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Why Is Energizer (ENR) Down 1.1% Since Last Earnings Report?

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Energizer Holdings (ENR). Shares have lost about 1.1% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Energizer due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Energizer Q1 Earnings & Sales Miss Estimates, Down Y/Y

Energizer posted soft first-quarter fiscal 2023 results. Both the top and the bottom line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and decreased year over year.

Q1 Metrics

Energizer’s adjusted earnings of 72 cents per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny and plunged 30.1% from the year-ago fiscal quarter’s reported figure. The bottom line has also missed our consensus estimate of 75 cents a share.

ENR reported net sales of $765.1 million, falling short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $786 million and our estimate of $790 million. The top line also decreased 9.6% from the year-ago fiscal quarter’s reading. Organic sales fell 5.4% in the quarter under review, driven by weak volumes stemming from the timing of holiday orders in the battery business, and category declines from increased retail pricing and retailer inventory management. We note that management exited certain low-margin profile battery customers and products, which further contributed to the decline. However, strength in the global pricing actions partly offset the decrease.

Energizer’s Batteries & Lights segment’s revenues dipped 9.3% year over year to $671.6 million in first-quarter fiscal 2023 and lagged the consensus mark of $690.6 million. Meanwhile, revenues in the Auto Care segment decreased 11.9% to $93.5 million and came below the consensus mark of $99.4 million.

Margins

In the fiscal first quarter, Energizer’s adjusted gross margin expanded 150 basis points (bps) to 39%. This was mainly backed by continued gains from the pricing initiatives, Project Momentum savings of $6.5 million and favorable impact from exiting lower-margin businesses. Increased operating expenses including material and ocean freight costs, the inflationary trends and currency headwinds partly offset the increase.

Excluding restructuring costs, the company’s adjusted SG&A as a rate of sales was 14.9% compared with 13.2% recorded in the prior-year quarter. On a dollar basis, SG&A rose about 2.2% to $114.1 million, driven by increased stock-compensation amortization, factoring fees and higher depreciation expenses. This was somewhat offset by Project Momentum savings and favorable currency impacts. Adjusted EBITDA was $145.6 million, down 10% year over year.

Other Financial Details

As of Dec 31, 2022, Energizer’s cash and cash equivalents were $280.3 million, with long-term debt of $3,506.6 million and shareholders' equity of $130.8 million. During the fiscal first quarter, ENR paid over $50 million of debt. In the reported quarter, it paid a dividend of nearly $21.8 million.

The operating cash flow for the reported quarter was $161 million and the free cash flow was $152.2 million.

Outlook

Management reiterated guidance for fiscal 2023. Energizer projects organic revenues to grow in low-single digits for the current fiscal year. It expects low single-digit declines for reported revenues, including currency headwinds of roughly $50 million. It expects currency headwinds on pre-tax earnings of about $20 million and 23 cents per share, based on the current rates.

Adjusted EBITDA is forecast in the $585-$615 million band. Management envisions adjusted earnings per share of $3-$3.30 for the current fiscal year.

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How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates revision flatlined during the past month.

VGM Scores

At this time, Energizer has an average Growth Score of C, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the top 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Energizer has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.

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