Illinois Tool Works Inc. recently reported its 3rd quarter 2019 results including GAAP earnings per share (EPS) of $2.04 compared to $1.90 in the 3rd quarter of 2018. Foreign currency had a $0.05 negative impact to earnings per share versus the prior year.
“While the demand environment continued to moderate across a broad cross section of our portfolio, we delivered another solid quarter with excellent operational execution,” said E. Scott Santi, chairman and CEO. “Our ability to overcome near-term macro challenges and deliver seven percent earnings per share growth, expand margins to 25 percent, and grow free cash flow by 12 percent is a direct result of our high quality business portfolio, the performance power of the ITW business model, and focused execution by our team of dedicated ITW professionals around the world.”
Revenue of $3.5 billion was down 3.7 percent with unfavorable foreign currency translation impact of 1.8 percent and a decline in organic revenue of 1.7 percent. The company’s ongoing Product Line Simplification (PLS) activities reduced organic growth by 60 basis points. The 3rd quarter 2019 benefited from one extra shipping day versus the prior year. Adjusting for this impact, organic revenues declined 3.2 percent on an equal day basis versus a decline of 2.8 percent in the second quarter.
Operating margin was 25.0 percent as enterprise initiatives contributed 120 basis points. Price/cost was favorable 20 basis points. Free Cash Flow was $830 million, an increase of 12 percent versus the prior year and 126 percent of net income. In the quarter, the company repurchased $375 million of its own shares and raised its dividend seven percent to an annualized $4.28 per share.
After-tax return on invested capital was 29.2 percent, an improvement of 120 basis points. The effective tax rate in the 3rd quarter was 21.6 percent, and benefited from a $21 million or $0.07 EPS adjustment to the company’s estimated U.S. federal tax liability for tax year 2018.
2019 Full-Year Guidance
The company is maintaining its full-year GAAP EPS guidance of $7.55 to $7.85 per share, as compared to GAAP EPS of $7.60 in 2018. Year-over-year headwinds from foreign currency translation impact and higher restructuring expenses are expected to impact 2019 EPS by approximately $0.30. The company expects organic revenue down one to three percent, and operating margin of approximately 24 percent. Free cash flow is expected to exceed 100 percent of net income and the company is on pace to repurchase approximately $1.5 billion of its shares.
This earnings release contains certain non-GAAP financial measures. A reconciliation of these measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures is included in the attached supplemental reconciliation schedule.