Chase Corp. :CCF-US: Earnings Analysis: Q3, 2017 By the Numbers : July 10, 2017

Chase Corp. reports financial results for the quarter ended May 31, 2017.

We analyze the earnings along side the following peers of Chase Corp. – H.B. Fuller Company and AZZ Inc. (FUL-US and AZZ-US) that have also reported for this period.


  • Summary numbers: Revenues of USD 64.90 million, Net Earnings of USD 11.73 million.
  • Gross margins widened from 40.00% to 42.20% compared to the same period last year, operating (EBITDA) margins now 28.62% from 26.90%.
  • Year-on-year change in operating cash flow of 29.88% is about the same as the change in earnings, likely no significant movement in accruals or reserves.
  • Earnings growth from operating margin improvements as well as one-time items.

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

2017-05-31 2017-02-28 2016-11-30 2016-08-31 2016-05-31
Relevant Numbers (Quarterly)
Revenues (mil) 64.9 57.31 61.36 61.46 64.24
Revenue Growth (%YOY) 1.04 4.34 6.75 -5.32 -1.02
Earnings (mil) 11.73 8.29 10.25 10.79 7.46
Earnings Growth (%YOY) 57.17 20.05 38.85 38.41 5.01
Net Margin (%) 18.07 14.47 16.71 17.55 11.62
EPS 1.26 0.89 1.1 1.16 0.8
Return on Equity (%) 6.13 4.6 5.86 6.28 4.54
Return on Assets (%) 18.2 12.82 15.52 16.4 11.64

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Market Share Versus Profits

Revenues History
Earnings History

CCF-US‘s change in revenue this period compared to the same period last year of 1.04% 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 CCF-US is holding onto its market share. Also, for comparison purposes, revenues changed by 13.25% and earnings by 41.44% 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 growth was influenced by year-on-year improvement in gross margins from 40.00% to 42.20% as well as better cost controls. As a result, operating margins (EBITDA margins) rose from 26.90% to 28.62% compared to the same period last year. For comparison, gross margins were 42.66% and EBITDA margins were 29.00% in the last reporting period.

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

CCF-US‘s improvement in gross margin has been accompanied by an improvement in its balance sheet as well. This suggests that gross margin improvements are likely from operating decisions and not accounting gimmicks. Its working capital days have declined to 127.81 days from 134.45 days for the same period last year.

Gross Margin Versus Working Capital Days

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Customer Financed, Cash Starved, Supplier Financed, Cash Rich

Cash Versus Earnings – Sustainable Performance?

It is important to examine a company�s cash versus earnings numbers to gauge whether its performance is sustainable.

CCF-US‘s change in operating cash flow of 29.88% compared to the same period last year is about the same as its change in earnings this period. Additionally, this change in operating cash flow is about average among its peer group. This suggests that the company did not use accruals or reserves to manage earnings this period, and that, all else being equal, the earnings number is sustainable.

Operating Cash Flow Growth Versus Earnings Growth

Quadrant label definitions. Hover to know more

Cash Flow based Earnings, Likely Non-cash Earnings, Low Cash Flow Base, Likely Undeclared Earnings


The company’s earnings growth has also been influenced by the following factors: (1) Improvements in operating (EBIT) margins from 21.68% to 23.26% and (2) one-time items. The company’s pretax margins are now 26.37% compared to 19.41% for the same period last year.

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

Chase Corp. is a global manufacturer of protective materials. It operates through the Industrial Materials and Construction Materials segments. The Industrial Materials segment offers specialty tapes and related products for the electronic and telecommunications industries, insulating and conducting materials, laminated papers, water-blocking compound, protective conformal coatings, laminated film foils pulling and detection tapes, and cover tapes. The Construction Materials segment offers protective pipe coating tapes and other protectants for valves, regulators, casings, joints, metals, concrete and wood; polymer additive, waterproofing, specialized coating and lining systems for liquid storage and containment applications. The company was founded by Francis G. Chase, Francis M. Chase and Edward L. Chase in 1946 and is headquartered in Bridgewater, MA.

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