Northwest Pipe Management Discusses Q1 2013 Results
Welcome, and thank you all for standing by. [Operator Instructions] Today’s conference is being recorded and if you have any objections, you may disconnect at this point. Now I will turn the meeting over to Mr. Scott Montross, CEO. Sir, you may begin.
Thank you, Fred. Good morning, and welcome to Northwest Pipe’s Conference Call. My name is Scott Montross, and I’m the President and CEO of the company, and I’m joined by Robin Gantt, our Chief Financial Officer.
As we begin, I would like to remind everyone the statements we make in this call about our expectations for the future are forward looking statements, and actual results could differ materially. Please refer to our most recent SEC filing on Form 10 K for a discussion of risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations.
I will now turn to Robin who will discuss our first quarter results.
Thank you, Scott. Our net income was $9.5 million or $1 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013 compared to $4.7 million or $0.50 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2012.
Water Transmission sales increased 34.5% to $78.6 million in the first quarter of 2013 from $58.4 million in the first quarter of 2012. Water Transmission gross profit as a percent of sales increased to 25.3% in the first quarter of 2013 from 16.6% in the first quarter of 2012. The increase in sales was due to a 53% increase in tons produced, partially offset by a 12% decrease in selling prices per ton. The increase in gross profit and gross profit as a percent of sales was driven by a decline in material cost per ton, particularly fuel costs, and significantly higher volumes, which had a positive impact on the fixed portion of our cost of goods sold.
Tubular Products sales decreased 26% to $62 million in the first quarter of 2013 from $83.7 million in the first quarter of 2012. Volume decreased 19% and selling prices per ton decreased 9%. We sold 53,900 tons in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 66,600 tons of the first quarter of 2012. Tubular Products gross profit as a percent of sales was 2.2% in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 8.1% in the first quarter of 2012.
Our energy products comprised approximately 75% of Tubular Products sales in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 76% in the first quarter of 2012. Gross profit and gross profit as a percent of sales was negatively impacted by increased competition from imports,Custom bobbleheads, which exerted significant downward pressure on selling prices and volume. In addition, gross profit was negatively impacted by an additional $800,000 lower cost to market inventory adjustment taken in the first quarter of 2013. There was no lower cost to market adjustment in the first quarter of 2012.
Selling, general and administrative costs decreased to $6.4 million in the first quarter of 2013 compared to $7.3 million in the first quarter of 2012. There was a decrease in outside services in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter in 2012 as the 2012 results have the costs associated with the restatement completed in April 2012.
Interest expense was $1 million in the first quarter of 2013 and $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2012. The decrease was the result of lower average borrowings and lower average interest rates. Our effective tax rates were 31.7% in the first quarter of 2013 and 37.2% in the first quarter of 2012. During the first quarter of 2013, we reported a favorable impact of the retroactive extension of the federal research and development tax credit for 2012.
In the first quarter of 2013,Custom bobbleheads 86, the company generated $3.8 million in cash from operations to support the growth of the business,Personalized Bobbleheads 28, mainly through our net income and depreciation and decreases in inventories and increases in accounts payable. These were partially offset by an increase in our trade and other receivable accounts. Depreciation was $3.9 million in the first quarter of 2013 and $3.3 million in the first quarter of 2012.
Inventories decreased $4 million in the first quarter of 2013 from the fourth quarter of 2012 due to a decrease in coils for Water Transmission production. Capital expenditures were $9.8 million in the first quarter of 2013, primarily for plant capacity expansions in our Tubular Products plants and the expansion project at our Saginaw, Texas facility. The remainder was for ongoing maintenance capital expenditures.
Regarding legal matters, the shareholder class action lawsuit and the shareholder derivative action that had been filed against the company were settled and dismissed at the end of March 2013. On April 3, 2013, the SEC informed the company that the SEC’s investigation had been completed and that the staff did not intend to recommend any enforcement actions against the company.
Now I’ll turn it over to Scott for an update on our business.
Thanks, Robin. As of March 31, 2013, our backlog in Water Transmission was approximately $136 million. As of March 31, 2012, our backlog was approximately $161 million. We expect that the first quarter for Water Transmission will be the strongest quarter for the year with a record quarterly gross profit that’s a percentage of sales. The backlog in Water Transmission has decreased as we’ve completed much of the drought related emergency work in Texas. We expect Water Transmission sales, gross profits and margins to be lower in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, with gross margin percentages in the mid teens.
In Tubular Products, we expect to see compressed margins for the foreseeable future as imports have had a negative impact on both volume and margins. We expect to be about breakeven in Tubular Products for the second quarter of 2013. We also expect to spend between $30 million and $35 million of total capital, which includes some investment projects in normal capital maintenance.
The biggest investment projects are the previously announced expansion at our Saginaw facility, as well as the continued modernization of our Atchison, Kansas plant. The Atchison modernization includes the installation of a second accumulator, a new hydro tester and the replacement of the existing front end of our 16 inch mill.
In conclusion, we anticipate a profitable second quarter for our Water Transmission business. While we anticipate that the continued competition from imports of energy products will limit the profitability for our Tubular Products segment,bobbleheads, at least through the first half of 2013 and likely into the third quarter.
At this time, we will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Kanchana Pinnapureddy Jefferies Company, Inc., Research Division
This is actually Kanchana Pinnapureddy in for Scott. I wanted to I know you provided some color on 2Q for both businesses. Could you talk little bit about how you’re thinking about sales in the back half of the year for both businesses,Personalized Bobbleheads?
I’ll comment on the Water Transmission piece of the business first. As we’ve mentioned in the call, I think we’ve had a very strong first quarter for Water Transmission. And I think in the last call, we talked a little bit about the number of jobs that are actually bidding at this point. We are probably seeing a reduction of between 35% and maybe a little bit higher percent over of the jobs that we saw bidding in the 2011 and 2012 timeframe. So we’re seeing many fewer jobs and not a lot of jobs out there that have a lot of size to them. So I think what we’re seeing on the Water Transmission side is fewer jobs and a lot more competition and focus on the jobs that are out there that are actually having a muting affect or a depressing effect on the margins as we go through the rest of this year and into 2014. On the Tubular Products side, it’s the same story that we have discussed, I think even on the last call. I think with the high imports that we’ve seen and the related falling price due to the imports, I think that we’re going to see a relatively tough second quarter on the Tubular Products side. I do believe that sometime as we start going through the second quarter, we’re going to see the rig count start to increase, which should increase demand in the Tubular Products side of the business. The only question is, is how much effect are the continued high levels of imports going to have on the Tubular Products business and muting what the price increases can be on that side of the business based on increased demand from higher rig counts. So I think when we look at both parts of the business as we go through this period of time in the second quarter into the last half of the year, I think we have challenges on both sides of the business for the environments that we see.
Kanchana Pinnapureddy Jefferies Company,Personalized Bobbleheads 76, Inc., Research Division
Could you talk a little bit about what you’re seeing on pricing in the Water Transmission business?
Yes, the pricing is certainly getting more competitive. Again, we are seeing because of the limited amounts of jobs, we’re seeing a lot more competition on individual jobs. I think we’re also beginning to see a little bit more competition from players that we would refer to as nontraditional players that are in the position of being able to buy a pipe and get pipe coated and lined, maybe by third party processing, and doing the fab work and starting to try to compete on some of these jobs just because of the limited amount of work that we’re seeing in the marketplace. So pricing, because of all those factors, has a downward pressure on it as we’re moving into the second quarter, and I think through the end of this year.
Kanchana Pinnapureddy Jefferies Company, Inc., Research Division
Got it. And could you tell us what the Lake Texoma shipments were in the quarter?
Okay. I think when you look at how we’ve been running through the fourth quarter and actually into and through the first quarter at our Saginaw plant, we’ve probably been running very close to what the rate of capacity is at that plant. And when you say those things, you’re really talking somewhere in the area of 90%. It really depends on the mix of products. As we go forward, because of the limited amount of jobs that we currently see bidding, we see that capacity utilization going down pretty substantially. We’re still out into the marketplace, bidding on jobs, working on getting additional jobs to increase what we have to run on not only that facility but all facilities, but I think it’s down substantially over where it’s been in the fourth and the first quarter. As far as the rest of the Water Transmission plants, it’s a little bit of the same story. We’ve had a we’ve been able to enjoy the Lake Texoma job at more than just the Saginaw plant. We’ve been able to produce that at our Parkersburg, West Virginia plant, as well as a little bit at our Denver plant. So obviously, with that being over, the utilizations will be off at those plants. And we’ve also had some other jobs that we enjoyed in the first quarter of the year moving into the first quarter at our Adelanto plant, which we’ll be winding down and finishing off, so our utilization rates will be lower there. So I think what you see is utilization rates that are down pretty significantly across all Water Transmission because of these jobs that are coming to an end in the slowness of the market that we see going through the end of the year. And I don’t remember, did you ask about the Tubular Products segment also? Was that part of the question?