Market Overview

Herman Miller Beats Q4 Views, Shares Rise


Shares of Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ: MLHR) rose over 3 percent in after-hours trading after the company reported stronger-than-expected results for its fiscal fourth quarter on Wednesday.

The Zeeland, Michigan-based company posted a quarterly profit of $23.4 million, or $0.39 per share, compared to $16.6 million, or $0.28 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, the company earned $0.47 per share.

Its revenue climbed 13 percent year-over-year to $550.7 million. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.41 per share on revenue of $543.63 million.

The average estimate among 5 Estimize users was for earnings of $0.41 per share and revenue of $542.16 million.

Sales within Herman Miller's North American reportable segment rose 0.8 percent to $309.5 million in the quarter, while sales within the ELA segment slipped 6.1 percent to $102.9 million.

Net sales within Herman Miller's Specialty segment gained 11.9 percent to $59.4 million in the fourth quarter, while sales within the Consumer segment climbed by $61.2 million to $78.9 million.

Its gross margin widened to 38.1 percent to 36.7 percent. Operating expenses in the fourth quarter increased to $161.7 million, versus $131.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

Herman Miller ended the fiscal year with total cash and cash equivalents of $63.7 million.

The company lifted its dividend to $0.1475 per share from $0.14 per share.

New orders in the quarter rose 16.1 percent to $556.9 million.

Brian Walker, Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our results for the quarter are encouraging on a number of fronts. We delivered order growth on a constant currency basis and organic sales growth across each of our business segments. We're making solid progress on the actions we outlined in the third quarter. These actions are aimed to improve the top-line momentum of our North American contract business. While it will take some time to fully realize the benefit of these initiatives, our dealers and sales people have reported renewed confidence in their ability to win."

For the current quarter, Herman Miller projects earnings of $0.44 to $0.48 per share, on revenue of $545 million to $565 million.

Herman Miller shares rose 3.24 percent to $30.95 in after-hours trading.


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