Reece Ltd (ASX: REH) released its 2019 financial results after market close yesterday, with shares down nearly 2% today in response. Here’s what you need to know.
About The Reece Group
The Reece Group operates the largest bathroom and plumbing supply business in Australia, Reece, as well as ten other businesses in related industries including irrigation, pools, civil works and HVAC-R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration).
Reece began in 1920 when Harold Joseph Reece commenced selling hardware products from the back of his truck. Almost 100 years on, the company has grown to having 8,000 people in 800 branches across Australia, New Zealand and the US.
The 5 Key Points
- Sales revenue up 103% to $5.46 billion
- Normalised EBITDA up 38% to $522 million
- Normalised NPAT up 6% to $238 million
- Statutory NPAT down 10% to $202 million
- EPS down 20% to 36 cents
The difference in normalised NPAT and statutory NPAT is attributable to the recognition of business acquisition costs and the one-off impact of fair value inventory unwind. In July 2018, Reece completed a $1.91 billion acquisition of US business MORSCO, a leading US distributor of commercial and residential plumbing, waterworks and HVAC.
While the big jump in sales revenue is attributable to the MORSCO acquisition, the ANZ division reported record revenue of $2.87 billion for the period, up 6.6%. This is a notable achievement given the softer economic conditions in the housing sector.
According to Bloomberg data, analysts following Reece had been expecting the company to report a profit of $251 million and a dividend of 15.4 cents. Both of these figures were above what the company actually reported. In other words, Reece did not meet analysts’ expectations.
Reece’s Dividend & Balance Sheet
The Reece Board declared a fully-franked final dividend of 14.25 cents per share, bringing the total dividend for the financial year to 20.25 cents. As a result, Reece shares are currently trading at a dividend yield of ~2.05% at the time of writing.
The record date for the dividend is 9 October 2019 and will be paid on 30 October 2019.
At the end of FY18, Reece was in a net cash position of $540 million with no debt on its balance sheet. However, with the MORSCO acquisition during FY19, the company is now in a significant net debt position of $1.48 billion.
CEO and Managing Director Peter Wilson described FY19 as a year of transition from local to global.
Commenting on the integration of MORSCO, Wilson said: “Our first year as a global business has seen MORSCO perform in line with expectations, with no surprises following a very thorough pre-purchase due diligence. The last year has seen the US team lay foundations for the future”.
Closer to home, management said its focus is on the customer, with this being more important now than ever: “We continue to tailor in-store and online experiences to individual needs. Our exclusive brands, quality products, innovation and superior support are key to the success of our customers, “ Wilson said.
Management refrained from providing any guidance or outlook for FY20.
Time To Take A Plunge Into Reece Shares?
The Wilson family have ties to the company that go all the way back to 1969 and have an enormous amount of skin in the game, proving for very well aligned management that has a strong track record. However, with uncertain economic conditions in ANZ and the US, it might be prudent to stay on the sidelines for now.
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Disclaimer: Any information contained in this article is limited to general financial/investment advice only. The information has not taken into account your specific needs, goals or objectives, so please consider consulting a licenced and trusted adviser before acting on the information. Please read The Rask Group’s Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information. This article is authorised by Owen Raszkiewicz of The Rask Group, which is a corporate authorised representative No. 1264179 of Strawman Pty Ltd (ACN: 610 908 211) (AFSL: 501 223).
Disclosure: At the time of writing, Cathryn has no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned.