Lawson Products Announces Third Quarter 2020 Results

CHICAGO — Lawson Products, Inc. today announced results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020.

“Our third quarter results confirm we are on the right path recovering from the impact of the pandemic-led economic downturn. Net sales for the third quarter grew 25.1% over the prior quarter and our adjusted EBITDA margin improved to 10.4% from 8.7% in the second quarter. Account collections and cash flows remain strong and our balance sheet has strengthened despite the economic uncertainty that still exists,” said Michael DeCata, president and chief executive officer.

“During the quarter, we completed the acquisition of Partsmaster, another leading MRO distributor, with sales of $63 million over the last twelve months. Partsmaster is an excellent strategic fit with many similarities to Lawson. Less than 60 days since closing we are already acting on opportunities created by this combination. We are confident that we will produce value exceeding the sum-of-the-parts.

DeCata continued, “The pandemic continues to impact the industrial economy with uncertainties that still exist. Although we expect some challenges, Lawson is on the path to rebuild organic growth with better customer-facing business processes and more efficient operations that will benefit our customers, employees and shareholders.

“Recognizing that most of our customers have been impacted by the medical and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, our strategy has continued to be to protect our entire team and distribution capabilities. This has enabled us to quickly stabilize our customer supply chains and provide outstanding customer service while sequentially improving our profitability and cash flows. Pairing this with the acquisition of Partsmaster continues to position Lawson for long-term growth and value accretion.”

“I would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of our entire team, delivering essential goods and services during difficult circumstances. Thank you, also, to our growing list of customers – everyone at Lawson Products is here to serve you to make your jobs easier and to traverse these challenging times together.”


  • Acquired Partsmaster, a leading MRO distributor based in Texas, for $35.3 million, $2.3 million in cash at closing, and $33.0 million to be paid in May, 2021 and the assumption of certain liabilities. Partsmaster recorded $5.4 million in sales for the month of September. The integration is on plan.
  • Achieved third quarter sales of $90.3 million, representing a 25.1% increase over the second quarter 2020 and a decline of 4.7% from the same period last year, reflecting the residual economic impact of the pandemic.
  • Reported operating income was $2.0 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to $6.4 million in the third quarter of 2019.
  • Adjusted operating income, excluding stock-based compensation, severance expense and acquisition costs increased to $7.7 million, a 61.2% improvement over the second quarter of 2020.
  • Reported net income of $1.7 million for the quarter, or $0.19 per diluted share compared to $0.51 in the third quarter of 2019.
  • On an adjusted basis excluding stock-based compensation, severance expense and acquisition costs, diluted earnings per share was $0.62.
  • Cash on hand at the end of the quarter was $17.2 million, compared to $5.5 million at the end of 2019. Availability under our $100.0 million committed credit facility at the end of the quarter, net of the letter of credit securing the remaining acquisition payment due in May 2021, was $66.0 million.

Third Quarter Results

Net sales in the third quarter of 2020 were $90.3 million an increase of 25.1% compared to $72.1 million in the second quarter 2020. The sequential sales growth was primarily driven by our responsiveness to our customers’ needs as demand began to improve with COVID-19 restrictions partially withdrawn in parts of the United States and Canada and Partsmaster sales of $5.4 million. Organic average daily sales improved sequentially for each month of the quarter.

Compared to the same quarter in 2019, third quarter 2020 net sales decreased $4.5 million, reflecting the continued economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly its effect on customers in the oil and gas industry, partially offset by sales from Partsmaster. Average daily sales declined to $1.411 million compared to $1.481 million in the prior year quarter. Both quarters had 64 selling days.

Gross profit was $47.2 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to $50.6 million in the year ago period. This primarily reflected lower sales due to the economic impact of COVID-19, partially offset by $3.6 million of gross profit contributed from Partsmaster. Consolidated gross profit as a percentage of sales was 52.3% for the third quarter compared to 53.4% in the third quarter of 2019. The core Lawson MRO segment gross margin, excluding Partsmaster and service-related costs, was 58.8% in the third quarter of 2020, compared to 60.9% in the year ago quarter. This reflected reduced operating leverage on a lower sales base, higher net freight costs and a product mix shift toward lower margin personal protective equipment related safety and cleaning products.

Selling expenses decreased to $19.2 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to $21.3 million in the prior year. As a percentage of sales, selling expenses decreased to 21.2% from 22.4% in the third quarter of 2019. The decrease in selling expense primarily reflects reduced compensation on lower sales and lower travel related expenses, partially offset by the inclusion of $1.7 million of selling expense from Partsmaster in the third quarter of 2020.

General and administrative expenses increased to $26.1 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to $22.9 million in the prior year quarter. The increase was due to a $2.4 million increase in stock-based compensation expense resulting from a 27% increase in the stock price, inclusion of Partsmaster expenses of $1.5 million, increased severance of $0.5 million and acquisition costs of $0.5 million. Excluding these items, general and administrative expenses declined $1.7 million driven primarily by lower compensation costs and continued cost containment actions.

Reported operating income in the third quarter of 2020 was $2.0 million inclusive of $5.7 million of the above mentioned stock-based compensation, severance and acquisition costs compared to operating income of $6.4 million in the prior year quarter. Adjusted non-GAAP operating income excluding the $5.7 million was $7.7 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to $8.9 million in the prior year quarter. For the quarter, adjusted EBITDA was 10.4% of sales or $9.3 million compared to $10.3 million for the prior year quarter. (See reconciliation in Table 1)

Reported net income was $1.7 million, or $0.19 per diluted share compared to net income of $4.8 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the same period a year ago. Adjusted net income excluding stock-based compensation, severance and acquisition costs was $5.8 million or $0.62 per diluted share compared to $0.68 a year ago. (See reconciliation in Table 2)

At September 30, 2020, the Company had $17.2 million of unrestricted cash and cash equivalents with an additional $66.0 million of borrowing capacity under its $100.0 million committed credit facility which is net of the letter of credit securing our remaining acquisition liability. We intend to pay the remaining acquisition liability as scheduled in May 2021 with cash on hand and future positive cash flows, and as necessary, from our credit facility. Management has prioritized maintaining its strong cash and financial position and remains prepared to act upon opportunities for accretive acquisitions.

“The acquisition of Partsmaster is a major step forward for Lawson and our objective of combining organic growth and accretive acquisitions to create shareholder value through increased sales which positively leverage our cost structure. We will utilize our strong financial position to seek additional attractive acquisitions as we move forward,” concluded Mr. DeCata.

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