Plexus Announces Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2021 Financial Results

Wednesday, 27. October 2021 22:15

NEENAH, WI, Oct. 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Plexus Corp. (NASDAQ: PLXS) today announced financial results for our fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 2, 2021, and guidance for our fiscal first quarter ending January 1, 2022.

  • Fiscal fourth quarter revenue of $843 million, GAAP operating margin of 5.0% and GAAP diluted EPS of $1.16, including $0.23 of stock-based compensation expense
  • Fiscal 2021 revenue of $3.4 billion, GAAP operating margin of 5.2% and GAAP diluted EPS of $4.76, including $0.85 of stock-based compensation expense
  • Initiates fiscal first quarter 2022 revenue guidance of $825 to $865 million with GAAP diluted EPS of $1.01 to $1.17, including $0.21 of stock-based compensation expense
  Three Months Ended
  Oct 2, 2021 Oct 2, 2021 Jan 1, 2022
  Q4F21 Results Q4F21 Guidance Q1F22 Guidance
Summary GAAP Items     
Revenue (in millions)$843  $875 to $915 $825 to $865
Operating margin 5.0% 4.8% to 5.2% 4.6% to 5.0%
Diluted EPS (1)$1.16  $1.13 to $1.29 $1.01 to $1.17
Summary Non-GAAP Items (2)     
Return on invested capital (ROIC) 15.4%    
Economic return 7.3%    
(1)  Includes stock-based compensation expense of $0.23 for Q4F21 results, $0.22 for Q4F21 guidance, and $0.21 for Q1F22 guidance.
(2)  Refer to Non-GAAP Supplemental Information in Tables 1 and 2 for non-GAAP financial measures and a reconciliation to GAAP.

Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2021 Information

  • Won 38 manufacturing programs during the quarter representing $251 million in annualized revenue when fully ramped into production
  • Trailing four quarter wins total $1.0 billion in annualized revenue when fully ramped into production
  • Purchased $29.3 million of our shares at an average price of $88.39 per share under our share repurchase programs. $46.9 million of our current $50 million authorization remains available to repurchase shares.

Fiscal Year 2021 Information

  • GAAP diluted EPS of $4.76, an increase of 21% from fiscal 2020
  • ROIC of 15.4%, delivering an economic return of 730 basis points above our weighted average cost of capital of 8.1%
  • Purchased $108.5 million of our shares at an average price of $84.78 per share under our share repurchase programs

Todd Kelsey, President and CEO, commented, “I am proud of the resilience and unyielding focus on operational excellence of our more than 19,000 Plexus team members. Their actions during fiscal 2021 were foundational to advancing our vision to help create the products that build a better world. Plexus delivered robust 21% growth in GAAP EPS for fiscal 2021 as well as significant economic return on essentially flat revenue. Challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and worsening supply chain shortages impacted our ability to support demand that was well in excess of our fiscal 2021 revenue. For our fiscal fourth quarter, we delivered revenue of $843 million, which fell short of our forecast given unanticipated supply chain shortages and workforce absences resulting from the pandemic. Despite the revenue shortfall, our GAAP operating margin of 5.0% and GAAP EPS of $1.16 were consistent with our guidance given our team’s focus on cost control, a strong start of a new Aftermarket Services program and continued robust demand for Engineering Solutions across all of our regions.”

Mr. Kelsey continued, “Fiscal 2021 represented a record year for new manufacturing program wins. We exited fiscal 2021 with trailing four-quarter wins of $1.03 billion, an increase of 8% year-over-year. In addition, our team engaged with 22 new customers. These engagements create a significant opportunity to drive incremental new manufacturing program wins and, in turn, revenue growth in future quarters.”

Patrick Jermain, Executive Vice President and CFO, commented, “For fiscal 2021, we delivered return on invested capital of 15.4%. This equates to an economic return of 730 basis points above our weighted average cost of capital, creating substantial shareholder value. Strong operating performance while maintaining consistent year-over-year invested capital led to a 140 basis point improvement in our ROIC compared to fiscal 2020. We exited fiscal 2021 delivering $85 million in free cash flow, with all three of our regions generating positive free cash flow. All free cash flow was allocated to repurchasing approximately $109 million of stock under our share repurchase programs for the year, continuing our commitment to shareholder returns.”

Mr. Kelsey further commented, “In light of the constrained component market, we are guiding fiscal first quarter revenue of $825 to $865 million. We forecast continued solid operating performance and are guiding GAAP operating margin of 4.6% to 5.0% and GAAP diluted EPS of $1.01 to $1.17. Our guidance assumes supply chain constraints and COVID-19, including potential vaccination and testing mandates, do not further materially impact end markets or our operations.”

Mr. Kelsey concluded, “As we look to fiscal 2022, customer demand remains robust as a result of improved end markets, new program wins and our participation in secular growth markets and far exceeds our 9% to 12% revenue growth goal. However, supply chain constraints are a limiting factor in our ability to fulfill all the available demand. We continue to believe that we will achieve quarterly sequential revenue growth while delivering industry-leading GAAP operating margin throughout fiscal 2022.”

Quarterly & Annual ComparisonThree Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
(in thousands, except EPS)Oct 2, 2021 Jul 3, 2021 Oct 3, 2020 Oct 2, 2021 Oct 3, 2020
Revenue$843,238  $814,387  $913,227  $3,368,865  $3,390,394 
Gross profit78,967  74,050  89,190  323,296  312,706 
Operating income42,342  36,373  50,376  176,268  153,372 
Net income33,341  27,609  37,705  138,912  117,479 
Diluted EPS$1.16  $0.95  $1.26  $4.76  $3.93 
Gross margin9.4% 9.1% 9.8% 9.6% 9.2%
Operating margin5.0% 4.5% 5.5% 5.2% 4.5%
ROIC (1)15.4% 15.9% 14.0% 15.4% 14.0%
Economic return (1)7.3% 7.8% 5.2% 7.3% 5.2%
(1) Refer to Non-GAAP Supplemental Information in Tables 1 and 2 for non-GAAP financial measures discussed and/or disclosed in this release, such as adjusted operating margin, adjusted net income, adjusted diluted EPS, ROIC and economic return, and a reconciliation of these measures to their comparable GAAP measures.

Business Segment and Market Sector Revenue
Plexus measures operational performance and allocates resources on a geographic segment basis. Plexus also reports revenue based on the market sector breakout set forth in the table below, which reflects Plexus’ market sector focused strategy. Top 10 customers comprised 56% of revenue during both the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and 2020. This is up one percentage point from the third quarter of fiscal 2021. For both fiscal 2021 and 2020, top 10 customers comprised 55% of revenue.

Business Segments ($ in millions)Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
 Oct 2, 2021 Jul 3, 2021 Oct 3, 2020 Oct 2, 2021 Oct 3, 2020
Americas$307  $319  $334  $1,318  $1,328 
Asia-Pacific494  447  503  1,851  1,824 
Europe, Middle East and Africa74  76  99  313  349 
Elimination of inter-segment sales(32) (28) (23) (113) (111)
Total Revenue$843  $814  $913  $3,369  $3,390 

Market Sectors ($ in millions)Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
 Oct 2, 2021 Jul 3, 2021 Oct 3, 2020 Oct 2, 2021 Oct 3, 2020
Industrial (1)$392 46% $372 46% $427 46% $1,549 46% $1,521 45%
Healthcare/Life Sciences333 40% 324 40% 345 38% 1,327 39% 1,258 37%
Aerospace/Defense118 14% 118 14% 141 16% 493 15% 611 18%
Total Revenue$843   $814   $913   $3,369   $3,390  
(1)  At the beginning of fiscal 2021, Plexus consolidated the previously reported Industrial/Commercial and Communications market sectors to form the Industrial market sector. Prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current period presentation.

Non-GAAP Supplemental Information
Plexus provides non-GAAP supplemental information, such as ROIC, economic return and free cash flow, because such measures are used for internal management goals and decision making, and because they provide management and investors with additional insight into financial performance. In addition, management uses these and other non-GAAP measures, such as adjusted operating income, adjusted operating margin, adjusted net income and adjusted diluted EPS, to provide a better understanding of core performance for purposes of period-to-period comparisons. Plexus believes that these measures are also useful to investors because they provide further insight by eliminating the effect of non-recurring items that are not reflective of continuing operations. For a full reconciliation of non-GAAP measures to comparable GAAP measures, please refer to the attached Non-GAAP Supplemental Information Tables.

ROIC and Economic Return
ROIC for fiscal year 2021 was 15.4%. Plexus defines ROIC as tax-effected annualized adjusted operating income divided by average invested capital over a five-quarter period for the fiscal year. Invested capital is defined as equity plus debt and operating lease obligations, less cash and cash equivalents. Plexus' weighted average cost of capital for fiscal 2021 was 8.1%. ROIC for fiscal year 2021 less Plexus’ weighted average cost of capital resulted in an economic return of 7.3%.

Free Cash Flow
Plexus defines free cash flow as cash flows provided by operations less capital expenditures. For the three months ended October 2, 2021, cash flows provided by operations was $11.0 million, less capital expenditures of $22.7 million, resulting in free cash flow of $(11.7) million. For the fiscal year ended October 2, 2021, cash flows provided by operations was $142.6 million, less capital expenditures of $57.1 million, resulting in free cash flow of $85.5 million.

Cash Cycle DaysThree Months Ended
 Oct 2, 2021 Jul 3, 2021 Oct 3, 2020
Days in Accounts Receivable56  52  48 
Days in Contract Assets13  13  11 
Days in Inventory116  108  85 
Days in Accounts Payable(76) (71) (57)
Days in Cash Deposits(24) (22) (18)
Annualized Cash Cycle *85  80  69 
* We calculate cash cycle as the sum of days in accounts receivable, days in contract assets and days in inventory, less days in accounts payable and days in cash deposits.

Conference Call and Webcast Information

What:   Plexus Fiscal 2021 Q4 Earnings Conference Call and Webcast
When:   Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time
Where:   Participants are encouraged to join the live webcast at the investor relations section of the Plexus website,, where a slide presentation reviewing fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year 2021 results will also be made available ahead of the conference call.

Conference Call: +1.866.922.5180 with passcode: 1489450
Replay:   The webcast will be archived on the Plexus website and available via telephone replay at +1.855.859.2056 or +1.404.537.3406 with passcode: 1489450

Investor and Media Contact
Shawn Harrison

About Plexus
Since 1979, Plexus has been partnering with companies to create the products that build a better world. We are a team of over 19,000 individuals who are dedicated to providing Design and Development, Supply Chain Solutions, New Product Introduction, Manufacturing and Aftermarket Services. Plexus is a global leader that specializes in serving customers in industries with highly complex products and demanding regulatory environments. Plexus delivers customer service excellence to leading companies by providing innovative, comprehensive solutions throughout a product’s lifecycle. For more information about Plexus, visit our website at

Safe Harbor and Fair Disclosure Statement
The statements contained in this press release that are guidance or which are not historical facts (such as statements in the future tense and statements including believe, expect, intend, plan, anticipate, goal, target and similar terms and concepts), including all discussions of periods which are not yet completed, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the evolving effect, which may intensify, of COVID-19 on our employees, customers, suppliers, and logistics providers, including the impact of governmental actions being taken to curtail the spread of the virus. Other risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the effects of shortages and delays in obtaining components as a result of economic cycles, natural disasters or otherwise; the risk of customer delays, changes, cancellations or forecast inaccuracies in both ongoing and new programs; the lack of visibility of future orders, particularly in view of changing economic conditions; the economic performance of the industries, sectors and customers we serve; the effects of tariffs, trade disputes, trade agreements and other trade protection measures; the effects of the volume of revenue from certain sectors or programs on our margins in particular periods; our ability to secure new customers, maintain our current customer base and deliver product on a timely basis; the risks of concentration of work for certain customers; the particular risks relative to new or recent customers, programs or services, which risks include customer and other delays, start-up costs, potential inability to execute, the establishment of appropriate terms of agreements, and the lack of a track record of order volume and timing; the effects of start-up costs of new programs and facilities or the costs associated with the closure or consolidation of facilities; possible unexpected costs and operating disruption in transitioning programs, including transitions between Company facilities; the risk that new program wins and/or customer demand may not result in the expected revenue or profitability; the fact that customer orders may not lead to long-term relationships; our ability to manage successfully and execute a complex business model characterized by high product mix and demanding quality, regulatory, and other requirements; the risks associated with excess and obsolete inventory, including the risk that inventory purchased on behalf of our customers may not be consumed or otherwise paid for by the customer, resulting in an inventory write-off; risks related to information technology systems and data security; the ability to realize anticipated savings from restructuring or similar actions, as well as the adequacy of related charges as compared to actual expenses; increasing regulatory and compliance requirements; the effects of U.S. Tax Reform, any tax law changes as a result of change in U.S. presidential administration, and of related foreign jurisdiction tax developments; current or potential future barriers to the repatriation of funds that are currently held outside of the United States as a result of actions taken by other countries or otherwise; the potential effects of jurisdictional results on our taxes, tax rates, and our ability to use deferred tax assets and net operating losses; the weakness of areas of the global economy; the effect of changes in the pricing and margins of products; raw materials and component cost fluctuations; the potential effect of fluctuations in the value of the currencies in which we transact business; the effects of changes in economic conditions, political conditions and tax matters in the United States and in the other countries in which we do business (including as a result of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union); the potential effect of other world or local events or other events outside our control (such as changes in energy prices, terrorism, global health epidemics and weather events); the impact of increased competition; an inability to successfully manage human capital; changes in financial accounting standards; and other risks detailed herein and in our other Securities and Exchange Commission filings, particularly in Risk Factors contained in our fiscal 2020 Form 10-K and subsequently filed quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.

(in thousands, except per share data)
 Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
 Oct 2, Oct 3, Oct 2, Oct 3,
 2021 2020 2021 2020
Net sales$843,238  $913,227  $3,368,865  $3,390,394 
Cost of sales764,271  824,037  3,045,569  3,077,688 
Gross profit78,967  89,190  323,296  312,706 
Operating expenses:       
Selling and administrative expenses36,625  38,814  143,761  153,331 
Restructuring and impairment charges    3,267  6,003 
Operating income42,342  50,376  176,268  153,372 
Other income (expense):       
Interest expense(3,159) (4,228) (14,253) (16,162)
Interest income300  332  1,372  1,878 
Miscellaneous, net(54) (1,072) (2,976) (3,691)
Income before income taxes39,429  45,408  160,411  135,397 
Income tax expense6,088  7,703  21,499  17,918 
Net income$33,341  $37,705  $138,912  $117,479 
Earnings per share:       
Basic$1.18  $1.29  $4.86  $4.02 
Diluted$1.16  $1.26  $4.76  $3.93 
Weighted average shares outstanding:       
Basic28,179  29,153  28,575  29,195 
Diluted28,775  29,857  29,167  29,916 

(in thousands, except per share data)
 Oct 2, Oct 3,
 2021 2020
Current assets:   
Cash and cash equivalents$270,172  $385,807 
Restricted cash341  2,087 
Accounts receivable519,684  482,086 
Contract assets115,283  113,946 
Inventories972,312  763,461 
Prepaid expenses and other53,094  31,772 
Total current assets1,930,886  1,779,159 
Property, plant and equipment, net395,094  383,661 
Operating lease right-of-use assets72,087  69,879 
Deferred income taxes27,385  21,422 
Other assets36,441  35,727 
Total non-current assets531,007  510,689 
Total assets$2,461,893  $2,289,848 
Current liabilities:   
Current portion of long-term debt and finance lease obligations$66,313  $146,829 
Accounts payable634,969  516,297 
Customer deposits204,985  159,972 
Accrued salaries and wages75,394  76,927 
Other accrued liabilities147,042  103,492 
Total current liabilities1,128,703  1,003,517 
Long-term debt and finance lease obligations, net of current portion187,033  187,975 
Accrued income taxes payable47,974  53,899 
Long-term operating lease liabilities37,970  36,779 
Deferred income taxes5,677  6,433 
Other liabilities26,304  23,765 
Total non-current liabilities304,958  308,851 
Total liabilities1,433,661  1,312,368 
Shareholders’ equity:   
Common stock, $.01 par value, 200,000 shares authorized,   
53,849 and 53,525 shares issued, respectively,   
and 28,047 and 29,002 shares outstanding, respectively538  535 
Additional paid-in-capital639,778  621,564 
Common stock held in treasury, at cost, 25,802 and 24,523, respectively(1,043,091) (934,639)
Retained earnings1,433,991  1,295,079 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss(2,984) (5,059)
Total shareholders’ equity1,028,232  977,480 
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity$2,461,893  $2,289,848 

(in thousands, except per share data)
  Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
  Oct 2, Jul 3, Oct 3, Oct 2, Oct 3,
  2021 2021 2020 2021 2020
Operating income, as reported$42,342  $36,373  $50,376  $176,268  $153,372 
Operating margin, as reported5.0% 4.5% 5.5% 5.2% 4.5%
Non-GAAP adjustments:         
Restructuring and impairment charges (1)  1,238    3,267  6,003 
Adjusted operating income$42,342  $37,611  $50,376  $179,535  $159,375 
Adjusted operating margin5.0% 4.6% 5.5% 5.3% 4.7%
Net income, as reported$33,341  $27,609  $37,705  $138,912  $117,479 
Non-GAAP adjustments:         
Restructuring and impairment charges, net of tax (1)  1,108    2,924  5,373 
Special tax impacts (2)        (814)
Adjusted net income$33,341  $28,717  $37,705  $141,836  $122,038 
Diluted earnings per share, as reported$1.16  $0.95  $1.26  $4.76  $3.93 
Non-GAAP per share adjustments:         
Restructuring and impairment charges, net of tax (1)  0.04    0.10  0.18 
Special tax impacts (2)        (0.03)
Adjusted diluted earnings per share$1.16  $0.99  $1.26  $4.86  $4.08 
(1)  During the twelve months ended October 2, 2021, restructuring and impairment charges of $3.3 million, or $2.9 million net of taxes, were incurred. During the twelve months ended October 3, 2020, restructuring and impairment charges of $6.0 million, or $5.4 million net of taxes, were incurred due to the previously announced closure of our Boulder Design Center.

(2)  During the twelve months ended October 3, 2020, there was $1.9 million in tax benefits related to U.S. foreign tax credit regulations issued during the fiscal year, partially offset by $1.1 million of tax expense as a result of special tax items.

(in thousands)
ROIC and Economic Return Calculations Twelve Months Ended Nine Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
 Oct 2, Jul 3, Oct 3,
 2021 2021 2020
Operating income, as reported $176,268   $133,926   $153,372 
Restructuring and impairment charges+3,267  +3,267  +6,003 
Adjusted operating income $179,535   $137,193   $159,375 
Adjusted annualized operating income $179,535   $182,924   $159,375 
Adjusted effective tax ratex13% x13% x14%
Tax impact 23,340   23,780   22,313 
Adjusted operating income (tax effected) $156,195   $159,144   $137,062 
Average invested capital÷$1,014,742  ÷$1,003,614  ÷$979,981 
ROIC 15.4%  15.9%  14.0%
Weighted average cost of capital-8.1% -8.1% -8.8%
Economic return 7.3%  7.8%  5.2%

 Three Months Ended
Average Invested CapitalOct 2, Jul 3, Apr 3, Jan 2, Oct 3,
Calculations2021 2021 2021 2021 2020
Equity$1,028,232  $1,020,450  $1,013,952  $1,006,959  $977,480 
Debt and finance lease obligations - current66,313  60,468  50,229  148,408  146,829 
Operating lease obligations - current (1) (2)9,877  9,130  9,314  9,351  7,724 
Debt and finance lease obligations - long-term187,033  187,690  188,730  188,148  187,975 
Operating lease obligations - long-term (2)37,970  33,193  34,751  37,052  36,779 
Cash and cash equivalents(270,172) (303,255) (294,370) (356,724) (385,807)
 $1,059,253  $1,007,676  $1,002,606  $1,033,194  $970,980 

 Three Months Ended
Average Invested CapitalJul 4, Apr 4, Jan 4, Sept 28,
Calculations2020 2020 2020 2019
Equity$944,821   $892,558   $908,372   $865,576  
Debt and finance lease obligations - current145,993   107,880   67,847   100,702  
Operating lease obligations - current (1) (2)8,061   8,546   9,102   —  
Debt and finance lease obligations - long-term188,626   186,327   186,827   187,278  
Operating lease obligations - long-term (2)38,077   39,617   41,764   —  
Cash and cash equivalents(296,545) (225,830) (252,914) (223,761)
 $1,029,033   $1,009,098   $960,998   $929,795  
(1)  Included in other accrued liabilities on the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets.
(2)  In the fiscal first quarter of 2020, Plexus adopted and applied Topic 842 to all leases using the modified retrospective method of adoption. The prior year comparative information has not been restated and continues to be reported under the accounting standards in effect for fiscal 2019.

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