Astronics Reports Huge Second Quarter, Remains Undervalued

| About: Astronics Corporation (ATRO)


Second-quarter revenue up 146% due to acquisitions, but organic growth also saw double digits.

Earnings per share hit by inventory write ups.

Company remains well positioned to capture aerospace boom.

Back in January, I highlighted Astronics Corporation (ATRO) as one of my favorite aerospace and small cap stock ideas. The company recently reported second-quarter earnings, which saw revenue grow a huge 146% thanks to acquisitions. Here is an update on this great stock pick to capture the coming aerospace boom.

Total second-quarter revenue increased to $174 million, an increase of 146%. This is also a nice improvement over the $140 million posted in the first quarter. Without acquisitions, revenue grew an extremely healthy 14.1%.

Bookings of $139 million were the second best in company history, falling only behind the $146 million posted in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. The company's backlog now stands at $327 million.

The other thing that investors should keep in mind is the second quarter inventory write-ups. This was a big topic during the earnings call and question and answer segment. Due to acquisitions, Astronics had to recognize some items at full value, which had a negative impact on inventory and earnings. The company reported earnings per share of $0.70 in the quarter. However, the company believes that this number was negatively impacted by as much as $0.32 per share. Add that number in and you have a quarter with over $1 in earnings per share.

The fiscal year is moving along strong with two huge reported quarters. Year to date revenue of $315 million is up 118% from the prior year. Without acquisitions, year to date revenue is up 12.5%. Earnings per share for the first six months is $1.09.

Astronics is a huge player in the aerospace market, but is also somewhat diversified amongst the large aerospace companies. In the first six months, the company's two largest revenue sources were Panasonic and Boeing at 15% and 14% of sales respectively. Another major customer was added recently with TBM-France, an airplane maker in Europe. Back in January, I highlighted the strong lineup of customers, which included Rockwell Collins, L3, General Atomics, and GE Aviation.

The diversification and non-reliance on one customer are a good sign for Astronics and its investors. As Boeing, Airbus, and others go head to head on price and major deals for new airplanes, Astronics continues to be a part of major deals. Another positive sign for investors is Astronics mention of a new "significant customer", that won't be revealed until the 10-K statement at the end of the year. While this customer wasn't announced, Astronics did say the customer had sales of $40 million in the recent quarter.

The only major area of concern for Astronics is its high debt load. The company ended the second quarter with $21 million in cash and $225 million in debt. The debt level has increased sharply, due to several acquisitions. As seen from the huge move in revenue, the acquisitions are increasing sales and bringing money to the bottom line. I don't see high debt being a huge issue in the short term.

Analysts see Astronics posting revenue of $650.8 million in fiscal 2014, good for an increase of 91%. Year to date, revenue is up over 100% from the prior year, so there is a chance this number could be well eclipsed with a strong second half. Earnings for the year are estimated to be $2.90, a large improvement from the $1.49 in the previous year. Going forward, analysts see earnings improving to $3.35 in fiscal 2015 and revenue growing 8.7% to $707.3 million. Shares trade at 20 times fiscal 2014 estimates and 18 times fiscal 2015 estimates in consideration to earnings per share.

Astronics raised its full-year guidance during the earnings call. The company now sees full-year sales coming in a range of $640 to $665 million. Astronics previously forecast sales hitting a range of $625 to $660 million. Hitting the new midpoint of sales estimates would represent a year-over-year gain of 91% for revenue.

I think the tone of fiscal 2015 is rather conservative from analysts. This is a company that has grown through acquisitions, but also posted strong double digit organic revenue gains in recent history. I think the 2015 number should be closer to the 10 to 12% range and earnings could come in closer to $3.50. Of course any new acquisitions, which the company has grown to love, could boost those estimates of mine higher.

Astronics stock trades just under $60, which falls closer to the high end of its 52-week range ($30.82 to $72.99). Year to date, shares of Astronics are up 18%. Over the last fifty two weeks, shares are up 93%. However, shares are now down 22% from 52-week highs seen back in March. I believe this high growth name deserves the high multiple it has been given and should see further gains with conservative 2015 estimates.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.