Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mohawk Industries, Inc. Announces Third Quarter Earnings

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MHK) today announced 2008 third quarter sales of $1,763 million, a decrease of 9% from 2007. The company generated cash flow from operations of $185 million, paid down debt of $128 million and has over $800 million available under current credit facilities. As a result of Mohawk's declining stock price and deteriorating industry conditions, accounting rules required non-cash charges for a preliminary goodwill and other intangibles impairment of $1,216 million net of tax and for a deferred tax asset impairment of $253 million. While our goodwill and other intangibles impairment analysis is not yet complete, we believe the preliminary amount is a reasonable estimate and we will adjust the charge if required. These impairment charges do not require any cash payments or impact our operations, liquidity or debt covenants. Including the non-cash write offs during the quarter, the company reported a net loss of $1,394 million or $20.37 per share. Excluding the non-cash write off, non-GAAP net earnings were $76 million or $1.10 per share. In the third quarter of 2007, net earnings were $122 million or $1.78 per share.

Net sales for the first nine months of 2008 were $5,341 million representing an 8% decrease from 2007. For the first nine months of 2008, the loss was $1,239 million or $18.12 per share including a non-cash write off for a preliminary goodwill and other intangibles impairment of $1,216 million net of tax and for a deferred tax asset impairment of $253 million. Excluding the non-cash write off's, non-GAAP net earnings were $230 million or $3.35 per share in the first nine months of 2008.

In commenting on the third quarter results, Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum, Chairman and CEO stated, "We generated strong cash flow from operations of $185 million during the period while our earnings were under pressure from falling demand and higher costs. All of our businesses are focused on reducing overhead costs, managing working capital and enhancing sales and margins. The U.S. economy is declining with consumers reducing discretionary expenditures. Residential home sales and remodeling are at low levels and commercial projects are being impacted by tightening credit and softening business conditions. The European economy has become significantly weaker and affected both our flooring and non-flooring products. Government intervention should help stabilize the banking system and improve availability of credit. We are hopeful that the declining energy and commodity prices will help strengthen consumer confidence and lead to an improvement in the flooring market next year.

The Mohawk segment was impacted most by the down turn. Sales declined by 11% with both costs and revenues under pressure. Almost every channel and product category has slowed during the quarter. The price increases we announced in the summer should be fully implemented by year end. During the quarter raw materials escalated more than we anticipated. Additional price increases were initiated in our ceramic, laminate, and vinyl products during the period. Our SG&A has been reduced from the prior year and will decline further in the future from additional actions. To right size the business, we announced closing two staple yarn plants and several regional distribution centers in the fourth quarter. This restructuring will benefit us with lower overhead and more efficient operations going forward. We are carefully rationalizing all our facilities to match the needs for both our near-term and long-term environment.

Dal-Tile sales declined in the quarter 5% below the prior year with business deteriorating through the quarter. We believe Dal-Tile is performing much better than the overall ceramic market. We are increasing our product offerings to the hospitality, multifamily and other commercial segments. New commercial introductions in the American Olean brand will add to our commercial sales through independent distributors. We have begun our factory direct program for large customers and expanded our product line for the Mexican market. We are reducing our ceramic production in the fourth quarter with both shorter work schedules and shift reductions. Our sales, distribution and administrative infrastructures are being reduced further to adapt to the poor environment. Savings in trucking costs are being achieved through increased fleet utilization and synergies with other Mohawk shipments.

The Unilin sales declined 5% as reported or 11% on a constant exchange rate basis. The Western European market has softened substantially as the global economy declines. Our laminate sales were down in both U.S. and Europe with Eastern Europe and Russia out performing other areas. Our laminate royalties have also declined as the industry units contracted. Roofing system sales were slightly up for the period. Our European board volume has declined along with the industry and pricing is at cyclical low levels. In the Columbia wood operations, we have taken out costs and launched new products. Customer demand for wood is very challenging and Columbia continues to operate at a loss. During the period, Unilin costs were higher due to rising chemical, energy, transportation and increased unabsorbed overhead. Many cost initiatives are under way including reengineering products, implementing new systems and reducing infrastructure."

The fourth quarter outlook is challenging due to the slowing economy, tightening credit and falling consumption of consumers and businesses. We do not expect to benefit significantly from declining oil and energy until the first half of 2009. In the quarter, our businesses will reduce inventory with increased shut downs and be impacted by a decline in product mix. The stronger dollar is expected to negatively impact our results in the period. Based on these factors our EPS guidance for the fourth quarter of 2008 is $0.20 to $0.30. Excluded from this guidance is a fourth quarter restructuring charge of $25 to $30 million related to closing facilities which will benefit our future operations.

We anticipate 2009 results will improve from our second half in 2008. During 2009 higher selling prices and lower costs should help our margins. Actions taken in 2008 to reduce overhead, improve productivity, shut down high cost capacity and manage inventories will positively impact our operations. Consumer discretionary spending for flooring will improve from substantial government stimulus, additional liquidity, lower gas and falling commodity prices. We remain convinced Mohawk will be a stronger company when we come out of this cycle.

Certain of the statements in the immediately preceding paragraphs, particularly anticipating future performance, business prospects, growth and operating strategies and similar matters and those that include the words "could," "should," "believes," "anticipates," "expects," and "estimates," or similar expressions constitute "forward-looking statements." For those statements, Mohawk claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward- looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements will be accurate because they are based on many assumptions, which involve risks and uncertainties. The following important factors could cause future results to differ: changes in economic or industry conditions; competition; raw material and energy costs and supply; timing and level of capital expenditures; integration of acquisitions; impairment charges; rationalization of operations; litigation and other risks identified in Mohawk's SEC reports and public announcements.

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