Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT) Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Financial Results

Feb. 2, 2021 11:50 UTC

Fourth Quarter 2020 Highlights

  • Sales of $787 million grew 10% as reported and 7% in constant currency
  • GAAP EPS of $3.49; non-GAAP EPS of $3.65, a 14% increase from prior year
  • Strong adjusted free cash flow of $240 million, a 52% increase from prior year
  • Growth led by strong performance in pharmaceutical and industrial end markets
  • Continued broad-based sales growth across all major geographies

MILFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT) today announced fourth quarter 2020 sales of $787 million, a 10% increase as reported, compared to sales of $716 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Foreign currency translation benefited sales growth by approximately 3% for the quarter.

On a GAAP basis, diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the fourth quarter of 2020 increased to $3.49, compared to $3.12 for the fourth quarter of 2019. On a non-GAAP basis, EPS increased to $3.65, compared to $3.20 for the fourth quarter of 2019. A description and reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP results appear in the tables below and can be found on the Company’s website www.waters.com in the Investor Relations section.

On a GAAP basis, net cash provided by operating activities was $267 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $192 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. On a non-GAAP basis, adjusted free cash flow for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $240 million versus $158 million for the fourth quarter of 2019.

For fiscal year 2020, the Company’s sales were $2,365 million, a decrease of 2% as reported, compared to sales of $2,407 million for fiscal year 2019. Foreign currency translation benefited sales growth by less than 1% during fiscal year 2020.

On a GAAP basis, EPS for fiscal year 2020 decreased to $8.36, compared to $8.69 for fiscal year 2019. On a non-GAAP basis, EPS increased to $9.05, compared to $8.99 in fiscal year 2019. Both GAAP and non-GAAP EPS were impacted by the decline in sales volumes.

On a GAAP basis, net cash provided by operating activities was $791 million for fiscal year 2020, compared to $643 million for fiscal year 2019. On a non-GAAP basis, adjusted free cash flow for fiscal year 2020 was $726 million versus $576 million for fiscal year 2019.

“This past year has been one of change and sacrifice, though it has been defined by the incredible resilience of our global team. From navigating the pandemic to a transition in leadership, the Waters team has responded with admirable drive, determination and spirit. And for that I am grateful,” said Dr. Udit Batra, President and Chief Executive Officer of Waters Corporation. “We are pleased with our fourth quarter results, driven by pharmaceutical market improvement, growth across all major geographies, contributions from COVID-related sales and early results from our near-term growth initiatives. We have made substantial progress over the last five months, and while it’s early days, I remain confident in our product portfolio, competitive position and our team to seize the opportunities for Waters in 2021.”

Unless otherwise noted, sales growth and decline percentages are presented on an as-reported basis and are the same as the sales growth and decline percentages presented on a constant-currency basis as compared with the same period in the prior year, each of which is detailed in the reconciliation of sales growth rates to constant-currency growth rates in the tables below.

During the fourth quarter of 2020, sales into the pharmaceutical market increased 17% as reported and 15% in constant currency, sales into the industrial market increased 8% as reported and 5% in constant currency and sales into the academic and governmental markets declined 13% as reported and 15% in constant currency. For fiscal year 2020, sales into the pharmaceutical market increased 2% as reported and 1% in constant currency, sales into the industrial market declined 2% as reported and 3% in constant currency and sales into the academic and governmental markets declined 16% as reported and in constant currency.

During the fourth quarter, recurring revenues, which represent the combination of service and precision chemistries revenues, increased 14% as reported and 11% in constant currency, while instrument system sales increased 6% as reported and 4% in constant currency. For fiscal year 2020, recurring revenues increased 4% as reported and 3% in constant currency, while instrument system sales declined 8% as reported and 9% in constant currency.

Geographically, sales in Asia during the quarter increased 13% as reported and 12% in constant currency, sales in the Americas increased 3% (with U.S. sales growing 4%) and sales in Europe increased 15% as reported and 6% in constant currency. For fiscal year 2020, sales in Asia declined 4% as reported and in constant currency, sales in the Americas declined 4% (with U.S. sales declining 2%) and sales in Europe increased 5% as reported and 2% in constant currency.

First Quarter and Fiscal Year 2021 Financial Outlook

The Company expects full-year 2021 constant-currency sales growth in the range of 5% to 8%. Currency translation is expected to increase full-year sales growth by one to two percentage points. The Company also expects full-year 2021 non-GAAP EPS in the range of $9.32 to $9.57. Please refer to the tables below for a reconciliation of the projected GAAP to non-GAAP financial outlook for the full-year.

The Company expects first quarter 2021 constant-currency sales growth in the range of 7% to 10%. Currency translation is expected to increase first quarter sales growth by approximately three percentage points. The Company also expects first quarter 2021 non-GAAP EPS in the range of $1.50 to $1.60. Please refer to the tables below for a reconciliation of the projected GAAP to non-GAAP financial outlook for the first quarter.

The Board of Directors of the Company has approved an extension of the Company's previously announced share repurchase program through January 21, 2023. As of the date of this press release, $1.5 billion remains available under the program for repurchases.

Conference Call

Waters Corporation will webcast its fourth quarter 2020 financial results conference call today, February 2, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To listen to the call, please visit www.waters.com, select “Investors” under the “About Waters” section, and click on the “Live Webcast.” A replay will be available through February 9, 2021 at midnight Eastern Time on the same website by webcast and also by phone at 800-337-6551.

About Waters Corporation

Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT), the world's leading specialty measurement company, has pioneered chromatography, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis innovations serving the life, materials and food sciences for more than 60 years. With more than 7,000 employees worldwide, Waters operates directly in 35 countries, including 15 manufacturing facilities, and with products available in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit www.waters.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release contains financial measures, such as constant-currency growth rate, adjusted operating income, adjusted net income, adjusted earnings per diluted share and adjusted free cash flow, among others, which are considered “non-GAAP” financial measures under applicable U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules and regulations. These non-GAAP financial measures should be considered supplemental to, and not a substitute for, financial information prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The Company’s definitions of these non-GAAP measures may differ from similarly titled measures used by others. The non-GAAP financial measures used in this press release adjust for specified items that can be highly variable or difficult to predict. The Company generally uses these non-GAAP financial measures to facilitate management’s financial and operational decision-making, including evaluation of the Company’s historical operating results, comparison to competitors’ operating results and determination of management incentive compensation. These non-GAAP financial measures reflect an additional way of viewing aspects of the Company’s operations that, when viewed with GAAP results and the reconciliations to corresponding GAAP financial measures, may provide a more complete understanding of factors and trends affecting the Company’s business. Because non-GAAP financial measures exclude the effect of items that will increase or decrease the Company’s reported results of operations, management strongly encourages investors to review the Company’s consolidated financial statements and publicly filed reports in their entirety. Reconciliations of the non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are included in the tables accompanying this release.

Cautionary Statement

This release contains “forward-looking” statements regarding future results and events. For this purpose, any statements that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “feels”, “believes”, “anticipates”, “plans”, “expects”, “intends”, “suggests”, “appears”, “estimates”, “projects” and similar expressions, whether in the negative or affirmative, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The Company’s actual future results may differ significantly from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements within this release for a variety of reasons, including and without limitation, risks related to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, including: portions of our global workforce being unable to work fully and/or effectively due to working remotely, illness, quarantines, government actions, facility closures or other reasons related to the pandemic, increased risks of cyber-attacks resulting from our temporary remote working model, disruptions in our manufacturing capabilities or to our supply chain, volatility and uncertainty in global capital markets limiting our ability to access capital, customers being unable to make timely payments for purchases and volatility in demand for our products; foreign exchange rate fluctuations potentially affecting translation of the Company’s future non-U.S. operating results; the impact on demand for the Company’s products among the Company’s various market sectors or geographies from economic, sovereign and political uncertainties, particularly regarding the effect of new or proposed tariff or trade regulations or changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing regulations; the effect on the Company’s financial results from the United Kingdom exiting the European Union; fluctuations in expenditures by the Company’s customers, in particular large pharmaceutical companies; introduction of competing products by other companies and loss of market share; pressures on prices from competitors and/or customers; regulatory, economic and competitive obstacles to new product introductions; other changes in demand for the Company’s products from the effect of mergers and acquisitions by the Company’s customers; increased regulatory burdens as the Company’s business evolves, especially with respect to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others; shifts in taxable income in jurisdictions with different effective tax rates; the outcome of tax examinations or changes in respective country legislation affecting the Company’s effective tax rate; the effect of the adoption of new accounting standards; the ability to access capital, maintain liquidity and service the Company’s debt in volatile market conditions, particularly in the U.S., as a large portion of the Company’s cash is held and operating cash flows are generated outside the U.S.; environmental and logistical obstacles affecting the distribution of products and risks associated with lawsuits and other legal actions, particularly involving claims for infringement of patents and other intellectual property rights. Such factors and others are discussed more fully in the sections entitled “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” of the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, as well as in the sections entitled “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” of the Company’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly periods ended March 28, 2020, June 27, 2020 and September 26, 2020, each as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), which discussions are incorporated by reference in this release, as updated by the Company’s future filings with the SEC. The forward-looking statements included in this release represent the Company’s estimates or views as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s estimates or views as of any date subsequent to the date of this release. Except as required by law, the Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

 

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Contacts

Bryan Brokmeier, CFA, Senior Director, Investor Relations, 508-482-3448

Source: Waters Corporation

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