Marysville, OH, United States
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MARYSVILLE, Ohio, May 02, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE:SMG), the world’s leading marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, today announced fiscal second quarter results as well as the pending sale of its European and Australian businesses, a major step in its continued execution of ‘Project Focus.’ For the second quarter ended April 1, 2017, company-wide sales declined 3 percent to $1.20 billion due primarily to challenging comparisons versus favorable early spring weather in 2016, when the Company reported record results at the start to the lawn and garden season. Those same challenging comparisons, which the Company anticipated in its planning for the year, resulted in GAAP earnings per share of $2.73 versus $3.64 and Non-GAAP adjusted earnings per share of $2.78 versus $3.00 a year ago. “We’ve had strong momentum over the past several weeks and consumer purchases entering May – historically the peak of the lawn and garden season – are down less than one percent from last year,” said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and chief executive officer.  “We expected a difficult comparison through the first half of the year and we are confident in how we are positioned for the balance of the season. We also remain pleased with the continued double-digit growth so far this year in our hydroponics products sold by the Hawthorne Gardening business.” Separately, the Company announced it has received a binding and irrevocable offer for its European and Australian consumer operations from Exponent Private Equity LLP. The proposed transaction, valued at approximately $250 million (USD), is expected to close during the Company’s fiscal fourth quarter, and is subject to prior consultation with the works councils, employee representative bodies and regulatory approval. Depending on the timing of closure, the transaction could result in dilution by up to $0.20 per share in fiscal 2017. “There is no doubt that our International lawn and garden business is the strongest in the marketplace with outstanding brand recognition and a talented and dedicated team of associates,” Hagedorn said. “While this sale is a reflection of our commitment to concentrate more resources on our U.S. business, as we outlined last year in announcing Project Focus, we wanted to make sure we found a partner that would steward these brands, give stability to our associates and provide our shareholders with a fair valuation. We are delighted with the proposed agreement we have reached with Exponent, and we believe it accomplishes all of those goals. We expect this transaction to be seamless to our retail partners, our consumers and our associates.” Second quarter details The Company noted that the presentation of its Non-GAAP financial results has been adjusted from 2016 to conform with current best practices. The “pro-forma” language included last year after the divestiture of Scotts LawnService is now referred to as “Non-GAAP SLS divestiture adjusted income.” This line adjusts for the impact of the divestiture and also excludes impairment, restructuring and other one-time items. The calculation used is the same from year-to-year. For the fiscal second quarter, the Company reported sales of $1.20 billion compared with $1.24 billion for the same period a year ago. The decline was driven primarily by a 7 percent decrease in sales within the U.S. Consumer segment, which were $962.5 million. European consumer sales declined 8 percent to $105.3 million, or 2 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange. Sales in the “Other” segment increased 50 percent to $135.7 million, driven primarily by acquisitions. “Besides the pure benefit of the acquired growth, Hawthorne had an outstanding quarter as each of our hydroponics businesses grew double digits,” Hagedorn said. “On a comparative basis, our hydroponics portfolio grew 22 percent in the second quarter, bringing year-to-date sales growth to 13 percent.” The GAAP and Non-GAAP adjusted gross margin rates in the quarter were 41.7 percent, down 20 basis points from year-ago levels. Favorable commodities and pricing were offset by acquisitions and negative fixed cost leverage. A continued focus on selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) led to a decrease of 2 percent to $197.8 million despite the impact of acquisitions. On a company-wide basis, GAAP income from continuing operations was $165.3 million, or $2.73 per diluted share, compared with $225.8 million, or $3.64 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2016. Non-GAAP SLS divestiture adjusted income was $168.7 million, or $2.78 per share, compared with $186.6 million, or $3.00 per share. This latter calculation is the basis of the Company’s earnings guidance. Year-to-Date Details Net sales for the first six months of fiscal 2016 increased 1 percent to $1.45 billion. Sales in the U.S. Consumer segment declined 6 percent to $1.09 billion. Sales for Europe Consumer declined 8 percent to $129.7 million, or declined 2 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates. Sales for the Other segment increased 59 percent to $232.6 million. The GAAP and Non-GAAP adjusted gross margin rates for the first six months were 37.7 percent, compared to 37.4 and 37.8 percent, respectively, in the prior year. SG&A increased 1 percent to $316.9 from $314.2 in the prior year. GAAP income from continuing operations was $101.0 million, or $1.65 per diluted share, compared with $146.6 million, or $2.35 per diluted share. Non-GAAP SLS divestiture adjusted income was $111.1 million, or $1.82 per share, compared with $117.4 million, or $1.88 per share. This latter calculation is the basis of the Company’s earnings guidance. International Transaction and ‘Project Focus’ Update The pending sale of the European and Australian businesses is expected to be the last step in the reconfiguration of the company portfolio under ‘Project Focus,’ which was outlined at the start of fiscal 2016. Assuming the sale is completed, the company’s operating margin is expected to improve by approximately 125 basis points, a significant step toward the Company’s stated goal of 18 percent. The transaction is expected to be dilutive to earnings per share up to $0.20 in fiscal 2017. The Company expects to largely offset that dilution in fiscal 2018 by using the cash proceeds of the transaction for acquisitions and share repurchase activities in both 2017 and 2018. “We are extremely pleased with the transaction we’ve reached with Exponent and see it as the best possible outcome for our shareholders,” said Randy Coleman, chief financial officer. “Going forward, more than 95 percent of our revenue and income will be generated in the United States, where our competitive advantages are the strongest and where our ability to improve cash flow and drive shareholder value is the greatest.” Upon completion of the transaction, the Company intends to change its segment reporting structure to include U.S. Consumer, Hawthorne Gardening Company, and “Other,” which will include Canada, Mexico and legacy supply agreements with third parties. The new segments will likely be reported when the Company announces year-end results in early November. Conference Call and Webcast Scheduled for 9:00 a.m. ET Today, May 2 The Company will discuss results during a webcast and conference call today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Conference call participants should call 877-518-0009 (Conference Code: 6752971).  A live webcast of the call will be available on the investor relations section of the Company's website at http://investor.scotts.com.  An archive of the webcast, as well as any accompanying financial information regarding any non-GAAP financial measures discussed by the Company during the call, will remain available for at least 12 months. In addition, a replay of the call can be heard by calling 888-203-1112. The replay will be available for 30 days. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements Statements contained in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, which address activities, events and developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including, but not limited to, information regarding the future economic performance and financial condition of the Company, the plans and objectives of the Company’s management, and the Company’s assumptions regarding such performance and plans are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified as statements that include phrases such as “guidance,” “outlook,” “projected,” “believe,” “target,” “predict,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “strategy,” “may,” “goal,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “foresee,” “likely,” “will,” “should” or other similar words or phrases. Actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking information in this release due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: Additional detailed information concerning a number of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained in this release is readily available in the Company’s publicly filed quarterly, annual and other reports. The Company disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments. (1) Basic income (loss) per common share amounts are calculated by dividing income (loss) from continuing operations, income (loss) from discontinued operations and net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period. (2) Diluted income (loss) per common share amounts are calculated by dividing income (loss) from continuing operations, income (loss) from discontinued operations and net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest by the weighted average number of common shares, plus all potential dilutive securities (common stock options, performance shares, performance units, restricted stock and restricted stock units) outstanding during the period. (3) On April 13, 2016, pursuant to the terms of the Contribution and Distribution Agreement, by and among the Company and TruGreen Holding Corporation (“TruGreen Holdings”), the Company completed the contribution of the Scotts LawnService® business (the “SLS Business”) to a newly formed subsidiary of TruGreen Holdings (the “TruGreen Joint Venture”) in exchange for a minority equity interest of 30% in the TruGreen Joint Venture. As a result, effective in its second quarter of fiscal 2016, the Company classified its results of operations for all periods presented to reflect the SLS Business as a discontinued operation and classified the assets and liabilities of the SLS Business as held for sale. The Company’s 30% interest in the TruGreen Joint Venture has been accounted for using the equity method of accounting, with the Company's proportionate share of the TruGreen Joint Venture earnings reflected in the consolidated statements of operations. To supplement the financial measures prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), the Company uses non-GAAP financial measures. The reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP are shown in the tables above. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for or superior to, financial measures reported in accordance with GAAP. Moreover, these non-GAAP financial measures have limitations in that they do not reflect all the items associated with the operations of the business as determined in accordance with GAAP. Other companies may calculate similarly titled non-GAAP financial measures differently than the Company, limiting the usefulness of those measures for comparative purposes. In addition to GAAP measures, management uses these non-GAAP financial measures to evaluate the Company’s performance, engage in financial and operational planning and determine incentive compensation because it believes that these measures provide additional perspective on and, in some circumstances are more closely correlated to, the performance of the Company’s underlying, ongoing business. Management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures are useful to investors in their assessment of operating performance and the valuation of the Company. In addition, these non-GAAP financial measures address questions routinely received from analysts and investors and, in order to ensure that all investors have access to the same data, management has determined that it is appropriate to make this data available to all investors. Non-GAAP financial measures exclude the impact of certain items (as further described below) and provide supplemental information regarding operating performance. By disclosing these non-GAAP financial measures, management intends to provide investors with a supplemental comparison of operating results and trends for the periods presented. Management believes these measures are also useful to investors as such measures allow investors to evaluate performance using the same metrics that management uses to evaluate past performance and prospects for future performance. Non-GAAP financial measures reflect adjustments based on the following items: The tax effect for each of the items listed above is determined using the tax rate and other tax attributes applicable to the item and the jurisdiction(s) in which the item is recorded. The reconciliations of non-GAAP disclosure items includes the following financial measures that are not calculated in accordance with GAAP and are utilized by management in evaluating the performance of the business, engaging in financial and operational planning, the determination of incentive compensation, and by investors and analysts in evaluating performance of the business: Adjusted gross profit: Gross profit excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries. Adjusted income (loss) from operations: Income (loss) from operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries. Adjusted equity in income (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates: Equity in income (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates excluding TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments. Adjusted income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes: Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments. Adjusted income tax expense (benefit) from continuing operations: Income tax expense (benefit) from continuing operations excluding the tax effect of impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments. Adjusted income (loss) from continuing operations: Income (loss) from continuing operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. Adjusted net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest from continuing operations: Net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing, TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments and discontinued operations, each net of tax. Adjusted diluted income (loss) per common share from continuing operations: Diluted income (loss) per common share from continuing operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. SLS Divestiture adjusted income (loss): Net income (loss) from continuing operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. This measure also includes income (loss) from discontinued operations related to the SLS Business; however, excludes the gain on the contribution of the SLS Business to the TruGreen Joint Venture, each net of tax. SLS Divestiture adjusted income (loss) per common share: Diluted net income (loss) per common share excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. This measure also includes income (loss) from discontinued operations related to the SLS Business; however, excludes the gain on the contribution of the SLS Business to the TruGreen Joint Venture, each net of tax. Adjusted EBITDA: Net income (loss) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as well as certain other items such as the impact of the cumulative effect of changes in accounting, costs associated with debt refinancing and other non-recurring or non-cash items affecting net income (loss). The presentation of adjusted EBITDA is intended to be consistent with the calculation of that measure as required by the Company’s borrowing arrangements, and used to calculate a leverage ratio (maximum of 4.50 at December 31, 2016) and an interest coverage ratio (minimum of 3.00 for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016). For the three and six months ended April 1, 2017, the Company incurred costs of $3.3 million and $4.7 million, respectively, as compared to costs of $1.7 million and $2.6 million for the three and six months ended April 2, 2016, respectively, related to Project Focus transaction activity within the “Impairment, restructuring and other” line in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. The Company also incurred TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments of $2.1 million and $11.7 million for the three and six months ended April 1, 2017, respectively, within the “Equity in loss of unconsolidated affiliates” line in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. For the three and six months ended April 2, 2016, the Company incurred $1.0 million and $6.4 million, respectively, in costs related to consumer complaints and claims related to the reformulated Bonus® S fertilizer product sold in the southeastern United States during fiscal 2015 within the “Impairment, restructuring and other” and the “Cost of sales—impairment, restructuring and other” lines in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. Additionally, the Company recorded offsetting insurance reimbursement recoveries of $50.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 within the “Impairment, restructuring and other” line in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. In this earnings release, the Company presents its outlook for fiscal 2017 non-GAAP adjusted EPS. The Company does not provide a GAAP EPS outlook, which is the most directly comparable GAAP measure to non-GAAP adjusted EPS, because changes in the items that the Company excludes from GAAP EPS to calculate non-GAAP adjusted EPS, described above, can be dependent on future events that are less capable of being controlled or reliably predicted by management and are not part of the Company’s routine operating activities. Additionally, due to their unpredictability, management does not forecast the excluded items for internal use and therefore cannot create or rely on a GAAP EPS outlook without unreasonable efforts. The timing and amount of any of the excluded items could significantly impact the Company’s GAAP EPS. As a result, the Company does not provide a reconciliation of guidance for non-GAAP adjusted EPS to GAAP EPS, in reliance on the unreasonable efforts exception provided under Item 10(e)(1)(i)(B) of Regulation S-K. (5) In April 2015, the FASB issued an accounting standard update that requires debt issuance costs related to a recognized debt liability to be presented in the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the corresponding debt liability rather than as an asset; however debt issuance costs relating to revolving credit facilities will remain in other assets. The Company adopted this guidance on a retrospective basis effective October 1, 2016. As a result, debt issuance costs totaling $6.3 million and $6.0 million have been presented as a component of the carrying amount of long-term debt in the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets as of April 2, 2016 and September 30, 2016, respectively. These amounts were previously reported within other assets.


Bailey K.L.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Pitt W.M.,Charles Sturt University | Falk S.,The Scotts Company | Derby J.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada
Biological Control | Year: 2011

Phoma macrostoma 94-44B was evaluated against 94 plant species in 34 botanical families, of economically important agricultural, horticultural and ornamental species, as well as target and nontarget weeds. Fifty-seven species from 28 families were found to be resistant to P. macrostoma, while 38 species from 12 families, six of which also contained resistant species, were found to be susceptible. Those families comprising both susceptible and resistant species included the Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Plantaginaceae and Rosaceae with the foremost three containing the largest numbers of susceptible species. P. macrostoma was pathogenic to many dicotyledonous plant species, but nonpathogenic to monocots. Commercial applications for weed management in turfgrass, agriculture, horticulture and forestry seem probable, while domestically management of weeds in lawns, transplanted ornamental and annual flowering species may provide alternative markets. © 2011.


Steele M.A.,Wilkes University | Rompre G.,Wilkes University | Rompre G.,The Scotts Company | Stratford J.A.,Wilkes University | And 4 more authors.
Integrative Zoology | Year: 2015

Scatterhoarding rodents often place caches in the open where pilferage rates are reduced, suggesting that they tradeoff higher risks of predation for more secure cache sites. We tested this hypothesis in two study systems by measuring predation risks inferred from measures of giving-up densities (GUDs) at known cache sites and other sites for comparison. Rodent GUDs were measured with small trays containing 3 L of fine sand mixed with sunflower seeds. In the first experiment, we relied on a 2-year seed dispersal study in a natural forest to identify caches of eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and then measured GUDs at: (i) these caches; (ii) comparable points along logs and rocks where rodent activity was assumed highest; and (iii) a set of random points. We found that GUDs and, presumably, predation risks, were higher at both cache and random points than those with cover. At the second site, we measured GUDs of eastern gray squirrels in an open park system and found that GUDs were consistently lowest at the base of the tree compared to more open sites, where previous studies show caching by squirrels to be highest and pilferage rates by naïve competitors to be lowest. These results confirm that predation risks can influence scatterhoarding decisions but that they are also highly context dependent, and that the landscape of fear, now so well documented in the literature, could potentially shape the temporal and spatial patterns of seedling establishment and forest regeneration in systems where scatterhoarding is common. © 2015 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.


Studzinska A.K.,Ohio State University | Gardner D.S.,Ohio State University | Metzger J.D.,Ohio State University | Shetlar D.,501 Carmack Road | And 2 more authors.
HortScience | Year: 2012

Turf grown in shade exhibits increased stem elongation. Dwarfismcould improve turfgrass quality by reducing elongation. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of GA2-oxidase (GA2ox) over expression on creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) performance under restricted light conditions and low mowing heights. Greenhouse studies were conducted at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, from 1 Sept. to 31 Oct. in both 2008 and 2009. Two experimental lines,Ax6548 and Ax6549, transformed with CP4 EPSPS and PcGA2ox gene; and a nontransformed control (NTC) was subjected to four light environments: full sun, reduced red to far red light ratio (R:FR), neutral shade [reduced photosynthetic photon flux (PPF)], and canopy shade (reduced PPF and R:FR). Turf was evaluated every 10 days for color and percent coverage. GA2ox over expression resulted in darker green color in both transgenic lines under all light treatments as compared with NTC plants. No differences in overall turfgrass coverage were noted in full sun conditions among the lines. A significant decrease in turf coverage occurred for all shade treatments regardless of line. However, Ax6549 decreased the least. Overall data indicated that GA2ox over expression can improve quality of turfgrass under reduced light conditions.


Bailey K.L.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Falk S.,The Scotts Company | Derby J.-A.,Agriculture and Agri Food Canada | Melzer M.,University of Guelph | Boland G.J.,University of Guelph
Biological Control | Year: 2013

Phoma macrostoma is registered as a bioherbicide in North America to control broadleaved weeds species in turfgrass. A study was conducted to examine the effect of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, lime, and commercial fertilizers with or without applications of the bioherbicide on the reduction of dandelion under greenhouse and field conditions. The bioherbicide provided 70-100% reduction of dandelion. The addition of nitrogen with the bioherbicide, in the form of urea (45-0-0), Scotts Turf Builder Pro (32-0-4 plus 2% Fe), and Scotts Lawn Pro (26-0-3, with no iron), significantly reduced dandelion more than in soil that was not amended with fertilizers in the greenhouse and field locations. Bioherbicide efficacy on dandelion was 10-20% better with these fertilizer treatments. Phosphate (0-46-0), potassium sulfate (0-0-42), and lime had either no effect or did not reduce dandelions under greenhouse conditions. This study showed that P. macrostoma retained bioherbicide efficacy on dandelion in conjunction with typical fertility practices and the combination of the bioherbicide with nitrogen fertilizers improved bioherbicide efficacy, especially in low nitrogen soils. © 2013.


Insecticidal compositions suitable for use in preparation of insecticidal granular fertilizer and insecticidal formulations comprising a pyrethroid and a glycol present in a concentration of from 40.0% by weight to 99.0% by weight based upon the total weight of all components in the composition is disclosed.

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