Acme United Sets New Sales & Earnings Record for Second Quarter
Acme United (US:ACU – $42.30), the leading consumer products company with a focus on first aid and safety products, as well as cutting solutions, for commercial and industrial markets worldwide reported record sales and earnings for its second quarter ended June 30, 2021.
Acme’s net sales for the second quarter were $44.8 million compared to $44 million in 2020, an increase of 2%. Net income for the second quarter, excluding the impact of the PPP loan forgiveness, was $3.7 million or $0.94 per diluted share compared to net income of $3.2 million or $0.92 per diluted share for the same period of 2020, an increase of 16% in net income and 2% in EPS.
Remember that on June 9, 2021 the Company’s PPP loan of $3.5 million was fully forgiven by the Small Business Administration (SBA), and that amount was remitted by the SBA to the company’s lender, HSBC Bank USA, NA. As a result, net income for the second quarter including the loan forgiveness was $7.2 million, or $1.82 per diluted share.
Net sales for the six months ended June 30, 2021 were $88.4 million, compared to $79.8 million in the same period in 2020, an increase of 11%. Net income for the six months ended June 30, 2021, excluding the impact of the PPP loan forgiveness, was $5,769,000, or $1.46 per diluted share, compared to $4,476,000, or $1.28 per diluted share in the comparable period last year, increases of 29% and 14%, respectively. Net income for the six months ended June 30, 2021 including the loan forgiveness was $9.3 million, or $2.34 per diluted share.
The gross margin was 36% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to 36.5% in 2020. The year-to-date gross margin was 36% compared to 37% in 2020. The decline in gross margin was mainly due to increased labor and transportation costs.
New Warehouse Software
Despite achieving record financials in the second quarter, results could have been even stronger. Especially the installation of a new warehouse management system in Acme’s largest distribution center in the United States impacted results negatively. Previously, the Company had an older management system in place, which wasn’t up-to-date anymore. The new system has truly prepared the Company for rapid shipping, which is crucial with ever increasing online sales.
As the new software was being installed however, nothing was shipped during ten days out of the Rocky Mount, North Carolina warehouse. In addition, after the system was online, the Company wasn’t able to hire enough new personnel for the warehouse. As a result, unshipped orders at the end of June reached approximately $5 million, while in normal circumstances this would only have been about $1 million.
Meanwhile, Acme has hired ten additional people in the North Carolina distribution site and shipping has returned to more normal levels so that the backorders can be addressed.
So while this was a painful event during the second quarter, the customer service levels and fill rates are now much higher and the backorders will be shipped and added to the third quarter sales.
European and Canadian Segments Shine
Acme United reports financial information on three separate business segments: the United States (including Asia), Canada and Europe.
Exact revenues per segment for the second quarter of 2021 will be available in the Company’s 10-Q, which will be filed mid-August. However, Acme announced for each segment the percentage by which revenues increased or decreased compared with last year. Based on those numbers, we provide the following estimate.
Three Months Ended
|Amounts in $000’s|
Estimated sales per segment for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021 (Source: Smallcaps Investment Research) and actual sales per segment for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020 (Source: Company Filing)
Net sales in the U.S. segment decreased 4% in the second quarter due to delays caused by the implementation of the new warehouse management system. Sales increased 6% for the 6 months ended June 30, mainly due to market share gains in first aid and safety products.
In Europe, net sales for the second quarter of 2021 increased 26% in U.S. dollars and 16% in local currency compared to the second quarter of 2020, mainly due to re-opening of offices and growth in the e-commerce channel across all product lines. Net sales for the six months ended June 30, 2021 increased 34% in U.S. dollars and 23% in local currency compared to the first half of 2020, mainly due to sales growth in the ecommerce channel across all product lines and continued growth of DMT sharpening products.
Net sales in Canada for the second quarter of 2021 increased 68% in U.S. dollars and 49% in local currency compared to the same period in 2020, due to higher sales of First Aid Central products, principally in the e-commerce channel as well as increased sales of school and office products compared to the COVID-19 lockdowns in the second quarter of 2020. Net sales for the six months ended June 30, 2021 increased 53% in U.S. dollars and 40% in local currency compared to the first half of 2020.
Financials & Balance Sheet
Three Months Ended
Six Months Ended
|Amounts in $000’s|
Cost of Goods Sold
S, G & A Expenses
Income From Operations
Other Expense (Income)
PPP Loan Forgiveness
Income Tax Expense (Benefit)
Earnings Per Share
Shares Out. – Diluted
Selected income statement data for the quarters and six months ended June 30, 2021 and June 30, 2020. Source: Company Press Release
SG&A expenses for the second quarter of 2021 were $12.4 million or 28% of sales compared with $11.7 million or 27% of sales for the same period of 2020. SG&A expenses for the first 6 months of 2021 were $25 million or 28% of sales compared to $23.2 million or 29% of sales in 2020.
Also note that the Company’s Paycheck Protection Program loan of $3.5 million was forgiven during the quarter and added to the net income. In addition, the second quarter tax expense included a $0.9 million tax credit for stock-based compensation.
|Amounts in $000’s|
June 30, 2021
June 30, 2020
|Cash and Cash Equivalents|
|Total Current Assets|
|Property and Equipment|
|Other Current Liabilities|
|Total Current Liabilities|
|Total Stockholder Equity|
Selected balance sheet data for the quarters ended June 30, 2021 and June 30, 2020. Source: Company Press Release
Acme’s bank debt less cash on June 30, 2021 was $39.4 million compared to $37.3 million on June 30, 2020. During the twelve-month period ended June 30, 2021, the Company paid approximately $9.3 million for the acquisition of the assets of Med-Nap LLC., distributed $1.7 million in dividends on its common stock and generated $3.6 million in free cash flow.
At the end of the second quarter of 2021, Acme had over $70 million in working capital and a solid current ratio of 4.61.
Although Acme United didn’t provide any guidance, new orders stay strong and it anticipates a strong performance for the full year. Moreover, the Company continues to seek acquisitions that expand its product line and customer reach.
The new system at the Rocky Mount warehouse will increase the productivity and the customer service dramatically. In addition, the capacity expansion at the sharpening tools manufacturer DMT was recently completed. The latest expansion has already had a positive impact on sales growth this year, and Acme is now positioned to expand DMT sales in the e-commerce market in the United States and in industrial accounts in Europe.
Finally, Acme continues to invest in new equipment at Med-Nap, which it acquired in December 2020. As a reminder, Med-Nap is 1 of the few manufacturers of alcohol wipes and antiseptic pads in the United States. The Med-Nap business will have three new lines in operation by the end of August, and the Company will then be positioned to fulfill new supply agreements as they develop. Smallcaps Recommendation: BUY.