Bel Fuse, Inc. :BELFA-US: Earnings Analysis: Q3, 2016 By the Numbers : October 28, 2016

Bel Fuse, Inc. reports financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2016.

We analyze the earnings along side the following peers of Bel Fuse, Inc. – AVX Corporation, Amphenol Corporation Class A and Transcat, Inc. (AVX-US, APH-US and TRNS-US) that have also reported for this period.

Highlights

  • Summary numbers: Revenues of USD 128.81 million, Net Earnings of USD 9.71 million.
  • Gross margins narrowed from 23.80% to 20.63% compared to the same period last year, operating (EBITDA) margins now 5.58% from 9.54%.
  • Earnings rose compared to same period last year, despite decline in operating and pretax margins.

The table below shows the preliminary results and recent trends for key metrics such as revenues and net income growth:

2015-09-30 2015-12-31 2016-03-31 2016-06-30 2016-09-30
Relevant Numbers (Quarterly)
Revenues (mil) 144.16 135.25 121.18 131.62 128.81
Revenue Growth (%YOY) -7.79 -9.02 -14.67 -9.64 -10.65
Earnings (mil) 4.92 2.41 -100.7 22.78 9.71
Earnings Growth (%YOY) 226.48 19.31 -1908.48 275.72 97.36
Net Margin (%) 3.41 1.78 -83.09 17.3 7.54
EPS 0.41 0.18 -7.46 2.29 0.81
Return on Equity (%) 8.54 4.14 -219.53 63.63 24.7
Return on Assets (%) 3.21 1.62 -78.08 20.47 8.78

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Market Share Versus Profits

Revenues History
Earnings History

BELFA-US‘s change in revenue this period compared to the same period last year of -10.65% is almost the same as its change in earnings, and is about average among the announced results thus far in its peer group, suggesting that BELFA-US is holding onto its market share. Also, for comparison purposes, revenues changed by -2.14% and earnings by -57.37% compared to the immediate last period.

Revenues Growth Versus Earnings Growth

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Leader, Earnings Focus, Laggard, Revenues Focus

Earnings Growth Analysis

The company’s earnings rose year-on-year. But this growth has not come as a result of improvement in gross margins or any cost control activities in its operations. Gross margins went from 20.63% to 23.80% for the same period last year, while operating margins (EBITDA margins) went from 5.58% to 9.54% over the same time frame.

Gross Margin Versus EBITDA Margin

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Differentiated; Low Cost, Commodity; Low Cost, Commodity; High Cost, Differentiated; High Cost

Gross Margin Trend

Companies sometimes sacrifice improvements in revenues and margins in order to extend friendlier terms to customers and vendors. Capital Cube probes for such activity by comparing the changes in gross margins with any changes in working capital. If the gross margins improved without a worsening of working capital, it is possible that the company’s performance is a result of truly delivering in the marketplace and not simply an accounting prop-up using the balance sheet.

Gross Margin History
Working Capital Days History

BELFA-US‘s decline in gross margins has not produced any significant offsetting improvement in its working capital . This leads Capital Cube to conclude that the decline in gross margins are likely from operating issues and not trade-offs with the balance sheet. Working capital days are currently 113.44 days, compared to last year’s level of 111.56 days.

Gross Margin Versus Working Capital Days

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Customer Financed, Cash Starved, Supplier Financed, Cash Rich

Margins

Despite a decline in operating (EBIT) margins as well as a decline in pretax margins, the company’s earnings rose.

EBIT Margin Versus PreTax Margin

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Operation driven Earnings, One-time Favorables, Low Earnings Base, One-time Unfavorables
EBIT Margin History
PreTax Margin History

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Company Profile

Bel Fuse, Inc. engages in the development, manufacture, and trade of products that power, protect and connect electronic circuits. It operates through the following geographic segments: North America, Asia and Europe. Its products include magnetic, power transformers, modules, circuit protection, fiber optic connectors, and interconnect devices. The company was founded by Elliot Bernstein in 1949 and is headquartered in Jersey City, NJ.

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