Federal Signal Completes Record Year with Impressive Fourth Quarter Results, including 15% Net Sales Growth, 35% Operating Income Increase and Strong Cash Generation; Issues 2024 Outlook

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OAK BROOK, Ill., Feb. 27, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE:FSS), a leader in environmental and safety solutions, today reported results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2023. 

Fourth Quarter Highlights

Net sales of $448 million, up $57 million, or 15%, from last year; organic growth of $42 million, or 11%
Operating income of $63.1 million, up $16.5 million, or 35%, from last year
Operating cash flow of $103 million, up $64 million, or 162%, from last year
GAAP EPS of $0.75, up $0.18, or 32%, from last year
Adjusted EPS of $0.74, up $0.17, or 30%, from last year
Orders of $465 million, up $21 million, or 5%, from last year
Backlog of $1.03 billion, up $146 million, or 17%, from last year

Full-Year Highlights

Net sales of $1.72 billion, up $288 million, or 20%, from last year; organic growth of $220 million, or 15%
Operating income of $224.5 million, up $63.7 million, or 40%, from last year
Operating cash flow of $194 million, up $123 million, or 171%, from last year
GAAP EPS of $2.56, up $0.59, or 30%, from last year
Adjusted EPS of $2.58, up $0.62, or 32%, from last year
Orders of $1.87 billion, up $178 million, or 11%, from last year

2024 Outlook

Adjusted EPS* of $2.85 to $3.05
Net sales of $1.85 billion to $1.90 billion
Capital expenditures of $35 million to $40 million

Consolidated net sales for the fourth quarter were $448 million, an increase of $57 million, or 15%, compared to the same quarter a year ago. Net income for the fourth quarter was $46.4 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, compared to $34.6 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, in the prior-year quarter. The Company also reported adjusted net income for the fourth quarter of $45.7 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, compared to $35.0 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, in the same quarter a year ago. Both net sales and adjusted EPS for the fourth quarter were new Company records. The Company is reporting adjusted results to facilitate comparisons of underlying performance on a year-over-year basis. A reconciliation of these and other non-GAAP measures is provided at the conclusion of this news release.

Consolidated net sales for the year ended December 31, 2023 were $1.72 billion, an increase of $288 million, or 20%, compared to the prior year. Net income for the year was $157.4 million, or $2.56 per diluted share, compared to $120.4 million, or $1.97 per diluted share, in the prior year. Adjusted net income for the year was $158.8 million, or $2.58 per diluted share, compared to $120.1 million, or $1.96 per diluted share, in the prior year.

Strong Fourth Quarter Performance Wraps up Record Year; Customer Demand at Unprecedented Levels

“Our record-setting fourth quarter performance represented a strong finish to a year in which we delivered the highest net sales and adjusted EPS in our history,” commented Jennifer L. Sherman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Within our Environmental Solutions Group, increased sales volumes, contributions from recent acquisitions, and strong price realization contributed to a 15% year-over-year net sales increase and a 190 basis point improvement in EBITDA margin. Our Safety and Security Systems Group also delivered impressive results, with double-digit top line growth and an EBITDA margin in excess of 21%. Demand for our products remains high, with our strong order intake this quarter contributing to a record backlog of $1.03 billion at the end of 2023.”

In the Environmental Solutions Group, net sales for the fourth quarter were $373 million, up $48 million, or 15%, compared to the prior-year quarter, while in the Safety and Security Systems Group, net sales for the fourth quarter were $75 million, up $9 million, or 14%, compared to the prior-year quarter.

Consolidated operating income for the fourth quarter was $63.1 million, up $16.5 million, or 35%, compared to the prior-year quarter. Consolidated operating margin for the fourth quarter was 14.1%, up from 11.9% last year.

Consolidated adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (“adjusted EBITDA”) for the fourth quarter was $77.5 million, up $16.4 million, or 27%, compared to the prior-year quarter, and consolidated adjusted EBITDA margin for the fourth quarter was 17.3%, up from 15.6% last year.

Adjusted EBITDA in the Environmental Solutions Group for the fourth quarter was $73.3 million, up $15.7 million, or 27%, compared to the prior-year quarter, and its adjusted EBITDA margin for the fourth quarter was 19.6%, up from 17.7% last year. Within the Safety and Security Systems Group, adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter was $16.0 million, up $2.8 million, or 21%, compared to the prior-year quarter, and its adjusted EBITDA margin for the fourth quarter was 21.2%, up from 19.9% last year.

Orders for the fourth quarter were $465 million, up $21 million, or 5%, compared to the prior-year quarter. With the strong momentum in customer demand, consolidated backlog at December 31, 2023 was $1.03 billion, an improvement of $146 million, or 17%, from last year.

Increased Operating Cash Flow Further Strengthens Financial Position, Providing Flexibility to Fund Growth Opportunities and Cash Returns to Stockholders

Operating cash flow during the fourth quarter was $103 million, an increase of $64 million, or 162%, from the prior-year quarter. Full-year cash generated from operations totaled $194 million, an increase of $123 million, or 171%, compared to the prior-year period. 

At December 31, 2023, total debt was $299 million, total cash and cash equivalents were $61 million and the Company had $493 million of availability for borrowings under its credit facility.

“Our operating cash flow generation this quarter was outstanding, enabling us to pay down approximately $70 million of debt during the quarter,” said Sherman. “Our full-year operating cash flow increased by 171% compared to last year, further strengthening our financial position, and providing significant flexibility to invest in organic growth initiatives and pursue additional strategic acquisitions. As demonstrated with the recent increase in our dividend and our share repurchases during the quarter, we also remain committed to returning cash to stockholders.”

The Company funded dividends of $6.1 million during the fourth quarter, reflecting a dividend of $0.10 per share, and as recently announced, the Board of Directors increased the dividend that will be payable in the first quarter of 2024 to $0.12 per share, a 20% increase from the prior dividend.

The Company also funded stock repurchases of $1.2 million during the fourth quarter. 

Outlook

“Conditions in our end markets remain strong, and with the ongoing execution against our strategic initiatives and opportunities to drive improved efficiencies, we are confident that we will have another record year in 2024,” noted Sherman. “Although seasonal effects typically result in our first quarter earnings being lower than subsequent quarters, we are anticipating full-year net sales of between $1.85 billion and $1.90 billion, double-digit improvement in pre-tax earnings and EBITDA margin performance in the upper half of our recently-increased target range. For the full-year, we currently expect to report adjusted EPS* of between $2.85 and $3.05 per share, which would represent a year-over-year increase of between 10% and 18%, and the highest EPS level in the Company’s history. Our outlook does not include an anticipated tax benefit of approximately $14 million that we expect to realize in the first quarter, and assumes continued improvement in production output and robust aftermarket activity. With an active M&A pipeline, ongoing investment in new product development, available capacity, good access to skilled labor, and anticipated multi-year tailwinds from infrastructure legislation, our businesses are well positioned for long-term, sustainable growth.”

CONFERENCE CALL

Federal Signal will host its fourth quarter earnings conference call on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The call will last approximately one hour. The call may be accessed over the internet through Federal Signal’s website at https://www.federalsignal.com or by dialing phone number 1-877-704-4453 and entering the pin number 13743554. An archived replay will be available on Federal Signal’s website shortly after the call.

About Federal Signal

Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE:FSS) builds and delivers equipment of unmatched quality that moves material, cleans infrastructure, and protects the communities where we work and live. Founded in 1901, Federal Signal is a leading global designer, manufacturer and supplier of products and total solutions that serve municipal, governmental, industrial and commercial customers. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., with manufacturing facilities worldwide, the Company operates two groups: Environmental Solutions and Safety and Security Systems. For more information on Federal Signal, visit: https://www.federalsignal.com.

“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

This release contains unaudited financial information and various forward-looking statements as of the date hereof and we undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements regardless of new developments or otherwise. Statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to vary materially from those stated. Such risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: direct and indirect impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the associated government response, risks and adverse economic effects associated with emerging geopolitical conflicts, product and price competition, supply chain disruptions, work stoppages, availability and pricing of raw materials, cybersecurity risks, risks associated with acquisitions such as integration of operations and achieving anticipated revenue and cost benefits, foreign currency exchange rate changes, interest rate changes, increased legal expenses and litigation results, legal and regulatory developments and other risks and uncertainties described in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

* Adjusted earnings per share (“EPS”) is a non-GAAP measure, which includes certain adjustments to reported GAAP net income and diluted EPS. In 2023, we made adjustments to exclude the impact of acquisition and integration-related expenses (benefits), environmental remediation costs of a discontinued operation and purchase accounting effects. In prior years, we have also made adjustments to exclude the impact of debt settlement charges and certain other unusual or non-recurring items. Should any similar items occur in 2024, we would expect to exclude them from the determination of adjusted EPS. However, because of the underlying uncertainty in quantifying amounts which may not yet be known, a reconciliation of our Adjusted EPS outlook to the most applicable GAAP measure is excluded based on the unreasonable efforts exception in Item 10(e)(1)(i)(B).

 

FEDERAL SIGNAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

Three Months Ended
December 31,

Twelve Months Ended
December 31,

(in millions of dollars, except per share data and percentages)

2023

2022

2023

2022

Net sales

$   448.4

$   391.5

$  1,722.7

$  1,434.8

Cost of sales

329.0

294.9

1,272.5

1,089.9

Gross profit

119.4

96.6

450.2

344.9

Selling, engineering, general and administrative expenses

54.1

46.2

210.1

171.7

Amortization expense

3.8

3.3

15.2

12.9

Acquisition and integration related (benefits) expenses

(1.6)

0.5

0.4

(0.5)

Operating income

63.1

46.6

224.5

160.8

Interest expense, net

4.3

4.4

19.7

10.3

Other expense (income), net

0.3

0.2

1.8

(0.4)

Income before income taxes

58.5

42.0

203.0

150.9

Income tax expense

12.1

7.4

45.6

30.5

Net income

$      46.4

$      34.6

$   157.4

$   120.4

Earnings per share:

Basic

$      0.76

$      0.57

$      2.59

$      1.99

Diluted

$      0.75

$      0.57

$      2.56

$      1.97

Weighted average common shares outstanding:

Basic

60.8

60.5

60.7

60.5

Diluted

61.6

61.2

61.5

61.2

Cash dividends declared per common share

$      0.10

$      0.09

$      0.39

$      0.36

Operating data:

Operating margin

14.1 %

11.9 %

13.0 %

11.2 %

Adjusted EBITDA

$      77.5

$      61.1

$   286.0

$   215.0

Adjusted EBITDA margin

17.3 %

15.6 %

16.6 %

15.0 %

Total orders

$   465.0

$   444.2

$  1,870.1

$  1,692.2

Backlog

1,025.1

879.2

1,025.1

879.2

Depreciation and amortization

15.3

14.0

60.4

54.7

 

FEDERAL SIGNAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

As of December 31,

(in millions of dollars, except per share data)

2023

2022

ASSETS

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$         61.0

$         47.5

Accounts receivable, net of allowances for doubtful accounts of $2.5 and $2.5, respectively

186.2

173.8

Inventories

303.4

292.7

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

19.6

17.4

Total current assets

570.2

531.4

Properties and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation of $173.3 and $156.4, respectively

190.8

179.3

Rental equipment, net of accumulated depreciation of $47.5 and $45.4, respectively

134.8

109.1

Operating lease right-of-use assets

Full story available on Benzinga.com


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