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Ecolab's (ECL) Q2 Earnings & Revenues Beat Mark, Margins Down

·5-min read

Ecolab Inc. ECL reported second-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.10, down 9.8% year over year. The bottom line, however, exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.9%.

GAAP EPS for the quarter was $1.08, flat year over year.

Revenue Details

Revenues grossed $3.58 billion in the reported quarter, up 13.2% year over year. The metric surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2%.

Ecolab’s fixed currency sales increased 17% and acquisition-adjusted fixed currency sales increased 13% from the prior-year period’s level.

The year-over-year uptick in the second quarter’s top line was driven by robust total pricing which nearly doubled from first-quarter levels and solid organic volume growth, led by further strong performance from Ecolab's Institutional & Specialty segment.

Segmental Analysis

The Global Industrial segment’s fixed currency sales of $1.70 billion reflect 13.4% reported growth whereas acquisition-adjusted fixed currency sales inched up 13% year over year. Strong double-digit growth was witnessed across all divisions on the back of accelerating total pricing and new business wins.

The Global Institutional & Specialty arm’s fixed currency sales of $1.14 billion reflect reported growth of 17.8%, whereas acquisition-adjusted fixed currency sales surged 18% year over year. The strong growth in the Institutional division reflected robust volume gains, accelerating total pricing, good new business wins and innovation. Specialty sales showed robust growth on strong quickservice sales.

The Global Healthcare and Life Sciences arm’s fixed currency sales of $400.8 million improved 37.3%. Acquisition-adjusted fixed currency sales were flat year over year on the back of double-digit growth in Life Sciences being offset by modestly lower Healthcare sales. Although Healthcare sales improved sequentially, its decline versus the prior year reflected solid growth in North America that was more than offset by a slower recovery in Europe.

The Other segment’s fixed currency sales of $342.3 million improved 13.9% on a reported basis, while acquisition-adjusted fixed currency sales jumped 14% year over year. The uptick was led by double-digit gains in Pest Elimination, Textile Care and Colloidal Technologies businesses.

Ecolab Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Ecolab Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Ecolab Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Ecolab Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Ecolab Inc. Quote

Margin Analysis

In the quarter under review, Ecolab’s gross profit improved 3.9% to $1.37 billion. However, gross margin contracted 345 basis points (bps) to 38.2%.

Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 10.2% to $940.1 million year over year.

Adjusted operating profit totaled $429.4 million, declining 7.7% from the prior-year quarter’s level. Adjusted operating margin in the quarter also contracted 272 bps to 11.9%.

Financial Position

Ecolab exited second-quarter 2022 with cash and cash equivalents of $124.9 million compared with $99.4 million at the end of first quarter. Total debt at the end of second-quarter 2022 was $8.79 billion compared with $8.76 billion at the end of first quarter.

Meanwhile, Ecolab has a consistent dividend-paying history, with five-year annualized dividend growth being 5.47%.

Guidance

Ecolab has not provided either quarterly or full-year 2022 outlook due to continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and other macroeconomic factors.

However, the company expects to show continued strong sales growth and a sequentially narrowing decline in year-over-year adjusted diluted earnings per share comparisons during the third quarter of 2022.

Our Take

Ecolab exited the second quarter with better-than-expected results. The company registered robust year-over-year uptick in its top line, along with solid performances across all of its segments. Strong volume and pricing momentum are also encouraging. Ecolab’s new business wins and innovation pipelines are well-positioned to drive growth and its global leadership. The company’s digital capabilities are also continuing to broaden, develop and add competitive advantages, which are encouraging.

However, the company faced significant product cost inflation and unfavorable currency translation, which weighed on its top-line growth. Contraction of both margins also does not bode well. The fact that it is yet to provide any financial outlook raises our apprehensions.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Ecolab currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Here are some medical stocks with the right combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy), or #3 which are expected to post an earnings beat this quarter.

Alkermes plc ALKS has an Earnings ESP of +300% and a Zacks Rank of 1. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they are reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

ALKS has an estimated long-term growth rate of 25.1%. Alkermes’ earnings surpassed estimates in all the trailing four quarters, with the average surprise being 350.5%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

STERIS plc STE has an Earnings ESP of +1.85% and is a Zacks #1 Rank stock. STE has an estimated growth rate of 9.9% for fiscal 2023.

STERIS’ earnings surpassed estimates in all the trailing four quarters, with the average surprise being 9.2%.

Medpace Holdings, Inc. MEDP has an Earnings ESP of +4.23% and is a Zacks #2 Ranked stock. MEDP has an estimated growth rate of 22.7% for 2022.

Medpace Holdings’ earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 17.1%.


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Ecolab Inc. (ECL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Alkermes plc (ALKS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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