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Comfort Systems USA Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Results

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 22, 2018-- Comfort Systems USA, Inc. (NYSE: FIX), a leading provider of mechanical services including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, piping and controls, today announced net income of $7.5 million or $0.20 per diluted share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $16.9 million or $0.45 per diluted share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2016. Earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2017, adjusted for the remeasurement of net deferred tax assets for the corporate tax rate reduction of $9.5 million, were $0.45 per diluted share. The Company reported revenue of $461.1 million in the current quarter, as compared to $392.1 million in 2016. The Company reported free cash flow of $30.3 million in the current quarter, as compared to $35.7 million in 2016. Backlog as of December 31, 2017 was $948.4 million as compared to $901.2 million as of September 30, 2017 and $763.4 million as of December 31, 2016.

Brian Lane, Comfort Systems USA’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “2017 was another strong year for Comfort Systems USA. Our fourth quarter was marked by strong earnings and year over year quarterly revenue growth of 17.6%, including same store revenue growth of 10.9%. Bookings remain a source of optimism, as our backlog has continued to build, increasing by 5.2% on a same store basis since the third quarter. Our backlog has increased since last year by more than $185.0 million, including $155.0 million in same store backlog growth.”

The Company reported net income of $55.3 million or $1.47 per diluted share, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $64.9 million or $1.72 per diluted share, in 2016. Earnings per share for 2017, adjusted for the fourth quarter remeasurement of net deferred tax assets and a first quarter goodwill impairment, were $1.74 per diluted share. The Company also reported revenue of $1.79 billion, as compared to $1.63 billion in 2016. Free cash flow for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017 was $80.0 million, as compared to $69.0 million in 2016.

Mr. Lane continued, “We wrote off $9.5 million in deferred tax assets at year end, and our after-tax earnings and cash flow will benefit in future periods from the tax rate reduction starting in 2018. We estimate that our effective tax rate in future periods will be 10% to 11% lower than our normalized rates have averaged in the past. We are anxious to invest the additional cash flow to grow our business, benefit our employees and reward our shareholders.”

Mr. Lane concluded, “Increased investment appetite from private companies, together with our investments over the last few years to prepare for growth, have positioned us for continued success. Our backlog is strong, and our ongoing prospects are good. We remain optimistic that Comfort Systems USA will continue to grow and improve.”

As previously announced, the Company will host a webcast and conference call to discuss its financial results and position in more depth on Friday, February 23, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Central Time. The call-in number for this conference call is 1-888-713-4214 and enter 80113589 as the passcode. Participants may pre-register for the call at https://www.theconferencingservice.com/prereg/key.process?key=PFH9WMXTT. The Company anticipates that an accompanying slide presentation will also be available under the Investor tab. Pre-registrants will be issued a pin number to use when dialing in to the live call, which will provide quick access to the conference by bypassing the operator upon connection. The call can also be accessed on the Company’s website at www.comfortsystemsusa.com under the Investor tab. A replay of the entire call will be available until 3:00 p.m. Central Time, Friday, March 2, 2018 by calling 1-888-286-8010 with the conference passcode of 17902153, and will also be available on our website on the next business day following the call.

Comfort Systems USA® is a premier provider of business solutions addressing workplace comfort, with 117 locations in 104 cities around the nation. For more information, visit the Company’s website atwww.comfortsystemsusa.com.

Certain statements and information in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements regarding our future business expectations, which are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “intend,” “foresee,” “should,” “would,” “could,” or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, which are generally not historic in nature. These forward-looking statements are based on the current expectations and beliefs of Comfort Systems USA, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Company”) concerning future developments and their effect on the Company. While the Company’s management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made, there can be no assurance that future developments affecting the Company will be those that it anticipates. All comments concerning the Company’s expectations for future revenue and operating results are based on the Company’s forecasts for its existing operations and do not include the potential impact of any future acquisitions. The Company’s forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties (some of which are beyond the Company’s control) and assumptions that could cause actual future results to differ materially from the Company’s historical experience and its present expectations or projections. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: the use of incorrect estimates for bidding a fixed-price contract; undertaking contractual commitments that exceed the Company’s labor resources; failing to perform contractual obligations efficiently enough to maintain profitability; national or regional weakness in construction activity and economic conditions; financial difficulties affecting projects, vendors, customers, or subcontractors; the Company’s backlog failing to translate into actual revenue or profits; failure of third party subcontractors and suppliers to complete work as anticipated;difficulty in obtaining or increased costs associated with bonding and insurance; impairment to goodwill; errors in the Company’s percentage-of-completion method of accounting; the result of competition in the Company’s markets; the Company’s decentralized management structure; material failure to comply with varying state and local laws, regulations or requirements; debarment from bidding on or performing government contracts; shortages of labor and specialty building materials; retention of key management; seasonal fluctuations in the demand for mechanical systems; the imposition of past and future liability from environmental, safety, and health regulations including the inherent risk associated with self-insurance; adverse litigation results; an increase in our effective tax rate; an information technology failure or cyber security breach; and other risks detailed in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For additional information regarding known material factors that could cause the Company’s results to differ from its projected results, please see its filings with the SEC, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports on Form 8-K.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after the date they are made, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

— Financial tables follow —

                   

Comfort Systems USA, Inc.

Consolidated Statements of Operations

(In Thousands, Except per Share Amounts)

 
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
December 31, December 31,
(Unaudited)
2017 % 2016 % 2017 % 2016 %
Revenue $ 461,072 100.0 % $ 392,100 100.0 % $ 1,787,922 100.0 % $ 1,634,340 100.0 %
Cost of services   367,341   79.7 %   303,835   77.5 %   1,421,641   79.5 %   1,290,331   79.0 %
Gross profit 93,731 20.3 % 88,265 22.5 % 366,281 20.5 % 344,009 21.0 %
 
SG&A 70,033 15.2 % 62,956 16.1 % 266,586 14.9 % 243,201 14.9 %
Goodwill impairment

-

-

-

-

1,105 0.1 %

-

-

Gain on sale of assets   (206 )

-

  (238 ) (0.1 )%   (670 )

-

  (761 )

-

Operating income 23,904 5.2 % 25,547 6.5 % 99,260 5.6 % 101,569 6.2 %
 
Interest expense, net (749 ) (0.2 )% (472 ) (0.1 )% (3,086 ) (0.2 )% (2,336 ) (0.1 )%
Changes in the fair value of contingent earn-out obligations 1,870 0.4 % 263 0.1 % 3,715 0.2 % 731

-

Other income (expense)   992   0.2 %   642   0.2 %   1,049   0.1 %   1,097   0.1 %
Income before income taxes 26,017 5.6 % 25,980 6.6 % 100,938 5.6 % 101,061 6.2 %
 
Provision for income taxes   18,478     9,113     45,666     36,165  
Net income $ 7,539   1.6 % $ 16,867   4.3 % $ 55,272   3.1 % $ 64,896   4.0 %
 
Income per share
Basic $ 0.20   $ 0.45   $ 1.48   $ 1.74  
Diluted $ 0.20   $ 0.45   $ 1.47   $ 1.72  
 
Shares used in computing income per share:
Basic 37,180 37,199 37,239 37,335
Diluted 37,634 37,684 37,672 37,811
 

Supplemental Non-GAAP Information — (Unaudited) (In Thousands, Except per Share Amounts)

    Three Months Ended     Twelve Months Ended
December 31, December 31,
2017   2016 2017   2016
Net income $ 7,539 $ 16,867 $ 55,272 $ 64,896
Goodwill impairment, net of income tax
expense of $-, $-, $397 and $- - - 708 -
Tax expense related to remeasurement of net
deferred tax assets for the corporate tax rate
reduction   9,478   -   9,478   -
Net income excluding goodwill impairment and
tax expense related to the remeasurement of
net deferred tax assets for the corporate
tax rate reduction $ 17,017 $ 16,867 $ 65,458 $ 64,896
 
Diluted income per share $ 0.20 $ 0.45 $ 1.47 $ 1.72
Goodwill impairment

-

-

0.02

-

Tax expense related to remeasurement of net
deferred tax assets for the corporate tax
rate reduction   0.25   -   0.25   -
Diluted income per share excluding goodwill
impairment and tax expense related to the
remeasurement of net deferred tax assets
for the corporate tax rate reduction $ 0.45 $ 0.45 $ 1.74 $ 1.72
 

Note: Diluted income per share and net income, excluding goodwill impairment and tax expense related to the remeasurement of net deferred tax assets for the corporate tax rate reduction, are presented because the Company believes they reflect the results of the core ongoing operations of the Company, and we believe they are responsive to frequent questions we receive from third parties. However, these measures are not considered a primary measure of an entity’s financial results under generally accepted accounting principles, and accordingly, these amounts should not be considered an alternative to operating results as determined under generally accepted accounting principles and as reported by the Company.

Supplemental Non-GAAP Information — Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”) — (Unaudited) (In Thousands)

    Three Months Ended     Twelve Months Ended
December 31, December 31,
2017   %   2016   % 2017   %   2016   %
 
Net income $ 7,539 $ 16,867 $ 55,272 $ 64,896
Provision for income taxes 18,478 9,113 45,666 36,165
Other expense (income), net (992 ) (642 ) (1,049 ) (1,097 )
Changes in the fair value of contingent earn-out obligations (1,870 ) (263 ) (3,715 ) (731 )
Interest expense, net 749 472 3,086 2,336
Gain on sale of assets (206 ) (238 ) (670 ) (761 )
Goodwill impairment

-

-

1,105

-

Depreciation and amortization   10,120     6,495     37,456     26,166  
Adjusted EBITDA $ 33,818   7.3 % $ 31,804   8.1 % $ 137,151   7.7 % $ 126,974   7.8 %
 

Note: The Company defines adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”) as net income, provision for income taxes, other expense (income), net, changes in the fair value of contingent earn-out obligations, interest expense, net, gain on sale of assets, goodwill impairment and depreciation and amortization. Other companies may define Adjusted EBITDA differently. Adjusted EBITDA is presented because it is a financial measure that is frequently requested by third parties. However, Adjusted EBITDA is not considered under generally accepted accounting principles as a primary measure of an entity’s financial results, and accordingly, Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered an alternative to operating income, net income, or cash flows as determined under generally accepted accounting principles and as reported by the Company.

       

Comfort Systems USA, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets

(In Thousands)

 
December 31, December 31,
2017 2016
 
Cash and cash equivalents $ 36,542 $ 32,074
Accounts receivable, net 382,867 318,837
Costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings 30,116 29,369
Other current assets   39,832   35,677
Total current assets 489,357 415,957
Property and equipment, net 87,591 68,195
Goodwill 200,584 149,208
Identifiable intangible assets, net 76,044 42,435
Other noncurrent assets   27,544   33,108
Total assets $ 881,120 $ 708,903
 
Current maturities of long-term debt $ 613 $ 600
Current maturities of long-term capital lease obligations

-

163
Accounts payable 132,011 103,440
Billings in excess of costs and estimated earnings 106,005 83,985
Other current liabilities   135,099   129,493
Total current liabilities 373,728 317,681
Long-term debt 59,926 1,955
Long-term capital lease obligations

-

93
Other long-term liabilities   29,521   12,541
Total liabilities   463,175   332,270
Total stockholders’ equity   417,945   376,633
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 881,120 $ 708,903
 

Selected Cash Flow Data (In Thousands):

         
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
December 31, December 31,
(Unaudited)
2017 2016 2017 2016
Cash provided by (used in):
Operating activities $ 48,398 $ 41,434 $ 114,090 $ 91,188
Investing activities $ (18,062 ) $ (4,398 ) $ (128,968 ) $ (79,318 )
Financing activities $ (23,290 ) $ (30,299 ) $ 19,346 $ (36,260 )
 
Free cash flow:
Cash from operating activities $ 48,398 $ 41,434 $ 114,090 $ 91,188
Purchases of property and equipment (18,637 ) (5,960 ) (35,467 ) (23,217 )
Proceeds from sales of property and equipment   575     215     1,359     1,062  
Free cash flow $ 30,336   $ 35,689   $ 79,982   $ 69,033  
 

Note: Free cash flow is defined as cash flow from operating activities less customary capital expenditures, plus the proceeds from asset sales. Other companies may define free cash flow differently. Free cash flow is presented because it is a financial measure that is frequently requested by third parties. However, free cash flow is not considered under generally accepted accounting principles as a primary measure of an entity’s financial results, and accordingly, free cash flow should not be considered an alternative to operating income, net income, or cash flows as determined under generally accepted accounting principles and as reported by the Company.

Source: Comfort Systems USA, Inc.

Comfort Systems USA, Inc.
William George, 713-830-9600
Chief Financial Officer