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Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT) Reports Third Quarter 2017 Financial Results

Company Delivers Strong Quarterly Revenue Growth and Profitability

  • Salesof $566 million grew 7% (6% in constant currency)
  • Balanced growth across key end markets and major product categories
  • Consistent strength in Asia and Europe
  • GAAP EPS increased 10% to $1.69 and non-GAAP EPS grew 13% to $1.77

MILFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 24, 2017-- Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT)reported third quarter 2017 sales of $566 million, a 7% increase versus sales of $527 million in the third quarter of 2016. Foreign currency translation increased sales growth by approximately 1% in the quarter. On a GAAP basis, diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the third quarter was up 10% to $1.69 compared to $1.53 for the third quarter of 2016. On a non-GAAP basis, including the adjustments in the attached reconciliation, EPS increased 13% to $1.77 from $1.57 in the third quarter of 2016. On a GAAP basis, net cash provided by operating activities for the third quarter increased 4% to $154 million from $149 million in the third quarter of 2016. On a non-GAAP basis, including the adjustments in the attached reconciliation, adjusted free cash flow increased 5% to $134 million from $128 million in the third quarter of 2016. A description and reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP results is attached and can be found on the Company’s website at http://www.waters.com under the caption “Investors.”

Through the first nine months of 2017, sales for the Company were $1,622 million, up 5% compared with sales of $1,539 million in the first nine months of 2016. Foreign currency translation reduced sales growth by less than 1% during the first nine months of 2017. On a GAAP basis, EPS for the first nine months of 2017 was up 9% to $4.63 compared to $4.26 for the first nine months of 2016. On a non-GAAP basis, including adjustments in the attached reconciliation, EPS for the first nine months of 2017 increased 13% to $4.98 as compared to $4.41 for the first nine months of 2016. On a GAAP basis, net cash provided by operating activities for the first nine months of 2017 increased 8% to $505 million from $469 million in the first nine months of 2016. On a non-GAAP basis, including the adjustments in the attached reconciliation, adjusted free cash flow increased 11% to $450 million from $404 million in the first nine months of 2016.

Commenting on the Company’s performance, Chris O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer said, “We are pleased with our third quarter results, featuring another quarter of strong overall constant currency sales and earnings per share growth. The quarter was highlighted by solid revenue growth from each of our major customer-defined end markets, balanced product growth between instrument systems and recurring revenue, operating leverage and strong free cash flow generation."

Unless otherwise noted, sales growth percentages are presented on an as reported basis and are the same as the sales growth percentages presented on a constant currency basis as compared with the same period in the prior year, each of which are detailed in the attached reconciliation of sales growth rates to constant currency growth rates.

Results from the Company’s markets in the quarter were highlighted by 7% sales growth (5% in constant currency) from the broadly defined pharmaceutical market, 6% sales growth (5% in constant currency) from the industrial market and 15% sales growth (13% in constant currency) from governmental and academic markets. For the first nine months of 2017, sales to the pharmaceutical market grew 6%, sales to the industrial market grew 5% (7% in constant currency), and sales to the governmental and academic markets grew 4% (2% in constant currency).

The Company’s recurring revenues, the combination of service and chemistry consumables, posted 8% sales growth (7% in constant currency), while instrument system sales grew 6% (5% in constant currency) in the quarter. For the first nine months of 2017, the Company’s recurring revenues grew 6% (7% in constant currency), while instrument system sales grew by 5%.

Geographically, sales during the quarter grew 7% in Asia (8% in constant currency) and 20% in Europe (13% in constant currency), and were flat in the Americas. For the first nine months of 2017, sales grew 11% in Asia (12% in constant currency) and 8% in Europe (9% in constant currency), and declined 2% in the Americas.

As communicated in a prior press release, Waters Corporation will webcast its third quarter 2017 financial results conference call this morning, October 24, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. eastern time. To listen to the call, connect to www.waters.com, choose “Investors” and click on the “Live Webcast.” A replay will be available through October 31, 2017 at midnight eastern time, similarly by webcast and also by phone at 203-369-1093.

About Waters Corporation

Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT), the world's leading specialty measurement company, has pioneered chromatography, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis innovations serving the life, materials and food sciences for nearly 60 years. With approximately 7,000 employees worldwide, Waters operates directly in 31 countries, including 15 manufacturing facilities, with products available in more than 100 countries.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release contains financial measures, such as constant currency growth rate, adjusted operating income, adjusted net income, adjusted earnings per diluted share and free cash flow, among others, which are considered “non-GAAP” financial measures under applicable U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules and regulations. These non-GAAP financial measures should be considered supplemental to and not a substitute for financial information prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The Company’s definition of these non-GAAP measures may differ from similarly titled measures used by others. The non-GAAP financial measures used in this press release adjust for specified items that can be highly variable or difficult to predict. The Company generally uses these non-GAAP financial measures to facilitate management’s financial and operational decision-making, including evaluation of Waters Corporation’s historical operating results, comparison to competitors’ operating results and determination of management incentive compensation. These non-GAAP financial measures reflect an additional way of viewing aspects of the Company’s operations that, when viewed with GAAP results and the reconciliations to corresponding GAAP financial measures, may provide a more complete understanding of factors and trends affecting Waters Corporation’s business. Because non-GAAP financial measures exclude the effect of items that will increase or decrease the Company’s reported results of operations, management strongly encourages investors to review the Company’s consolidated financial statements and publicly filed reports in their entirety. Reconciliations of the non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.

Cautionary Statement

This release may contain “forward-looking” statements regarding future results and events. For this purpose, any statements that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words, “feels”, “believes”, “anticipates”, “plans”, “expects”, “intends”, “suggests”, “appears”, “estimates”, “projects”, and similar expressions, whether in the negative or affirmative, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The Company’s actual future results may differ significantly from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements within this release for a variety of reasons, including and without limitation, foreign exchange rate fluctuations potentially affecting translation of the Company’s future non-U.S. operating results; the impact on demand among the Company’s various market sectors from economic, sovereign and political uncertainties; the effect on the Company’s financial results from the United Kingdom voting to exit the European Union; fluctuations in expenditures by the Company’s customers, in particular large pharmaceutical companies; introduction of competing products by other companies and loss of market share; pressures on prices from competitors and/or customers; regulatory, economic and competitive obstacles to new product introductions; other changes in demand from the effect of mergers and acquisitions by the Company’s customers; increased regulatory burdens as the Company’s business evolves, especially with respect to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others; shifts in taxable income in jurisdictions with different effective tax rates; the outcome of tax examinations or changes in respective country legislation affecting the Company’s effective tax rate; the effect of the adoption of new accounting standards; the ability to access capital, maintain liquidity and service our debt in volatile market conditions, particularly in the U.S., as a large portion of the Company’s cash is held and operating cash flows are generated outside the U.S.; environmental and logistical obstacles affecting the distribution of products and risks associated with lawsuits and other legal actions, particularly involving claims for infringement of patents and other intellectual property rights. Such factors and others are discussed more fully in the sections entitled “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” of the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” discussions are incorporated by reference in this release. The forward-looking statements included in this release represent the Company’s estimates or views as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s estimates or views as of any date subsequent to the date of this release.

 
Waters Corporation and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(In thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)
                       
Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended

September 30,
2017

October 1,
2016

September 30,
2017

October 1,
2016

 
Net sales $ 565,584 $ 526,830 $ 1,621,803 $ 1,538,636
 
Costs and operating expenses:
Cost of sales 235,892 218,344 676,614 639,874
Selling and administrative expenses 135,194 123,861 395,908 382,793
Research and development expenses 33,782 30,418 97,471 92,434
Litigation provisions - - 10,018 -
Acquired in-process research and development - - 5,000 -
Purchased intangibles amortization 1,682 2,476 5,104 7,531
 
Operating income 159,034 151,731 431,688 416,004
 
Interest expense, net (5,234 ) (6,281 ) (16,329 ) (18,469 )
 
Income from operations before income taxes 153,800 145,450 415,359 397,535
 
Provision for income taxes (a) 17,696 20,594 41,876 50,410
 
Net income $ 136,104 $ 124,856 $ 373,483 $ 347,125
 
 
Net income per basic common share $ 1.71 $ 1.55 $ 4.67 $ 4.29
 
Weighted-average number of basic common shares 79,712 80,677 79,908 80,923
 
 
Net income per diluted common share $ 1.69 $ 1.53 $ 4.63 $ 4.26
 
Weighted-average number of diluted common shares and equivalents 80,521 81,388 80,660 81,573

(a) In the first quarter of 2017, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-09 (ASU 2016-09) "Compensation—Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting." Starting in the first quarter of 2017, the excess tax benefits or deficiencies related to stock-based compensation are reflected in the Consolidated Statements of Operations as a component of the provision for income taxes, whereas they were previously recognized in equity. ASU 2016-09 is required to be adopted on a prospective basis for the statement of operations and retroactive restatement is not permitted. For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017, the Company recognized an excess tax benefit, which decreased income tax expense by $3 million and $14 million, respectively, and added $0.03 and $0.18, respectively, to net income per diluted share. Additionally, the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows will present excess tax benefits as an operating activity, with the prior periods presented adjusted accordingly.

 
Waters Corporation and Subsidiaries
Reconciliation of GAAP to Adjusted Non-GAAP
Net Sales by Operating Segment, Products & Services, Geography and Markets
Three Months Ended September 30, 2017 and October 1, 2016
(In thousands)
                               
Constant
Three Months Ended Percent Currency Currency
September 30, 2017 October 1, 2016 Change Impact Growth Rate (a)
 
NET SALES - OPERATING SEGMENT
 
Waters $ 503,904 $ 470,913 7 % $ 6,570 6 %
TA 61,680 55,917 10 % 702 9 %
           
Total $ 565,584 $ 526,830 7 % $ 7,272   6 %
 
 
NET SALES - PRODUCTS & SERVICES
 
Instruments $ 282,671 $ 265,820 6 % $ 4,442 5 %
 
Service 190,034 176,896 7 % 2,278 6 %
Chemistry   92,879   84,114 10 %   552   10 %
Total Recurring 282,913 261,010 8 % 2,830 7 %
           
Total $ 565,584 $ 526,830 7 % $ 7,272   6 %
 
 
NET SALES - GEOGRAPHY
 
Asia $ 209,339 $ 195,515 7 % $ (2,113 ) 8 %
Americas 203,013 203,124 0 % 404 0 %
Europe 153,232 128,191 20 % 8,981 13 %
           
Total $ 565,584 $ 526,830 7 % $ 7,272   6 %
 
 
NET SALES - MARKETS
 
Pharmaceutical $ 321,963 $ 302,146 7 % $ 5,165 5 %
Industrial 168,349 159,013 6 % 795 5 %
Government & Academic 75,272 65,671 15 % 1,312 13 %
           
Total $ 565,584 $ 526,830 7 % $ 7,272   6 %
       

(a) The Company believes that referring to comparable constant currency growth rates is a useful way to evaluate the underlying performance of Waters Corporation's net sales. Constant currency growth rate, a non-GAAP financial measure, measures the change in net sales between current and prior year periods, ignoring the impact of foreign currency exchange rates during the current period. See description of non-GAAP financial measures contained in this release.

Waters Corporation and Subsidiaries

Reconciliation of GAAP to Adjusted Non-GAAP

Net Sales by Operating Segment, Products & Services, Geography and Markets
Nine Months Ended September 30, 2017 and October 1, 2016
(In thousands)
                                   
Current
Period Constant
Nine Months Ended Percent Currency Currency
September 30, 2017 October 1, 2016 Change Impact Growth Rate (a)
 
NET SALES - OPERATING SEGMENT
 
Waters $ 1,445,110 $ 1,373,837 5 % $ (5,884 ) 6 %
TA 176,693 164,799 7 % (104 ) 7 %
           
Total $ 1,621,803 $ 1,538,636 5 % $ (5,988 ) 6 %
 
 
NET SALES - PRODUCTS & SERVICES
 
Instruments $ 801,078 $ 762,166 5 % $ 243 5 %
 
Service 549,119 521,158 5 % (4,659 ) 6 %
Chemistry   271,606   255,312 6 %   (1,572 ) 7 %
Total Recurring 820,725 776,470 6 % (6,231 ) 7 %
           
Total $ 1,621,803 $ 1,538,636 5 % $ (5,988 ) 6 %
 
 
NET SALES - GEOGRAPHY
 
Asia $ 620,148 $ 557,336 11 % $ (3,317 ) 12 %
Americas 574,249 584,760 (2 %) 169 (2 %)
Europe 427,406 396,540 8 % (2,840 ) 9 %
           
Total $ 1,621,803 $ 1,538,636 5 % $ (5,988 ) 6 %
 
 
NET SALES - MARKETS
 
Pharmaceutical $ 921,423 $ 871,241 6 % $ (1,319 ) 6 %
Industrial 504,183 479,220 5 % (8,559 ) 7 %
Governmental & Academic 196,197 188,175 4 % 3,890 2 %
           
Total $ 1,621,803 $ 1,538,636 5 % $ (5,988 ) 6 %
 
       

(a) The Company believes that referring to comparable constant currency growth rates is a useful way to evaluate the underlying performance of Waters Corporation's net sales. Constant currency growth rate, a non-GAAP financial measure, measures the change in net sales between current and prior year periods, ignoring the impact of foreign currency exchange rates during the current period. See description of non-GAAP financial measures contained in this release.

                                       
Waters Corporation and Subsidiaries
Reconciliation of GAAP to Adjusted Non-GAAP Financials
Quarters and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2017 and October 1, 2016
(In thousands, except per share data)
 
Income from
Operations
Selling & Research & Operating before Provision for Diluted
Administrative Development Operating Income Income Income Net Earnings
  Expenses(a) Expenses(a) Income Percentage Taxes Taxes Income per Share
Quarter Ended September 30, 2017
GAAP $ 136,876 $ 33,782 $ 159,034 28.1 % $ 153,800 $ 17,696 $ 136,104 $ 1.69
Adjustments:
Purchased intangibles amortization (b) (1,682 ) - 1,682 0.3 % 1,682 436 1,246 0.02
Restructuring costs, asset impairments,

acquisition-related costs & certain other items (c)

(2,530 ) - 2,530 0.4 % 2,530 931 1,599 0.02
Stock award modification (d) (3,855 ) - 3,855 0.7 % 3,855 1,446 2,409 0.03
Certain income tax items (e)   -     -     -   -     -   (837 )   837     0.01  
Adjusted Non-GAAP $ 128,809   $ 33,782   $ 167,101   29.5 % $ 161,867 $ 19,672   $ 142,195   $ 1.77  
 
Quarter Ended October 1, 2016
GAAP $ 126,337 $ 30,418 $ 151,731 28.8 % $ 145,450 $ 20,594 $ 124,856 $ 1.53
Adjustments:
Purchased intangibles amortization (b) (2,476 ) - 2,476 0.5 % 2,476 732 1,744 0.02
Restructuring costs, asset impairments,

acquisition-related costs & certain other items (c)

(964 ) - 964 0.2 % 964 839 125 -
Certain income tax items (e)   -     -     -   -     -   (756 )   756     0.01  
Adjusted Non-GAAP $ 122,897   $ 30,418   $ 155,171   29.5 % $ 148,890 $ 21,409   $ 127,481   $ 1.57  
 
Nine Months Ended September 30, 2017
GAAP $ 411,030 $ 102,471 $ 431,688 26.6 % $ 415,359 $ 41,876 $ 373,483 $ 4.63
Adjustments:
Purchased intangibles amortization (b) (5,104 ) - 5,104 0.3 % 5,104 1,358 3,746 0.05
Restructuring costs, asset impairments,

acquisition-related costs & certain other items (c)

(13,541 ) - 13,541 0.8 % 13,541 4,725 8,816 0.11
Stock award modification (d) (3,855 ) - 3,855 0.2 % 3,855 1,446 2,409 0.03
Litigation provisions (f) (10,018 ) - 10,018 0.6 % 10,018 3,757 6,261 0.08
Acquired in-process research and development (g) - (5,000 ) 5,000 0.3 % 5,000 962 4,038 0.05
Certain income tax items (e)   -     -     -   -     -   (3,284 )   3,284     0.04  
Adjusted Non-GAAP $ 378,512   $ 97,471   $ 469,206   28.9 % $ 452,877 $ 50,840   $ 402,037   $ 4.98  
 
Nine Months Ended October 1, 2016
GAAP $ 390,324 $ 92,434 $ 416,004 27.0 % $ 397,535 $ 50,410 $ 347,125 $ 4.26
Adjustments:
Purchased intangibles amortization (b) (7,531 ) - 7,531 0.5 % 7,531 2,203 5,328 0.07
Restructuring costs, asset impairments,

acquisition-related costs & certain other items (c)

(6,552 ) - 6,552 0.4 % 6,552 2,500 4,052 0.05
Stock award modification (d) (7,085 ) - 7,085 0.5 % 7,085 2,657 4,428 0.05
Certain income tax items (e)   -     -     -   -     -   874     (874 )   (0.01 )
Adjusted Non-GAAP $ 369,156   $ 92,434   $ 437,172   28.4 % $ 418,703 $ 58,644   $ 360,059   $ 4.41  
 

(a) Selling & administrative expenses include purchased intangibles amortization and litigation provisions. Research & development expenses include acquired in-process research and development.
(b) The purchased intangibles amortization, a non-cash expense, was excluded to be consistent with how management evaluates the performance of its core business against historical operating results and the operating results of competitors over periods of time.
(c) Restructuring costs, asset impairments, acquisition-related costs and certain other items were excluded as the Company believes that the cost to consolidate operations and reduce overhead; the cost to complete acquisitions; the non-cash expense to record asset impairments and certain other income or expense items are not normal and do not represent future ongoing business expenses of a specific function or geographic location of the Company.
(d) The non-cash expense associated with accelerating the vesting of certain stock awards was excluded as the Company believes these expenses are not indicative of normal operating costs.
(e) Certain income tax items were excluded as these non-cash expenses and benefits represent updates in management's assessment of ongoing examinations or other tax items that are not indicative of the Company’s normal or future income tax expense.
(f) Litigation Provisions were excluded as these costs are isolated, unpredictable and not expected to recur regularly.
(g) Acquired In-Process Research and Development was excluded as it relates to milestone payments associated with a licensing arrangement for mass spectrometry that the Company believes is unusual and not indicative of its normal business operations.

 
Waters Corporation and Subsidiaries
Preliminary Condensed Unclassified Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands and unaudited)
             
September 30, 2017 December 31, 2016
 
Cash, cash equivalents and investments $ 3,254,957 $ 2,813,032
Accounts receivable 456,334 489,340
Inventories 297,854 262,682
Property, plant and equipment, net 342,832 337,118
Intangible assets, net 224,056 207,055
Goodwill 359,376 352,080
Other assets 227,576 200,752
Total assets $ 5,162,985 $ 4,662,059
 
 
Notes payable and debt $ 1,957,790 $ 1,827,263
Other liabilities 576,100 532,847
Total liabilities 2,533,890 2,360,110
 
Total equity 2,629,095 2,301,949
Total liabilities and equity $ 5,162,985 $ 4,662,059
 
 
Waters Corporation and Subsidiaries
Preliminary Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
Three and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2017 and October 1, 2016
(In thousands and unaudited)
                             
Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
September 30, 2017 October 1, 2016 September 30, 2017 October 1, 2016
 
Cash flows from operating activities:

Net income

$ 136,104 $ 124,856 $ 373,483 $ 347,125
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
 
Stock-based compensation 12,274 8,367 30,068 32,604
Depreciation and amortization 25,844 24,287 78,249 72,364
Excess tax benefit related to stock-based compensation plans (a) - 9,397 - 12,914
Change in operating assets and liabilities, net   (20,026 )   (18,312 )   23,656     4,010  
Net cash provided by operating activities 154,196 148,595 505,456 469,017
 
Cash flows from investing activities:
Additions to property, plant, equipment and software capitalization
(19,899 ) (22,600 ) (55,257 ) (72,296 )
Business acquisitions, net of cash acquired - (5,654 ) - (5,654 )
Investment in unaffiliated company - - (7,000 ) -
Payments for intellectual property licenses - - (5,000 ) -
Net change in investments (90,237 ) (146,749 ) (336,731 ) (364,724 )
Other cash flow from investing activities, net   -     4,000     -     4,000  
Net cash used in investing activities (110,136 ) (171,003 ) (403,988 ) (438,674 )
 
Cash flows from financing activities:
Net change in debt 45,190 24,916 130,126 114,854
Payments of debt issuance costs - - - (1,705 )
Proceeds from stock plans 14,639 35,300 72,821 58,572
Purchase of treasury shares (79,908 ) (69,532 ) (245,742 ) (241,924 )
Other cash flow from financing activities, net   2,871     (1,994 )   3,301           (9,525 )
Net cash used in financing activities (17,208 ) (11,310 ) (39,494 ) (79,728 )
 
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents   9,700     545     36,202     (8,071 )
Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents 36,552 (33,173 ) 98,176 (57,456 )
 
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period   567,255     463,382     505,631     487,665  
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $ 603,807   $ 430,209   $ 603,807   $ 430,209  
 
 
Reconciliation of GAAP Cash Flows from Operating Activities to Free Cash Flow (b)
 
Net cash provided by operating activities - GAAP $ 154,196 $ 148,595 $ 505,456 $ 469,017
 
Adjustments:
Additions to property, plant, equipment and software capitalization
(19,899 ) (22,600 ) (55,257 ) (72,296 )
Majority facility renovations - 1,628 - 7,499
 
       
Free Cash Flow - Adjusted Non GAAP $ 134,297   $ 127,623   $ 450,199   $ 404,220  
       

(a) In the first quarter of 2017, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-09 (ASU 2016-09) "Compensation—Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting." Starting in the first quarter of 2017, the excess tax benefits or deficiencies related to stock-based compensation are reflected as an operating activity, with the prior periods presented adjusted accordingly.

(b) The Company defines free cash flow as net cash flow from operations accounted for under GAAP less capital expenditures and software capitalizations plus or minus any unusual and non recurring items. Free cash flow is not a GAAP measurement and may not be comparable to free cash flow reported by other companies.

Source: Waters Corporation

Waters Corporation
John Lynch, 508-482-2314
Vice President, Treasurer and Investor Relations