Turning Point Brands Zig-Zag Products Q3 Revenue Increases 17% to $42 Million

Turning Point Brands Announces Third Quarter 2021 Results; Updates 2021 Guidance and Increases Share Repurchase Authorization

-Q3 2021 Net Sales Increased 5.5 Percent Year-Over-Year
-Q3 2021 Adjusted EBITDA Increased 9.9 Percent Year-Over-Year

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Turning Point Brands, Inc. (“TPB” or “the Company”) (NYSE: TPB), a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded consumer products, including alternative smoking accessories and consumables with active ingredients, announced today financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021.

Q3 2021 vs. Q3 2020

  • Net sales increased 5.5 percent to $109.9 million
  • Gross profit increased 12.3 percent to $54.3 million
  • Net income increased 49.3 percent to $13.4 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 9.9 percent to $26.3 million (see Schedule A for a reconciliation to net income)
  • Diluted EPS of $0.65 and Adjusted Diluted EPS of $0.72 as compared to $0.44 and $0.69 in the same period one year ago, respectively (see Schedule B for a reconciliation to Diluted EPS)

Our third quarter performance fell within our expectations with sales growth of 11% in our core business despite facing the headwind of COVID-related consumption and other benefits we experienced in the prior year period. Zig-Zag had another robust quarter driven by our strategic initiatives and growth within our Canadian business. Stoker’s saw double-digit growth in our Moist Snuff Tobacco (MST) business which drove growth in the overall segment.

Larry Wexler, President and CEO, Turning Point Brands

Regarding capital deployment, we continued to repurchase our shares during the quarter and today announced an increased share repurchase authorization. We also maintain a strong balance sheet to pursue a healthy pipeline of investment opportunities. Overall, we remain optimistic about the growth prospects in our core business.

Mr. Wexler continued, “NewGen managed through a disruptive environment due to the uncertainty surrounding the PMTA process. We are encouraged by the FDA’s decision to reconsider and place back into review our application for our proprietary vapor products. I am confident that we submitted a robust application and look forward to engaging with the FDA in its review. We will manage through near-term disruptions and limited visibility in the vape distribution business resulting from the PMTA process and logistical transitions driven by the PACT Act. We have temporarily reduced our exposure to mitigate risk while we navigate the evolving regulatory landscape and adjusted our short-term guidance accordingly. We continue to believe that robust regulatory oversight is a positive for the industry and we believe we are favorably positioned to leverage our strong regulatory and logistics capabilities to capitalize on an attractive long-term opportunity.”

Zig-Zag Products Segment (38 percent of total net sales in the quarter)

For the third quarter, net sales of Zig-Zag Products increased 17.4 percent to $42.2 million. Growth was led by a double-digit advance in our U.S. rolling papers business and strength in our Canadian business, including consolidation of ReCreation Marketing in the current year quarterly period. This was partially offset by a slight decline in our cigar wraps business driven by a trade inventory build that had pulled orders into the previous quarter. For the third quarter, total Zig-Zag Products segment volume increased 17.0 percent, while price / mix increased 0.4 percent.

For the quarter, Zig-Zag Products segment gross profit increased 11.5 percent to $23.7 million. The segment’s gross margin contracted 300 basis points to 56.1 percent, driven primarily by the consolidation of ReCreation Marketing in the current quarterly period.

Our growth initiatives within Zig-Zag continue to deliver strong results for the segment. Our U.S. papers business is being fueled by continued growth in paper cones and Zig-Zag’s e-commerce business.

Graham Purdy, Chief Operating Officer, Turning Point Brands

We are encouraged by the upcoming growth initiatives in our pipeline. Specifically, we are on track for new product launches which will include Zig-Zag hemp wraps and the introduction of Zig-Zag natural leaf tobacco wraps into the market.

Stoker’s Products Segment (28 percent of total net sales in the quarter)

For the third quarter, net sales of Stoker’s Products increased 2.4 percent to $30.5 million on double-digit growth of MST. This was partially offset by high single-digit decline of loose-leaf chewing tobacco which faced a challenging comparison in the prior year quarter when a competitor was offline due to a COVID-related disruption. MST represented 64 percent of Stoker’s Products revenues in the quarter, up from 59 percent a year earlier. For the third quarter, the total Stoker’s Products segment volume decreased 4.1 percent driven by the decline in loose-leaf chewing tobacco volume, and price / mix advanced 6.5 percent.

For the quarter, the Stoker’s Products segment gross profit increased 6.6 percent to $17.1 million. The segment’s gross margin expanded 220 basis points to 56.1 percent.

“Our Stoker’s MST business continued its strong growth trajectory and market share gains,” said Purdy. “Our loose-leaf chew business faced a tough prior year comparison but was in-line with the comparable 2019 period.”

NewGen Products Segment (34 percent of total net sales in the quarter)

For the third quarter, net sales of NewGen Products decreased 3.2 percent to $37.2 million. Sales were impacted by the regulatory environment in our vape distribution business which experienced a high-single-digit decline.

NewGen Products gross profit increased 22.4 percent to $13.5 million for the quarter. The segment gross margin expanded 760 basis points to 36.2 percent with the improvement partially driven by industry pricing pressure ahead of the PMTA submission deadline in the previous year comparable period.

“NewGen continues to manage through a rapidly evolving market driven by the uncertainty around the PMTA regulatory environment,” said Purdy. “We are encouraged that our proprietary products are under review by the FDA and look forward to engaging with the agency as it reviews our applications.”

Recent Events

Share Repurchase Authorization Increase

On October 25, 2021, the Board of Directors of Turning Point Brands increased the Company’s share repurchase authorization by $30.7 million to an aggregate amount of $50.0 million, including approximately $19.3 million available for repurchases under the Board’s previous authorization approved on Feb 25, 2020.

The repurchase authorization permits shares to be repurchased in open market or private transactions, through block trades, and pursuant to any trading plan or other arrangements. The timing, manner, price and amount of any repurchases will be determined by the Company’s management in its discretion and will be subject to economic and market conditions, stock price, applicable legal requirements and other factors. The repurchase authorization does not obligate the Company to purchase any specific number of shares and may be suspended or discontinued at any time.

FDA Rescinds Previous Market Denial Order for TPB’s Vapor Products

On October 11, 2021, TPB announced it was informed by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) that the agency had rescinded its previously announced September 14 Marketing Denial Order (“MDO”) for certain of its vapor products with pending Premarket Tobacco Product Applications (“PMTAs”) under review. All of TPB’s proprietary vapor products, including its Solace™ branded e-liquids, will continue to be marketed while they remain under review. In response to the September 14 MDO, the Company had filed a petition for relief and motion to stay the decision in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. On October 8, as a result of the rescission letter, TPB withdrew both the petition and motion.

Increased Equity Stake in ReCreation Marketing

On August 10, 2021, TPB announced that it had increased its equity stake in ReCreation Marketing (“ReCreation”), a Canadian distribution company, from 50 percent to 65 percent. The transaction was completed on Friday, July 30, 2021. ReCreation Marketing is a specialty marketing and distribution firm focused on building brands in the Canadian smoking accessories, vaping and alternative products categories. As part of this transaction, ReCreation will transition its company name to Turning Point Brands Canada Corporation. As a result of the ReCreation partnership, TPB expects to continue to expand its presence in Canada, creating an avenue for its broader portfolio of products to enter the Canadian market.

Performance Measures in the Third Quarter

Third quarter consolidated selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses were $31.9 million compared to $32.3 million in the third quarter of 2020.

The third quarter SG&A included the following notable items:

  • $1.8 million of stock options, restricted stock and incentive expense as compared to $0.8 million in the year-ago period
  • $1.0 million of FDA PMTA-related expenses compared to $5.3 million in the year-ago period
  • $4.9 million in outbound freight expense compared to $3.8 million in the year-ago period with the increase due to higher shipping costs on vapor products related to PACT Act implementation and higher freight costs across all segments

Total gross debt as of September 30, 2021, was $430.0 million. The corresponding net debt (total gross debt less cash) at September 30, 2021, was $299.4 million. The Company ended the quarter with total liquidity of $152.0 million, comprised of $130.6 million in cash and $21.4 million of revolving credit facility capacity.

During the quarter, the Company spent $6.4 million to repurchase 125,000 shares at an average price of $51.16 per share. The Company also retired a $10.0 million promissory note related to the previous acquisition of certain Durfort assets which resulted in a $0.4 million gain on extinguishment of debt. Subsequent to the end of the third quarter, we received notification for forgiveness of a $7.5 million unsecured loan which we anticipate will result in the extinguishment of the unsecured loan in the fourth quarter of 2021.

2021 Outlook

Primarily as a result of evolving market dynamics driven by the FDA regulatory environment along with further implementation of the PACT Act, and to a lesser extent supply chain-related delays pushing some sales of new products into the first quarter of 2022, the Company is revising its annual guidance provided on July 27, 2021 as follows:

  • Net sales of $433 to $443 million (compared to previous guidance of $447 to $462 million), which assumes:
    • Strong double-digit sales growth for Zig-Zag Products
    • Mid-to-high single-digit sales growth for Stoker’s Products (compared to previous guidance of high-single-digit sales growth)
    • A decline in sales for NewGen Products (compared to previous guidance of flat sales growth) which includes a double-digit decline in our vape distribution business (compared to previous guidance of low single-digit decline) offset by expected growth in Nu-X
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $104 to $108 million (compared to previous guidance of $108 to $113 million)

Other projections for 2021 include:

  • Stock compensation and non-cash incentive expense of $8 million
  • Cash interest expense of $19 million and GAAP interest expense of $21 million
  • Effective income tax rate of 23 percent to 24 percent
  • Capital expenditures of $6 million

For the fourth quarter of 2021, TPB projects:

  • Net sales of $93 to $103 million with growth in the Zig-Zag and Stoker’s segments and a double-digit decline in NewGen

Earnings Conference Call

As previously disclosed, a conference call with the investment community to review TPB’s financial results has been scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Investment community participants should dial in 10 minutes ahead of time using the toll-free number 888-660-6731 (international participants should call 929-203-1976), and follow the audio prompts after typing in the event ID: 6640134. A live listen-only webcast of the call will be available on the Events and Presentations section of the investor relations portion of the Company website (www.turningpointbrands.com). A replay of the webcast will be available on the site two hours following the call.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In addition to financial measures prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (GAAP), this press release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures including Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted diluted EPS and Adjusted Operating Income. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures accompanies this release.

About Turning Point Brands, Inc.

Turning Point Brands (NYSE: TPB) is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded consumer products including alternative smoking accessories and consumables with active ingredients through its iconic core brands Zig-Zag® and Stoker’s®, and its emerging brands within the NewGen segment. TPB’s products are available in more than 210,000 retail outlets in North America in addition to sites such as www.zigzag.com, www.nu-x.com and www.solacevapor.com. For the latest news and information about TPB and its brands, please visit www.turningpointbrands.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement our financial information presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or U.S. GAAP, we use non-U.S. GAAP financial measures, including EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted diluted EPS, and Adjusted Operating Income. We believe Adjusted EBITDA provides useful information to management and investors regarding certain financial and business trends relating to our financial condition and results of operations. Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted diluted EPS, and Adjusted Operating Income are used by management to compare our performance to that of prior periods for trend analyses and planning purposes and are presented to our board of directors. We believe that EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted diluted EPS and Adjusted Operating Income are appropriate measures of operating performance because they eliminate the impact of expenses that do not relate to business performance.

We define “EBITDA” as net income before interest expense, loss on extinguishment of debt, provision for income taxes, depreciation and amortization. We define “Adjusted EBITDA” as net income before interest expense, loss on extinguishment of debt, provision for income taxes, depreciation, amortization, other non-cash items and other items that we do not consider ordinary course in our evaluation of ongoing operating performance. We define “Adjusted diluted EPS” as diluted earnings per share excluding items that we do not consider ordinary course in our evaluation of ongoing operating performance. We define “Adjusted Operating Income” as operating income excluding depreciation, amortization, other non-cash items and other items that we do not consider ordinary course in our evaluation of ongoing operating performance.

Non-U.S. GAAP measures should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, financial measures calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP. EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA Adjusted diluted EPS and Adjusted Operating Income exclude significant expenses that are required by U.S. GAAP to be recorded in our financial statements and is subject to inherent limitations. In addition, other companies in our industry may calculate this non-U.S. GAAP measure differently than we do or may not calculate it at all, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure.

In accordance with SEC rules, we have provided, in the supplemental information attached, a reconciliation of the non-GAAP measures to the next directly comparable GAAP measures.

Original press release

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