Newell Brands Inc. (NYSE: NWL) reported first-quarter financial results before markets opened on Monday. The company said that it had $0.34 in earnings per share (EPS) and $3.27 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $0.29 in EPS and $3.22 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.40 in EPS and $1.31 billion in revenue.
Overall net sales grew by 148.4% in the quarter and core sales grew 2.5%. In terms of its segments the company reported:
- The Live segment had net sales of $1.1 billion, an increase of 231.5% versus $322 million last year.
- The Learn segment generated net sales of $569 million, an increase of 47.9% compared with $385 million.
- The Work segment generated net sales of $614 million, an increase of 128.5% compared with $269 million in the prior year.
- The Play segment generated net sales of $628 million, an increase of 927.8% compared with $61.1 million.
For the 2017 full year, Newell raised its EPS guidance to $3.00 to $3.20 from the previous range of $2.95 to $3.15. The company reaffirmed its full-year net sales guidance of $14.52 billion to $14.72 billion. The consensus estimates are calling for $3.05 in EPS and $14.71 billion in revenue for the full year.
On the books, cash and cash equivalents totaled $687.5 million at the end of the quarter, compared to $8.18 billion in the same period last year.
Michael Polk, CEO, commented:
Our first quarter results provide strong evidence of our team’s capacity to perform while we transform. We delivered competitive core sales growth of 2.5 percent despite significant organization and portfolio change. Our core sales results were broad based with growth in all four regions and across four of five segments. Our international growth coupled with very strong e-commerce results more than offset the continuing impact of inventory de-stocking in U.S. mass channels. Our operating margin was well ahead of plan driven by strong cost synergies and stringent discretionary cost management. And we further deleveraged, paying down over $725 million of debt in the quarter, bringing our cumulative debt repayment since the Jarden transaction on April 15, 2016 to $2.8 billion.
Shares of Newell were last trading up 11% at $51.58, with a consensus analyst price target of $56.69 and a 52-week trading range of $43.43 to $55.45.