“We had an exceptional fiscal 2021 generating record fourth quarter and annual earnings per share,” said Andy Rose, President and CEO. “While we benefitted from rising steel prices, we also saw robust demand across most of our businesses and joint ventures. I am very pleased with the way our teams executed this past year coming out of the pandemic, and I want to thank all of our employees for their hard work and continuing commitment to making the Company better and growing earnings for our shareholders.” Consolidated Quarterly Results
Net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 were $978.3 million compared to $611.6 million, an increase of 60% over the comparable quarter in the prior year. The increase was driven by overall volume improvements in both Steel Processing and Pressure Cylinders and higher average direct selling prices in Steel Processing.
Gross margin increased $136.3 million over the prior year quarter to $226.1 million, primarily due to improved direct spreads in Steel Processing and the impact of higher overall volumes.
Operating income for the current quarter was $110.5 million, an increase of $104.1 million over the prior year quarter. The impact of higher gross margin was partially offset by higher SG&A expense, which was up $32.1 million, mostly due to higher profit sharing and bonus expense resulting from the significant increase in earnings.
Interest expense was $7.7 million in the current quarter, compared to $7.5 million in the prior year quarter. The increase was due primarily to higher average debt levels.
Equity income from unconsolidated joint ventures increased $25.1 million over the prior year quarter to $42.4 million on higher contributions from all joint ventures. The Company received cash distributions of $25.5 million from unconsolidated joint ventures during the quarter.
Income tax expense was $27.4 million in the current quarter compared to $5.8 million in the prior year quarter. The increase was driven by higher pre-tax earnings, partially offset by a discrete tax benefit realized in connection with the sale of the Company’s liquified petroleum gas (LPG) fuel storage business in Poland. Tax expense in the current quarter reflects an annual effective rate of 19.6% compared to 25.1% for the prior year. Balance Sheet
At quarter-end, total debt of $710.5 million was relatively consistent with debt at February 28, 2021, and the Company had $640.3 million of cash. Quarterly Segment Results
Steel Processing’s net sales totaled $655.2 million, up 100%, or $327.0 million, over the comparable prior year quarter when COVID-19 related shutdowns significantly reduced demand. The increase in net sales was driven by higher average direct selling prices and higher volume. Operating income of $94.3 million was $96.1 million higher than the loss in the prior year quarter on improved direct spreads and the impact of higher volume. Direct spreads benefited from significant inventory holding gains, estimated to be $50.5 million in the current quarter compared to $0.6 million in the prior year quarter. The mix of direct versus toll tons processed was 48% to 52% in the current quarter, compared to 45% to 55% in the prior year quarter.
Pressure Cylinders’ net sales totaled $323.1 million, up 14%, or $40.2 million, over the comparable prior year quarter due to higher volumes in both the consumer and industrial products businesses. Operating income of $13.0 million was $0.5 million less than the prior year quarter. Excluding impairment and restructuring charges, operating income was up $9.3 million over the prior year quarter to $31.1 million, driven by higher volumes combined with the impact of divestitures of underperforming businesses completed earlier in the fiscal year. Recent Developments
- On March 12, 2021, the Company sold its Structural Composites Industries, LLC business located in Pomona, California to Luxfer Holdings PLC. The Company received net proceeds of $19.1 million, resulting in a pre-tax loss of $7.2 million within restructuring and other expense.
- On May 31, 2021, the Company sold its LPG fuel storage business, located in Poland, to Westport Fuel Systems, Inc. The Company received total consideration of approximately $6.0 million, resulting in a pre-tax loss of $11.0 million within restructuring and other expense.
- During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, the Company repurchased a total of 700,000 of its common shares for $46.8 million, at an average purchase price of $66.86.
- On June 8, 2021, the Company acquired certain assets of Shiloh Industries U.S. BlankLight® business, a provider of laser welded solutions, for approximately $105.0 million, subject to closing adjustments. The acquisition includes three facilities that will expand the capacity and capabilities of TWB’s laser welded products business and an additional blanking facility that will support the Company’s core steel processing operations.
- On June 9, 2021, the Company’s consolidated joint venture, WSP, sold the remaining assets of its Canton, Mich., facility for approximately $20.0 million. The Company expects to record a gain of approximately $12.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 related to the divestiture. WSP continues to operate locations in Jackson and Taylor, Mich.
- On June 10, 2021, the Company announced that its Pressure Cylinders segment was being divided into three new reporting segments: Consumer Products, Building Products and Sustainable Energy Solutions, effective at the start of fiscal year 2022. The three new reporting segments are in addition to the Company’s Steel Processing segment.
- On June 23, 2021, Worthington’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.28 per share payable on September 29, 2021 to shareholders of record on September 15, 2021.
“As we enter our new fiscal year, demand levels and backlogs are quite good across our key end markets. Going forward, we expect results will be positively impacted by our recent acquisitions and actions we have taken to divest underperforming assets,” said Rose. “Our businesses have solid growth strategies, underpinned by innovation, transformation and M&A, and our new reporting segments will allow our teams to reshape these businesses around larger, more attractive end markets.” Conference Call
Worthington will review fiscal 2021 fourth quarter results during its quarterly conference call on June 24, 2021, at 9:30 a.m., Eastern Time. Details regarding the conference call can be found on the Company website at www.WorthingtonIndustries.com. About Worthington Industries
Worthington Industries (NYSE:WOR) is a leading industrial manufacturing company delivering innovative solutions to customers that span many industries including transportation, construction, industrial, agriculture, retail and energy. Worthington is North America’s premier value-added steel processor and producer of laser welded products; and a leading global supplier of pressure cylinders and accessories for applications such as fuel storage, water systems, outdoor living, tools and celebrations. The Company’s brands, primarily sold in retail stores, include Coleman®, Bernzomatic®, Balloon Time®, Mag Torch®, Well-X-Trol®, General®, Garden-Weasel®, Pactool International® and Hawkeye™. Worthington’s WAVE joint venture with Armstrong is the North American leader in innovative ceiling solutions.
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Worthington operates 53 facilities in 15 states and seven countries, sells into over 90 countries and employs approximately 8,000 people. Founded in 1955, the Company follows a people-first philosophy with earning money for its shareholders as its first corporate goal. Relentlessly finding new ways to drive progress and practicing a shared commitment to transformation, Worthington makes better solutions possible for customers, employees, shareholders and communities.