Neenah Reports Third Quarter 2016 Results

Neenah Paper, Inc. (NYSE: NP) today reported 2016 third quarter results.
Third Quarter Highlights:
• Revenues of $232.9 million increased 1 percent, led by growth in Technical Products.
• Operating income grew 10 percent to $26.9 million as margins expanded due to lower costs and increased sales.
• Earnings per diluted common share from continuing operations of $0.95 increased 22 percent compared with $0.78 per share in 2015. Excluding 2016 and 2015 integration and restructuring costs of $0.04 per share and $0.11 per share, respectively, adjusted E.P.S. of $0.99 in 2016 increased 11 percent compared with $0.89 per share in 2015.
• Cash generated from operations of $40.6 million increased from $35.0 million in 2015.

“Adjusted earnings” is a non-GAAP measure used to improve understanding and comparability of year-on-year results. Adjusted figures are reconciled to GAAP later in this release.

“While global economic growth remains subdued, our teams continue to serve our customers and manage costs to deliver the consistent bottom line results our shareholders have come to expect,” said John O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, we are completing key initiatives that will drive significant long-term value. Our strong quarterly cash flows have helped fund high-returning organic initiatives like the addition of new transportation filtration capacity in the U.S., increased cash returns to shareholders, and a strong balance sheet to enable future strategic investments.”

Consolidated net sales increased 1 percent to $232.9 million compared with $231.6 million in the third quarter of 2015. Net sales increased as a result of incremental revenues related to the August 1, 2015 FiberMark acquisition and organic volume growth in Technical Products. These were partly offset by a decline in average net selling prices, due mostly to the mix of products sold in both segments, and lower volumes in Fine Paper and Packaging.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense of $21.0 million in the third quarter of 2016 decreased from $21.2 million in the prior year primarily due to timing of certain expenses.

Operating income of $26.9 million in 2016 increased 10 percent compared with $24.4 million in 2015. Higher income in 2016 resulted from increased volume, reduced manufacturing costs due to lower material prices, acquisition synergies and improved operational efficiencies, as well as lower integration and restructuring costs.  Combined, these items more than offset impacts from a lower-priced sales mix. Excluding $1.2 million and $2.9 million of costs in 2016 and 2015, respectively, for integration and restructuring, adjusted operating income of $28.1 million increased 3 percent compared with the prior year.

Net interest expense of $2.7 million in the third quarter of 2016 decreased slightly from $2.9 million in the third quarter of 2015 as a result of lower debt levels. The effective income tax rate of 32 percent in the third quarter of 2016 compared with 37 percent in the third quarter of 2015.  The 2015 rate was unusually high due to an adjustment to the amount of state R&D credits expected to be utilized, while the rate in 2016 declined by 1.75% due to the adoption of ASU 2016-09. Income from continuing operations of $16.4 million increased 21 percent compared with $13.5 million in the third quarter of 2015 primarily as a result of the higher operating income and lower tax rate in 2016.
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