SOUTHFIELD, Mich., November 2, 2021-- Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA), a global automotive technology leader in Seating and E-Systems, today reported results for the third quarter 2021.
Third Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights
“Our industry continues to be significantly impacted by COVID-19 and global semiconductor shortages,” said Ray Scott, Lear’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “While our sales declined in the quarter as compared to last year, reflecting the challenging production environment, our sales growth outperformed global vehicle production by 9 percentage points, resulting from new business wins and our strong market position. During these challenging times, we remain focused on supporting our customers and positioning our company to capitalize on opportunities when the industry recovers. Last week, we announced our plan to acquire substantially all of Kongsberg Automotive’s Interior Comfort Division, which will further separate Lear as the seat supplier with the most complete component and sub-system capabilities. We continue to receive recognition for innovation and technology in both business segments as evidenced by winning our third consecutive Automotive News PACE award and two PACEpilot awards. And in Seating, we won more J.D. Power Seat Quality awards than any other seating supplier. Our reputation as a leader in operational excellence, along with new technologies providing added priceable features, will drive new business wins and profitable growth in both business segments.”
Third Quarter Financial Results
In the third quarter, global vehicle production decreased 19% compared to a year ago, with North America down 25%, Europe down 28% and China down 16%. For the second straight quarter, industry volumes were significantly impacted by semiconductor shortages. Global production decreased year-over-year on a Lear sales-weighted basis(2) by approximately 25%.
Sales in the third quarter decreased 13% to $4.3 billion compared to a year ago. Excluding the impact of commodities, foreign exchange and acquisitions, sales were down 16%,reflecting decreased production on Lear platforms partially offset by the addition of new business in both business segments. Sales growth over market for the third quarter was 9 percentage points, driven primarily by the impact of new business and favorable platform mix.
Core operating earnings were $98 million, or 2.3% of sales, compared to $327 million in 2020. The decrease in earnings resulted primarily from lower sales due to reduced production on Lear platforms, partially offset by the addition of new business. Excluding the impact of higher commodity costs and premium costs related to component shortages, both of our business segments had positive operating performance. In the Seating segment, margins and adjusted margins were 4.0% and 4.5% of sales, respectively. In the E-Systems segment, margins and adjusted margins were(0.7)% and 2.1% of sales, respectively.
Loss per share was $(0.44). Adjusted earnings per share were $0.53, down from $3.73 in 2020, primarily reflecting lower operating earnings.
In the third quarter of 2021, net cash used in operating activities was $(4) million, and free cash flow(1) was $(157) million.
(1) For more information regarding our non-GAAP financial measures, see "Non-GAAP Financial Information" below.
(2) The production change on a Lear sales-weighted basis is calculated using Lear’s prior year regional sales mix and third quarter fiscal calendar. Management believes this provides a more meaningful comparison of the Company’s global revenue growth relative to global vehicle production.
Kongsberg Automotive’s Interior Comfort Division
On October 28, Lear announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of Kongsberg Automotive’s Interior Comfort Division. This acquisition will further advance Lear’s vertical integration and expand its product offerings to include specialized thermal comfort seating solutions that improve vehicle performance and packaging. Under the terms of the deal, Lear will pay €175million, on a cash and debt free basis. The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and adjustments, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
Balance Sheet, Liquidity and Capital Allocation
During the third quarter of 2021, we repurchased 419,903 shares of our common stock for a total of $69.1 million. As of the end of the third quarter, we had a remaining share repurchase authorization of approximately $1.3 billion, which expires on December 31, 2022, and reflects approximately13% of our total market capitalization at current market prices.
Since initiating the share repurchase program in early 2011, we have repurchased 52.4 million shares of our common stock for a total of $4.8 billion at an average price of $90.97 per share. This represents a reduction of approximately 50% of our shares outstanding since the time we began the program.
On October 28, 2021, Lear entered into an amended and restated credit agreement to increase the size of its revolving credit facility to $2.0 billion from $1.75 billion and extend the maturity by two years to 2026. This transaction, which further enhances the Company’s financial flexibility, reflects the strength of Lear’s business and focused growth strategy.
2021 Financial Outlook
Below is our updated 2021 financial outlook, which reflects the impact of semiconductor and other component shortages that continue to impact industry volumes. At the midpoint of our guidance range, we have assumed that global industry production will be roughly in-line with 2020, which is lower than our prior guidance assumption of 6%.
The industry volume assumptions underlying Lear’s 2021 financial outlook are derived from several sources, including internal estimates, customer production schedules, and the most recent IHS production estimates for Lear’s vehicle platforms.
The financial outlook is based on a full year average exchange rate of $1.19/Euro and 6.46 RMB/$.
Certain of the forward-looking financial measures above are provided on a non-GAAP basis. The Company does not provide a reconciliation of such forward-looking measures to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP because to do so would be potentially misleading and not practical given the difficulty of projecting event driven transactional and other non-core operating items in any future period. The magnitude of these items, however, may be significant.
Third Quarter 2021 Conference Call and Webcast Information
A conference call and webcast will be held to discuss Lear’s third quarter 2021 financial results and related matters on November 2, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. EDT. The webcast link for the conference call will be available through Lear’s investor relations webpage at ir.lear.com. In addition, the conference call can be accessed by dialing 1-877-883-0383 (domestic) or 1-412-902-6506 (international) Conference I.D. 4615282. The webcast replay will be available two hours following the call.
Non-GAAP Financial Information
In addition to the results reported in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP) included throughout this press release, the Company has provided information regarding “pretax income before equity (income) loss, interest, other (income) expense, restructuring costs and other special items” (core operating earnings or adjusted segment earnings), “pretax income before equity (income)loss, interest, other (income) expense, depreciation expense, amortization of intangible assets, restructuring costs and other special items” (adjusted EBITDA), “adjusted depreciation and amortization,” “adjusted net income attributable to Lear” (adjusted net income), “adjusted diluted net income per share available to Lear common stockholders” (adjusted earnings per share) and “free cash flow” (each, a non-GAAP financial measure). Other (income) expense includes, among other things, non-income related taxes, foreign exchange gains and losses, gains and losses related to certain derivative instruments and hedging activities, losses on the extinguishment of debt, gains and losses on the disposal of fixed assets, gains and losses on the consolidation and deconsolidation of affiliates and the non-service cost components of net periodic benefit cost. Adjusted depreciation and amortization represents depreciation expense and amortization of intangible assets adjusted for intangible asset impairment charges. Adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per share represent net income (loss) attributable to Lear and diluted net income(loss) per share available to Lear common stockholders, respectively, adjusted for restructuring costs and other special items, including the tax effect thereon. Free cash flow represents net cash provided by (used in) operating activities less capital expenditures.
Management believes the non-GAAP financial measures used in this press release are useful to both management and investors in their analysis of the Company’s financial position and results of operations. In particular, management believes that core operating earnings, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted depreciation and amortization, adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per share are useful measures in assessing the Company’s financial performance by excluding certain items that are not indicative of the Company's core operating performance or that may obscure trends useful in evaluating the Company’s continuing operating activities. Management also believes that these measures provide improved comparability between fiscal periods. Management believes that free cash flow is useful to both management and investors in their analysis of the Company’s ability to service and repay its debt. Further, management uses these non-GAAP financial measures for planning and forecasting future periods.
Core operating earnings, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted depreciation and amortization, adjusted net income, adjusted earnings per share and free cash flow should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for net income (loss) attributable to Lear, diluted net income (loss) per share available to Lear common stockholders, cash provided by (used in) operating activities or other income statement or cash flow statement data prepared in accordance with GAAP or as a measure of profitability or liquidity. In addition, the calculation of free cashflow does not reflect cash used to service debt and, therefore, does not reflect funds available for investment or other discretionary uses. Also, these non-GAAP financial measures, as determined and presented by the Company, may not be comparable to related or similarly titled measures reported by other companies.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding anticipated financial results and liquidity. The words "will," "may, ""designed to," "outlook," "believes," "should," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intends," "estimates," "forecasts" and similar expressions identify certain of these forward-looking statements. The Company also may provide forward-looking statements in oral statements or other written materials released to the public. All statements contained or incorporated in this press release or in any other public statements that address operating performance, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended April 3, 2021, and its other Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Future operating results will be based on various factors, including actual industry production volumes, the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business and the global economy, supply chain disruptions, actual industry production volumes, commodity prices, the impact of restructuring actions and the Company's success in implementing its operating strategy.
Information in this press release relies on assumptions in the Company's sales backlog. The Company's sales backlog reflects anticipated net sales from formally awarded new programs less lost and discontinued programs. The Company enters into contracts with its customers to provide production parts generally at the beginning of a vehicle’s life cycle. Typically, these contracts do not provide for a specified quantity of production, and many of these contracts may be terminated by the Company’s customers at any time. Therefore, these contracts do not represent firm orders. Further, the calculation of the sales backlog does not reflect customer price reductions on existing or newly awarded programs. The sales backlog may be impacted by various assumptions embedded in the calculation, including vehicle production levels on new programs, foreign exchange rates and the timing of major program launches.
The forward-looking statements in this press release are made as of the date hereof, and the Company does not assume any obligation to update, amend or clarify them to reflect events, new information or circumstances occurring after the date hereof.
About Lear Corporation
Lear, a global automotive technology leader in Seating and E-Systems, enables superior in-vehicle experiences for consumers around the world. Lear’s diverse team of talented employees in 38 countries is driven by a commitment to innovation, operational excellence, and sustainability. Lear is Making every drive better™ by providing the technology for safer, smarter, and more comfortable journeys. Lear, headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, serve severy major automaker in the world and ranks 179 on the Fortune 500. Further information about Lear is available at lear.com or on Twitter @LearCorporation.