Insteel Industries, Inc. :IIIN-US: Earnings Analysis: Q4, 2017 By the Numbers : December 11, 2017

Insteel Industries, Inc. reports financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2017.

We analyze the earnings along side the following peers of Insteel Industries, Inc. – Northwest Pipe Company, Nucor Corporation, Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc., Aspen Aerogels Inc, Usha Martin Limited Unsponsored GDR 144A and Valmont Industries, Inc. (NWPX-US, NUE-US, USAP-US, ASPN-US, UHBTY-US and VMI-US) that have also reported for this period.


  • Summary numbers: Revenues of USD 96.89 million, Net Earnings of USD 3.80 million.
  • Gross margins narrowed from 21.92% to 12.18% compared to the same period last year, operating (EBITDA) margins now 9.19% from 19.75%.
  • Year-on-year change in operating cash flow of -114.05% is about the same as the change in earnings, likely no significant movement in accruals or reserves.
  • Narrowing of operating margins contributed to decline in earnings.

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

2017-09-30 2017-06-30 2017-03-31 2016-12-31 2016-09-30
Relevant Numbers (Quarterly)
Revenues (mil) 96.89 96.94 101.16 93.89 103.11
Revenue Growth (%YOY) -6.04 -16.16 -5.82 1.62 -12.68
Earnings (mil) 3.8 6.87 7.42 4.46 9.85
Earnings Growth (%YOY) -61.45 -49.24 3.75 -33.51 2.39
Net Margin (%) 3.92 7.09 7.33 4.75 9.56
EPS 0.2 0.36 0.39 0.23 0.51
Return on Equity (%) 1.72 3.18 3.55 2.08 4.5
Return on Assets (%) 5.28 9.75 10.72 6.2 13.77

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Market Share Versus Profits

Revenues History
Earnings History

IIIN-US’s change in revenue this period compared to the same period last year of -6.04% 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 IIIN-US is holding onto its market share. Also, for comparison purposes, revenues changed by -0.05% and earnings by -44.69% 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 year-on-year decline in earnings was influenced by a weakening in gross margins from 21.92% to 12.18%, as well as issues with cost controls. As a result, operating margins (EBITDA margins) went from 19.75% to 9.19% in this time frame. For comparison, gross margins were 17.20% and EBITDA margins were 13.73% in the previous 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

IIIN-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 108.58 days, compared to last year’s level of 107.22 days.

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.

IIIN-US’s change in operating cash flow of -114.05% 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 decline in earnings has been influenced by the following factors: (1) Decline in operating margins (EBIT margins) from 16.83% to 6.02% and (2) one-time items that contributed to a decrease in pretax margins from 14.32% to 6.02%

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

Access our Ratings and Scores for Insteel Industries, Inc.

Company Profile

Insteel Industries, Inc. manufactures and markets steel wire reinforcing products for concrete construction applications. It also manufactures and markets prestressed concrete strand and welded wire reinforcement, including concrete pipe reinforcement and engineered structural mesh. The company’s products are sold to manufacturers of concrete products that are used in nonresidential construction. Insteel Industries was founded by Howard Osler Woltz, Jr. in 1953 and is headquartered in Mount Airy, NC.

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