Dana announces fourth quarter and full year 2014 financial results

Dana's fourth quarter 2014 financial results show a 4% sales increase though sales for the full financial year were lower compared to the previous year.

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Dana Holding Corporation announces its fourth-quarter and full-year results for 2014.

Fourth-Quarter 2014 Financial Results
Sales for the fourth-quarter of 2014 totaled $1.58 billion, compared with $1.62 billion for the same period a year ago, with unfavorable currency lowering sales by $106 million. Adjusting for the effects of currency, sales increased $64 million or 4%, driven by higher end-market demand and cost-recovery initiatives.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, Dana completed a number of important initiatives to further enhance shareholder value. In December 2014, Dana entered into an agreement to divest its Venezuela operations to an independent and locally operated company. This transaction was successfully completed in January 2015, addressing the economic volatility and on-going uncertainty associated with operating in that country. A net charge of $77 million was recognized in the fourth quarter of 2014 relating to this divestiture.

During the quarter, the company also completed a voluntary settlement program with deferred vested salaried participants in its U.S. pension plans that reduced pension benefit obligations by approximately $170 million. This program, along with other actions, resulted in $42 million of pension settlement charges in the fourth quarter.

Finally, Dana completed a refinancing of long-term debt obligations, extending the company's debt maturities and lowering annual interest costs. Following this refinancing, the company's next significant debt maturity is in the year 2021. The fourth-quarter 2014 financial results include a loss on debt extinguishment of $19 million associated with this action.

Net income attributable to Dana for the fourth quarter of 2014 was $109 million, compared with $42 million in 2013. The company's 2014 results included a $179 million tax benefit from the release of certain U.S. deferred tax valuation allowances, partially offset by the $138 million of non-recurring charges highlighted above. These items are excluded from Dana's adjusted EBITDA and diluted adjusted earnings per share.

Adjusting for these non-recurring items, net income attributable to Dana for the fourth quarter of 2014 was $68 million, an increase of $26 million compared with a year ago. The increase in net income was principally driven by improved gross profit and lower SG&A, restructuring, amortization, and income tax expenses in the quarter. Partially offsetting these improvements was a higher loss from discontinued operations.

Diluted adjusted earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2014 were $0.53, an increase of 8%, four cents higher than the same period last year.

Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2014 was $178 million, compared with $174 million in 2013, the favorable impact of higher volumes and net cost performance more than offsetting the effects of unfavorable currency. Adjusted EBITDA margin of 11.3% increased 60 basis points when compared with the same period a year ago.

Free cash flow for the fourth quarter totaled $118 million, $80 million lower when compared with 2013, principally reflecting lower working capital inflows as the company continued to maintain net working capital investment efficiencies achieved through 2013.

Full-Year 2014 Financial Results
Sales for the year were $6.6 billion, $152 million lower compared with a year ago, with unfavorable currency accounting for more than $200 million of the change. Cost-recovery actions increased sales by $65 million. Volume and mix was largely neutral compared with last year, as stronger demand in North American and European light- and commercial-vehicle markets were more than offset by weaker demand in global off-highway and South American medium- and heavy-truck markets.

Net income attributable to Dana for the full-year 2014 was $319 million, which included a net benefit of $41 million from the fourth quarter's non-recurring items previously highlighted. Adjusting for the effect of these non-recurring items, net income attributable to Dana was $278 million, compared with $244 million in 2013. The increase in net income was principally driven by improved gross profit and lower amortization, restructuring, and income tax expenses, partially offset by higher interest expense and loss from discontinued operations.

Diluted adjusted earnings per share for 2014 increased 12% to $1.99, compared with $1.77 in 2013, reflecting mostly a lower share count from the continued execution of the company's share repurchase program.

While sales were lower than a year ago on significant currency impacts and a mixed demand environment, Dana's adjusted EBITDA for 2014 was $746 million, slightly higher than 2013. Adjusted EBITDA margin for full-year 2014 rose by 30 basis points over 2013 to 11.3% of sales, representing a record performance and the sixth consecutive year of improvement.

The company also reported strong free cash flow of $276 million in 2014. Compared with 2013, restructuring outlays, pension contributions and cash taxes were all lower, with increased capital spending principally for new business launches and increased interest as partial offsets. Working capital was a slight use in 2014 compared with 2013, as the company continued to maintain achieved efficiencies. At December 31, 2014, cash balances, including marketable securities, totaled $1.29 billion, and total liquidity stood at $1.57 billion, including $303 million of availability under the company's undrawn U.S. credit facility.

Share Repurchase Program
In 2014, Dana's Board of Directors approved the expansion of its existing share repurchase program from $1.0 billion to $1.4 billion. During 2014, the company completed $260 million of share repurchases, and since inception of the program in late 2012, the company has repurchased or redeemed the equivalent of 51 million common shares, returning more than $1 billion to shareholders. At the end of 2014, $311 million of authorization remained under this program.

"We are pleased with our 2014 results, especially given a number of end-market challenges and currency volatility we encountered during the course of the year. Once again, we ended the year with record adjusted EBITDA margins, making it our sixth consecutive year of margin growth. We continue to generate strong free cash flow, providing us the ability to continue to invest in the business for the future and return shareholder value through execution of our share repurchase and dividend programs," says President and Chief Executive Officer Roger Wood.

"As we look forward in 2015, we're excited about the future and continue to execute initiatives to maintain our flexibility and minimize risk – the successful divestiture of the business in Venezuela being one recent example. We remain focused on and investing in technology and innovation, and our value-added products and global capabilities are driving our increasing sales backlog. While currency volatility is likely to remain front and center for the foreseeable future, we believe our efforts and focus will allow Dana to continue to grow its top line in excess of market demand over the long term," he adds.

Business Unit Performance – Full-Year 2014 Results

Light Vehicle Driveline Technologies
Sales were $2.50 billion for 2014, compared with $2.55 billion last year, a $53 million decrease year over year. Unfavorable currency effects lowered sales by $148 million. Volume and mix provided a partial offset to the effects of currency, reflecting continued strength in full-frame light truck production in North America along with incremental volume from several new program launches in the region. Lower end-market demand in Asia tempered the strong performance in North America. Pricing actions to recover inflation and certain currency impacts in emerging markets increased sales by about $60 million in 2014 compared with last year.

Segment EBITDA for 2014 was $250 million, $8 million higher than 2013, with EBITDA margin of 10.0% representing an increase of 50 basis points when compared with 2013. The effects of higher volume, pricing, and cost-reduction actions offset the impacts of significant currency headwinds and emerging market inflationary pressures, resulting in both improved EBITDA and margin performance compared with last year.

Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technologies
Sales were $1.84 billion for 2014, compared with $1.86 billion in 2013. Currency lowered sales by $49 million, principally driven by a weaker Brazilian real. Adjusting for the effects of currency, sales increased by about $27 million from the previous year, driven by increased Class 8 and medium-truck production in North America, which was tempered by significantly lower medium and heavy truck production in South America.

Commercial Vehicle segment EBITDA for the year was $172 million, $22 million lower than 2013, resulting in a margin of 9.4% for the year. EBITDA and margin performance were adversely impacted by increased costs of about $11 million from supply chain inefficiencies as Dana continues to optimize its supply base and transition to new global suppliers. Increased warranty expense of about $8 million when compared with 2013 further impacted the comparisons.

Off-Highway Driveline Technologies
Sales were $1.23 billion, lower than 2013 by about 7%, driven by lower global demand in served agriculture, construction and mining OEM end markets and aftermarket-related sales.

Segment EBITDA was $169 million, $6 million higher than a year ago, and margin rose 140 basis points to 13.7% compared with 2013. These improvements reflected the benefit of net material cost savings, pricing actions, and other cost reductions achieved despite a lower volume environment.

Power Technologies
Sales were $1.05 billion, compared with $1.03 billion in 2013. Currency movements lowered sales by $16 million when compared with last year, while stronger global light-vehicle engine production and increased medium and heavy truck production levels in North America provided a volume benefit of $42 million.

Segment EBITDA was $154 million, an increase of $4 million over last year, providing a margin of 14.6%. Favorable volume and mix of $11 million offset the effects of unfavorable currency of $4 million. Net material cost savings and other cost-reduction actions partially offset specific warranty settlements.

"Three of our four business units recorded record margin performance in 2014, reflecting the continuing focus and execution of productivity and improvement initiatives by our people around the world. Our Commercial Vehicle business was impacted by a significant supply-chain initiative that we undertook to provide the business more flexibility and cost competitiveness for the long term. We expect to begin realizing the benefits of this action during the course of 2015 as we complete this activity," Wood says. "Our business approach, diligence, and execution allows us to drive continued margin performance even in a mixed demand environment. We believe Dana is well positioned to capitalize upon our growing sales backlog as we continue to provide exceptional value to our customers and shareholders."

Company Solidifies 2015 Guidance
In January, Dana announced preliminary financial targets for full-year 2015. Since issuing these targets, the company successfully completed the divestiture of its Venezuelan operations, which represented about $200 million of expected sales in 2015. In addition, the U.S. dollar has continued to strengthen against foreign currencies in regions where Dana maintains significant operations. Most notably, the euro, British pound, and Canadian dollar have continued to weaken since the end of 2014. Accordingly, Dana has adjusted its full-year 2015 guidance for these events to:

  • Sales of $6.4 to 6.5 billion;
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $740 to $760 million;
  • Adjusted EBITDA as a percent of sales of approximately 11.6%;
  • Diluted adjusted EPS of approximately $2.05 to $2.15 (excluding the impact of share repurchases after December 31, 2014);
  • Capital spending of $300 to $320 million; and
  • Free cash flow of $190 to $220 million.

Dana Continues to Win Significant New Business
In 2014, Dana continued to win new business around the world, increasing its three-year sales backlog by 30%, over the previous backlog, to $730 million. The company was selected to supply major programs to: Doosan, Ford, Jaguar, JLG, John Deere, Mahindra and Mahindra, Nissan, Sany, Terex, Toyota, and XCMG.

Of significance, Dana has begun production of front and rear axles for the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, the former of which earned Motor Trend's Truck of the Year award, and will realize the full benefit of that program in 2015. Also in 2015, Dana will be launching several marquee programs, representing significant growth, with Jaguar, Nissan, and Suzuki.

Recognition of Dana Innovation and Technology
Dana continues to be recognized across all of its end markets for its innovation and is featured on many award-winning programs. Once again the company's technologies were included on seven of the 2015 Ward's 10 Best Engines. Among the products found on these engines were Victor Reinz cylinder head and secondary gaskets, which deliver improved reliability and durability while reducing oil consumption and bore distortion; and Dana's Long brand of heat exchangers, which help to effectively manage heat to ensure optimum operating conditions and long-term durability.

In addition to the Chevy Colorado, Dana provides technologies for the Volkswagen Golf, which was named the Motor Trend Car of the Year and the North American Car of the Year, as well as the Ford F-150, named the North American Truck of the Year.

In the commercial vehicle market, Spicer drive axles, steer axles and driveshafts are featured prominently on the Kenworth T880 vocational truck, which was named the American Truck Dealer's 2015 Commercial Truck of the Year.

OEM Off-Highway magazine recognized Dana's Spicer modular agricultural axle as one of its "Innovators" Top 10 New Products for 2014. Additionally, Dana's Spicer PowerBoost technology was a named a finalist for the Intermat Innovation Award.