Houston Wire & Cable Sales Down 21% in First Half of 2015

HOUSTON, TX—Houston Wire & Cable Company (NASDAQ: HWCC) (the “Company”) announced operating results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015.

Selected quarterly highlights were:

  • Sales of $78 million
  • Completed the Southwest Wire Rope Houston facility consolidation
  • Net loss of $0.6 million
  • Adjusted net income of $1.5 million excluding the impairment charge relating to the Southwest Wire division and certain tradenames.
  • Debt decreased to $40.3 million, lowest level since Q 1 2010
  • Declared a dividend of $0.12 cents per share on August 4, 2015

Jim Pokluda, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “Market conditions did not improve in the second quarter and the combination of reduced demand in oil and gas and industrial markets and deflation in the price of metals significantly impacted our operating results. Sales decreased 24.6% from the second quarter of 2014, or approximately 20% when adjusted for declining metals prices. We estimate that Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) sales fell 20% or approximately 15% on a metals-adjusted basis, while project sales decreased approximately 35%, or 30% on a metals-adjusted basis. Metals adjusted project and total sales excluding the negative impact resulting from a decline in a large and ongoing infrastructure project fell approximately 13% and 14%, respectively. Total transactional invoice activity decreased by 11%.”

Gross margin at 21.7% was flat with the second quarter of 2014. Operating expenses at $17.2 million included an impairment charge for the goodwill associated with the Southwest Wire Rope division and certain tradenames totaling $3.0 million. Net of this charge operating expenses were $14.2 million, a decrease of 8.8% from the $15.6 million level in 2014.

Pokluda commented, “Given today’s challenging operating environment we have amplified our efforts to drive exceptionally high levels of focus and strong organizational execution involving new business development, expense management, efficient working capital utilization, gross margin optimization and customer satisfaction. Similar to the first quarter, new business development initiatives involving product line expansions into highly engineered power and control cable, aluminum cable and most recently flexible cable, continue to gain traction. Year-over-year expenses continue to decrease, largely as a result of our major expense reduction initiative implemented in early 2014. Inventory re-profiling has driven significant investment reductions which have favorably impacted working capital requirements, cash flow and debt. Gross margins have remained at levels experienced in more robust economic conditions, and operational excellence at 98% + order accuracy and on-time performance, continue to produce very high levels of customer satisfaction.”

Adjusted net income of $1.5 million decreased by $2.5 million from the second quarter of 2014.

Mr Pokluda further commented, “Despite the current demand levels, we delivered strong operating cash flow, debt reduction continued, and our strong balance sheet again allowed us to return funds to our shareholders through the $0.12 per share dividend.”

Sales for the first six months of the year were down 21.7% versus the prior year period and down approximately 17% on a metals adjusted basis.

Gross margin at 21.7% was flat with the 2014 period. “Pricing remains very competitive in the marketplace, especially in those regions where demand for product remains depressed and on large projects. Despite the continuing market pricing pressure, the achievement of this level of gross margin is a testimony to the ability of our sales force to execute under difficult conditions,” said Mr. Pokluda. Gross profit dollars decreased $9.5 million or 21.5%, primarily due to the decrease in sales.

Operating expenses increased $0.3 million or 0.8%, primarily driven by the $3.0 million impairment charge. Absent this charge, operating expenses decreased 8.8% from $30.9 million to $28.2 million.

Adjusted net income of $3.7 million decreased $4.1 million from the $7.8 million level in the prior year period.

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