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WESCO Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Results

PITTSBURGH — WESCO International, Inc. announces its results for the fourth quarter and full year 2020.

“Fiscal 2020 will be remembered as one of the most important in WESCO’s history. We completed the transformational acquisition of Anixter, doubling our size and changing our trajectory for years to come. We designed and launched a three-year integration plan which in just six months has delivered synergies in excess of our initial targets,” said John Engel, Chairman, President and CEO. “And at the same time, we delivered operating results during a global pandemic which demonstrate the strength of our franchise, the commitment of our extraordinary team of associates, and position us well for future growth as the economy continues its recovery and the secular trends supporting our future growth generate momentum across our business units.”

“In the six months since completing the acquisition of Anixter we have already reduced net debt by $389 million. We are confident that we will exceed the synergy targets that we’ve set for our three-year plan. The combination of WESCO and Anixter creates cross-selling opportunities, with initiatives underway that have already delivered early successes. We enter 2021 with a record backlog, a new organizational structure, and the strongest management team we’ve fielded during my time with the Company.”

“For 2021, WESCO is exceptionally well positioned to support our customers with an expanded set of products and differentiated services. The efficiencies we capture through our larger scale will combine with growth in electrification, automation, communications and security across our three global business units to drive our performance this year. As such, we expect to outperform in our end markets with sales increasing from 3% to 6% in all three of our business units. We also see our adjusted EBITDA margins expanding to 5.4% to 5.7% and adjusted EPS growing to between $5.50 to $6.00, with free cash flow generation reaching 100% or more of net income.”

The following are results for the three months ended December 31, 2020 compared to the three months ended December 31, 2019:

  • Net sales were $4.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to $2.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 96.7% due to the merger with Anixter that was completed on June 22, 2020, partially offset by the impact of weakened demand from the COVID-19 pandemic. Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2020 were up 4.4% sequentially compared to the third quarter that had an additional three work days.
  • Cost of goods sold for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $3.4 billion compared to $1.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019, and gross profit was $772.0 million and $389.8 million, respectively. As a percentage of net sales, gross profit was 18.7% and 18.6% for the fourth quarter of 2020 and 2019, respectively. Cost of goods sold for the fourth quarter of 2020 includes merger-related fair value adjustments of $15.7 million, as well as an out-of-period adjustment of $23.3 million related to inventory absorption accounting. Adjusted for these amounts, gross profit as a percentage of net sales for the fourth quarter of 2020 was 19.6%.
  • Selling, general and administrative expenses were $637.9 million, or 15.5% of net sales, for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $289.9 million, or 13.8% of net sales, for the fourth quarter of 2019. SG&A expenses for the fourth quarter of 2020 include merger-related costs of $40.1 million. Adjusted for this amount, SG&A expenses were $597.8 million, or 14.5% of net sales, for the fourth quarter of 2020. SG&A expenses for the fourth quarter of 2019 include $3.1 million of merger-related costs.
  • Operating profit was $92.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $83.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Operating profit as a percentage of net sales was 2.2% for the current quarter, compared to 4.0% for the fourth quarter of the prior year. Operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2020 includes merger-related costs and the out-of-period adjustment described above. Adjusted for these amounts, operating profit was $171.8 million, or 4.2% of net sales. Adjusted for merger-related costs of $3.1 million, operating profit was $86.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, or 4.1% of net sales.
  • Net interest expense for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $74.3 million, compared to $16.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. The increase in interest expense was driven by financing activity related to the Anixter merger.
  • The effective tax rate was a benefit of 4.7% for the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to expense of 22.0% for the fourth quarter of 2019. The lower effective tax rate in the current quarter was primarily due to one-time impacts from the merger with Anixter.
  • Net income attributable to common stockholders was $5.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $53.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted for the items mentioned above, net income attributable to common stockholders was $62.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • Earnings per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $0.11, based on 51.1 million diluted shares, compared to $1.26 for the fourth quarter of 2019, based on 42.2 million diluted shares. As adjusted, earnings per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2020 and 2019 was $1.22 and $1.32, respectively.
  • Operating cash flow for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $125.0 million, compared to $107.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Free cash flow for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $124.0 million, or 161% of adjusted net income, compared to $94.0 million, or 170% of adjusted net income, for the fourth quarter of 2019.

The following are results for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019:

  • Net sales were $12.3 billion for 2020 compared to $8.4 billion for 2019, an increase of 47.6% due to the merger with Anixter that was completed on June 22, 2020, partially offset by the impact of weakened demand from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Cost of goods sold for 2020 was $10.0 billion and gross profit was $2.3 billion, compared to $6.8 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively, for 2019. As a percentage of net sales, gross profit was 18.9% for both 2020 and 2019. Cost of goods sold for 2020 includes merger-related fair value adjustments of $43.7 million, as well as an out-of-period adjustment of $18.9 million related to inventory absorption accounting. Adjusted for these amounts, gross profit as a percentage of net sales for 2020 was 19.4%.
  • Selling, general and administrative expenses were $1.9 billion, or 15.1% of net sales, for 2020, compared to $1.2 billion, or 14.0% of net sales, for 2019. SG&A expenses for 2020 include merger-related costs of $132.2 million, as well as a gain on the sale of a U.S. operating branch. of $19.8 million. Adjusted for these amounts, SG&A expenses for 2020 were $1.7 billion, or 14.2% of net sales, reflecting lower sales and the merger with Anixter, partially offset by cost reduction actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. SG&A expenses for 2019 include $3.1 million of merger-related costs.
  • Operating profit was $347.0 million for 2020, or 2.8% of net sales, compared to $346.2 million for 2019, or 4.1% of net sales. Operating profit for 2020 includes merger-related costs, merger-related fair value adjustments, the out-of-period adjustment described above and gain on the sale of a U.S. operating branch. Adjusted for these amounts, operating profit was $522.0 million, or 4.2% of net sales. Adjusted for merger-related costs of $3.1 million, operating profit was $349.3 million for 2019, or 4.2% of net sales.
  • Net interest expense for 2020 was $226.6 million, compared to $65.7 million for 2019. The increase in interest expense was driven by financing activity related to the Anixter merger.
  • The effective tax rate for 2020 was 18.6%, compared to 21.2% for 2019. The lower effective tax rate in the current year was primarily due to one-time impacts from the merger with Anixter.
  • Net income attributable to common stockholders was $70.4 million for 2020, compared to  $223.4 million for 2019. As adjusted for the items mentioned above, net income attributable to common stockholders was $203.6 million for 2020.
  • Earnings per diluted share for 2020 was $1.51, based on 46.6 million diluted shares, compared to $5.14 for 2019, based on 43.5 million diluted shares. As adjusted, earnings per diluted share for 2020 and 2019 was $4.37 and $5.20, respectively.
  • Operating cash flow for 2020 was $543.9 million, compared to $224.4 million for 2019. Free cash flow for 2020 was $586.1 million, or 251% of adjusted net income, compared to $180.3 million, or 80% of adjusted net income, for 2019.

Segment Results

In the third quarter of 2020, in connection with the acquisition of Anixter, the Company identified new segments, which have been organized around three strategic business units consisting of Electrical & Electronic Solutions (“EES”), Communications & Security Solutions (“CSS”) and Utility & Broadband Solutions (“UBS”).

Corporate expenses are incurred to obtain and coordinate financing, tax, information technology, legal and other related services. Segment results include depreciation expense or other allocations related to various corporate assets. Interest expense and other non-operating items are not allocated to the segments or reviewed on a segment basis. Corporate expenses are not directly identifiable with our reportable segments and are reported in the tables below to reconcile the reportable segments to the consolidated financial statements.

The following are results by segment for the three months ended December 31, 2020 compared to the three months ended December 31, 2019:

  • EES reported net sales of $1.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $1.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 35.2%. Operating profit was $64.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $63.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was $93.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, or 5.6% of net sales, compared to $70.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, or 5.7% of net sales.
  • CSS reported net sales of $1.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $228.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 499.5%. Operating profit was $85.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $11.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was $111.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, or 8.2% of net sales, compared to $13.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, or 5.7% of net sales.
  • UBS reported net sales of $1.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $636.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 71.3%. Operating profit was $64.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $50.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was $79.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, or 7.3% of net sales, compared to $54.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, or 8.5% of net sales.

The following are results by segment for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019:

  • EES reported net sales of $5.5 billion for 2020, compared to $4.9 billion for 2019, an increase of 12.7%. Operating profit was $260.2 million for 2020, compared to $261.8 million for 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was $294.9 million for 2020, or 5.4% of net sales, compared to $291.5 million for 2019, or 6.0% of net sales.
  • CSS reported net sales of $3.3 billion for 2020, compared to $909.5 million for 2019, an increase of 265.4%. Operating profit was $217.2 million for 2020, compared to $43.8 million for 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was $289.6 million for 2020, or 8.7% of net sales, compared to $51.1 million for 2019, or 5.6% of net sales.
  • UBS reported net sales of $3.5 billion for 2020, compared to $2.6 billion for 2019, an increase of 36.1%. Operating profit was $231.7 million for 2020, compared to $184.9 million for 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was $264.6 million for 2020, or 7.5% of net sales, compared to $198.7 million for 2019, or 7.7% of net sales.
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