HIGH POINT, N.C. (September 1, 2021) ─ Culp, Inc. (NYSE: CULP) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, “CULP”) today reported financial and operating results for the first quarter ended August 1, 2021.
Fiscal 2022 First Quarter Financial Summary
- Net sales were $83.0 million, up 28.8 percent over the pandemic-impacted prior-year period, with mattress fabrics sales up 19.3 percent and upholstery fabrics sales up 41.0 percent compared with the first quarter of last year.
- Income from operations (operating income) was $3.3 million, up 76.2 percent compared with income from operations of $1.9 million for the prior-year period.
- Net income was $2.3 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $(2.7) million, or $(0.22) per diluted share, for the prior-year period, which included a $3.7 million non- cash net income tax charge. Excluding this net income tax charge, adjusted net income (non- GAAP) for the first quarter of last year was $1.0 million, or $0.08 per diluted share. (See reconciliation table at the back of this press release.)
- The company’s financial position reflected total cash and investments of $44.0 million and no outstanding borrowings as of August 1, 2021. (See summary of cash and investments table at the back of this press release.)
- Cash flow from operations and free cash flow were $1.6 million and negative $(782,000), respectively, for the first quarter of fiscal 2022. (See reconciliation table at the back of this press release.)
- The company announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.11 per share, payable in October. At an annual indicated dividend of $0.44 per share, the yield is 3.34 percent, based upon yesterday’s closing stock price of $13.17 per share.
- The company repurchased 48,686 shares of Culp common stock during the first quarter of fiscal 2022, and has subsequently repurchased an additional 47,767 shares through August 31, 2021, leaving approximately $3.6 million available under the company’s recently reinstated share repurchase program.
- Although subject to uncertainties, the company is encouraged by the execution of its product- driven strategy and the resilience of its global platform, as well as its expanding market reach. The financial outlook provided for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 is a sequential comparison to the first quarter of fiscal 2022 due to the current inflationary pressures and volatility that were not present during the prior-year period.
- The company’s net sales and consolidated operating income (income from operations) for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 are expected to be comparable to the first quarter of fiscal 2022.
- For the full fiscal 2022 year, the company reaffirms its expectations for net sales to continue increasing moderately, with a projected increase between 8 to 12 percent, and for consolidated operating income to increase significantly, with a projected increase between 20 to 25 percent, in each case as compared to fiscal 2021.
- The company’s expectations for the second quarter and the full fiscal 2022 year are based on information available at the time of this press release and reflect certain assumptions by management regarding the company’s business and trends. The outlook assumes there will be no further pandemic-related shutdowns and no greater-than-expected changes in freight and raw material costs, foreign currency exchange rates, labor availability, recent consumer trends, world events, or other circumstances beyond the company’s control.
Commenting on the results, Iv Culp, president and chief executive officer of Culp, Inc., said, “We are very pleased to report a solid start to fiscal 2022, with overall sales and operating income in line with expectations and sales reaching their highest first quarter level since fiscal 2003. Our results reflect strong top-line growth driven by higher demand for both our mattress and residential upholstery fabric products. In each of our businesses, we executed our product-driven strategy with a continued emphasis on design creativity and innovation. We also benefited from our expanded market share reach and the continued resilience of our flexible global platform. Despite supply chain disruption and pressures on profitability, we are passionately dedicated to servicing the needs of our customers, and both of our divisions have excelled in utilizing our robust platform and long-term supplier relationships to ensure that we meet our customer commitments.
“While we are optimistic about the ongoing strength of our sales trends, we continue to navigate headwinds relating to rising freight and raw material costs, labor shortages, customers’ supply chain constraints for non-fabric components, and other pandemic-related challenges. Our previously implemented price increases for both of our businesses helped offset certain inflationary pressures and foreign currency fluctuations to some extent during the first quarter. We are now implementing further pricing action in both businesses during the second quarter to assist in covering the rapidly increasing freight, raw material, and labor costs.
“Despite these challenges, we continue to invest in our business and expand our capacity. With our diversified manufacturing and sourcing capabilities, along with our innovative products and digital design strategies, we expect to have additional opportunities to capture market share with new and existing customers. We are also excited about the upcoming opening of our new innovation campus in downtown High Point, North Carolina, which will bring together our most innovative and creative minds and foster collaboration among our businesses. Importantly, we have the financial strength to support our business in the current environment, and we believe we are well positioned for continued growth as market conditions evolve,” added Culp.
Mattress Fabrics Segment
Sales for this segment were $43.1 million for the first quarter, up 19.3 percent compared with sales of $36.1 million in the pandemic-impacted first quarter of fiscal 2021. Sales were up 10.8 percent compared with sales of $38.9 million for the pre-pandemic first quarter of fiscal 2020, which also included an extra week.
“We were encouraged by the strong level of sales during the first quarter,” said Sandy Brown, president of the company’s mattress fabrics division. “Our top line performance was driven by the continued strength of our product offerings and was supplemented by the price increase implemented during the first quarter to help offset certain inflationary pressures. We maintained our focus on customer marketing, product innovation, and creative designs during the quarter, and we further expanded our digital design platform to offer enhanced accessibility for our customers. Additionally, demand trends for sewn mattress covers remained strong, as our on-shore, near-shore, and off-shore supply chain strategy, as well as our fabric-to-cover model, continued to provide a preferred platform that provides customers with the agility and value they need for their business.
“We were also pleased with our improved operating performance for the first quarter of fiscal 2022, as compared to the prior-year period. This improvement primarily reflects our solid increase in sales, somewhat offset by increased raw material prices, freight costs, unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations in Canada and China, and inefficiencies due to labor shortages in the U.S. and Canada. As compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, our improved operating performance was primarily driven by a favorable product mix and the price increase implemented during the first quarter to help cover expected inflationary pressures, but our results were further affected by operating inefficiencies due to labor shortages and additional increases in freight and raw material costs, particularly during the second half of the quarter. We are implementing a surcharge during the second quarter to help offset these pressures, while also continually engaging in cost control measures. However, this surcharge will not take effect until midway through the quarter, resulting in a temporary cost-price lag that will affect our operating performance during the period.
“Looking ahead, we expect that current inflationary conditions, labor shortages, and other near- term headwinds will continue to impact our business during fiscal 2022, but we are confident in our ability to navigate these challenges. We have a compelling business model that supports a sustainable future and allows us to leverage our efficient global platform, innovative products, creative designs, and digital marketing strategies to enhance our leadership position and increase our market share. As demand trends remain strong, we believe our business is well positioned for the long term,” added Brown.
Upholstery Fabrics Segment
Sales for this segment were $40.0 million for the first quarter, up 41.0 percent compared with sales of $28.4 million in the pandemic-impacted first quarter of fiscal 2021. Sales were up 25.5 percent compared with sales of $31.9 million for the pre-pandemic first quarter of fiscal 2020, which also included an extra week.
“We were pleased by the continued strong growth in our sales for the first quarter,” said Boyd Chumbley, president of the company’s upholstery fabrics division. “This growth was driven by a significant increase in our residential business compared to the prior-year period, and was supplemented by our price increase that was effective during the quarter. We continued to benefit from growth in our market share reach, the flexibility of our Asian platform, and the success of our product innovation strategy, including the ongoing popularity of our LiveSmart® portfolio of products. However, our hospitality business, particularly Read Window Products, remained under significant pressure from the ongoing COVID-19 disruption that continues to affect the travel and leisure industries.
“Despite our top line growth, our operating performance for the first quarter of fiscal 2022, as compared to the prior-year period and as compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, was negatively affected by the dramatic increase in freight costs and by lower sales in our Read Window Products business, as well as start-up costs for our new Haiti facility. Our operating performance as compared to the prior-year period was also pressured by foreign currency fluctuations in China. Our previously implemented price increase has helped offset foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations to some extent, as intended, but we are implementing an additional freight surcharge during the second quarter to help cover the continued rise in freight costs. We also began to see a growing project backlog in our Read Window Products business during the first quarter, but given the typically longer-term (six to nine month) time frame for project installations, there is a temporary lag between the impact of the pandemic- related disruption and improved results for this business.
“We remain encouraged by the strong backlog in our residential upholstery business, reflecting continued favorable demand. We expect that near-term headwinds, including rising freight and labor costs, customer supply chain constraints, and ongoing pandemic-related disruptions such as quarantine and shutdown requirements currently affecting our sourcing partners in Vietnam, may temporarily pressure our business during fiscal 2022. However, with our flexible Asian platform and the upcoming addition of our new Haiti platform, as well as our long-term supplier relationships and our product-driven strategy, we are confident in our ability to navigate these challenges. We believe we are well positioned to sustain and enhance our competitive advantage over the long term as we continue to deliver innovative products that meet the needs of our customers,” added Chumbley.
“Maintaining a strong financial position is one of the company’s top priorities,” added Ken Bowling, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Culp, Inc. “As of August 1, 2021, we reported
$44.0 million in total cash and investments and no outstanding debt, compared with $47.4 million in total cash and investments and no outstanding debt at the end of the prior-year period. We generated cash flow from operations of $1.6 million and negative free cash flow of $(782,000) for the first three months of fiscal 2022, compared with cash flow from operations of $10.6 million and free cash flow of
$10.0 million for the prior-year period. (See reconciliation table at the back of this press release.) As we continue to invest in our business, our cash flow from operations and free cash flow during the first quarter of fiscal 2022 were affected by increased inventory purchases due to higher sales; capital expenditures, including expenditures for machinery, equipment, and IT investments, as well as expenditures related to our new innovation campus; incentive bonus compensation; and payments for the new building lease associated with our Haiti upholstery cut and sew operation.
“During the first quarter, we invested $2.5 million in the business through capital expenditures and payments associated with our new building lease in Haiti, paid $1.4 million in regular quarterly dividends, and spent $723,000 on share repurchases. While we are very pleased with our solid balance sheet going into the second quarter of fiscal 2022, it is important to note that we will continue to utilize our cash for strategic investments in working capital, planned capital expenditures, and investments in Haiti during this period,” added Bowling.
Dividends and Share Repurchases
The company announced that its Board of Directors has approved the payment of a quarterly cash dividend of 11 cents per share. This compares with 10.5 cents per share paid for the same period last year, reflecting an increase of five percent. At an annual indicated dividend of $0.44 per share, the yield is 3.34 percent, based upon yesterday’s closing stock price of $13.17 per share. The next quarterly payment will be made on October 18, 2021, to shareholders of record as of October 11, 2021.
During the first quarter of fiscal 2022, the company repurchased 48,686 shares of Culp common stock in the open market under its existing share repurchase authorization, and subsequently repurchased an additional 47,767 shares through August 31, 2021, leaving approximately $3.6 million available under the current share repurchase program. Shares may be repurchased under the program, at the company’s discretion, from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. Pursuant to its capital allocation strategy, the company seeks to opportunistically repurchase shares at a price that reflects a discount to the company’s calculated intrinsic value per share.
Culp, Inc. will hold a conference call to discuss financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 on September 2, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. A live webcast of this call can be accessed on the investor relations section of the company’s website, www.culp.com. A replay of the webcast will be available for 30 days on the investor relations section of the company’s website, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on September 2, 2021.
About the Company
Culp, Inc. is one of the world’s largest marketers of mattress fabrics for bedding and upholstery fabrics for residential and commercial furniture. The company markets a variety of fabrics to its global customer base of leading bedding and furniture companies, including fabrics produced at Culp’s manufacturing facilities and fabrics sourced through other suppliers. Culp has manufacturing and sourcing capabilities located in the United States, Canada, China, Haiti, Turkey, and Vietnam.