Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. reports 4Q and Y2021 results

Published on: 17 February 2022
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Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (NYSE: RS) today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2021.- Record annual net sales of $14.09 billion

Record annual gross profit of $4.49 billion driven by record annual gross profit margin of 31.9%, Record annual pretax income and margin of $1.88 billion and 13.4%, Record annual EPS of $21.97, non-GAAP EPS of $22.12, Record quarterly EPS of $6.64, non-GAAP EPS of $6.83, Repurchased $323.5 million of Reliance common stock in 2021, Increased quarterly dividend 27.3% to $0.875 per share, Completed four acquisitions with combined annualized sales of $1.0 billion.

“Reliance finished the year strong with record financial performance across nearly every metric, driven by the resilience of our business model and exceptional execution throughout our Family of Companies,”

said Jim Hoffman, Chief Executive Officer of Reliance.

“The durability and effectiveness of our model is apparent in our results despite macroeconomic challenges, including the continuing pandemic, supply-chain disruptions and a tight labor market. Strong demand and favorable metal pricing trends throughout 2021, combined with our highly diverse mix of products and end markets and strong relationships with our domestic mill partners, helped generate record annual sales of $14.09 billion and record earnings per share of $21.97.”

Mr. Hoffman continued,

“Our gross profit margin continues to be bolstered by our managers in the field who appropriately leverage the significant investments we have made to enhance and expand our value-added processing capabilities. In 2021, we performed value-added processing services on just over 50% of our orders, up from 49% in 2020. We believe our ongoing focus on value-added processing will continue to support our strong gross profit margin levels, and help stabilize our margins in times of declining prices.”

Mr. Hoffman concluded,

“The strong cash flow generated by our model enables us to maintain a flexible and balanced capital allocation philosophy. In addition to investing $237 million into our business in 2021 through capital expenditures, we completed four acquisitions in the fourth quarter with an aggregate purchase consideration of $439 million and returned over $500 million to our stockholders through dividends and repurchases of Reliance common stock.”

End Market Commentary Reliance services diverse end markets and provides a wide range of products and processing services, generally in small quantities on a when-needed basis. During the fourth quarter of 2021, the Company’s tons sold decreased 5.7% compared to the third quarter of 2021, in line with Reliance’s expectations of down 5% to 8%, consistent with the typical fourth quarter seasonal slowdown attributable to customer holiday-related shutdowns and fewer shipping days, but further impacted by reduced shifts due to labor-related shortages at Reliance, its customers and suppliers. The Company continues to believe underlying demand is stronger than its fourth quarter shipment levels reflect which bodes well for 2022.

Demand in non-residential construction (including infrastructure), Reliance’s largest end market, was consistent with typical fourth quarter seasonal trends. Reliance is cautiously optimistic that demand for non-residential construction activity in the key areas in which the Company participates will continue to strengthen through 2022.

Demand for the toll processing services Reliance provides to the automotive market remained steady during the fourth quarter despite supply chain challenges, including the continued impact of the global microchip shortage on production levels. Reliance is optimistic that demand for its toll processing services will remain solid throughout 2022.

Underlying demand in heavy industry for both agricultural and construction equipment remained steady despite longer than anticipated seasonal shutdowns at many customers along with broader customer supply chain disruptions, labor constraints and the unforeseen Omicron surge. Reliance expects positive underlying demand trends in these industries to continue through most of 2022.

Semiconductor demand remained strong despite global supply chain challenges. The semiconductor space continues to be one of Reliance’s strongest end markets, which is expected to continue throughout 2022.

Demand in commercial aerospace improved during the fourth quarter as a resurgence in activity led to an increase in tons sold compared to the third quarter of 2021. Reliance is cautiously optimistic that demand in commercial aerospace will continue to steadily improve throughout 2022 as build rates increase. Demand in the military, defense and space portions of Reliance’s aerospace business remained solid with strong backlogs, which is expected to continue throughout the year.

Demand in the energy (oil and natural gas) market experienced accelerated recovery in the fourth quarter due to increased activity resulting from higher oil and natural gas prices. Reliance is cautiously optimistic demand will continue to improve at modest levels for this end market in 2022.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow At December 31, 2021, Reliance had cash and cash equivalents of $300.5 million, total debt outstanding of $1.66 billion and a net debt-to-EBITDA ratio of 0.6x, with no outstanding borrowings under its $1.5 billion revolving credit facility. Reliance generated cash flow from operations of $393.8 million during the fourth quarter and $799.4 million for the full year despite investing over $950 million in working capital in 2021. The Company’s strong cash generation enabled it to execute on all aspects of its balanced and flexible capital allocation strategy in 2021 through acquisitions and growth-focused capital expenditures, as well as stockholder returns through regular quarterly dividends and opportunistic stock repurchases.

Stockholder Return Activity On February 15, 2022, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.875 per share of common stock, an increase of 27.3%, payable on March 25, 2022 to stockholders of record as of March 11, 2022. Reliance has paid regular quarterly cash dividends for 62 consecutive years without reduction or suspension and has increased the dividend 29 times since its 1994 IPO.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the Company repurchased approximately 1.1 million shares of its common stock at an average cost of $156.85 per share, for a total of $168.5 million. For the full year of 2021, the Company repurchased approximately 2.1 million shares of its common stock at an average cost of $153.55 per share, for a total of $323.5 million. In the last five years, the Company has repurchased approximately 12.8 million shares of its common stock at an average cost of $95.54 per share, for a total of $1.22 billion.

Acquisitions As previously announced, Reliance completed four acquisitions in the fourth quarter of 2021 for a combined transaction value of approximately $439 million and combined 2021 annualized sales of approximately $1.0 billion. The four acquisitions collectively contributed approximately $171 million in sales in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Merfish United Reliance acquired Merfish United, a leading master distributor of tubular building products in the United States, on October 1, 2021. Merfish positions Reliance in the adjacent industrial distribution market by broadening its products beyond traditional metals service center offerings.

Nu-Tech Precision Metals Inc. Reliance acquired Nu-Tech Precision Metals Inc., a custom manufacturer of specialty extruded metals, fabricated parts and welded components, on December 10, 2021. Nu-Tech expands the breadth of Reliance’s specialty metals products and supports growth in its businesses serving the nuclear, aerospace and defense markets, among others.

Admiral Metals Servicenter Company, Inc. Reliance acquired Admiral Metals Servicenter Company, Inc., a leading distributor of non-ferrous metal products in the Northeastern United States, on December 10, 2021. Admiral Metals expands Reliance’s product offerings into specialty non-ferrous products.

Rotax Metals, Inc. Reliance acquired Rotax Metals, Inc., a metals service center specializing in copper, bronze and brass alloys, on December 17, 2021. Rotax will operate as a subsidiary of Yarde Metals, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance.

Corporate Developments Arthur Ajemyan was promoted to Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer on February 15, 2022. Mr. Ajemyan has served as Reliance’s Vice President, Chief Financial Officer since January 2021. Suzanne Bonner was also promoted to Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer on February 15, 2022. Ms. Bonner has served as the Company’s Vice President, Chief Information Officer since July 2019.

Source: Reliance Steel & Aluminum news

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