Bemis Company, Inc. (NYSE:BMS) today reported first quarter 2014 diluted earnings of $0.48 per share, compared to $0.47 per share for the same quarter of 2013. Excluding the items detailed in the attached schedule, “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Earnings per Share,” adjusted diluted earnings for the first quarter of 2014 would have been $0.58 per share, compared to $0.53 for the same quarter of 2013, an increase of 9.4 percent. Net sales for the first quarter 2014 were $1.2 billion. Excluding the impact of currency, sales increased approximately one percent compared to the first quarter of 2013.
“Bemis achieved record first quarter adjusted earnings per share,” said Henry Theisen, Bemis Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our first quarter volumes are typically slower as we prepare for the seasonally stronger spring and summer months. This quarter, slightly lower sales volumes were driven by a slowdown in customer demand due to recent weather events in North America and inflationary pressures in Brazil. As we head into the second quarter, we are pleased to see healthy customer order levels, and we are commercializing new business at an accelerated pace to support expected unit volume and profit margin growth in 2014.”
- Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the first quarter increased 9.4 percent to $0.58, in line with management’s guidance for the quarter.
- Management announced the planned closure of a Pressure Sensitive Materials plant, resulting in a $25 million pre-tax charge in the first quarter, most of which impacted Cost of Products Sold.
- Excluding the charge related to the plant closure noted above, gross profit as a percentage of net sales for the first quarter improved sequentially as compared to the fourth quarter of 2013 and was consistent with first quarter 2013 levels.
- On March 31, 2014, Bemis completed the sale of its Paper Packaging Division. A $9.4 million pre-tax gain was recorded on the sale as part of other non-operating income.
- Bemis repurchased approximately 1.1 million shares of its common stock at a cost of $43.2 million.
- Bemis increased its quarterly cash dividend by 4 percent, the 31 st consecutive annual increase.
- Management established adjusted diluted earnings guidance for the second quarter of 2014 in the range of $.61 to $.66 per share and confirmed total year 2014 earnings guidance in the range of $2.40 to $2.55 per share.
BUSINESS SEGMENT RESULTSU.S. Packaging U.S. Packaging net sales of $738.2 million for the first quarter 2014 represented a decrease of 1.0 percent compared to the same period of 2013. The prior year Clysar divestiture reduced sales by 2.2 percent. The remaining net sales increase was driven primarily by the benefit of improved price and mix partially offset by a modest decrease in unit sales volume.