Olympic Steel Reports Sharply Improved First-Quarter Results

Olympic Steel Inc., (Nasdaq: ZEUS), a leading national metals service center, today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017.

First-quarter net sales increased 30% in 2017, reaching $334.9 million, compared with $258.3 million in last year’s same quarter. The improvement in net sales was driven by increased shipping volumes and higher average selling prices in all of the Company’s products.

Net income rose to $7.7 million, or $0.68 per diluted share in the first quarter, compared to the first-quarter loss of $0.8 million, or $0.07 per share, in 2016. An out-of-period income tax adjustment related to the future tax deductibility of certain payments from one of the Company’s retirement plans resulted in a one-time reduction of income tax expense that increased net income by $1.9 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, in the quarter. The Company recorded $0.4 million in LIFO expense in the quarter, compared with no LIFO impact in the first quarter of 2016.

“In addition to the strong financial performance from our carbon flat rolled segment, sales and profitability in our tubular and pipe and specialty metals segments also improved substantially during the quarter,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael D. Siegal. “Shipping volume of specialty metals increased 17% versus the first quarter last year, and we earned record market share in nearly all of the products we sell.”

“Looking ahead, broad-based demand is improving and the business regulatory environment is becoming more favorable for domestic manufacturing. This is encouraging, and we expect the benefits of our previous capital investments and ongoing operating enhancements will continue to be reflected in future financial performance,” Siegal said.

The Company’s Board of Directors also approved a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.02 per share, which is payable on June 15, 2017, to shareholders of record on June 1, 2017.

Conference Call and Webcast

A simulcast of Olympic Steel’s 2017 first-quarter earnings conference call can be accessed via the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website at www.olysteel.com. The simulcast will begin at 9 a.m. ET today, April 28, and a replay of the call will be available for approximately 14 days thereafter.

Forward-Looking Statements

It is the Company’s policy not to endorse any analyst’s sales or earnings estimates. Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “anticipate,” “should,” “intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “potential,” and “continue,” as well as the negative of these terms or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those implied by such statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: general and global business, economic, financial and political conditions; competitive factors such as the availability, global production levels and pricing of metals, industry shipping and inventory levels and rapid fluctuations in customer demand and metals pricing; cyclicality and volatility within the metals industry; the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and the related impact on foreign steel pricing, U.S. exports, and foreign imports to the United States; the levels of imported steel in the United States and any associated tariffs and duties; the availability and costs of transportation and logistical services; the successes of our strategic efforts and initiatives to increase sales volumes, maintain or improve working capital turnover and free cash flows, improve our customer service, and achieve cost savings, including our internal program to improve earnings; our ability to generate free cash flow through operations and repay debt within anticipated time frames; events or circumstances that could impair or adversely impact the carrying value of any of our assets; risks and uncertainties associated with intangible assets, including additional impairment charges related to indefinite lived intangible assets; events or circumstances that could adversely impact the successful operation of our processing equipment and operations; the amounts, successes and our ability to continue our capital investments and strategic growth initiatives, including our business information system implementations; the successes of our operational initiatives to improve our operating, cultural and management systems and reduce our costs; the ability to comply with the terms of our asset-based credit facility; the ability of our customers and third parties to honor their agreements related to derivative instruments; customer, supplier and competitor consolidation, bankruptcy or insolvency; reduced production schedules, layoffs or work stoppages by our own, our suppliers’ or customers’ personnel; the impacts of union organizing activities and the success of union contract renewals; the timing and outcomes of inventory lower of cost or market adjustments and last-in, first-out, or LIFO, income, especially during periods of declining market pricing; the ability of our customers (especially those that may be highly leveraged, and those with inadequate liquidity) to maintain their credit availability; the inflation or deflation existing within the metals industry, as well as our product mix and inventory levels on hand, which can impact our cost of materials sold as a result of the fluctuations in the LIFO inventory valuation; the adequacy of our existing information technology and business system software, including duplication and security processes; the adequacy of our efforts to mitigate cyber security risks and threats; access to capital and global credit markets; our ability to pay regular quarterly cash dividends and the amounts and timing of any future dividends; our ability to repurchase shares of our common stock and the amounts and timing of repurchases, if any; unanticipated developments that could occur with respect to contingencies such as litigation, arbitration and environmental matters, including any developments that would require any increase in our costs for such contingencies; and changes in laws or regulations or the manner of their interpretation or enforcement could impact our financial performance and restrict our ability to operate our business or execute our strategies.

About Olympic Steel

Founded in 1954, Olympic Steel is a leading U.S. metals service center focused on the direct sale and distribution of large volumes of processed carbon, coated and stainless flat-rolled sheet, coil and plate steel and aluminum products. The Company’s CTI subsidiary is a leading distributor of steel tubing, bar, pipe, valves and fittings, and fabricates pressure parts for the electric utility industry. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Olympic Steel operates from 31 facilities in North America.

For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.olysteel.com or www.b2i.us/profiles/investor/ContactUs.asp?BzID=2195

-Financial Tables Follow-

   
Olympic Steel, Inc.
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income

(in thousands, except per-share data)

 
Three Months Ended Mar. 31,
2017     2016
(unaudited)
Net sales $ 334,893 $ 258,349
 
Costs and expenses
 

Cost of materials sold (excludes items shown separately below)

258,454 199,820
Warehouse and processing 23,501 20,492
Administrative and general 18,165 16,040
Distribution 10,365 9,207
Selling 6,511 5,687
Occupancy 2,310 2,337
Depreciation 4,314 4,509
Amortization   222     222  
 
Total costs and expenses   323,842     258,314  
 
Operating income 11,051 35
 
Other loss, net   (26 )   (5 )
 
Income before interest and income taxes 11,025 30
Interest and other expense on debt   1,626     1,285  
 
Income (loss) before income taxes 9,399 (1,255 )
Income tax provision (benefit)   1,700     (488 )
 
Net income (loss) $ 7,699   $ (767 )
 
Earnings per share:
 
Net income (loss) per share - basic $ 0.68   $ (0.07 )
 
Weighted average shares outstanding - basic   11,369     11,182  
 
Net income (loss) per share - diluted $ 0.68   $ (0.07 )
 
Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted   11,369     11,182  
 

       
Olympic Steel, Inc.
Consolidated Balance Sheets

(in thousands)

 
At Mar. 31, 2017 At Dec. 31, 2016:
 
Assets
 
Cash and cash equivalents $ 2,804 $ 2,315
Accounts receivable, net 140,281 101,902

Inventories, net (includes LIFO debit of $7,669 and $8,045 as of Mar. 31, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2016, respectively)

263,190 254,526
Prepaid expenses and other   4,088     6,197  
Total current assets   410,363     364,940  
 
Property and equipment, at cost 375,938 374,242
Accumulated depreciation   (222,511 )   (218,476 )
Net property and equipment   153,427     155,766  
 
Intangible assets, net 23,646 23,869
Other long-term assets   11,633     11,493  
Total assets $ 599,069   $ 556,068  
 
Liabilities
 
Current portion of long-term debt $ 1,825 $ 1,825
Accounts payable 87,211 79,458
Accrued payroll 9,839 8,445
Other accrued liabilities   13,913     15,170  
Total current liabilities   112,788     104,898  
Credit facility revolver 192,971 164,599
Other long-term liabilities 10,044 10,062
Deferred income taxes   21,731     23,119  
Total liabilities   337,543     302,678  
 
Shareholders' Equity
 
Preferred stock - -
Common stock 129,285 128,619
Treasury stock (609 ) (609 )
Retained earnings   132,859     125,380  
Total shareholders' equity   261,535     253,390  
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $ 599,069   $ 556,068  
 

 
Olympic Steel, Inc.
Segment Financial Information

(In thousands, except tonnage and per-ton data. Figures may not foot to consolidated totals due to Corporate expenses.)

 
Three Months Ended March 31:
  (unaudited)
Carbon Flat   Specialty Metals Flat   Tubular and Pipe
Products Products

Products1

2017   2016 2017   2016   2017   2016

Tons Sold1

  303,792   266,850     23,193   19,823   NA NA
 
Net Sales $ 216,916 $ 161,434 $ 57,955 $ 45,830 $ 60,022 $ 51,085
Average selling price per ton 714 605 2,499 2,312 NA NA

Cost of materials sold2

  169,173   126,527     48,284   39,195     40,997   34,098
Gross profit3 47,743 34,907 9,671 6,635 19,025 16,987
Operating expenses4   40,368   37,085     5,686   4,879     16,538   14,744
Operating income (loss) $ 7,375 $ (2,178 ) $ 3,985 $ 1,756   $ 2,487 $ 2,243
 
Depreciation and Amortization   2,889   2,954     226   193     1,396   1,559
 
At March 31, 2017 At Dec. 31, 2016
Assets
Flat products $ 403,492 $ 363,626
Tubular and pipe products 195,248 192,088
Corporate 329 354
Total assets $ 599,069 $ 556,068
 
Other Information:
 
(In thousands, except per-share data) At March 31, 2017 At Dec. 31, 2016
 
Shareholders' equity per share $ 23.86 $ 23.11
 
Debt-to-equity ratio 0.74 to 1 0.66 to 1
 
Three Months Ended March 31,
2017 2016
 
 
Net cash from (used for) operating activities $ (25,692) $ 2,845
 
Cash dividends per share $ 0.02 $ 0.02

1

  Tonnage is less meaningful for the Tubular and Pipe Products segment and therefore, is not reported.
2

Includes $0.4 million of LIFO expense in the three months ended Mar. 31, 2017, and no LIFO impact in the three months ended Mar. 31, 2016.

3 Gross profit is calculated as net sales less the cost of materials sold.
4

Operating expenses are calculated as total costs and expenses less the cost of materials sold from the Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income.