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Allegheny Technologies Announces Third Quarter 2012 Results

Stocks in this article: ATI

“Our financial position remains solid with cash on hand of $281 million at the end of the third quarter 2012. Cash provided by operations was $186 million in the third quarter 2012. We have reduced our expected 2012 capital expenditures to $410 million from our original $485 million plan. Our focus on improving our cost structure continued as gross cost reductions before the effects of inflation totaled $87 million during the first nine months 2012, which is on track to exceed our full-year objective of at least $100 million in gross cost reductions.”

Strategy and Outlook

“We remain focused on long-term value creation for our stockholders, through the business cycles, while delivering superior value for our customers,” Mr. Harshman said. “Our industry-leading specialty metals technologies, diversified alloy systems and product forms, global and diversified market focus, unsurpassed manufacturing capabilities, and integrated capabilities from alloy development, to raw materials (titanium sponge), to melting and hot-working, to finished value-added components and parts are unique in the world. This strategy has ATI well-positioned to achieve significant revenue and earnings growth over the next three to five years, as global economic conditions improve.

“We expect business conditions in the fourth quarter 2012 to remain challenging. Except for the U.S. election, meaningful progress on the primary reasons for the current global economic uncertainty - the possible U.S. ‘fiscal cliff’, the euro-zone debt crisis, and slower growth in China - is not expected until the first half of 2013. Therefore, we expect continued soft demand and aggressive inventory management by most of our customers to persist through the fourth quarter 2012. As a result, we now expect fourth quarter results to be lower than the 2012 third quarter. For the full year, we expect sales in the range of $5.0 to $5.1 billion and full-year segment operating profit as a percent of sales of approximately 10.5%.”

  Three Months Ended                 Nine Months Ended
September 30 September 30
In Millions
2012               2011 2012           2011
 
Sales $1,220.5 $1,352.6 $3,930.4 $3,931.6
 
Net income attributable to ATI $ 35.3 $ 62.3 $ 147.9 $ 182.6
 
Per Diluted Share
 
Net income attributable to ATI per common share

$ 0.32

$ 0.56

$ 1.32

$ 1.68

 

Third Quarter 2012 Financial Results Compared to Third Quarter 2011

  • Sales for the third quarter 2012 were $1.22 billion, compared to $1.35 billion in the third quarter 2011. Compared to the third quarter 2011, sales increased 1% in the High Performance Metals segment. Raw material surcharges were lower due to declines in nickel raw material and titanium scrap costs. In the Flat-Rolled Products segment, sales declined 19% primarily due to lower raw material surcharges, lower base prices for standard stainless products, and reduced shipments of titanium products to the industrial markets due to project delays. Sales decreased 6% in the Engineered Products segment due to reduced demand for tungsten-based products and from the electrical energy market. For the first nine months of 2012, direct international sales increased $63.9 million, or 5%, compared to the prior year period, and represented 35.7% of total sales.
  • Third quarter 2012 segment operating profit was $119.5 million, or 9.8% of sales, compared to $161.8 million, or 12.0% of sales, for the comparable 2011 period.
  • Net income attributable to ATI for the third quarter 2012 was $35.3 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, compared to $62.3 million, or $0.56 per diluted share in the third quarter 2011. Results for the third quarter 2011 included acquisition related expenses of $8.3 million, net of tax, primarily related to inventory fair value adjustments. Excluding these items, 2011 third quarter net income was $70.6 million, or $0.63 per share.
  • Cash flow provided by operations for the first nine months of 2012 was $245.8 million and included an investment of $112.4 million in managed working capital.
  • Cash on hand at the end of the third quarter 2012 was $281.0 million, an increase of $70.7 million from June 30, 2012.
  • Gross cost reductions, before the effects of inflation, totaled $27.0 million in the third quarter 2012, bringing gross cost reductions for the year to $87.0 million.

High Performance Metals Segment

Third Quarter 2012 Market Conditions

  • Customers remained cautious across most markets due to global economic uncertainty. Total mill product shipments of our nickel-based and specialty alloys, and titanium and titanium alloys were basically flat with the second quarter 2012 but with a less favorable product mix. Zirconium and related alloys shipments decreased 15% compared to the second quarter 2012 due primarily to reduced demand from the nuclear energy and chemical process industry markets. Compared to the second quarter 2012, average selling prices decreased 2% for nickel-based alloys and superalloys, primarily due to lower raw material surcharges, and increased 1% for specialty alloys as strong demand from the oil and gas markets offset lower raw material surcharges. Average selling prices for titanium alloys decreased 8% primarily due to lower raw material surcharges and product mix. Average selling prices for zirconium and related alloys increased 7% due to product mix.
  • Sales of high performance forgings and castings declined modestly primarily due to lower raw material surcharges and lower demand from the jet engine aftermarket and for construction and mining components.

Third quarter 2012 compared to third quarter 2011

  • Sales increased by 1% to $539.3 million.
  • Mill product shipments of nickel-based alloys and superalloys increased 11% due to demand from the aerospace market. Mill product shipments of specialty alloys increased 66% due to strong demand from the oil and gas market. Shipments of titanium and titanium alloy mill products were 2% lower primarily due to reduced demand from the jet engine aftermarket. Zirconium and related alloys shipments declined 14% primarily due to reduced demand from the nuclear energy market and the chemical process industry. Average selling prices decreased 6% for nickel-based and superalloys primarily due to lower raw material surcharges, partially offset by a higher value-add product mix. Average selling prices decreased 4% for specialty alloys due to lower raw material surcharges and a less favorable product mix. Average selling prices decreased 1% for titanium and titanium alloys due to raw material surcharges. Average selling prices increased 7% for zirconium and related alloys primarily due to product mix.
  • Sales for high performance forgings and castings were flat primarily due to better demand for airframe components and for construction and mining components, which was offset by lower raw material surcharges and lower demand from the jet engine aftermarket.
  • Segment operating profit decreased to $84.5 million, or 15.7% of total sales, including surcharges, compared to $95.7 million, or 17.9% of total sales, for the third quarter 2011. Segment operating profit was negatively impacted by a less favorable product mix and approximately $6 million of costs associated with adjusting production levels to expected lower demand from the nuclear energy market. Third quarter 2012 segment operating profit included a LIFO inventory valuation reserve benefit of $12.1 million which was partially offset by higher costs for raw materials, primarily nickel, resulting from the misalignment of the raw material surcharge with raw material costs due to the long manufacturing cycle of certain products. The third quarter 2011 segment operating profit included a LIFO inventory valuation reserve charge of $4.2 million.
  • Gross cost reductions, before effects of inflation, during the first nine months of 2012 were $47.1 million in the High Performance Metals segment.

Flat-Rolled Products Segment

Market Conditions

  • Demand was soft from nearly all markets and base selling prices for most standard stainless products were at historically low levels. Compared to the second quarter 2012, shipments decreased 8% for high-value products, which includes industrial-grade titanium, nickel-based alloys, Precision Rolled Strip® products, and grain-oriented electrical steel. Shipments for standard stainless products (sheet and plate) decreased 13%. Direct international sales for the third quarter 2012 represented 32% of total segment sales. Third quarter 2012 Flat-Rolled Products segment titanium shipments, including Uniti joint venture conversion, were 2.6 million pounds, a 7% decrease compared to the second quarter 2012 and a 50% decrease from the third quarter 2011, primarily due to timing delays of certain large projects and lower overall demand from global industrial markets. Compared to the second quarter 2012, average selling prices for standard stainless products decreased 8%, and decreased 4% for high-value products, both primarily due to lower raw material surcharges and lower base prices.

Third quarter 2012 compared to third quarter 2011

  • Sales were $560.2 million, 18.8% lower than the prior year period, primarily due to lower raw material surcharges and reduced base prices for most products. Shipments of high-value products declined 3% compared to the third quarter 2011 as higher shipments of our nickel-based alloys, specialty alloys and Precision Rolled Strip® products were offset by reduced shipments of our grain-oriented electrical steel and titanium products. Shipments of standard stainless products increased 10%. Average selling prices, which include surcharges, for standard stainless products declined 21% due to lower base prices and lower raw material surcharges. Average selling prices for high-value products decreased 19% primarily due to product mix and lower raw material surcharges.
  • Segment operating profit declined to $26.2 million, or 4.7% of total sales, including surcharges, compared to $58.8 million, or 8.5% of total sales, in the third quarter 2011 primarily due to lower base prices for standard stainless and grain-oriented electrical steel products, and reduced shipments of certain high-value products due to delays of major project business. The third quarter 2012 included a LIFO inventory valuation reserve benefit of $8.8 million which was partially offset by higher costs for raw material, primarily nickel, which did not align with raw material surcharges. In the third quarter 2011, a LIFO inventory valuation reserve benefit of $24.0 million was recognized.
  • Gross cost reductions, before effects of inflation, during the first nine months of 2012 were $33.8 million in the Flat-Rolled Products segment.

Engineered Products Segment

Market Conditions

  • Demand was lower from the oil and gas, and cutting tool markets.

Third quarter 2012 compared to third quarter 2011

  • Sales were $121.0 million, a decrease of 5.7%, primarily as a result of weaker demand for tungsten-based products.
  • Segment operating profit improved to $8.8 million, or 7.3% of sales, in the third quarter 2012, compared to $7.3 million, or 5.7% of sales, in the third quarter 2011. Results for the third quarter 2012 included a LIFO inventory valuation reserve benefit of $1.2 million compared to a $7.3 million LIFO inventory valuation reserve charge for the comparable 2011 period.
  • Gross cost reductions, before effects of inflation, during the first nine months of 2012 were $6.1 million in the Engineered Products segment.

Other Expenses

  • Corporate expenses for the third quarter 2012 were $14.9 million, compared to $20.9 million in the year-ago period. The decrease in corporate expenses was primarily related to lower incentive compensation expenses associated with long-term performance plans.
  • Interest expense, net of interest income, was $17.2 million, compared to $23.4 million in the third quarter 2011. The decrease in interest expense was primarily due to lower debt levels and increased capitalized interest on major strategic capital projects. Capitalized interest reduced interest expense by $6.6 million for the third quarter 2012, compared to $3.1 million for the comparable 2011 period.
  • Other expenses, which include expenses related to closed operations, for the third quarter 2012 were $2.7 million, compared to $2.9 million in the year-ago period.

Retirement Benefit Expense

  • Retirement benefit expense, which includes pension expense and other postretirement expense, increased to $30.6 million in the third quarter 2012, compared to $19.2 million in the third quarter 2011. This increase was primarily due to the utilization of a lower discount rate to value retirement benefit obligations and lower than expected returns on plan assets.
  • For the third quarter 2012, retirement benefit expense of $22.4 million was included in cost of sales and $8.2 million was included in selling and administrative expenses. For the third quarter 2011, retirement benefit expense of $13.6 million was included in cost of sales and $5.6 million was included in selling and administrative expenses.

Income Taxes

  • The third quarter 2012 provision for income taxes was $16.8 million, or 31.1% of income before tax, compared to the third quarter 2011 provision for income taxes of $31.2 million, or 32.7% of income before tax.

Cash Flow, Working Capital and Debt

  • Cash on hand was $281.0 million at September 30, 2012, an increase of $70.7 million from June 30, 2012 but a decrease of $99.6 million from year-end 2011.
  • Cash flow provided by operations in the third quarter 2012 was $186 million. Cash flow provided by operations for the first nine months of 2012 was $245.8 million and included an investment of $112.4 million in managed working capital.
  • The $112.4 million growth in managed working capital during the first nine months of 2012 resulted from a $25.1 million decrease in accounts receivable, a $54.2 million increase in inventory, and an $83.3 million decrease in accounts payable.
  • At September 30, 2012, managed working capital was 39.1% of annualized sales, compared to 37.8% of annualized sales at year-end 2011. We define managed working capital as accounts receivable plus gross inventories less accounts payable.
  • Cash used in investing activities was $244.1 million in the first nine months of 2012, including $245.6 million of capital expenditures, the majority of which was related to the construction of the new Flat-Rolled Products segment Hot-Rolling and Processing Facility (HRPF). Cash used in financing activities was $101.3 million in the first nine months of 2012 and included dividend payments of $57.3 million, $27.0 million of net debt retirements, and $18.2 million of tax payments on share-based compensation associated with performance-based plans.
  • Total debt to total capital decreased to 35.9% at September 30, 2012, compared to 37.9% at the end of 2011. Net debt as a percentage of total capitalization decreased to 31.2% at the end of the third quarter 2012 compared to 31.3% at the end of 2011.
  • There were no borrowings outstanding under ATI’s $400 million unsecured domestic credit facility, although a portion of the letters of credit capacity was utilized.

Allegheny Technologies will conduct a conference call with investors and analysts on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. ET to discuss the financial results. The conference call will be broadcast live on www.ATImetals.com. To access the broadcast, click on “Conference Call”. Replay of the conference call will be available on the Allegheny Technologies website.

This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Certain statements in this news release relate to future events and expectations and, as such, constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include those containing such words as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “would,” “should,” “will,” “will likely result,” “forecast,” “outlook,” “projects,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and include known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which we are unable to predict or control, that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include: (a) material adverse changes in economic or industry conditions generally, including global supply and demand conditions and prices for our specialty metals; (b) material adverse changes in the markets we serve, including the aerospace and defense, electrical energy, chemical process industry, oil and gas, medical, automotive, construction and mining, and other markets; (c) our inability to achieve the level of cost savings, productivity improvements, synergies, growth or other benefits anticipated by management from strategic investments and the integration of acquired businesses, whether due to significant increases in energy, raw materials or employee benefits costs, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, or other factors; (d) volatility of prices and availability of supply of the raw materials that are critical to the manufacture of our products; (e) declines in the value of our defined benefit pension plan assets or unfavorable changes in laws or regulations that govern pension plan funding; (f) significant legal proceedings or investigations adverse to us; and (g) other risk factors summarized in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, and in other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no duty to update our forward-looking statements.

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