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 September 18, 2015 - 8:30 AM EDT
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MFRI Announces 2Q15 Results; Backlog as of July 31, 2015 Rises to $105.1 Million

2Q15 Pre-Tax Loss of $2.4 Million Reflects Year Over Year Decline in Sales Due Primarily to Timing of Processing New Perma-Pipe Orders; Execution on Record Backlog Underway in 3Q15, Positioning MFRI for Positive Full Year

NILES, IL--(Marketwired - Sep 18, 2015) - MFRI, Inc. (NASDAQ: MFRI) announced today financial results for the second fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2015. The Company also announced that its backlog of orders as of July 31, 2015 reached $105.1 million, an increase of 6% from its level at May 31, 2015, which previously represented MFRI's highest backlog level since July 31, 2013.

CEO Bradley Mautner commented, "As previously disclosed, we expected the first half of fiscal 2015/16 to be challenging due to our relatively low backlog position entering the year. However, with many significant wins captured in recent months by our Perma-Pipe subsidiary, we focused during the second quarter on readying our facilities and production processes to execute on those awards. The new projects we have underway include various large-scale infrastructure projects in the Middle East detailed in our year-end April 15, 2015 press release as well as several significant awards for North American projects described in our 1Q 2015 announcement, including:

  • A 36-mile (58 km) onshore oil transportation pipeline to connect two refining facilities in Louisiana;
  • A major international airport expansion in New Jersey;
  • The insulation and jacketing of 9.5 miles (15 km) of cement-lined steel pipe to transport a potash solution for a mining operation in Canada's Saskatchewan province;
  • A new state-of-the-art city center in Jubail Industrial City in eastern Saudi Arabia, the largest industrial city in the Middle East; and

"Accordingly, during the third quarter we have entered the next stage of delivering orders and realizing income from these projects. We have scaled up our facilities in the Middle East with additional shifts to to deliver products for these infrastructure projects, and we expect to continue this pace for at least the next two quarters. Moreover, during the past two months, Perma-Pipe captured several additional assignments and our quotation activities in the Middle East have continued to be robust."

Mr. Mautner continued, "In MFRI's filtration segment, sales declined year over year by $4.5 million, reflecting continued weak demand from the steel and coal-fired power industries. However, as a result of our margin improvement, we reached approximately break-even in spite of the start-up costs associated with our new pleated manufacturing facility in the Middle East, where we have begun building a backlog of orders. While we expect the softness in end markets for fabric filters to continue through fiscal 2015/16, we believe the performance of our pleated filtration business will continue to improve as we gain further traction in that segment."

Mr. Mautner concluded, "We are confident that the significant order book we have generated in our project-based piping business and the substantial increase in backlog we have developed will offset the year's slow start through increased revenue and profitability. In addition, we continue to examine our cost structures and business portfolio in an effort to improve the overall performance of the Company."

BACKLOG

                 
    July 31,   May 31,   April 30,   Jan. 31,
Consolidated Backlog ($ in thousands):   2015   2015   2015   2015
Piping Systems   $ 91,147   $ 85,583   $ 66,388   $ 30,715
Filtration Products     13,938     13,761     13,671     16,383
Total   $ 105,085   $ 99,344   $ 80,059   $ 47,098
                         

SECOND FISCAL QUARTER ENDED JULY 31, 2015

SALES - Net sales decreased 25% to $40.1 million in the current quarter, from $53.4 million in the prior-year quarter. Piping Systems sales decreased 26% or $8.6 million compared to the prior-year quarter due to lower domestic oil and gas projects and due to lower volume in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ("U.A.E.").

GROSS PROFIT - Gross profit decreased to $5.7 million in the current quarter from $10.5 million in the prior-year quarter, mainly due to the sales volume decrease in Piping Systems. The gross margin decreased to 14.1% of net sales in the current quarter from 19.8% in the prior-year quarter.

EXPENSES - Operating expenses decreased to $8.1 million in the current quarter from $8.8 million in the prior-year quarter due to lower management incentive compensation expense, partially offset by higher stock compensation expense and increased professional expenses.

PRETAX INCOME (LOSS) FROM CONTINUING OPERATION - The pretax loss was $2.8 million in the current quarter versus income of $1.8 million in the prior-year quarter. The primary factor contributing to the 2015 results was lower volume in Piping Systems.

NET (LOSS) INCOME - Net loss was $2.4 million compared to net income of $1.4 million in the prior-year quarter. The decrease was due to lower sales volume and gross profit in Piping Systems.

PIPING SYSTEMS - Net sales decreased 26% to $25.1 million in the current quarter from $33.8 million in the prior-year quarter. The decrease was attributed to lower global and domestic volume. Gross margin decreased to 12% of net sales in the current quarter from 23% of net sales in the prior-year quarter. Gross profit decreased due to lower volume.

Operating expenses decreased to $4.0 million from $4.1 million due to lower management incentive compensation expense and lower professional costs partially offset by higher selling expenses.

FILTRATION PRODUCTS - Net sales decreased 24% to $14.9 million in the current quarter from $19.6 million in the prior-year quarter. Gross profit decreased to $2.5 million from $2.7 million. Lower gross profit from volume was almost entirely offset by improved mix. Gross margin increased to 17% in the current quarter from 14% in the prior-year quarter due to customer mix and lower costs related to product development. Startup costs for the new production facility in the U.A.E. offset some of the cost reductions elsewhere.

Operating expenses decreased to $2.5 million in the current quarter from $2.7 million in the prior-year quarter. Lower professional costs contributed to the net decrease in expenses.

SIX MONTHS ENDED JULY 31, 2015

SALES - Year to date ("YTD") net sales decreased 31.1% to $77.7 million from $112.9 million for the prior-year YTD. Filtration Products sales decreased 12.1% due to a decrease in domestic sales volume. Piping Systems sales decreased 40.3% or $30.7 million compared to the prior-year YTD due to lower volume in domestic oil and gas projects and due to lower volume in the Middle East.

GROSS PROFIT - Gross profit decreased to $9.7 million from $26.5 million in the prior-year YTD due to lower volume in Piping Systems.

EXPENSES - Operating expenses decreased to $17.0 million YTD from $19.0 million for the prior-year YTD due to lower management incentive compensation expense, partially offset by higher stock compensation expense and increased professional expenses. Operating expenses as a percent of net sales increased to 21.8% from 16.9%.

PRETAX INCOME (LOSS) FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS - Pretax loss from continuing operations was $7.4 million versus pretax income from continuing operations of $7.2 million last year. The primary factor contributing to the 2015 results was lower volume in Piping Systems.

TAXES - The Company's worldwide effective income tax rate ("ETR") from continuing operations was 4.9% and 21.4% for the six months ended July 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. The change in the ETR for the two periods relates to the mix of income earned in zero rate jurisdictions.

NET (LOSS) INCOME - Net loss was $7.0 million compared to net income of $5.2 million in the prior-year's YTD.

PIPING SYSTEMS - YTD net sales decreased 40% to $45.4 million from $76.1 million in the prior-year YTD. The decrease was attributed to lower volume in the Middle East and in domestic oil and gas projects. Gross margin decreased to 12% of net sales YTD from 28% of net sales in the prior-year YTD. Gross profit decreased due to the lower volume in sales.

Operating expense decreased to $7.7 million from $9.5 million in the prior-year YTD. Operating expenses as a percent of net sales increased to 17.0% from 12.5%. The dollar decrease was due to lower management incentive compensation expense due to lower earnings in the period.

FILTRATION PRODUCTS - YTD net sales decreased 12% to $32.3 million from $37 million in the prior-year YTD. Sales decreased due to a large domestic original equipment manufacturer order that was delayed to the third quarter. Gross profit decreased to $4.2 million from $5.2 million. The business continues to widen its geographic market coverage, expand its sales activities to increase revenue and improve its operating margin through expense controls.

YTD operating expenses decreased to $5.4 million from $5.8 million in the prior-year YTD. Decreased selling expense and lower professional costs contributed to the net decrease in expenses.

MFRI, Inc.

MFRI, Inc. manufactures pre-insulated specialty piping systems for oil and gas gathering, district heating and cooling as well as other applications. The Company also manufactures custom-designed industrial filtration products to remove particulates from air and other gas streams. In total, MFRI has operations at 10 locations in six countries.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements and other information contained in this announcement that can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and are subject to the safe harbors created thereby, including, without limitation, statements regarding the expected future performance and operations of the Company. These statements should be considered as subject to the many risks and uncertainties that exist in the Company's operations and business environment. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the project nature of the business, the increasing international nature of the business, economic conditions, market demand and pricing, competitive and cost factors, raw material availability and prices, global interest rates, currency exchange rates, labor relations and other risk factors.

MFRI's Form 10-Q for the period ended July 31, 2015 will be accessible at www.sec.gov and www.mfri.com. For more information, visit the Company's website or contact its investor relations representative, LHA.

   
   
MFRI, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES  
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited)  
(In thousands, except per share data)  
   
    Three Months Ended July 31,     Six Months Ended July 31,  
    2015     2014     2015     2014  
Net sales   $ 40,061     $ 53,370     $ 77,735     $ 112,894  
Cost of sales     34,401       42,825       68,034       86,360  
Gross profit     5,660       10,545       9,701       26,534  
                                 
Operating expenses                                
  General and administrative expenses     5,185       6,713       11,325       14,130  
  Selling expenses     2,950       2,037       5,651       4,900  
    Total operating expenses     8,135       8,750       16,976       19,030  
                                 
(Loss) income from operations     (2,475 )     1,795       (7,275 )     7,504  
                                 
(Loss) income from joint venture     (49 )     219       116       211  
                                 
Interest expense, net     252       263       246       500  
(Loss) income from continuing operations before income taxes     (2,776 )     1,751       (7,405 )     7,215  
                                 
Income tax (benefit) expense     (385 )     276       (359 )     1,542  
                                 
(Loss) income from continuing operations     (2,391 )     1,475       (7,046 )     5,673  
                                 
Loss from discontinued operations, net of tax     --       (111 )     --       (482 )
                                 
Net (loss) income   $ (2,391 )   $ 1,364     $ (7,046 )   $ 5,191  
                                 
Weighted average common shares outstanding                                
  Basic     7,277       7,248       7,264       7,212  
  Diluted     7,277       7,386       7,264       7,350  
                                 
(Loss) earnings per share from continuing operations                                
  Basic   $ (0.33 )   $ 0.20     $ (0.97 )   $ 0.79  
  Diluted   $ (0.33 )   $ 0.20     $ (0.97 )   $ 0.77  
Loss per share from discontinued operations                                
  Basic and diluted   $ --     $ (0.02 )   $ --     $ (0.07 )
(Loss) earnings per share                                
  Basic   $ (0.33 )   $ 0.19     $ (0.97 )   $ 0.72  
  Diluted   $ (0.33 )   $ 0.18     $ (0.97 )   $ 0.71  
                                 
                                 

Note: Earnings per share calculations could be impacted by rounding.

 
 
MFRI, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
 
             
(In thousands except per share data)   July 31, 2015     January 31, 2015  
ASSETS   Unaudited        
Current assets                
  Cash and cash equivalents   $ 10,008     $ 10,508  
  Restricted cash     430       428  
    Trade accounts receivable, less allowance for doubtful accounts of $301 at July 31, 2015 and $110 at January 31, 2015     43,860       41,847  
  Inventories, net     34,952       29,770  
  Prepaid expenses and other current assets     3,132       4,349  
  Costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings on uncompleted contracts     2,200       700  
    Total current assets     94,582       87,602  
Property, plant and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation     43,589       41,486  
Other assets                
  Note receivable from joint venture     2,051       3,931  
  Investment in joint venture     8,629       8,514  
  Cash surrender value on life insurance policies, net     3,320       3,256  
  Other assets     3,503       3,215  
  Assets held for sale long-term     472       534  
    Total other assets     17,975       19,450  
Total assets   $ 156,146     $ 148,538  
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                
Current liabilities                
  Trade accounts payable   $ 19,646     $ 11,072  
  Accrued compensation and payroll taxes     12,525       5,551  
  Commissions and management incentives payable     3,378       5,734  
  Revolving line domestic     14,361       11,353  
  Current maturities of long-term debt     4,773       5,679  
  Customers' deposits     10,351       7,341  
  Billings in excess of costs and estimated earnings on uncompleted contracts     4,506       681  
  Other accrued liabilities     2,302       2,486  
  Deferred tax liabilities - current     166       165  
  Income taxes payable     551       1,688  
    Total current liabilities     72,559       51,750  
Long-term liabilities                
  Long-term debt, less current maturities     12,582       12,603  
  Deferred compensation liabilities     434       6,560  
  Deferred tax liabilities - long-term     315       309  
  Other long-term liabilities     3,749       3,793  
    Total long-term liabilities     17,080       23,265  
Stockholders' equity                
  Common stock, $.01 par value, authorized 50,000 shares; 7,291 issued and outstanding at July 31, 2015 and 7,291 issued and outstanding at January 31, 2015     73       73  
  Additional paid-in capital     52,604       52,655  
  Treasury Stock 45 shares at July 31, 2015 and none at January 31, 2015     (290 )     --  
  Retained earnings     18,280       25,324  
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss     (4,160 )     (4,529 )
    Total stockholders' equity     66,507       73,523  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity   $ 156,146     $ 148,538  
                 
                 
 
 
MFRI, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (Unaudited)
 
(In thousands)   Six Months Ended July 31,  
    2015     2014  
Operating activities                
  Net (loss) income   $ (7,046 )   $ 5,191  
Adjustments to reconcile net (loss) income to net cash flows provided by (used in) operating activities                
  Depreciation and amortization     2,903       2,899  
  Loss on disposal of discontinued operations     --       12  
  Deferred tax expense     31       669  
  Stock-based compensation benefit     (26 )     (210 )
  Income from joint venture     (116 )     (211 )
  Cash surrender value on life insurance policies     (65 )     (104 )
  Gain on disposal of fixed assets     --       (3 )
  Provision on uncollectible accounts     192       17  
Changes in operating assets and liabilities                
  Accounts receivable     (2,352 )     1,244  
  Inventories     (5,267 )     1,303  
  Costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings on uncompleted contracts     2,325       (3,115 )
  Accounts payable     8,250       (5,049 )
  Accrued compensation and payroll taxes     4,642       (5,036 )
  Customers' deposits     3,007       (200 )
  Income taxes receivable and payable     (1,115 )     (702 )
  Prepaid expenses and other current assets     1,178       151  
  Other assets and liabilities     (6,468 )     380  
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities     73       (2,764 )
Investing activities                
  Capital expenditures     (4,997 )     (2,354 )
  Payments on loan from joint venture     1,890       --  
  Proceeds from sales of property and equipment     --       3  
Net cash used in investing activities     (3,107 )     (2,351 )
Financing activities                
  Proceeds from revolving lines     48,585       35,262  
  Proceeds from debt     668       47  
  Proceeds from borrowing against life insurance policies     1,916       --  
  Payments of debt on revolving lines of credit     (45,546 )     (28,375 )
  Payments of other debt     (1,109 )     (1,479 )
  Payments of borrowing against life insurance policies     (1,916 )     --  
  Increase in drafts payable     359       1,105  
  Payments on capitalized lease obligations     (434 )     (290 )
  Payments for repurchase of common stock     (290 )     --  
  Stock options exercised and restricted shares issued     (25 )     329  
Net cash provided by financing activities     2,208       6,599  
                 
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents     326       93  
Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents     (500 )     1,577  
Cash and cash equivalents - beginning of period     10,508       13,395  
Cash and cash equivalents - end of period   $ 10,008     $ 14,972  
                 
Supplemental cash flow information                
    Interest paid   $ 564     $ 730  
    Income taxes paid     846       2,366  
    Fixed assets acquired under capital leases     732       --  
    Funds held in escrow related to the sale of Thermal Care, Inc. assets     --       191  
                     
                     


Source: Marketwired (September 18, 2015 - 8:30 AM EDT)

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