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L.B. Foster Reports First Quarter Operating Results

PITTSBURGH, May 02, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- L.B. Foster Company (NASDAQ:FSTR), a leading manufacturer and distributor of products and services for transportation and energy infrastructure, today reported its first quarter 2017 operating results which include:

  • A sales decrease of 6.0% from the prior year quarter but an 11.4% sales increase over the fourth quarter of 2016.
  • Gross profit margin of 17.9% compared to 19.0% in the prior year.
  • An increase in new orders by 38.0% over the prior year to $162.7 million.
  • An increase in backlog by 26.8% from the prior year to $195.3 million.
  • Net cash provided by operating activities of $10.7 million compared to a $5.1 million use of cash in the prior year quarter.

First Quarter Results

  • First quarter net sales of $118.7 million decreased by $7.6 million, or 6.0%, compared to the prior year quarter due to a 17.4% decrease in Tubular and Energy Services (Tubular) segment sales and a 12.2% decline in Rail Products and Services (Rail) segment sales, partially offset by a 17.1% increase in Construction Products (Construction) segment sales. The Rail sales decline was driven by our domestic track components businesses, which reported a combined sales reduction of $9.1 million in the first quarter.  The Tubular sales decline was principally due to a reduction in the midstream-based precision measurement systems business.

  • Gross profit margin was 17.9%, 110 basis points lower than the prior year quarter.  The reduction was due to declines in the Rail and Construction segments, partially offset by an increase in the Tubular segment.  First quarter gross profit margins were negatively impacted by lower margins in our Rail and Construction distribution businesses, as well as volume and pricing declines in domestic track components products.

  • The net loss for the first quarter 2017 was $2.4 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $2.8 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, last year.

  • First quarter EBITDA1 (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was $5.1 million compared to $4.0 million in the first quarter of 2016.

  • Selling and administrative expense decreased by $3.6 million, or 15.7%.  The decrease was comprised of personnel-related costs of $2.6 million, $0.5 million in ongoing spending reductions, and $0.5 million in lower litigation costs for the Union Pacific Rail Road (UPRR) matter.

  • Interest expense was $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2017 compared to $1.2 million in the prior year quarter, the increase being attributable to an increase in interest rates.

  • Net cash provided by operating activities of $10.7 million compared to a $5.1 million use of cash in the prior year quarter, a $15.8 million improvement.

  • First quarter bookings were $162.7 million, a 38.0% increase from the prior year quarter, due to a 59.7% increase in Rail segment orders, a 31.1% increase in Tubular segment orders and a 12.1% improvement in Construction orders.

  • The Company’s income tax expense for the first quarter was $0.4 million, which related to income taxes in foreign jurisdictions. The Company has a full valuation allowance against its U.S. deferred tax assets; therefore, no tax benefit was recorded on domestic operations.

1 See non-GAAP reconciliation tables at the end of this press release for information regarding the use of non-GAAP measures used in this release (including reconciliation of net loss to EBITDA).

CEO Comments
Bob Bauer, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The quarter exceeded our expectations as all three reporting segments experienced significant improvement in demand. Specifically, we were encouraged by the fact that all three segments experienced double digit growth in bookings and backlog.  At March 31, our backlog was $195 million after increasing sequentially over the past three quarters.”

Mr. Bauer concluded by saying, “We continue to see positive signs in both the energy and transportation infrastructure markets we serve, however, we will remain disciplined on cost controls. As we anticipate positive year over year sales in future quarters, we expect to see improved operating leverage.”

L.B. Foster Company will conduct a conference call and webcast to discuss its first quarter 2017 operating results on Tuesday May 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm ET.  The call will be hosted by Mr. Robert Bauer, President, and Chief Executive Officer.  Listen via audio and access the slide presentation on the L.B. Foster web site:, under the Investor Relations page.  The conference call can be accessed by dialing 877-407-0784 and providing access code 13660576.

About L.B. Foster Company
L.B. Foster is a leading manufacturer and distributor of products and services for transportation and energy infrastructure with locations in North America and Europe.  For more information, please visit

This release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Statements that do not relate strictly to historical or current facts are forward-looking. When we use the words “believe,” “intend,” “expect,” “may,” “should,” “anticipate,” “could,” “estimate,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” or their negatives, or other similar expressions, the statements that include those words are usually forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from the results anticipated in any forward-looking statement.  Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. The Company has based these forward-looking statements on current expectations and assumptions about future events. While the Company considers these expectations and assumptions to be reasonable, they are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, regulatory and other risks and uncertainties, most of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the Company’s control. The risks and uncertainties that may affect the operations, performance and results of the Company’s business and forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, an economic slowdown or a continuation of the current economic slowdown in the markets we serve; the risk of doing business in international markets; our ability to effectuate our strategy including cost reduction initiatives and our ability to effectively integrate new businesses and realize anticipated benefits; costs of and impacts associated with shareholder activism; a decrease in freight or passenger rail traffic; the timeliness and availability of material from our major suppliers; labor disputes; the effective implementation of an enterprise resource planning system; changes in current accounting estimates and their ultimate outcomes; the adequacy of internal and external sources of funds to meet financing needs; the Company’s ability to manage its working capital requirements and indebtedness; domestic and international taxes; foreign currency fluctuations; inflation; domestic and foreign government regulations; economic conditions and regulatory changes caused by the United Kingdom’s  pending exit from the European Union; sustained declines in energy prices; a lack of state or federal funding for new infrastructure projects; increased regulation including conflict minerals; an increase in manufacturing or material costs; the ultimate number of concrete ties that will have to be replaced pursuant to the previously disclosed product warranty claim of the (“UPRR”) and an overall resolution of the related contract claims as well as the possible costs associated with the outcome of the lawsuit filed by the UPRR; risks inherent in litigation and those matters set forth in Item 8, Footnote 19, "Commitments and Contingent Liabilities" and in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” of the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and any updates to such disclosures in subsequent Form 10-Qs. The Company urges all interested parties to read these reports to gain a better understanding of the many business and other risks that the Company faces.  The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made only as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by securities laws.

(In thousands, except per share data)  
    Three Months Ended  
    March 31,  
    2017     2016    
Sales of goods $   97,629   $   107,915    
Sales of services     21,073       18,395    
Total net sales     118,702       126,310    
Cost of goods sold     79,401       86,393    
Cost of services sold     18,049       15,957    
Total cost of sales     97,450       102,350    
Gross profit     21,252       23,960    
Selling and administrative expenses     19,227       22,817    
Amortization expense     1,759       3,266    
Interest expense     2,108       1,170    
Interest income     (56 )     (55 )  
Equity in loss of nonconsolidated investments     200       196    
Other expense     5       715    
      23,243       28,109    
Loss before income taxes     (1,991 )     (4,149 )  
Income tax expense (benefit)     431       (1,317 )  
Net loss $   (2,422 ) $   (2,832 )  
Basic loss per common share $   (0.23 ) $   (0.28 )  
Diluted loss per common share $   (0.23 ) $   (0.28 )  
Dividends paid per common share $   -    $   0.04    
Average number of common shares outstanding - Basic     10,319       10,232    
Average number of common shares outstanding - Diluted               10,319       10,232    

/EIN News/ --  

(In thousands)  
    March 31,   December 31,  
    2017     2016    
Current assets:          
Cash and cash equivalents $   33,768   $   30,363    
Accounts receivable - net     76,667       66,632    
Inventories - net     82,551       83,243    
Prepaid income tax     11,293       14,166    
Other current assets     6,819       5,200    
Total current assets     211,098       199,604    
Property, plant and equipment - net     103,508       103,973    
Other assets:          
Goodwill     19,071       18,932    
Other intangibles - net     61,923       63,519    
Investments     3,831       4,031    
Other assets     2,809       2,964    
Total Assets $   402,240   $   393,023    
Current liabilities:          
Accounts payable $   55,852   $   37,744    
Deferred revenue     6,868       7,597    
Accrued payroll and employee benefits     6,015       7,497    
Accrued warranty     10,204       10,154    
Current maturities of long-term debt     10,214       10,386    
Other accrued liabilities     8,106       8,953    
Total current liabilities     97,259       82,331    
Long-term debt     145,051       149,179    
Deferred tax liabilities     11,319       11,371    
Other long-term liabilities     16,830       16,891    
Stockholders' equity:          
Class A Common Stock     111       111    
Paid-in capital     43,572       44,098    
Retained earnings     131,245       133,667    
Treasury stock     (18,856 )     (19,336 )  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss     (24,291 )     (25,289 )  
Total stockholders' equity     131,781       133,251    
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY               $   402,240   $   393,023    

This earnings release discloses earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization ("EBITDA") which is a non-GAAP financial measure. The Company believes that EBITDA is useful to investors in order to provide a more complete understanding of the ongoing operations of the Company's business. In addition, management believes that this non-GAAP financial measure is useful to investors in the assessment of the use of our assets without regard to financing methods, capital structure, or historical cost basis. Additionally, EBITDA is a financial measurement that management and the Board of Directors use in the determination of certain compensation programs.

Non-GAAP financial measures are not a substitute for GAAP financial results and should only be considered in conjunction with the Company's financial information that is presented in accordance with GAAP.  Quantitative reconciliations of the GAAP measures are presented below:
  Three Months Ended    
  March 31,    
EBITDA Reconciliation   2017       2016      
Net loss $   (2,422 )   $   (2,832 )    
Interest expense, net     2,052         1,115      
Income tax expense (benefit)     431         (1,317 )    
Depreciation     3,282         3,727      
Amortization     1,759         3,266      
Total EBITDA $   5,102     $   3,959      
Investor Relations:
Judith Balog
(412) 928-3417

L.B. Foster Company
415 Holiday Drive
Pittsburgh, PA  15220