Methode Electronics, Inc. Reports Fiscal 2013 Second-Quarter Year-Over-Year Sales Growth of 12 Percent
Released: 12/06/12 07:00 AM EST

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 12/06/12 -- Methode Electronics, Inc. (NYSE: MEI), a global developer of custom engineered and application specific products and solutions, today announced financial results for the Fiscal 2013 second quarter and six-months ended October 27, 2012.

Second-Quarter Fiscal 2013
Methode's second-quarter Fiscal 2013 net sales increased $13.9 million, or 12.0 percent, to $129.8 million from $115.9 million in the same quarter of Fiscal 2012.

In September 2012, the Company and various Delphi parties agreed to settle all Delphi related litigation matters. In addition to resolving all claims between the parties, the Company assigned certain patents to Delphi and settled into a non-compete with respect to the related technology. In exchange, the Company will receive a payment of $20.0 million, half of which was paid in October 2012 and half of which will be paid in January 2013. The Company recorded the entire gain in the second quarter of Fiscal 2013, in the income from settlement section of its consolidated statement of operations.

Net income increased $23.1 million to $23.4 million, or $0.62 per share, in the second quarter of Fiscal 2013 from $0.3 million, or $0.01 per share, in the same period of Fiscal 2012. Year over year, Fiscal 2013 second-quarter net income benefitted from:

  • the gain recorded in connection with the legal settlement (as discussed above) of $20.0 million;
  • lower selling and administrative expense related to compensation, travel, advertising and marketing, and professional fees of $1.5 million;
  • the one-time reversal of accruals related to a customer bankruptcy of $1.1 million;
  • higher Other segment income as a result of increased torque-sensing product sales of $0.8 million;
  • commodity pricing adjustments in the Automotive segment of $0.5 million;
  • lower legal expenses of $0.4 million; and
  • higher sales.

Year over year, Fiscal 2013 second-quarter net income was negatively impacted by:

  • higher costs related to the design, development, engineering and launch of a large North American automotive program due to launch in late Fiscal 2013 of $1.0 million;
  • higher income tax expenses of $1.0 million;
  • the lack of a gain on the acquisition of Advanced Molding and Decoration (AMD) in Fiscal 2012 of $0.3 million;
  • costs related to the delayed launch of a laundry program of $0.3 million; and
  • manufacturing inefficiencies, lower sales and an unfavorable product mix within the Power Products segment.

Excluding the impact of the gain of $20.0 million recorded in connection with the legal settlement and its effect on income tax expense, Methode's Fiscal 2013 second-quarter net income was $5.0 million, or $0.13 per share.

Consolidated gross margins as a percentage of sales were 17.2 percent in the Fiscal 2013 second quarter compared to 18.0 percent in the same period of Fiscal 2012. The decrease was due primarily to increased design, development and engineering costs for a new automotive program launching in late Fiscal 2013, increased sales of automotive product that has higher prime cost due to the current high percentage of purchased content, the delayed launch of a laundry program in the Interconnect segment, as well as manufacturing inefficiencies and an unfavorable product mix in the Power Products segment, partially offset by favorable commodity pricing adjustments in the Automotive segment, higher sales of data solution products in the Interconnect segment and higher sales in the Other segment.

Selling and administrative expenses decreased $3.1 million, or 16.9 percent, to $15.2 million in the Fiscal 2013 second quarter compared to $18.3 million in the prior-year second quarter due primarily to the reversal of customer bankruptcy accruals, lower legal expenses, as well as lower compensation and travel expenses. Selling and administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales were 11.7 percent for the Fiscal 2013 second quarter compared to 15.8 percent in the same period last year.

In the Fiscal 2013 second quarter, income tax expense increased $1.0 million to $3.2 million compared to $2.2 million for the Fiscal 2012 period. For the Fiscal 2013 period, the income tax expense relates to income taxes on foreign profits. For the Fiscal 2012 period, the income tax expense primarily relates to income taxes on foreign profits of $1.1 million, foreign dividend tax of $0.9 million and other taxes of $0.2 million.

Second-Quarter Fiscal 2013 Segment Comparison
Comparing the Automotive segment's second quarter of Fiscal 2013 to the same period of Fiscal 2012,

  • Net sales increased 18.8 percent attributable to
    • a 75.7 percent sales improvement in North America due to increased sales for the Ford center console program and transmission lead-frame assembly; and
    • a 17.3 percent sales increase in Europe primarily due to new product launches; partially offset by
    • a 17.3 percent sales decrease in Asia due to the planned partial transfer of transmission lead-frame products to the Company's Mexico facility.
  • Gross margins as a percentage of sales decreased to 14.8 percent from 15.3 percent due to increased design, development and engineering costs for a North American automotive program launching in late Fiscal 2013 and the increased sales of automotive product that has higher prime cost due to the current high purchased content, partially offset by lower costs related to third-party inspection costs, premium freight and over-time expenses, as well as commodity pricing adjustments.
  • Income from operations improved to $26.5 million from $3.2 million due to income from the legal settlement discussed above, increased sales, favorable commodity pricing adjustments and lower legal expenses, partially offset by higher design, development and engineering costs.

Comparing the Interconnect segment's second quarter of Fiscal 2013 to the same period of Fiscal 2012,

  • Net sales improved 5.7 percent attributable to
    • a 15.6 percent sales improvement in North America due to higher appliance and data solutions sales, partially offset by lower safety radio remote control device sales; partially offset by
    • a 6.4 percent sales decrease in Europe due primarily to weaker radio remote control sales and lower sensor sales; and
    • a 26.1 percent sales decrease in Asia primarily due to lower legacy products sales from the planned exit of a product line and lower safety radio remote control device sales.
  • Gross margins as a percentage of sales declined slightly to 25.5 percent from 25.7 percent due primarily to costs related to the delayed launch of a laundry program, partially offset by increased sales of data solution products, which carry a higher gross margin.
  • Income from operations rose to $4.1 million from $3.7 million due to improved sales, partially offset by costs related to a delayed laundry program launch.

Comparing the Power Products segment's second quarter of Fiscal 2013 to the same period of Fiscal 2012,

  • Net sales declined 8.8 percent driven by
    • a 6.8 percent sales decrease in North America due to lower busbar and heat sink demand, partially offset by higher demand for flexible cabling products;
    • flat sales in Europe; and
    • a 15.2 percent sales decrease in Asia due to lower busbar demand.
  • Gross margins as a percentage of sales declined to 12.0 percent from 19.7 percent due to manufacturing inefficiencies because of lower sales volumes in North America and Asia, as well as an unfavorable sales mix.
  • Income from operations decreased to a loss of $0.3 million from income of $0.8 million due to lower sales, manufacturing inefficiencies, unfavorable product mix, partially offset by lower salary, development and travel expenses.

Six-Month Period Fiscal 2013
Methode's six-month Fiscal 2013 net sales increased $21.8 million, or 9.6 percent, to $248.5 million from $226.7 million in the same period of Fiscal 2012.

Net income increased $25.4 million to $27.2 million, or $0.72 per share, in the six months of Fiscal 2013 compared to $1.8 million, or $0.05 per share, in the same period of Fiscal 2012. Year over year, Fiscal 2012 six-month net income benefitted from:

  • the gain recorded in connection with the legal settlement as discussed above) of $20.0 million;
  • higher Other segment income primarily as a result of increased torque-sensing product sales of $2.7 million;
  • lower selling and administrative expense related to compensation, travel, advertising and marketing, and professional fees of $2.2 million;
  • commodity pricing adjustments in the Automotive segment of $1.4 million;
  • the one-time reversal of accruals related to a customer bankruptcy of $1.1 million;
  • lower legal expenses of $1.0 million;
  • lower stock-based compensation costs of $0.2 million; and
  • higher sales.

Year over year, Fiscal 2013 six-month net income was negatively affected by:

  • higher costs related to the design, development, engineering and launch of a large North American automotive program due to launch in late Fiscal 2013 of $1.5 million;
  • higher income tax expenses of $1.5 million;
  • the lack of a gain on the acquisition of AMD in Fiscal 2012 of $0.3 million;
  • costs related to the delayed launch of a laundry program of $0.3 million; and
  • manufacturing inefficiencies, lower sales and an unfavorable product mix within the Power segment.

Excluding the impact of the pre-tax gain of $20.0 million, recorded in connection with the legal settlement and its effect on income tax expense, Methode's Fiscal 2013 six-month net income is $8.8 million, or $0.23 per share.

Consolidated gross margins as a percentage of sales were 17.6 percent in the Fiscal 2013 six-month period compared to 18.0 percent in the same period of Fiscal 2012. The decrease was due primarily to higher design, development and engineering costs for a new automotive program launching in late Fiscal 2013, increased sales of automotive product that has higher prime cost due to the current high percentage of purchased content, as well as manufacturing inefficiencies in the Power Products segment due to lower sales, partially offset by a favorable commodity pricing adjustment in the Automotive segment, sales mix in the Interconnect segment and higher sales in the Other segment.

Selling and administrative expenses decreased $4.3 million, or 11.7 percent, to $32.5 million in the Fiscal 2013 six-month period compared to $36.8 million in the prior-year period due primarily to the reversal of customer bankruptcy accruals, lower legal expenses, as well as lower salary, stock-based compensation, severance, travel and bad debt expense.

In the Fiscal 2013 six-month period, income tax expense increased $1.5 million to $3.7 million compared to $2.2 million for the Fiscal 2012 period. For the Fiscal 2013 period, the income tax expense primarily relates to income taxes on foreign profits. For the Fiscal 2012 period, the income tax expense relates to income taxes on foreign profits of $2.2 million and foreign dividend tax of $0.9 million, partially offset by a tax benefit of $1.1 million at the Company's Malta facility.

Six-Month Fiscal 2013 Segment Comparison
Comparing the Automotive segment's first six months of Fiscal 2013 to the same period of Fiscal 2012,

  • Net sales increased 16.1 percent attributable to
    • a 92.6 percent sales improvement in North America due to increased sales for the Ford center console program and transmission lead frame assembly, which represented 68.8 percent of the increase, and to sales from the AMD acquisition; and
    • a 6.2 percent sales increase in Europe primarily due to new product launches; partially offset by
    • a 15.8 percent sales decrease in Asia due to the planned partial transfer of transmission lead frame products to the Company's Mexico facility.
  • Gross margins as a percentage of sales decreased to 14.1 percent from 15.1 percent due to increased design, development and engineering costs for a North American automotive program launching in late Fiscal 2013, as well as the increased sales of automotive product that has higher prime cost due to the current high purchased content, partially offset by lower third-party inspection costs, premium freight and over-time expenses and commodity pricing adjustments.
  • Income from operations improved to $29.1 million from $5.5 million due to the litigation settlement income, increased sales, favorable commodity pricing adjustments, lower third-party inspection costs, premium freight and over-time expenses and lower legal expenses, partially offset by design, development and engineering costs and higher prime costs.

Comparing the Interconnect segment's first six months of Fiscal 2013 to the same period of Fiscal 2012,

  • Net sales increased 1.7 percent attributable to
    • higher North American sales of 11.9 percent due to improved appliance and data solutions sales, partially offset by lower safety radio remote control device sales; partially offset by
    • lower European sales of 13.6 percent due to lower safety radio remote control device and sensor sales; and
    • lower Asian sales of 7.5 percent primarily due to lower legacy products sales from the planned exit of a product line and lower safety radio remote control device sales.
  • Gross margins as a percentage of sales improved to 27.5 percent from 27.2 percent due primarily to higher sales of data solution products, which carry a higher gross margin, partially offset by costs related to the delayed launch of a laundry program.
  • Income from operations increased to $9.1 million from $8.0 million primarily due to favorable sales mix and lower selling and administrative expenses.

Comparing the Power Products segment's first six months of Fiscal 2013 to the same period of Fiscal 2012,

  • Net sales declined 7.2 percent driven by
    • a 6.9 percent sales decrease in North America due to lower busbar and heat sink demand, partially offset by higher demand for flexible cabling products;
    • a 9.7 percent decrease in Europe due to lower busbar demand; and
    • a 7.5 percent sales decrease in Asia due to lower busbar demand.
  • Gross margins as a percentage of sales declined to 14.2 percent from 17.7 percent due primarily to manufacturing inefficiencies, lower sales and an unfavorable product mix.
  • Income from operations decreased to breakeven from $1.1 million due to manufacturing inefficiencies, lower sales and an unfavorable product mix partially offset by lower salary, travel and development expense.

Management Comments
President and Chief Executive Officer Donald W. Duda said, "In the first half of Fiscal 2013, consolidated sales grew nearly 10 percent, driven by improved volumes within our Automotive segment and the partial launch of a new laundry program within Interconnect. However, sales demand in our European Automotive operations has weakened considerably in the last few weeks, and we anticipate notably reduced sales in the second half of this fiscal year. While our traditional Power Products business declined in the first half, this segment's technology was essential to the successful launch of the battery module for an electric vehicle in our European Power Products segment."

Mr. Duda concluded, "Moving forward, we remain focused on those areas of our business we can control, including the successful launch of the General Motors center console program, as well as all other programs under development."

Guidance
Methode anticipates sequentially lower sales and earnings in its Fiscal 2013 third quarter compared to the Fiscal 2013 second quarter due to weakening economic conditions in Europe and reduced sales in the Power Products segment, and therefore, expects earnings per share for the third quarter to be break even to modestly profitable. Therefore, the Company anticipates sales and earnings for Fiscal 2013 at the low end of the guidance ranges of sales of $470 million to $500 million and earnings per share in the range of $0.45 to $0.60 (exclusive of income from the legal settlement discussed above).

Conference Call
The Company will conduct a conference call and Webcast to review financial and operational highlights led by its President and Chief Executive Officer, Donald W. Duda, and Chief Financial Officer, Douglas A. Koman, at 10:00 a.m. Central time today.

To participate in the conference call, please dial (877) 407-8031 (domestic) or (201) 689-8031 (international) at least five minutes prior to the start of the event. A simultaneous Webcast can be accessed through the Company's Web site, www.methode.com, by selecting the Investor Relations page, and then clicking on the "Webcast" icon.

A replay of the conference call, as well as an MP3 download, will be available shortly after the call through December 20 by dialing (877) 660-6853 (domestic) or (201) 612-7415 (international) and providing Conference ID number 404293. On the Internet, a replay will be available for 30 days through the Company's Web site, www.methode.com, by selecting the Investor Relations page and then clicking on the "Webcast" icon.

About Methode Electronics, Inc.
Methode Electronics, Inc. (NYSE: MEI) is a global developer of custom engineered and application specific products and solutions with manufacturing, design and testing facilities in China, Germany, India, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. We design, manufacture and market devices employing electrical, electronic, wireless, safety radio remote control, sensing and optical technologies to control and convey signals through sensors, interconnections and controls. Our business is managed on a segment basis, with those segments being Automotive, Interconnect, Power Products and Other. Our components are in the primary end markets of the automobile, computer, information processing and networking equipment, voice and data communication systems, consumer electronics, appliances, aerospace vehicles and industrial equipment industries. Further information can be found on Methode's Web site www.methode.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, which reflect management's expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements are subject to the safe harbor protection provided under the securities laws. Methode undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in Methode's expectations on a quarterly basis or otherwise. The forward-looking statements in this press release involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations are detailed in Methode's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as our annual and quarterly reports. Such factors may include, without limitation, the following: (1) dependence on a small number of large customers, including two large automotive customers; (2) dependence on the automotive, appliance, computer and communications industries; (3) further downturns in the automotive industry or the bankruptcy of certain automotive customers; (4) ability to compete effectively; (5) customary risks related to conducting global operations; (6) dependence on the availability and price of raw materials; (7) dependence on our supply chain; (8) ability to keep pace with rapid technological changes; (9) ability to improve gross margin due to a variety of factors, (10) ability to avoid design or manufacturing defects; (11) ability to protect our intellectual property; (12) ability to withstand price pressure; (13) the usage of a significant amount of our cash and resources to launch new North American automotive programs; (14) location of a significant amount of cash outside of the U.S.; (15) currency fluctuations; (16) ability to successfully benefit from acquisitions and divestitures; (17) ability to withstand business interruptions; (18) income tax rate fluctuations; (19) ability to implement and profit from newly acquired technology; and (20) the future trading price of our stock.

METHODE ELECTRONICS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited)
($ in thousands, except shares and per share data)


                            Three Months Ended         Six Months Ended
                         ------------------------  ------------------------
                         October 27,  October 29,  October 27,  October 29,
                             2012         2011         2012         2011
                         -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------

Net sales                $   129,758  $   115,890  $   248,496  $   226,695

  Cost of products sold      107,466       94,972      204,737      185,794
                         -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------

  Gross margins               22,292       20,918       43,759       40,901

  Selling and
   administrative
   expenses                   15,177       18,278       32,474       36,840
  Income from settlement     (20,000)           -      (20,000)           -
                         -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------

Income from operations        27,115        2,640       31,285        4,061

  Interest expense                53            1            7            5
  Other expense, net             536          194          495          152
                         -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------

Income before income
 taxes                        26,526        2,445       30,783        3,904

Income tax expense             3,234        2,221        3,664        2,243
                         -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------

Net income                    23,292          224       27,119        1,661

Less: Net loss
 attributable to
 noncontrolling interest         (71)         (87)        (132)        (145)
                         -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE
 TO METHODE ELECTRONICS,
 INC.                    $    23,363  $       311  $    27,251  $     1,806
                         ===========  ===========  ===========  ===========

Amounts per common share
 attributable to Methode
 Electronics, Inc.:
  Basic                  $      0.62  $      0.01  $      0.73  $      0.05
  Diluted                $      0.62  $      0.01  $      0.72  $      0.05
Cash dividends:
  Common stock           $      0.07  $      0.07  $      0.14  $      0.14
Weighted average number
 of Common Shares
 outstanding:
  Basic                   37,413,490   37,309,890   37,402,660   37,293,598
  Diluted                 37,975,559   37,520,247   37,920,732   37,516,998


METHODE ELECTRONICS, INC AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
($ in thousands)

                                               As of             As of
                                         October 27, 2012   April 28, 2012
                                         ----------------  ----------------
                                            (Unaudited)
ASSETS
CURRENT ASSETS
  Cash and cash equivalents              $         76,999  $         86,797
  Accounts receivable, net                        107,894            98,359
  Inventories:
    Finished products                               9,389             7,001
    Work in process                                15,927            14,235
    Materials                                      25,507            22,325
                                         ----------------  ----------------
                                                   50,823            43,561
  Deferred income taxes                             3,465             3,529
  Prepaid and refundable income taxes                 566             1,015
  Prepaid expenses and other current
   assets                                           8,920             7,172
                                         ----------------  ----------------
      TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS                        248,667           240,433
PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT                     283,863           277,451
  Less allowances for depreciation                193,980           200,299
                                         ----------------  ----------------
                                                   89,883            77,152
GOODWILL                                           17,216            16,422
INTANGIBLE ASSETS, net                             17,482            16,620
PRE-PRODUCTION COSTS                               12,101            16,215
OTHER ASSETS                                       37,027            36,806
                                         ----------------  ----------------
                                                   83,826            86,063
                                         ----------------  ----------------
      TOTAL ASSETS                       $        422,376  $        403,648
                                         ================  ================
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY
CURRENT LIABILITIES
  Accounts payable                       $         56,746  $         54,775
  Other current liabilities                        32,880            37,102
                                         ----------------  ----------------
      TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES                    89,626            91,877
LONG-TERM DEBT                                     46,000            48,000
OTHER LIABILITIES                                   3,322             3,413
DEFERRED COMPENSATION                               5,436             4,801
NON-CONTROLLING INTEREST                              170               333
SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
  Common stock, $0.50 par value,
   100,000,000 shares authorized,
   38,402,678 and 38,375,678 shares
   issued as of October 27, 2012 and
   April 28, 2012, respectively                    19,201            19,188
  Additional paid-in capital                       79,386            77,652
  Accumulated other comprehensive income           14,333            15,573
  Treasury stock, 1,342,188 shares as of
   October 27, 2012 and April 28, 2012            (11,377)          (11,377)
  Retained earnings                               176,072           154,008
                                         ----------------  ----------------
      TOTAL METHODE ELECTRONICS, INC.
       SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY                       277,615           255,044
  Noncontrolling interest                             207               180
                                         ----------------  ----------------
      TOTAL EQUITY                                277,822           255,224
      TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY       $        422,376  $        403,648
                                         ================  ================


METHODE ELECTRONICS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (Unaudited)
($ in thousands)

                                                  Six Months Ended
                                         ----------------------------------
                                         October 27, 2012  October 29, 2011
                                         ----------------  ----------------
OPERATING ACTIVITIES
  Net income                             $         27,119  $          1,661
  Adjustments to reconcile net income to
   net cash provided by/(used in)
   operating activities:
    Provision for depreciation                      7,987             7,047
    Amortization of intangibles                       783               898
    Amortization of stock awards and
     stock options                                  1,747             1,959
    Changes in operating assets and
     liabilities                                  (14,937)          (10,112)
    Other                                             (14)              284
                                         ----------------  ----------------
      NET CASH PROVIDED BY OPERATING
       ACTIVITIES                                  22,685             1,737

INVESTING ACTIVITIES
  Purchases of property, plant and
   equipment                                      (23,557)           (9,125)
  Acquisition of businesses                        (1,434)           (6,353)
                                         ----------------  ----------------
      NET CASH USED IN INVESTING
       ACTIVITIES                                 (24,991)          (15,478)

FINANCING ACTIVITIES
  Proceeds from exercise of stock
   options                                              -               198
  Cash dividends                                   (5,187)           (5,181)
  Proceeds from borrowings                         24,500            36,500
  Repayment of borrowings                         (26,500)                -
                                         ----------------  ----------------
      NET CASH (USED IN)/PROVIDED BY
       FINANCING ACTIVITIES                        (7,187)           31,517

Effect of foreign currency exchange rate
 changes on cash                                     (305)              327

      INCREASE/(DECREASE) IN CASH AND
       CASH EQUIVALENTS                            (9,798)           18,103
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning
 of period                                         86,797            57,445
                                         ----------------  ----------------
      CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS AT END
       OF PERIOD                         $         76,999  $         75,548
                                         ================  ================


For Methode Electronics, Inc. - Investor Contacts:
Kristine Walczak
Dresner Corporate Services
312-780-7205|
kwalczak@dresnerco.com

Philip Kranz
Dresner Corporate Services
312-780-7240
pkranz@dresnerco.com