FMC Corporation FMC recorded loss (as reported) of 2 cents per share in fourth-quarter 2019, compared with recast earnings of 24 cents per share a year ago.
Barring one-time items, adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.76, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.53.
Revenues were $1,197.3 million for the quarter, up around 9% from the recast figure for the year-ago quarter. It also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,194.4 million.
Revenues were aided by high demand across all regions notwithstanding unfavorable weather conditions in Europe and Asia. The company also benefited from its portfolio strength and new technology launches. It saw higher volumes in all regions in the quarter.
Revenue growth was supported by 11% contribution from volume, which was partly offset by a 2% unfavorable impact of currencies. The company achieved higher pricing in Latin America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and Asia in the reported quarter.
For 2019, earnings (as reported) were $3.62 per share, compared with $3.69 per share a year ago.
Revenues were $4.6 billion for the full year, up around 8% from the recast figure for 2018.
Regional Sales Performance
Sales in Latin America rose 10% year over year in the reported quarter. This was driven by strong growth in Argentina.
Sales went up 10% year over year in North America, supported by volume gains and strength in Rynaxypyr and Cyazypyr insect controls.
In EMEA, sales expanded 5% year over year. This was driven by increased demand for herbicides and insecticides in France and Russia.
Revenues rose 9% year over year in Asia. Sales rose by double-digits in India, China, Indonesia and Pakistan on the back of strong demand for diamides and new product launches.
The company had cash and cash equivalents of $339.1 million at the end of 2019, up 152% year over year. Long-term debt was $3,031.1 million at the end of the year, up 41% year over year.
The company returned more than $600 million to shareholders during 2019, including $400 million in share buybacks.
For 2020, FMC sees revenues to be between $4.8 billion and $4.95 billion, indicating a rise of 6% at the midpoint versus 2019.
The company also expects adjusted earnings per share in the range of $6.45-$6.70. The guidance reflects an increase of 8% at the midpoint compared with 2019.
Moreover, FMC envisions adjusted EBITDA of $1.3-$1.34 billion for 2020, indicating 8% growth at the midpoint versus 2019.
For first-quarter 2020, revenues are projected in the band of $1.23-$1.27 billion, indicating 5% growth at the midpoint compared with first-quarter 2019. Adjusted earnings are forecast in the range of $1.76-$1.86 per share, reflecting 5% growth at the midpoint compared with first-quarter 2019 figure.
The company also expects to buyback $400-$500 million of its shares in 2020.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
FMC currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Daqo New Energy Corp. DQ, Royal Gold, Inc. RGLD and Pretium Resources Inc. PVG.
Daqo New Energy has projected earnings growth rate of 326.3% for 2020 and sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company’s shares have rallied roughly 70% in a year’s time. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Royal Gold has estimated earnings growth rate of 83.5% for fiscal 2020 and carries a Zacks Rank #1. The company’s shares have shot up roughly 28% in a year’s time.
Pretium Resources has projected earnings growth rate of 106.9% for 2020 and carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company’s shares have rallied around 31% over a year.
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