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Fuller reports sales, profits up after big acquisition

September 28, 2018

H.B. Fuller Co. said Thursday that its recently completed acquistion of Royal Adhesives Sealants is progressing well, even as third quarter revenue and earnings came in below analyst expectations.

The $1.6 billion deal for the Indiana-based maker of adhesives was the largest acquistion in Fuller’s history and helped the company increase third quarter revenues to $770.1 million, up 36.8 percent. The Vadnais Heights-based maker of industrial adhesives reported net income up 50 percent to $37.7 million and earnings per share up 47 percent to 72 cents per share.

“Our strong third quarter results demonstrated the earnings power of our business as we grew organic revenue by nearly 5 percent and increased profitability in an environment of rising raw materials and currency headwinds,” chief executive Jim Owens said in a news release. “We continue to grow organically by winning new opportunities in targeted markets and by managing pricing to offset raw materials inflation.

Analysts were expecting better results as Fuller missed consensus sales and earnings estimates. The consensus estimate among analysts was revenue of $784.4 million and adjusted earnings per share of 90 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters. The company missed the revenue target by 1.9 percent and the adjusted earnings target by 4.7 percent.

Owens told analysts on the company’s earnings call that it is making progress on three key strategic goals it identified at the start of the fiscal year: realizing pricing gains to offset raw material price increases, achieving up to $15 million in cost synergies from the Royal acquisition and increasing free cash flow to pay down long-term debt.

Owens said Fuller increased prices 4 to 10 percent in North America during September, realized $10 million of the $15 million in cost synergies from the Royal deal and says it is on track to meet the debt reduction goal of $170 million by the end of the fourth quarter.

Shares of Fuller finished Thursday at $52.89 per share, down 7.1 percent. Year-to-date, shares are down 1.8 percent.

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926

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