Knowles Reports Q4 & Full Year 2018 Financial Results and Provides Outlook for Q1 2019

Delivered 11 Percent Revenue Growth in 2018

2018 Audio Segment Revenue Growth driven by MEMS Microphones,
Intelligent Audio, and Hearing Health

Precision Devices Segment Posts Record Revenue for Q4 and Full Year

ITASCA, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN), a market leader and global provider of
advanced micro-acoustic, audio processing, and precision device
solutions, today announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended
December 31, 2018.

“We reported year over year revenue growth in Q4 as we continue to
diversify our markets and focus on higher value solutions,” said Jeffrey
Niew, president and CEO of Knowles. “For 2018, we were pleased to
deliver 11 percent top line growth, ahead of the expectations we had
earlier in the year and above the growth rates of most of the end
markets we serve. We saw strong MEMS microphone demand and
higher-than-expected sales of Intelligent Audio solutions across Mobile,
Ear, and IoT markets. Sales into the Hearing Health market were also
higher. In Precision Devices, strong demand for our differentiated
products across multiple end markets drove record sales.”

“As we enter 2019, we are well positioned to drive revenue and earnings
growth for the full year in the Audio and Precision Devices segments.
While we expect our first quarter of 2019 to be impacted by an inventory
correction in the handset market, we anticipate returning to
year-over-year growth in the second quarter. I believe that our focus on
higher value solutions will enable us to continue to outpace growth in
our end markets,” continued Niew.

Financial Highlights

The following table highlights the Company’s financial performance on
both a GAAP and supplemental non-GAAP basis for continuing operations*
(in millions, except per share data):

                             
  Q4FY18     Q3FY18     Q4FY17**     Sequential    

Year Ago Period

                      Change    

Change

Revenues   $223.8     $236.2     $215.5     (5)%     4%
Gross profit $94.3 $89.8 $89.4

5%

5%

(as a % of revenues)

 

42.1%

   

38.0%

   

41.5%

   

 

   

 

Non-GAAP gross profit $95.4 $90.7 $92.0

5%

4%

(as a % of revenues)

 

42.6%

   

38.4%

   

42.7%

   

 

   

 

Diluted earnings (loss) per share***   $0.87     $(0.20)     $0.35     NM****     149%
Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share   $0.37     $0.34     $0.40     9%     (8)%

* Continuing operations excludes the results of our speaker and receiver
product line which was sold on July 7, 2016 and our timing device
business which was sold on November 28, 2017.

** Q4 2017 results included $11.4 million in revenue and $5.6 million
related to recovered legal expenses associated with the settlement of a
royalty dispute that related to periods prior to Q4 2017.

*** Current period results include $6.2 million in stock-based
compensation, $1.6 million from amortization of intangibles, and $1.0
million in production transfer costs and restructuring charges.

**** Not meaningful.

During the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company finalized its accounting
for new tax provisions pursuant to the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of
2017 (the “Tax Reform Act”) under Securities and Exchange Commission
Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118. As a result of a U.S. taxing
authority approval for an entity classification election received during
the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company recognized a $36.0 million tax
benefit related to the release of an uncertain tax position. The
discrete net tax benefit for the fourth quarter of 2018 also includes a
$17.8 million reduction to the transition tax liability. The finalized
Tax Reform Act impacts and uncertain tax position, which are excluded
from the calculation of Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share, are subject
to further adjustment based on potential changes in the interpretation
of the Tax Reform Act, its supporting regulations, and subsequent
guidance that may be issued.

In addition to the GAAP results included in this press release, Knowles
has presented supplemental non-GAAP gross profit, earnings before
interest and income taxes, adjusted earnings before interest and income
taxes, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share, as well as other metrics on
a non-GAAP basis that exclude certain amounts that are included in the
most directly comparable GAAP measure to facilitate evaluation of
Knowles’ operating performance. Non-GAAP results are not presented in
accordance with GAAP. Non-GAAP information should be considered a
supplement to, and not a substitute for, financial statements prepared
in accordance with GAAP. In addition, the non-GAAP financial measures
included in this press release do not have standard meanings and may
vary from similarly titled non-GAAP financial measures used by other
companies. Knowles believes that non-GAAP measures are useful as
supplements to its GAAP results of operations to evaluate certain
aspects of its operations and financial performance, and its management
team primarily focuses on non-GAAP items in evaluating Knowles’
performance for business planning purposes. Knowles also believes that
these measures assist it with comparing its performance between various
reporting periods on a consistent basis, as these measures remove from
operating results the impact of items that, in Knowles’ opinion, do not
reflect its core operating performance including, for example,
stock-based compensation, certain intangibles amortization expense,
fixed asset impairment charges, restructuring, production transfer
costs, and other charges which management considers to be outside our
core operating results. Knowles believes that its presentation of these
non-GAAP financial measures is useful because it provides investors and
securities analysts with the same information that Knowles uses
internally for purposes of assessing its core operating performance. For
a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most
directly comparable GAAP financial measures, see the reconciliation
table accompanying this release.

First Quarter 2019 Outlook

The forward looking guidance for the quarter ending March 31, 2019 on a
continuing operations basis is as follows:

    GAAP     Adjustments     Non-GAAP
Revenues $165 to $185 million $165 to $185 million
Gross Profit Margin 36 to 38% 1% 37 to 39%
EPS $0.00 to $0.04 $0.09 $0.09 to $0.13

Q1 2019 GAAP results for continuing operations are expected to include
approximately $0.07 per share in stock-based compensation, $0.01 per
share in amortization of intangibles and debt discount, and $0.01 per
share related to production transfer costs. Expected Q1 2019 GAAP
results exclude potential discrete income tax and restructuring items.

Webcast and Conference Call Information

Investors can listen to a live or replay webcast of the Company’s
quarterly financial conference call at http://investor.knowles.com.
The live webcast will begin today at 3:30 p.m. Central time. The webcast
replay will be available after 7:00 p.m. Central time today.

Investors can also listen to the conference call at 3:30 p.m. Central
time today by calling (844) 589-0917 (United States) or (647) 253-8649
(International). The conference call replay will be available after 7:00
p.m. Central time today through 11:59 p.m. Central time on February 14,
2019 at (800) 585-8367 (United States) or (416) 621-4642
(International). The access code is 2595655.

About Knowles

Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN) is a market leader and global provider of
advanced micro-acoustic, audio processing, and precision device
solutions, serving the mobile consumer electronics, communications,
medical, military, aerospace, and industrial markets. Knowles uses its
leading position in MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) microphones
and strong capabilities in audio processing technologies to optimize
audio systems and improve the user experience in mobile, ear, and IoT
applications. Knowles is also the leader in acoustic components used in
hearing aids and has a strong position in high-end capacitors. Knowles’
focus on the customer, combined with unique technology, proprietary
manufacturing techniques, rigorous testing, and global scale, enables it
to deliver innovative solutions that optimize the user experience.
Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, Knowles is a
global organization with employees in 11 countries. For more
information, visit knowles.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “believe,” “expect,”
“anticipate,” “project,” “estimate,” “budget,” “continue,” “could,”
“intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “seek,” “should,”
“will,” “would,” “objective,” “forecast,” “goal,” “guidance,” “outlook,”
“effort,” “target,” and similar expressions, among others, generally
identify forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date the
statements were made. The statements in this news release are based on
currently available information and the current expectations, forecasts,
and assumptions of Knowles’ management concerning risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes or results to differ
materially from those outcomes or results that are projected,
anticipated, or implied in these statements. These risks and
uncertainties include, but are not limited to: unforeseen changes in
MEMS microphone demand from our largest customers, in particular, two
North American, a Korean, and Chinese OEM customers; the success and
rate of multi-microphone and smart microphone adoption and market
adoption of our “intelligent audio” solutions; our ability to stem or
overcome price erosion in our segments; fluctuations in our stock’s
market price; fluctuations in operating results and cash flows; our
ability to prevent or identify quality issues in our products or to
promptly remedy any such issues that are identified; the timing of OEM
product launches; downward pressure on the average selling prices for
our products; risks associated with increasing our inventories in
advance of anticipated orders by customers; global economic instability
including the recent economic slowdown in China; the impact of changes
to laws and regulations that affect the Company’s activities, including
the Company’s ability to offer products or services to customers in
different regions; our ability to achieve continued reductions in our
operating expenses; our ability to qualify our products and facilities
with customers; our ability to obtain, enforce, defend or monetize our
intellectual property rights; increases in the costs of critical raw
materials and components; availability of raw materials and components;
managing new product ramps and introductions for our customers; our
dependence on a limited number of large customers; our ability to
maintain and expand our existing relationships with leading OEMs in
order to maintain and increase our revenue; increasing competition and
new entrants in the market for our products; our ability to develop new
or enhanced products or technologies in a timely manner that achieve
market acceptance; our reliance on third parties to manufacture,
assemble, and test our products and sub-components; escalating
international trade tensions, new or increased tariffs and trade wars
among countries; financial risks, including risks relating to currency
fluctuations, credit risks and fluctuations in the market value of the
Company; and changes in tax laws, changes in tax rates and exposure to
additional tax liabilities; and other risks, relevant factors, and
uncertainties identified in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, subsequent Reports on Forms 10-Q
and 8-K and our other filings we make with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. Knowles disclaims any intention or obligation to
update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of
new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

INVESTOR SUPPLEMENT – FOURTH QUARTER 2018

   
KNOWLES CORPORATION
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
(in millions, except share and per share amounts)
(unaudited)
 
Quarter Ended
December 31, 2018 September 30, 2018 December 31, 2017
Revenues $ 223.8 $ 236.2 $ 215.5
Cost of goods sold 129.2 146.4 126.0
Restructuring charges – cost of goods sold   0.3         0.1  
Gross profit 94.3 89.8 89.4
Research and development expenses 25.2 25.2 22.8
Selling and administrative expenses 35.1 34.5 27.3
Restructuring charges   0.3     0.5     2.0  
Operating expenses   60.6     60.2     52.1  
Operating earnings 33.7 29.6 37.3
Interest expense, net 3.9 4.0 5.2
Other expense (income), net   0.2     0.3     (2.1 )
Earnings before income taxes and discontinued operations 29.6 25.3 34.2
(Benefit from) provision for income taxes   (49.8 )   43.1     2.3  
Earnings (loss) from continuing operations 79.4 (17.8 ) 31.9
Earnings from discontinued operations, net   0.2     1.6     53.6  
Net earnings (loss) $ 79.6   $ (16.2 ) $ 85.5  
 
Earnings (loss) per share from continuing operations:
Basic $ 0.88 $ (0.20 ) $ 0.36
Diluted $ 0.87 $ (0.20 ) $ 0.35
 
Earnings per share from discontinued operations:
Basic $ $ 0.02 $ 0.60
Diluted $ $ 0.02 $ 0.59
 
Net earnings (loss) per share:
Basic $ 0.88 $ (0.18 ) $ 0.96
Diluted $ 0.87 $ (0.18 ) $ 0.94
 
Weighted-average common shares outstanding:
Basic 90,220,173 90,171,928 89,506,923
Diluted 91,592,320 90,171,928 90,707,102
 
KNOWLES CORPORATION
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
(in millions, except share and per share amounts)
(unaudited)
 
Year Ended
December 31, 2018 December 31, 2017
Revenues $ 826.9 $ 744.2
Cost of goods sold 503.9 452.8
Impairment charges 1.4
Restructuring charges – cost of goods sold   0.4     4.0  
Gross profit 322.6 286.0
Research and development expenses 100.6 93.4
Selling and administrative expenses 142.5 126.6
Impairment charges 19.9
Restructuring charges   1.7     6.2  
Operating expenses   244.8     246.1  
Operating earnings 77.8 39.9
Interest expense, net 16.0 20.6
Other expense (income), net   0.7     (0.1 )
Earnings before income taxes and discontinued operations 61.1 19.4
(Benefit from) provision for income taxes   (4.5 )   12.9  
Earnings from continuing operations 65.6 6.5
Earnings from discontinued operations, net   2.1     61.8  
Net earnings $ 67.7   $ 68.3  
 
Earnings per share from continuing operations:
Basic $ 0.73 $ 0.07
Diluted $ 0.72 $ 0.07
 
Earnings per share from discontinued operations:
Basic $ 0.02 $ 0.69
Diluted $ 0.02 $ 0.68
 
Net earnings per share:
Basic $ 0.75 $ 0.76
Diluted $ 0.74 $ 0.75
 
Weighted-average common shares outstanding:
Basic 90,050,051 89,329,794
Diluted 91,194,747 90,490,007
KNOWLES CORPORATION
RECONCILIATION OF GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES TO NON-GAAP FINANCIAL
MEASURES
(1)
(in millions, except share and per share amounts)
(unaudited)
         
Quarter Ended Year Ended
December 31, September 30, December 31, December 31, December 31,
2018   2018   2017 2018   2017
Gross profit $ 94.3 $ 89.8 $ 89.4 $ 322.6 $ 286.0
Gross profit as % of revenues 42.1 % 38.0 % 41.5 % 39.0 % 38.4 %
Stock-based compensation expense 0.4 0.4 0.5 1.6 1.8
Impairment charges 1.4
Restructuring charges 0.3 0.1 0.4 4.0
Production transfer costs (2) 0.4 0.5 2.0 2.2 6.7
Other (3)                   0.2        
Non-GAAP gross profit $ 95.4     $ 90.7     $ 92.0   $ 327.0     $ 299.9  
Non-GAAP gross profit as % of revenues 42.6 % 38.4 % 42.7 % 39.5 % 40.3 %
 
Research and development expenses $ 25.2 $ 25.2 $ 22.8 $ 100.6 $ 93.4
Stock-based compensation expense (1.9 ) (1.9 ) (1.6 ) (7.8 ) (6.1 )
Production transfer costs (2)                   (0.4 )      
Non-GAAP research and development expenses $ 23.3     $ 23.3     $ 21.2   $ 92.4     $ 87.3  
 
Selling and administrative expenses $ 35.1 $ 34.5 $ 27.3 $ 142.5 $ 126.6
Stock-based compensation expense (3.9 ) (4.2 ) (4.4 ) (17.6 ) (16.8 )
Intangibles amortization expense (1.6 ) (1.7 ) (1.4 ) (6.5 ) (7.3 )
Production transfer costs (2) (0.1 ) (0.1 )
Other (3)   (0.2 )     (0.1 )     (0.1 )   (0.4 )     (0.3 )
Non-GAAP selling and administrative expenses $ 29.4     $ 28.5     $ 21.3   $ 118.0     $ 102.1  
 
Operating expenses $ 60.6 $ 60.2 $ 52.1 $ 244.8 $ 246.1
Stock-based compensation expense (5.8 ) (6.1 ) (6.0 ) (25.4 ) (22.9 )
Intangibles amortization expense (1.6 ) (1.7 ) (1.4 ) (6.5 ) (7.3 )
Impairment charges (19.9 )
Restructuring charges (0.3 ) (0.5 ) (2.0 ) (1.7 ) (6.2 )
Production transfer costs (2) (0.1 ) (0.4 ) (0.1 )
Other (3)   (0.2 )     (0.1 )     (0.1 )   (0.4 )     (0.3 )
Non-GAAP operating expenses $ 52.7     $ 51.8     $ 42.5   $ 210.4     $ 189.4  
 
Earnings (loss) from continuing operations $ 79.4 $ (17.8 ) $ 31.9 $ 65.6 $ 6.5
Interest expense, net 3.9 4.0 5.2 16.0 20.6
(Benefit from) provision for income taxes   (49.8 )     43.1       2.3     (4.5 )     12.9  
Earnings from continuing operations before interest and income
taxes
33.5 29.3 39.4 77.1 40.0
 
Earnings from continuing operations before interest and income
taxes as % of revenues
15.0 % 12.4 % 18.3 % 9.3 % 5.4 %
Stock-based compensation expense 6.2 6.5 6.5 27.0 24.7
Intangibles amortization expense 1.6 1.7 1.4 6.5 7.3
Impairment charges 21.3
Restructuring charges 0.6 0.5 2.1 2.1 10.2
Production transfer costs (2) 0.4 0.5 2.1 2.6 6.8
Other (3)   0.2       0.1       0.1     1.9       0.3  
Adjusted earnings from continuing operations before interest and
income taxes
$ 42.5     $ 38.6     $ 51.6   $ 117.2     $ 110.6  
Adjusted earnings from continuing operations before interest and
income taxes as % of revenues
19.0 % 16.3 % 23.9 % 14.2 % 14.9 %
 
Interest expense, net $ 3.9 $ 4.0 $ 5.2 $ 16.0 $ 20.6
Interest expense, net non-GAAP reconciling adjustments (4)   1.6       1.6       1.8     6.3       6.1  
Non-GAAP interest expense $ 2.3     $ 2.4     $ 3.4   $ 9.7     $ 14.5  
 
(Benefit from) provision for income taxes $ (49.8 ) $ 43.1 $ 2.3 $ (4.5 ) $ 12.9
Income tax effects of non-GAAP reconciling adjustments (5)   55.1       (39.0 )     9.3     17.5       2.0  
Non-GAAP provision for income taxes $ 5.3     $ 4.1     $ 11.6   $ 13.0     $ 14.9  
 
Earnings (loss) from continuing operations $ 79.4 $ (17.8 ) $ 31.9 $ 65.6 $ 6.5
Non-GAAP reconciling adjustments (6) 9.0 9.3 12.2 40.1 70.6
Interest expense, net non-GAAP reconciling adjustments (4) 1.6 1.6 1.8 6.3 6.1
Income tax effects of non-GAAP reconciling adjustments (5)   55.1       (39.0 )     9.3     17.5       2.0  
Non-GAAP net earnings $ 34.9     $ 32.1     $ 36.6   $ 94.5     $ 81.2  
 
Diluted earnings (loss) per share from continuing operations $ 0.87 $ (0.20 ) $ 0.35 $ 0.72 $ 0.07
(Loss) earnings per share non-GAAP reconciling adjustment   (0.50 )     0.54       0.05     0.29       0.81  
Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share $ 0.37     $ 0.34     $ 0.40   $ 1.01     $ 0.88  
 
Diluted average shares outstanding 91,592,320 90,171,928 90,707,102 91,194,747 90,490,007
Non-GAAP adjustment (7)   1,687,972       3,321,388       1,750,200     2,046,989       1,959,801  
Non-GAAP diluted average shares outstanding (7)   93,280,292       93,493,316       92,457,302     93,241,736       92,449,808  

Notes:

 
(1) In addition to the GAAP financial measures included herein,
Knowles has presented certain non-GAAP financial measures that
exclude certain amounts that are included in the most directly
comparable GAAP measures. Knowles believes that non-GAAP measures
are useful as supplements to its GAAP results of operations to
evaluate certain aspects of its operations and financial
performance, and its management team primarily focuses on non-GAAP
items in evaluating Knowles’ performance for business planning
purposes. Knowles also believes that these measures assist it with
comparing its performance between various reporting periods on a
consistent basis, as these measures remove from operating results
the impact of items that, in Knowles’ opinion, do not reflect its
core operating performance. Knowles believes that its presentation
of non-GAAP financial measures is useful because it provides
investors and securities analysts with the same information that
Knowles uses internally for purposes of assessing its core operating
performance.
 
(2) Production transfer costs represent duplicate costs incurred to
migrate manufacturing to facilities primarily in Asia. These amounts
are included in the corresponding Gross profit and Earnings from
continuing operations before interest and income taxes for each
period presented.
 
(3) In 2018, Other expenses in Gross profit and Operating expenses
represent expenses related to acquisitions and the remaining Other
expenses represent an adjustment to pre-spin-off pension
obligations. In 2017, Other primarily represents expenses related to
the acquisition of certain assets of a capacitors manufacturer.
 
(4) Under GAAP, certain convertible debt instruments that may be
settled in cash (or other assets) upon conversion are required to be
separately accounted for as liability (debt) and equity (conversion
option) components of the instrument in a manner that reflects the
issuer’s nonconvertible debt borrowing rate. Accordingly, for GAAP
purposes we are required to recognize imputed interest expense on
the Company’s $172.5 million of convertible senior notes due 2021
that were issued in a private placement in May 2016. The imputed
interest rate is 8.12% for the convertible notes due 2021, while the
actual coupon interest rate of the notes was 3.25%. The difference
between the imputed interest expense and the coupon interest expense
is excluded from management’s assessment of the Company’s operating
performance because management believes that this non-cash expense
is not indicative of its core, ongoing operating performance.
 
(5) Income tax effects of non-GAAP reconciling adjustments are
calculated using the applicable tax rates in the jurisdictions of
the underlying adjustments. Adjustments are also made to exclude
certain impacts of the Tax Reform Act and the resulting consequences
that were accounted for as uncertain tax positions.
 
(6) The non-GAAP reconciling adjustments are those adjustments made
to reconcile Earnings from continuing operations before interest and
income taxes to Adjusted earnings from continuing operations before
interest and income taxes.
 
(7) The number of shares used in the diluted per share calculations
on a non-GAAP basis excludes the impact of stock-based compensation
expense expected to be incurred in future periods and not yet
recognized in the financial statements, which would otherwise be
assumed to be used to repurchase shares under the GAAP treasury
stock method.
KNOWLES CORPORATION
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in millions, except share and per share amounts)
(unaudited)
   
December 31, 2018 December 31, 2017
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 73.5 $ 111.7
Receivables, net of allowances of $0.6 and $0.7 140.3 137.7
Inventories, net 140.1 125.6
Prepaid and other current assets   11.1     19.9  
Total current assets   365.0     394.9  
Property, plant, and equipment, net 211.7 183.0
Goodwill 887.9 884.9
Intangible assets, net 56.7 53.5
Other assets and deferred charges 26.6 31.8
Assets of discontinued operations       1.7  
Total assets $ 1,547.9   $ 1,549.8  
 
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 77.2 $ 85.6
Accrued compensation and employee benefits 40.2 31.2
Other accrued expenses 20.1 28.2
Federal and other taxes on income   4.3     6.6  
Total current liabilities   141.8     151.6  
Long-term debt 158.1 192.6
Deferred income taxes 2.1
Other liabilities 34.3 67.9
Liabilities of discontinued operations 5.6
Commitments and contingencies
Stockholders’ equity:
Preferred stock – $0.01 par value; 10,000,000 shares authorized;
none issued
Common stock – $0.01 par value; 400,000,000 shares authorized;
90,212,779 and 89,491,471 shares issued and outstanding at December
31, 2018 and 2017, respectively
0.9 0.9
Additional paid-in capital 1,545.9 1,523.1
Accumulated deficit (224.2 ) (291.9 )
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (111.0 )   (100.0 )
Total stockholders’ equity   1,211.6     1,132.1  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 1,547.9   $ 1,549.8  

Contacts

Financial Contact:
Mike Knapp
Knowles Investor Relations
Phone:
(630) 238-5236
Email: [email protected]

Read full story here