Houston Wire & Cable Reports 1Q Results

HOUSTON — Houston Wire & Cable Company recently announced operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019.

Selected quarterly results were:

  • Net income of $2.3 million, up 17.3% from the first quarter of 2018
  • Fully diluted EPS of $0.14, up $0.02 over the first quarter of 2018
  • Sales of $85.3 million, up 0.3% from the same period in 2018
  • Gross margin of 24.9%, up 80 basis points from the first quarter of 2018
  • Sequential quarter operating expense declined $393 thousand
  • Operating income of $3.9 million, an 18.1% increase from the same period in 2018

First Quarter Summary
Jim Pokluda, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “We were pleased with the profitability improvements realized in the first quarter as these results represented our eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year operating profit growth. Although reported revenue was only slightly positive, adjusting for one less business day and the headwinds experienced from metals, it is encouraging that end market activity remained stable, and that our team continued to make gains with key elements of our strategic plan including margin improvement. We estimate sales for our project business, which targets end markets for Utility Power Generation, Environmental Compliance, Engineering & Construction, Industrials, and Mechanical Wire Rope, increased 5%, while Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) sales were down 1% as compared to the first quarter of 2018.”

Gross margin at 24.9% increased 80 basis points from the first quarter of 2018, primarily due to improved pricing discipline and product mix. Sequentially, gross margin increased 100 basis points. Operating expenses at $17.4 million were up $0.2 million from Q1 2018 and down $0.4 million sequentially.

Average debt levels for the quarter increased 3.5% sequentially consistent with the historical first quarter trend but decreased 4.5% from $76.9 million in Q1 2018 to $73.5 in 2019, while the effective interest rate increased from 3.3% in 2018 to 3.9% in 2019.

The effective tax rate for the quarter was 26.8%, compared to the 25.9% level in 2018.

Net income was $2.3 million, as compared to $1.9 million in the same period of the prior year. Pokluda further commented, “As a result of the attainment of higher margin levels and sequential reduction in operating expenses, we are able to report the highest level of first quarter operating income since 2014.”

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