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Standard Motor Products, Inc. announces fourth quarter, 2018 year end results

Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 09:00
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Standard Motor Products, Inc. (NYSE: SMP), an automotive replacement parts manufacturer and distributor, reported its consolidated financial results for the three months and for the year ended December 31, 2018.
 
Consolidated net sales for the fourth quarter of 2018 were $247 million, compared to consolidated net sales of $240 million during the comparable quarter in 2017. Earnings (loss) from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2018 were $12.2 million or 53 cents per diluted share, compared to ($8.1) million or (36) cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2017. Excluding non-operational gains and losses identified on the attached reconciliation of GAAP and non-GAAP measures, earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2018 were $11.8 million or 52 cents per diluted share, compared to $12.4 million or 54 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2017.
 
Consolidated net sales for 2018 were $1,092.1 million, compared to consolidated net sales of $1,116.1 million during the comparable period in 2017. Earnings from continuing operations for 2018 were $56.9 million or $2.48 per diluted share, compared to $43.6 million or $1.88 per diluted share in the comparable period of 2017. Excluding non-operational gains and losses identified on the attached reconciliation of GAAP and non-GAAP measures, earnings from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2018, and 2017 were $58.5 million or $2.55 per diluted share and $65.6 million or $2.83 per diluted share, respectively.
 
Mr. Eric P. Sills, Standard Motor Products’ Chief Executive Officer and President, stated, “We were generally pleased with the fourth quarter, as sales and gross margin for the company as a whole were slightly ahead of the prior year. Operating profit was down, excluding the gain on the sale of the Grapevine, Texas facility, primarily as a result of the costs associated with the installation of a new automated distribution system for our Temperature Control Division in Lewisville, Texas. We anticipate significant savings in this area in 2019.
 
“Turning to the divisions, Engine Management sales were up 2.5% for the quarter. Excluding our wire and cable business, which, as we have discussed, is a product line in general decline, Engine Management sales were ahead 4.5% for the quarter. Full year Engine Management sales, excluding wire, were slightly behind 2017, entirely the result of a few large pipeline orders in 2017 that were not repeated this year. More significantly, our customers reported Engine Management POS up approximately 4% in both the quarter and full year, in line with our long-term forecast.
 
“Engine Management gross margin was up 40 basis points over the same quarter last year but slightly down for the year. A major contributing factor was the startup costs incurred in our wire assembly plant in Reynosa, Mexico, as we continue to integrate General Cable’s assembly operation. We are already seeing improvement in productivity there, as our newly hired employees gain experience, and we move towards historic levels of efficiency. We have also been slightly impacted by the timing of tariffs incurred with Chinese sourced products in 2018.
 
“2018 was a warm summer, and our customers reported Temperature Control POS sales increases in the 6-7% range. However, they began the year with heavier inventories, the result of the previous year’s cool summer, and therefore their purchases in the first half were soft. Our second half Temperature Control sales were strong, and we finished 2018 essentially flat in sales. We believe our customers’ inventories at the end of 2018 were at lower levels than the prior year, and we are anticipating stronger pre-season orders in the months ahead.
 
“Temperature Control gross margin was down slightly for the year. However, this was due to a carryforward of unfavorable variances from the weak season of 2017. As sales and production in the second half of 2018 were stronger, we will begin 2019 in a healthier position.

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