Market Overview

Acme United Reports 14% Diluted EPS Increase and 12% Operating Profit Increase for First Quarter of 2019


FAIRFIELD, Conn., April 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Acme United Corporation (NYSE:ACU) today announced that net sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2019 were $31.4 million compared to $31.7 million in the first quarter of 2018, a decrease of 1%, or even in constant currency.

Net income was $807,000 or $0.24 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, 2019 compared to $764,000, or $0.21 per diluted share, for the comparable period last year, an increase of 6% in net income and 14% in diluted earnings per share. 

Chairman and CEO Walter C. Johnsen, said, "Net sales in the first quarter of 2019 were slightly below last year's, as expected, due to initial shipments to a large distributor that was launching its first aid program in the first quarter of last year."

"Our strategy to reduce expenses by $2.0 million this year in purchasing, advertising, selling, and distribution is on plan.  Our business continues to be robust, including some promising new programs in the second and third quarters of 2019.  We are pleased with the performance to date."

"Accordingly, we are reiterating financial guidance for 2019 of approximately $140 to $143 million in sales, net income of $5.0 to $5.3 million and $1.41 to $1.50 earnings per share."

For the first quarter of 2019, net sales in the U.S. segment decreased 1% compared to the same period in 2018. The year-over-year sales decrease was mainly due to a large initial order of first aid products to a major distributor to the food service industry that took place in the first quarter of 2018. 

European net sales for the first quarter of 2019 increased 6% in U.S. dollars and 14% in local currency compared to the first quarter of 2018, mainly due to new customers in the office products channel and continued growth of DMT sharpening products.

Net sales in Canada for the first quarter of 2019 decreased 9% in U.S. dollars and 5% in local currency compared to the same period in 2018, primarily due to a large order from a new customer in the first quarter 2018 that did not repeat in the first quarter of 2019.

Gross margin was 37.6% in the first quarter of 2019 versus 38.2% in the comparable period last year. 

Operating income increased 12% for the three months ended March 31, 2019.

The Company's bank debt less cash on March 31, 2019 was $40.9 million compared to $43.7 million on March 31, 2018.  During the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2019, the Company distributed $1.5 million in dividends on its common stock, repurchased $0.4 million in treasury stock and generated $5.5 million in free cash flow.

Conference Call and Webcast Information
Acme United will hold a conference call to discuss its quarterly results, which will be broadcast on Thursday, April 18, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. To listen or participate in a question and answer session, dial 855-710-4182. International callers may dial 334-454-0061. You may access the live webcast of the conference call through the Investor Relations section of the Company's website, A replay may be accessed under Investor Relations, Audio Archives.

About Acme United
ACME UNITED CORPORATION is a leading worldwide supplier of innovative safety solutions and cutting technology to the school, home, office, hardware, sporting goods and industrial markets. Its leading brands include First Aid Only®,  PhysiciansCare®, Pac-Kit®,Spill Magic®, Westcott®, Clauss®, Camillus®, Cuda®, and DMT®. For more information, visit

Forward Looking Statements

Forward-looking statements in this report, including without limitation, statements related to the Company's plans, strategies, objectives, expectations, intentions and adequacy of resources, are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, the following:  (i) changes in the Company's plans, strategies, objectives, expectations and intentions,  which may be made at any time at the discretion of the Company; (ii) the impact of uncertainties in global economic conditions, including the impact on the Company's suppliers and customers; (iii) changes in client needs and consumer spending habits; (iv) the impact of competition and technological changes on the Company; (v) the Company's ability to manage its growth effectively, including its ability to successfully integrate any business it might acquire; (vi) currency fluctuations; (vii) increases in the cost of borrowings resulting from rising interest rates; (viii) international trade policies and their impact on demand for our products and our competitive position, including the imposition of new tariffs or changes in existing tariff rates; and (ix) other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

            Quarter Ended     Quarter Ended  
Amounts in 000's except per share data   March 31, 2019     March 31, 2018  
Net sales       $ 31,370      $  31,709    
Cost of goods sold       19,568       19,585    
Gross profit           11,802         12,124    
Selling, general and administrative expenses     10,268         10,759    
Operating income         1,534         1,365    
Interest expense, net         502         405    
Other income, net         (3 )       (13 )  
Income before income tax expense       1,035         973    
Income tax expense         228         209    
Net income       $   807      $   764    
  Shares outstanding - basic       3,351         3,374    
  Shares outstanding - diluted     3,392       3,662    
Earnings per share - basic   $ 0.24     $ 0.23    
Earnings per share - diluted     0.24       0.21    
Amounts in $000's                
            March 31, 2019     March 31, 2018  
Current assets:                
  Cash and cash equivalents   $ 3,798     $ 1,065    
  Accounts receivable, less allowance   25,228       24,486    
  Inventories       40,570       41,900    
  Prepaid expenses and other current assets   2,281       2,766    
Total current assets       71,877       70,217    
  Plant, property and equipment, net     14,423       14,158    
  Operating lease right of use asset     2,680         -    
  Intangible assets, less accumulated amortization   16,736       17,576    
  Goodwill         4,696         4,696    
  Other assets       203       599    
Total assets       $ 110,615     $ 107,246    
Liabilities and stockholders' equity              
Current liabilities:                
  Accounts payable     $ 5,672     $ 7,483    
  Operating lease liability - short term   1,030         -    
  Other current liabilities     4,641       3,670    
Total current liabilities       11,343       11,153    
  Long-term debt       41,340       41,100    
  Mortgage payable, net of current portion   3,378         3,644    
  Operating lease liability - long term   1,650         -    
  Other non-current liabilities     36       857    
Total liabilities        57,747       56,754    
Total stockholders' equity       52,868       50,492    
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 110,615     $ 107,246    

Acme United Corporation
Paul G. Driscoll
Phone: (203) 254-6060
Fax: (203) 254-6521
55 Walls Drive
Fairfield, CT  06824



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