SUSSEX, WI, April 30, 2019 — Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: QUAD) (“Quad” or the “Company”) today reported results for its first quarter ending March 31, 2019.
First quarter highlights
- Increased net sales by 3.8% to $1 billion primarily driven by the acquisition of Periscope partially offset by a 0.6% organic sales decline, and realized a net loss of $23 million, or $0.45 diluted loss per share.
- Achieved Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA of $70 million, within the Company’s anticipated Q1 2019 guidance range of $65 million to $75 million, and Non-GAAP Adjusted diluted loss per share of $0.15.
- Expect a mid-2019 close on the all-stock acquisition of LSC Communications(“LSC”), and both Quad and LSC have received the necessary shareholder approvals.
- Reaffirms full-year 2019 guidance.
- Declares quarterly dividend of $0.30 per share.
“Our first quarter results were in-line with our expectations and reflect our consistent execution against strategic priorities,” said Joel Quadracci, Quad Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer. “These priorities include making long-term strategic investments that further accelerate our Quad 3.0 transformation, such as our recent acquisition of Periscope, a leading independent creative agency that further enhances our integrated marketing solutions platform. We also continue to prepare for and work toward completing the acquisition of LSC Communications and expect the all-stock transaction to close in mid-2019. We believe this combination will strengthen our print platform to fuel our Quad 3.0 transformation and create further stability and value for our clients and shareholders. Our Quad 3.0 strategy is working as evidenced in new or expanded work with clients and is a significant driver behind our best quarterly organic sales performance since 2014.”
Net sales increased 3.8% during the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, to $1 billion, primarily from the impact of the Periscope acquisition. Organic sales declined 0.6% after excluding a 4.4% acquisition sales impact. The organic results reflect ongoing print industry volume and pricing pressures partially offset by an increase in paper sales.
Net loss attributable to Quad common shareholders during the first quarter of 2019 was $22.5 million, or $0.45 loss per share, as compared to a loss of $3.5 million, or $0.07 per share, in 2018. Excluding the loss on debt extinguishment in 2019, an employee stock ownership plan contribution in 2018 and restructuring costs, Non-GAAP Adjusted Diluted Loss Per Share for the first quarter of 2019 was $0.15 per share compared to earnings of $0.58per share in the first quarter 2018. First quarter 2019 Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA came in as expected at $70 million compared to $110 million in the first quarter of 2018, and Adjusted EBITDA Margin was 7.0% compared to 11.4% in 2018. The Adjusted EBITDA variance to prior-year primarily reflects $22 million in non-recurring benefits in 2018 that did not repeat at the same level in 2019, an $8 million impact from strategic investments made to increase hourly production employees’ wages and the impact from the organic print sales decline of 0.6%, partially offset by the earnings impact from the growth in Quad’s integrated services revenues.
Net cash used in operating activities was $58.6 million for the first quarter of 2019, compared to net cash provided by operating activities of $2.2 million in the first quarter of 2018, and Free Cash Flow of negative $101 million as compared to negative $22 million in the first quarter of 2018. These variances were primarily due to lower net earnings, increased capital expenditures on long-term investments in automation and productivity improvements in the manufacturing platform, and an expected decrease in cash provided from working capital. As a reminder, the Company generates the majority of its Free Cash Flow in the fourth quarter of the year.
“We remain on track for delivering our 2019 financial guidance,” said Dave Honan, Quad Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. “We continue to expect a decrease in Adjusted EBITDA in the front half of the year with growth in the back half of the year due to increasing synergies and revenues related to our Quad 3.0 integrated services offering as well as sustainable cost reductions and productivity improvements from the additional investments in our employees and automation.”
Quad’s next quarterly dividend of $0.30 per share will be payable on June 7, 2019, to shareholders of record as of May 20, 2019.
Quarterly conference call
Quad (NYSE: QUAD) will hold a conference call at 10 a.m. EST on Wednesday, May 1, to discuss first quarter 2019 results. Participants can pre-register for the webcast by navigating to http://dpregister.com/10129922. Participants will be given a unique PIN to gain immediate access to the call on May 1, bypassing the live operator. Participants may pre-register at any time, including up to and after the call start time.
Alternatively, participants without internet access may dial in on the day of the call as follows:
- U.S. Toll-Free: 1-877-328-5508
- International Toll: 1-412-317-5424
Telephone playback will be available shortly after the conference call ends, accessible as follows:
- U.S. Toll-Free: 1-877-344-7529
- International Toll: 1-412-317-0088
- Replay Access Code: 10129922
The playback will be available until June 1, 2019.
This press release contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding, among other things, our current expectations about the Company’s future results, financial condition, revenue, earnings, free cash flow, margins, objectives, goals, strategies, beliefs, intentions, plans, estimates, prospects, projections and outlook of the Company and can generally be identified by the use of words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “foresee,” “project,” “believe,” “continue” or the negatives of these terms, variations on them and other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based largely on the Company’s expectations and judgments and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are unforeseeable and beyond our control.
The factors that could cause actual results to materially differ include, among others: the impact of decreasing demand for printed materials and significant overcapacity in the highly competitive environment creates downward pricing pressures and potential underutilization of assets; the impact of digital media and similar technological changes, including digital substitution by consumers; the impact of fluctuations in costs (including labor and labor-related costs, energy costs, freight rates and raw materials) and the impact of fluctuations in the availability of raw materials; the failure to successfully identify, manage, complete and integrate acquisitions and investments, including the proposed acquisition of LSC Communications, Inc. (“LSC”); the inability of the Company to reduce costs and improve operating efficiency rapidly enough to meet market conditions; the impact of increased business complexity as a result of the Company’s transformation into a marketing solutions provider; the impact of regulatory matters and legislative developments or changes in laws, including changes in cyber-security, privacy and environmental laws; the impact of changing future economic conditions; the failure of clients to perform under contracts or to renew contracts with clients on favorable terms or at all; the failure to attract and retain qualified talent across the enterprise; significant capital expenditures may be needed to maintain the Company’s platforms and processes and to remain technologically and economically competitive; the impact of changes in postal rates, service levels or regulations; the fragility and decline in overall distribution channels, including newspaper distribution channels; the impact of the various restrictive covenants in the Company’s debt facilities on the Company’s ability to operate its business; the impact of risks associated with the operations outside of the United States, including costs incurred or reputational damage suffered due to improper conduct of its employees, contractors or agents; the impact on the holders of Quad’s class A common stock of a limited active market for such shares and the inability to independently elect directors or control decisions due to the voting power of the class B common stock; the impact of an other than temporary decline in operating results and enterprise value that could lead to non-cash impairment charges due to the impairment of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets; the impacts that the proposed acquisition of LSC may have on the Company, both prior to and following consummation of that acquisition; and the other risk factors identified in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, which may be amended or supplemented by subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Non-GAAP financial measures
This press release contains financial measures not prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (referred to as Non-GAAP), specifically Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA Margin, Free Cash Flow, Debt Leverage Ratio and Adjusted Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Share. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net earnings (loss) attributable to Quad common shareholders excluding interest expense, income tax expense (benefit), depreciation and amortization, restructuring, impairment and transaction-related charges, net pension income, employee stock ownership plan contributions, loss (gain) on debt extinguishment, equity in (earnings) loss of unconsolidated entity, the Adjusted EBITDA for unconsolidated equity method investments (calculated in a consistent manner with the calculation for Quad) and net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests. Adjusted EBITDA Margin is defined as Adjusted EBITDA divided by net sales. Free Cash Flow is defined as net cash provided by operating activities less purchases of property, plant and equipment, plus LSC-related payments primarily related to incremental interest payments associated with the 2019 amended debt refinancing and transaction-related costs. Debt Leverage Ratio is defined as total debt and finance lease obligations divided by the last twelve months of Adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Share is defined as earnings (loss) before income taxes and equity in (earnings) loss of unconsolidated entity excluding restructuring, impairment and transaction-related charges, employee stock ownership plan contributions, loss (gain) on debt extinguishment, and adjusted for income tax expense at a normalized tax rate, divided by diluted weighted average number of common shares outstanding.
The Company believes that these Non-GAAP measures, when presented in conjunction with comparable GAAP measures, provide additional information for evaluating Quad’s performance and are important measures by which Quad’s management assesses the profitability and liquidity of its business. These Non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for or superior to, net earnings (loss) as a measure of operating performance or to cash flows provided by operating activities as a measure of liquidity. These Non-GAAP measures may be different than Non-GAAP financial measures used by other companies. Reconciliation to the GAAP equivalent of these Non-GAAP measures are contained in tabular form on the attached unaudited financial statements.
Quad (NYSE: QUAD) is a worldwide marketing solutions partner dedicated to creating a better way for its clients through a data-driven, integrated marketing platform that helps clients reduce complexity, increase efficiency and enhance marketing spend effectiveness. Quad provides its clients with unmatched scale for client onsite services and expanded subject expertise in marketing strategy, creative solutions, media deployment and marketing management services. With a client-centric approach that drives its expanded offering, combined with leading-edge technology and single-source simplicity, Quad believes it has the resources and knowledge to help a wide variety of clients in multiple vertical industries, including retail, publishing and healthcare. Quad has multiple locations throughout North America, South America and Europe, and strategic partnerships in Asia and other parts of the world. For additional information visit www.QUAD.com.
Investor relations contact
Director of Investor Relations and Assistant Treasurer, Quad
Manager of Corporate Communications, Quad