments        4    
(Loss) gain on sale of property and equipment     154   (28)  183 
Other income, net     77   2   82 
Total other income (expense)  (27)  166   (118)  63 
Income (loss) before provision for income taxes  2,590   (89)  4,175   (659)
Provision (benefit) for income taxes  764   (17)  1,223   (58)
Net income (loss) $1,826  $(72) $2,952  $(601)
Earnings (loss) per common share:                
Basic $0.12  $(0.00) $0.19  $(0.04)
Diluted $0.12  $(0.00) $0.19  $(0.04)
Weighted average common shares:                
Basic  15,602   15,740   15,595   15,761 
Diluted  15,642   15,740   15,621   15,761 


Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(In thousands)

  Nine months ended September 30, 
  2020  2019 
Cash flows from operating activities:        
Net income (loss) $2,952  $(601)
Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to operating cash flow:        
Depreciation and amortization  2,443   2,387 
Non-cash interest expense  17   17 
Non-cash rent expense  (38)   
Bad debt expense  (3)  20 
Deferred revenue  (73)  (73)
Stock-based compensation  274   714 
Deferred income taxes  369    
Loss (gain) on sale of property and equipment  28   (183)
Reserve for inventory obsolescence     177 
(Increase) decrease in operating assets:        
Accounts receivable  (1,464)  (316)
Inventories  (80)  (1,118)
Refundable income taxes  492   1,921 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets  248   (399)
Increase (decrease) in operating liabilities:        
Accounts payable  756   2,397 
Accrued expenses  (595)  53 
Accrued income taxes  22   (43)
Net cash provided by operating activities  5,348   4,953 
Cash flows from investing activities:        
Purchases of property and equipment  (1,168)  (610)
Proceeds from sale of property and equipment  5   513 
Purchase of investments     (15)
Net cash used in investing activities  (1,163)  (112)
Cash flows from financing activities:        
Purchase of treasury stock  (405)  (538)
Repayment of line of credit     (1,789)
Net cash used in financing activities  (405)  (2,327)
Net increase in cash and cash equivalents  3,780   2,514 
Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period  3,836   2,998 
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period $7,616  $5,512 
Supplemental cash flow information:        
Cash paid for income taxes, net of (refunds) $335  $(1,937)
Cash paid for interest $82  $214 
Non-cash investing activities        
Right-of-use assets recognized at ASU 2016-02 transition $  $944 
Operating lease liability recognized at ASU 2016-02 transition $  $997 
Increase (decrease) in right-of-use assets and operating lease liabilities recognized after ASU 2016-02 transition $(58) $280 
Non-cash financing activities        
Issuance of common stock under equity incentive plans $522  $