Herman Miller Jumps After Earnings Beat, 10% Dividend Raise

Herman Miller (MLHR) is trading higher by more than 8% in late morning trading. After the market close Monday night, the furnishings provider reported fourth-quarter earnings, raised its quarterly dividend 10%, and gave Q1 guidance.

Herman Miller

EARNINGS: Herman Miller reported Q4 adjusted earnings per share of 66c on record revenue of $618.0M, beating analyst estimates of 58c and $601.1M, respectively. New orders in Q4 of $620.8M were 9.3% above the prior year level. The company also announced an increase in its quarterly cash dividend to 19.75c per share, a bump of 10% from the previous dividend payout of 18c per share.

GUIDANCE: Herman Miller said it sees Q1 EPS of 63c-67c, against a consensus of 65c, and sees Q1 revenue $610M-$630M, against a consensus of $612.6M. This forecast includes the impact of adopting a new revenue recognition standard at the beginning of FY19.

COMMENTARY: Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker said, "Strong net sales and order growth were a clear highlight of our results this quarter as we finished the fiscal year setting all-time records for quarterly and annual sales for our company. Order growth for the quarter was broad-based across all of our business segments. As a result of our strong financial position, the board of directors approved a 10% increase in our quarterly dividend payout -- an action that reflects the confidence of the board and our leadership team in the power of our long-term strategy." CFO Jeff Stutz added, "We are particularly encouraged by the results of our Consumer business this quarter. Strong year-over-year growth in segment operating margins was driven by a record level of quarterly revenue and the initial realization benefits from our profit optimization efforts. On a consolidated basis, adjusted earnings for the quarter exceeded the expectations that we established in March, driven mainly by above-forecast sales volumes and a lower effective tax rate. In our view, the overall macroeconomic backdrop for our business is supportive of continued growth, although inflationary pressures remain an outlook risk for the business. With that said, our strategic focus on profit optimization is yielding benefit, and we are further expanding this work with the goal of offsetting these pressures and delivering on our long-term profitability goals."

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