Market Overview

Herman Miller Posts Upbeat Q1 Results, Issues Strong Outlook


Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ: MLHR) reported better-than-expected earnings for its fiscal first quarter and issued a strong forecast for the current quarter on Wednesday.

For the current quarter, the company expects earnings of $0.52 to $0.56 per share, and revenue of $570 million to $590 million. Analysts projected earnings of $0.51 per share on revenue of $574 million.

The Zeeland, Michigan-based company reported a quarterly profit of $33.5 million, or $0.56 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $25.2 million, or $0.42 per share. Excluding items, year-ago profit was $0.47 per share.

Its revenue rose 10.9 percent to $565.4 million. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.46 per share on revenue of $555.57 million.

Consumer segment sales jumped 74 percent to $67 million, while specialty segment sales gained 5.9 percent to $57.8 million.

Net sales within Herman Miller's North American reportable segment gained 5.3 percent to $338.1 million, while sales within the ELA segment surged 7.4 percent to $102.5 million.

Its gross margin expanded to 38.3 percent from 36.4 percent. Operating expenses increased to $161.7 million in the latest quarter, from $143.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

New orders gained 9 percent to $563.3 million.

Herman Miller ended the quarter with total cash and cash equivalents of $52.0 million.

Jeff Stutz, Chief Financial Officer, said, "These results reflect our commitment to strong operational execution across our traditional lines of business and our strategic focus on higher margin products and channels. This quarter we delivered better than expected sales growth, meaningful gross margin expansion, and well-managed operating expenses. This combination of factors drove a 17% year over year increase in adjusted operating earnings and moved our consolidated operating margin to its highest level in more than six years."

Herman Miller shares jumped 7.57 percent to $29.97 in the after-hours trading session.


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