UniFirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF) Files An 8-K

UniFirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF) today announced results for its fourth quarter and full year ended August 27, 2016. Revenues for the quarter were $363.8 million, up 1.3% from $359.2 million in the same year ago period. Net income was $35.5 million ($1.74 per diluted share), compared to $28.9 million ($1.43 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. Full year revenues were $1.468 billion, up 0.8% from fiscal 2015. Net income for the full year was $125.0 million ($6.17 per diluted share) compared to $124.3 million ($6.15 per diluted share) in the prior year.

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These results include the positive effect of a settlement the Company entered into during the fourth quarter. The settlement related to environmental litigation and resulted in a $15.9 million gain that was recorded as a reduction of fourth quarter and full year selling and administrative expenses. Excluding the effect of this settlement, adjusted net income for the quarter was $25.8 million ($1.27 per diluted share), down 10.8% from a year ago. Full year adjusted net income was $115.3 million ($5.69 per diluted share) down 7.2% from net income in the prior fiscal year. (See reconciliation table for details)

The current quarter results also reflect a $3.5 million increase to the Company’s reserves for environmental contingencies. This charge, which is unrelated to the settlement discussed above, was also recorded in selling and administrative expense and decreased fourth quarter net income by $2.1 million ($0.11 per diluted share). By comparison, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, the Company increased its reserves for environmental contingencies by $1.3 million, which reduced net income by $0.8 million ($0.04 per diluted share).

Ronald D. Croatti, UniFirst President and Chief Executive Officer said, “Our growth during the fourth quarter continued to be negatively affected by the loss of uniform wearers and customers in energy dependent markets in the United States and Canada. However, we are encouraged that the recent trend of wearer levels at our existing customers, although still negative, appears to be improving as we move into fiscal 2017. We continue to focus on matters within our control, such as providing high quality service to our broad customer base as well as selling prospective customers on the value of our products and services.”

Core Laundry revenues in the quarter were $331.7 million, up 1.6% from those reported in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Adjusting for the effect of acquisitions and a weaker Canadian dollar, revenues grew 1.1%. This segment’s operating income, adjusted to exclude the positive affect of the settlement discussed above (see reconciliation for details), was $38.3 million in the quarter, a 10.6% decrease from the prior year. Its adjusted operating margin was 11.6%, down from 13.1% for the same period in fiscal 2015. This decline was partially the result of the increase made to reserves for environmental contingencies discussed earlier. In addition, many of this segment’s expenses, including those related to its production facilities as well as selling and administrative efforts, were higher as a percentage of revenues than in the prior year. These items were partially offset by lower energy expenses during the quarter compared to a year ago.

Revenues and operating income in the quarter for the Specialty Garments segment, which consists of nuclear decontamination and cleanroom operations, declined 2.8% and 18.5%, respectively, compared to a year ago. This segment’s results can vary significantly from period to period due to seasonality and the timing of reactor outages and projects. For the full year, this segment produced solid results, with revenues and operating income growing 4.3% and 38.7%, respectively, over the same period a year ago.

UniFirst continues to maintain a strong balance sheet with no long-term debt and increasing cash balances. Net cash provided by operating activities for full year fiscal 2016 was $207.6 million and cash and equivalents at the end of fiscal 2016 totaled $363.8 million, up from $276.6 million at the end of fiscal 2015.

Outlook

Mr. Croatti continued, “At this time, we expect that our fiscal 2017 revenues will be between $1.550 billion and $1.565 billion and full year diluted EPS will be between $5.00 and $5.15. The projected decline in our earnings next year is primarily the result of the slower top line growth we have recently been experiencing coupled with increases in labor and labor related costs as well as the impact of other investments we continue to make in our Company. Our guidance assumes no significant further deterioration in our wearer base as a result of additional layoffs in energy dependent markets that we service.” This guidance includes the results of Arrow Uniform, the acquisition which was completed in September 2016. The Company expects this acquisition to add between $62 million and $65 million to its annual revenues and that it will be dilutive to fiscal 2017 earnings, partially due to non-cash purchase accounting charges.

Conference Call Information

UniFirst will hold a conference call today at 10:00 a.m. (ET) to discuss its quarterly financial results, business highlights and outlook. A simultaneous live webcast of the call will be available over the Internet and can be accessed at www.unifirst.com.

About UniFirst Corporation

Headquartered in Wilmington, Mass., UniFirst Corporation is a North American leader in the supply and servicing of uniform and workwear programs, as well as the delivery of facility service programs. Together with its subsidiaries, the company also provides first aid and safety products, and manages specialized garment programs for the cleanroom and nuclear industries. UniFirst manufactures its own branded workwear, protective clothing, and floorcare products, and with 240 service locations, 300,000 customer locations, and 13,000 employee Team Partners, the company outfits nearly 2 million workers each business day. UniFirst is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol UNF and is a component of the Standard & Poor’s 600 Small Cap Index. For more information, contact UniFirst at 800.455.7654 or visit www.unifirst.com.

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