Acme United Reports 14% Sales Increase and 17% Diluted EPS Increase for First Quarter of 2018

FAIRFIELD, Conn., April 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Acme United Corporation (NYSE American:ACU) today announced that net sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 were $31.7 million compared to $27.7 million in the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 14%.

Net income was $765,000 or $0.21 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 compared to $659,000, or $0.18 per diluted share, for the comparable period last year, an increase of 16% in net income and 17% in diluted earnings per share. 

Walter C. Johnsen, Chairman and CEO said, “We have just completed another record first quarter in sales and earnings.  All of our major product groups and our international businesses contributed, with especially strong growth in our first aid and safety products, where we have been gaining industrial customers through our patented SmartCompliance System.  Continuing the trend we have been seeing since 2013, our on-line sales were robust. This was a strong start for 2018, and we have many plans to continue introducing new products and applications that leverage our proprietary technologies, our diverse customer base and our global reach.”

For the first quarter of 2018, net sales in the U.S. segment increased 13% compared to the same period in 2017. The sales increase was mainly due to market share gains in first aid and safety, growth in Westcott office scissors, and strong performance from the Camillus, DMT, and Cuda knives and sharpening tools.

Net sales in Canada for the first quarter of 2018 increased 12% in U.S. dollars and 8% in local currency compared to the same period in 2017, primarily due to gains in the school and office channel and higher sales of Camillus knives.

European net sales for the first quarter of 2018 increased 27% in U.S. dollars and 10% in local currency compared to the first quarter of 2017, mainly due to new customers in the office products channel, growth of DMT products, and strong e-commerce demand for these products. 

Gross margin was 38.2% in the first quarter of 2018 versus 38.1% in the comparable period last year. 

The Company is providing financial guidance for 2018 of approximately $140 million in revenues, $5.7 million in net income, and $1.53 earnings per share.  This compares to sales of $130.6 million, non-GAAP net income of $5.3 million and earnings per share of $1.42 for 2017.  (As previously reported, the Company’s GAAP net income of $4.1 million for 2017 included a $1.2 million non-cash tax charge related to the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.)

The Company’s bank debt less cash on March 31, 2018 was $43.7 million compared to $38.2 million on March 31, 2017.  During the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2018, the Company purchased its manufacturing and distribution facility in Vancouver, WA for $4.0 million and distributed $1.4 million in dividends on its common stock. 

Conference Call and Webcast Information
Acme United will hold a conference call to discuss its quarterly results, which will be broadcast on Friday, April 20, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. To listen or participate in a question and answer session, dial 800-289-0438. International callers may dial 323-794-2423. You may access the live webcast of the conference call through the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website, A replay may be accessed under Investor Relations, Audio Archives.

About Acme United
ACME UNITED CORPORATION is a leading worldwide supplier of innovative safety solutions and cutting technology to the school, home, office, hardware, sporting goods and industrial markets. Its leading brands include First Aid Only®,  PhysiciansCare®, Pac-Kit®,Spill Magic®, Westcott®, Clauss®, Camillus®, Cuda®, and DMT®. For more information, visit

Forward Looking Statements
Forward-looking statements in this report, including without limitation, statements related to the Company’s plans, strategies, objectives, expectations, intentions and adequacy of resources, are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, the following:  (i) changes in the Company’s plans, strategies, objectives, expectations and intentions,  which may be made at any time at the discretion of the Company; (ii) the impact of uncertainties in global economic conditions, including the impact on the Company’s suppliers and customers; (iii) changes in client needs and consumer spending habits; (iv) the impact of competition and technological changes on the Company; (v) the Company’s ability to manage its growth effectively, including its ability to successfully integrate any business it might acquire; (vi) currency fluctuations; (vii) increases in the cost of borrowings resulting from rising interest rates; (viii) uncertainties arising from the interpretation and application of the recently enacted Tax Act; and (ix) other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

 Quarter Ended Quarter Ended
Amounts in 000's except per share dataMarch 31, 2018 March 31, 2017
Net sales$31,709 $27,745
Cost of goods sold19,585 17,181
Gross profit  12,124   10,564
Selling, general and administrative expenses  10,774   9,372
Operating income  1,350   1,192
Interest expense, net  405   263
Other income, net  (28)   (9)
Income before income tax expense  974   938
Income tax expense  209   279
Net income$  765 $  659
Shares outstanding - Basic  3,374   3,329
Shares outstanding - Diluted3,662 3,730
Earnings per share - basic$0.23 $0.20
Earnings per share - diluted0.21 0.18

Amounts in $000's   
 March 31, 2018 March 31, 2017
Current assets:   
Cash and cash equivalents$1,065 $6,175
Accounts receivable, less allowance24,451 21,251
Inventories41,900 37,284
Prepaid expenses and other current assets2,801 2,879
Total current assets70,217 67,589
Plant, Property and equipment, net14,158 8,380
Intangible assets, less amortization17,576 19,525
Goodwill4,696   3,948
Other assets597 762
Total assets$107,246 $100,204
Liabilities and stockholders' equity   
Current liabilities:   
Accounts payable$7,483 $5,731
Other current liabilities3,669 3,204
Total current liabilities11,152 8,935
Long-term debt41,100 44,382
Mortgage payable, net of current portion3,644   - 
Other non-current liabilities859 284
Total liabilities 56,755 53,601
Total stockholders' equity50,491 46,603
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity$107,246 $100,204

CONTACT:Paul G. DriscollAcme United Corporation55 Walls DriveFairfield, CT  06824
 Phone: (203) 254-6060FAX: (203) 254-6521  

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