Company Fully Operational with >99% of Employees Working From Home
· Revenue Grew Across All Four Divisions
· Diluted EPS Increased 59% to $2.62; Adjusted Diluted EPS Increased 29% to $2.73
· Operating Profit Margin Improved 610 Basis Points to 51.0%
· Adjusted Operating Profit Margin Improved 580 Basis Points to 53.1%
· Launched New Product Platforms in Platts and Market Intelligence
· Company Planning Several Scenarios to Manage COVID-19 Risks
· Due to Changing Economic and Market Conditions, Company Adjusts 2020 Guidance
S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) reported first quarter 2020 results with revenue of $1,786 million, an increase of 14% compared to the same period last year. Net income increased 56% to $639 million and diluted earnings per share increased 59% to $2.62 primarily due to a $113 million pre-tax, noncash pension settlement charge in the prior period as well as revenue growth, continued progress toward productivity initiative targets, and reduced business travel expenses during the current period.
“The world is enduring an unprecedented economic impact from measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. As a result, virtually all of our employees are working from home. I couldn’t be more proud of the way that they have responded. Substantially all of our operations have continued uninterrupted and we have increased the magnitude of our research and the scope of our customer outreach,” said Douglas L. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of S&P Global. “We have also responded to help provide support to customers, hospitals and others in these difficult times.”
COVID-19 Response: As part of the fight against COVID-19, the Company has taken numerous actions including:
- the introduction of a free Coronavirus Coverage website which includes exclusive and curated research content from each of the Company’s divisions on how COVID-19 is impacting public health, the global economy, and the financial and commodity markets. https://www.spglobal.com/en/research-insights/topics/coronavirus.
- offering complimentary access to Panjiva’s Supply Chain Intelligence platform to hospitals and relevant government agencies, helping them in tracking the supply chains of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE).
- donations by the S&P Global Foundation totaling $4 million to support small businesses and relief efforts globally.
- the donation of 100,000 medical-grade face masks in the United States and in other countries throughout the world.
Mr. Peterson added, “While our first quarter results were strong, we anticipate that as the year progresses many of our customers will be increasingly impacted by the economic impact of lockdowns and social distancing efforts to fight COVID-19. In addition, economic disruptions will likely impact fixed income issuance, equity markets, and oil markets. Collectively, these events will likely affect new sales as well as renewals of subscriptions, negatively impacting our financial results compared to our original 2020 EPS guidance.”
Profit Margin: The Company’s operating profit margin increased 610 basis points to 51.0% primarily due to a $113 million pre-tax, noncash pension settlement charge in the prior period as well as revenue growth, continued progress toward productivity initiative targets, and reduced business travel expenses during the current period. The adjusted operating profit margin increased 580 basis points to 53.1% due to revenue growth, continued progress toward productivity initiative targets, and reduced business travel.
Return of Capital: During the first quarter, the Company returned $1.3 billion to shareholders, $1 billion through an ASR program that was initiated in early February, $150 million in open market share repurchases in January and February, and $161 million in dividends. We entered into this ASR and a springing 10b5-1 stock purchase plan for up to $100 million (in case of early termination of the ASR) in February, all of which will terminate, in accordance with their terms, no later than July 29. In these unprecedented times, notwithstanding the strength of our balance sheet and strong cash flow, our Board has determined at this time that it is prudent that the Company not initiate any new share repurchase program following the conclusion of our current repurchase programs in July.
With respect to the remainder of this year, because the Company initiated the $1 billion ASR program in February, we still anticipate achieving close to our 75% return of capital target to shareholders in 2020. The Board anticipates no changes to our existing dividend guidance.
Source: S&P Global Earnings Release