Quarterly EPS up 20% and sales up 12% on broad-based business momentum; Annual sales exceed $1 billion for first time
Lincolnshire, IL, February 19, 2014─Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA) today announced 2013 fourth quarter diluted earnings per share of a record $0.82, including exit, restructuring and acquisition costs that reduced earnings by $0.09 per share. Earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2012 totaled $0.68. Net sales for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, increased 12.4% to a record $284,539,000 from $253,179,000 for the fourth quarter of 2012.
Summary Financial Performance (Unaudited)
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“Effective execution of a proven growth strategy and an improving business environment led to strong performance across the breadth of Zebra’s solutions, geographic regions and industries served,” stated Anders Gustafsson, Zebra’s chief executive officer. “Zebra is well positioned for further growth as the brand of choice for helping companies around the world gain greater visibility into their extended value chains. The success of our actions is generating an improved business pipeline with customers in retail, healthcare and manufacturing. We are expanding into new markets by extending our reach in emerging geographic regions and entering new industries, with a stream of innovative products and solutions that address critical business needs.”
For the full year, earnings from continuing operations for 2013 totaled $2.63 per share, including acquisition and exit and restructuring costs that reduced earnings by $0.17 per share. For 2012, earnings from continuing operations were $2.35 per share, including acquisition, exit and restructuring costs and an asset impairment charge that reduced earnings by $0.23 per share. Net sales increased 4.2% to a record $1,038,159,000 for 2013 from $996,168,000 for 2012.
As of December 31, 2013, Zebra had $415,795,000 in cash and investments, and no long-term debt. Net inventories were $121,023,000, and net accounts receivable were $176,917,000.
Discussion and Analysis – Fourth Quarter
Net sales growth of 12.4% included sales growth in North America, Asia Pacific and the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. The higher sales occurred across all product and service categories.
The operations of Hart Systems, which the company acquired in December 2013, had no material effect on 2013 fourth quarter financial results.
Gross profit increased 13.3% for the fourth quarter of 2013 over the same period of the prior year. Gross profit was 49.6% of sales for the 2013 fourth quarter and 49.2% for the prior-year period. The increase is primarily due to higher volumes.
Operating expenses increased by 14.4%, principally from increased expenses for compensation, outside professional services, information systems, and depreciation. The increase in amortization expense is related to the acquisition of certain patent rights in December 2012. Higher acquisition costs relate to increased activity in investigated and completed mergers and acquisitions during the period. Exit and restructuring costs in 2013 relate to the restructuring of the location solutions business management structure.
The effective income tax rate for 2013 reflects the effect of a higher proportion of income generated in jurisdictions with lower tax rates.
Stock Purchase Update
During the fourth quarter of 2013, Zebra returned $4,643,000 to shareholders through the repurchase of 88,100 shares of Zebra Technologies Corporation Class A Common Stock at a weighted average price of $52.70 per share. At December 31, 2013, the company had 665,475 shares remaining in its stock buyback authorization, and 50,349,546 shares of common stock were outstanding.
First Quarter Outlook
Zebra announced its financial forecast for the first quarter of 2014. Net sales are expected within a range of $276,000,000 to $286,000,000. Diluted earnings per share are expected within a range of $0.77 to $0.87.
Conference Call Notification
Investors are invited to listen to a live webcast of Zebra’s conference call discussing the company’s financial results for the fourth quarter of 2013. The conference call will be held at 11:00 AM Eastern Time today. To listen to the call, visit the company’s website at http://www.zebra.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, the statements regarding the company’s financial forecast for the first quarter of 2014 stated in the paragraph above captioned “First Quarter Outlook.” Actual results may differ from those expressed or implied in the company’s forward-looking statements. These statements represent estimates only as of the date they were made. Zebra undertakes no obligation, other than as may be required by law, to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or any other reason after the date of this release.
These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions and are subject to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Zebra’s industry, market conditions, general domestic and international economic conditions, and other factors. These factors include customer acceptance of Zebra’s hardware and software products and competitors’ product offerings, and the potential effects of technological changes. The continued uncertainty over future global economic conditions, the availability of credit, capital markets volatility, may have adverse effects on Zebra, its suppliers and its customers. In addition, a disruption in our ability to obtain products from vendors as a result of supply chain constraints, natural disasters or other circumstances could restrict sales and negatively affect customer relationships. Profits and profitability will be affected by Zebra’s ability to control manufacturing and operating costs. Because of a large investment portfolio, interest rates and financial market conditions will also have an impact on results. Foreign exchange rates will have an effect on financial results because of the large percentage of our international sales. The outcome of litigation in which Zebra may be involved is another factor. The success of integrating acquisitions including Hart Systems could also affect profitability, reported results and the company’s competitive position in it industry. These and other factors could have an adverse effect on Zebra’s sales, gross profit margins and results of operations and increase the volatility of our financial results. When used in this release and documents referenced, the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” and “expect” and similar expressions, as they relate to the company or its management, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying these statements. Descriptions of the risks, uncertainties and other factors that could affect the company’s future operations and results can be found in Zebra’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In particular, readers are referred to the Zebra’s latest Form 10-K which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
About Zebra Technologies
A global leader respected for innovation and reliability, Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA) offers technologies that give a virtual voice to an organization's assets, people and transactions, enabling organizations to unlock greater business value. The company's extensive portfolio of marking and printing technologies, including RFID and real-time location solutions, illuminates mission-critical information to help customers take smarter business actions. For more information about Zebra's solutions, visit http://www.zebra.com.