Calhoun, Ga. -- Mohawk Industries, Inc., announced 2019 third quarter net earnings of $156 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.15. Adjusted net earnings were $199 million, and EPS was $2.75, excluding restructuring, acquisition and other charges. Net sales for the third quarter of 2019 were $2.5 billion, down 1.0% as reported but flat on a constant currency and days basis. For the third quarter of 2018, net sales were $2.5 billion, net earnings were $227 million and EPS was $3.02, adjusted net earnings were $246 million, and EPS was $3.29, excluding restructuring, acquisition and other charges.
For the nine months ending September 28, 2019, net earnings and EPS were $480 million and $6.61, respectively. Net earnings excluding restructuring, acquisition and other charges were $564 million and EPS was $7.77. For the 2019 nine-month period, net sales were $7.5 billion, flat vs. the prior year as reported or an increase of 3% on a constant currency and days basis. For the nine-month period ending September 29, 2018, net sales were $7.5 billion, net earnings were $632 million and EPS was $8.42; excluding restructuring, acquisition and other charges, net earnings and EPS were $735 million and $9.80.
Commenting on Mohawk Industries’ third quarter performance, Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum, chairman and CEO, stated, “Our third quarter operating results were in line with our expectations, though we are not satisfied with our performance. As anticipated, our U.S. businesses presented the greatest challenges during the period given soft retail demand, the impact of LVT, a stronger dollar, and excess ceramic industry inventories. Trends in our other major markets weakened, creating a more competitive environment. We expect the present conditions to persist and will further adjust our strategies as needed."“We are progressing on many initiatives to improve our business, with the most significant of these being aligning ceramic production with demand in the U.S., realigning our North American carpet operations, optimizing our LVT manufacturing, and ramping up our new plants. In addition, we are entering new product categories, introducing innovative product extensions, and optimizing our recent acquisitions in Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. We are investing more in sales personnel and marketing to increase our penetration in new and existing products. We continue to streamline our operations to enhance efficiencies, and we are leveraging automation and process enhancements to lower costs."
“Our ceramic businesses around the world are facing slowing economies, and excess industry capacities are increasing competition. The U.S. ceramic market has been impacted by a decline in product mix, consumers shifting to LVT, and excess inventories in the channel. Recently, the U.S. imposed 104% tariffs on Chinese imports, and further anti-dumping duties are anticipated. We expect the U.S. ceramic market to remain soft, and we are taking actions to improve our sales and costs. We are expanding our offering of stone looks and polished tiles and introducing additional value-oriented collections. We are initiating a limited launch of our new easy installation ceramic tile, and we will expand more broadly in the beginning of the year. We are developing new markets for our porcelain roofing and thick landscape tiles."
"Our new countertop plant in Tennessee is ramping up, processes and formulations are being refined, and new products are being created. Although the Mexican economy has slowed, we have outperformed the industry by expanding our product offering and growing our customer base. We have outpaced the Brazilian ceramic market with our premium brand and leading offering, and we are installing a new porcelain line. In Europe, lower demand is impacting pricing and compressing margins as we increased sales of lower value tile. We are strengthening our higher value offerings by expanding our commercial technical tile, porcelain slabs and outdoor products. Our Russian ceramic business is the market leader and is gaining share due to our national distribution system, owned and franchised stores and project specification teams."
“During the quarter, our Flooring North America Segment’s sales decreased 4% with an operating margin of 8% as reported. Operating income for the segment declined primarily due to lower volume and inflation. The segment has been reorganized by product category to enhance our sales, product, and operational strategies and execution."
"Polyester carpets continue to gain share in a soft market, which has reduced our overall product mix. We have completed the expansion of recycled polyester fiber to support continued growth in the category. The realignment of our residential carpet manufacturing will be largely complete in the fourth quarter and will improve our cost, quality and service. We are closing higher cost extrusion and dyeing assets and consolidating yarn and tufting operations. We have increased automation and upgraded assets to reduce our backing and yarn costs."
"Our commercial business continues to outperform residential, with carpet tile and LVT growing fastest. We are expanding our sales organization and increasing our carpet tile manufacturing. During the period, LVT sales outperformed the other categories, and our operations improved production volume, speeds, and cost. In September, we set a record for rigid LVT production, and our flexible LVT line is running at speeds comparable to our European operations. Our manufactured sheet vinyl sales continue to grow as we broaden our position in the apartment and home center channels. We expanded our waterproof laminate offering, and our RevWood collection is growing with its superior scratch and dent resistance, state-of-the art visuals and greater value."
“As our LVT production increases [in our Flooring Rest of the World Segment], we are expanding our sales organization, and we are introducing new rigid collections that are embossed in registration. We continue to enhance our line speeds, yields and formulations, reducing our costs. Our sheet vinyl business improved as our new Russian plant expanded sales and volume increased. Our insulation business is performing well, with volumes at historically high levels with selling prices and material costs declining. Our panels business has slowed, reducing our pricing and volume partially offset by mix and material cost. In Australia and New Zealand, the integration of our acquisition is largely complete. To increase our position, we are upgrading hard and soft surface offerings, investing in our retail and commercial sales and we have closed high cost assets in Australia."
“We see the present market conditions continuing, and we are taking actions to better position our business for the future. We are investing more in sales and marketing to expand placement of our products and increase the utilization of our new plants. Our new greenfield projects will progress as sales and costs improve. Our LVT production is improving, and increased distribution will follow. Our U.S. and European ceramic businesses are being impacted by lower market demand, and we are reducing inventory levels, expanding product offerings and entering new categories. The restructuring of our U.S. carpet operations will be substantially complete this year and will benefit our costs next year. Taking all of this into account, our EPS guidance for the fourth quarter of 2019 is $2.13 - $2.23, excluding any one-time charges."
“Next year, our business will benefit from our new products, higher utilization of our start-ups and cost reductions we have taken during 2019. Our results and balance sheet should improve with strong cash generation to take advantage of future opportunities. We have a strong global management team, and they are focused on enhancing our results and optimizing our long-term profitability. We will adapt our business strategies to future circumstances as required.”
For more information, visit mohawkind.com.