10-K 1 gms-20190430x10k.htm 10-K gms_Current_Folio_10K

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

 

For the Fiscal Year Ended April 30, 2019

 

or

 

Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Commission File Number: 001‑37784


GMS INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)


Delaware

46‑2931287

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

 

 

100 Crescent Centre Parkway, Suite 800, Tucker, Georgia

30084

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip code)

(800) 392‑4619

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:

 

 

 

 

 

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchanged on which registered

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

 

GMS

 

New York Stock Exchange

 

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT: None


Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well‑known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐    No ☒

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐   No ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒  No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S‑T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ☒  No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non‑accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b‑2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer ☒

Accelerated filer ☐

Non‑accelerated filer ☐

Smaller reporting company ☐

Emerging growth company ☐

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b‑2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐   No ☒

The aggregate market value of the common stock of the Registrant held by non‑affiliates of the Registrant on October 31, 2018, the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was $548.2 million (based on the closing sale price of the Registrant’s common stock on that date as reported on the New York Stock Exchange).

There were 40,374,750 shares of the registrant’s common stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding as of May 31, 2019.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE:

Portions of the Registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement for its Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FORM 10‑K

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I 

Item 1 

Business

3

Item 1A 

Risk Factors

9

Item 1B 

Unresolved Staff Comments

25

Item 2 

Properties

25

Item 3 

Legal Proceedings

25

Item 4 

Mine Safety Disclosures

26

PART II 

Item 5 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

26

Item 6 

Selected Financial Data

28

Item 7 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

29

Item 7A 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

47

Item 8 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

48

Item 9 

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

93

Item 9A 

Controls and Procedures

93

Item 9B 

Other Information

93

PART III 

Item 10 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

94

Item 11 

Executive Compensation

94

Item 12 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

94

Item 13 

Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions and Director Independence

94

Item 14 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

94

PART IV 

Item 15 

Exhibits and Financial Statements Schedules

95

Item 16 

Form 10-K Summary

98

 

 

 

 

 

 

BASIS OF PRESENTATION

Our fiscal year ends on April 30 of each year. References in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K to a fiscal year mean the year in which that fiscal year ends.

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD‑LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10‑K contains “forward‑looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). You can generally identify forward‑looking statements by our use of forward‑looking terminology such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “seek,” or “should,” or the negative thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. In particular, statements about the markets in which we operate, including growth of our various markets, and statements about our expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, prospects, assumptions or future events or performance contained in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K in Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and Item 1, “Business” are forward‑looking statements.

We have based these forward‑looking statements on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections. While we believe these expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections are reasonable, such forward‑looking statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. These and other important factors, including those discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K in Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and Item 1, “Business,” may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward‑looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward‑looking statements include:

·

general economic and financial conditions;

·

our dependency upon the commercial and residential construction and residential repair and remodeling, or R&R, markets;

·

competition in our highly fragmented industry and the markets in which we operate;

·

the fluctuations in prices of the products we distribute;

·

the consolidation of our industry;

·

our ability to successfully implement our strategic initiatives, including our growth strategies and cost reduction initiatives;

·

our ability to open new branches and expand into new geographic markets;

·

our ability to successfully identify acquisition candidates, complete and integrate acquisitions and realize anticipated benefits and synergies from completed acquisitions;

·

product shortages and potential loss of relationships with key suppliers;

·

the seasonality of the commercial and residential construction markets;

·

the potential loss of any significant customers;

·

exposure to product liability and various other claims and litigation;

1

·

our ability to attract and retain key employees;

·

rising health care costs and labor costs, including the impact of labor and trucking shortages;

·

the reduction of the quantity of products our customers purchase;

·

the credit risk from our customers;

·

our ability to renew leases for our facilities on favorable terms or identify new facilities;

·

our ability to effectively manage our inventory as our sales volume increases or the prices of the products we distribute fluctuate;

·

an impairment of our goodwill or intangible assets;

·

the impact of federal, state, provincial and local regulations;

·

the cost of compliance with environmental, health and safety laws and other regulations;

·

significant increases in fuel costs or shortages in the supply of fuel;

·

a cybersecurity breach, including misappropriation of our customers’, employees’ or suppliers’ confidential information, and the potential costs related thereto;

·

a disruption in our IT systems and costs necessary to maintain and update our IT systems;

·

natural or man‑made disruptions to our facilities;

·

our exposure to greater than anticipated tax liabilities;

·

the risk of our foreign operations, including currency rate fluctuations;

·

the imposition of tariffs and other trade barriers, and the effect of retaliatory trade measures;

·

our inability to engage in activities that may be in our best long‑term interests because of restrictions in our debt agreements;

·

our current level of indebtedness and our potential to incur additional indebtedness;

·

our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all;

·

our holding company structure;

·

the influence of AEA Investors LP and certain affiliates thereof on us; and

·

other risks and uncertainties, including those listed in Item 1A, “Risk Factors.”

Given these risks and uncertainties, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward‑looking statements. The forward‑looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K are not guarantees of future performance and our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate, may differ materially from the forward‑looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K. In addition, even if our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and events in the industry in which we operate, are consistent with the forward‑looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K, they may not be predictive of results or developments in future periods.

2

 

Any forward‑looking statement that we make in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K speaks only as of the date of such statement. Except as required by law, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise, or to publicly announce any update or revision to, any of the forward‑looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K. You should, however, review the factors and risks we describe in the reports we will file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, after the date of the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K.

 

PART I

Item 1.  Business

Company Overview and History

GMS Inc. (“we,” “our,” “us,” or the “Company”) is a distributor of specialty building products including wallboard, suspended ceilings systems, or ceilings, steel framing and other complementary building products.  We purchase products from a large number of manufacturers and then distribute these goods to a customer base consisting of wallboard and ceilings contractors and homebuilders and, to a lesser extent, general contractors and individuals. We operate a network of more than 250 distribution centers across the United States and Canada.  

Since our founding in 1971, we have grown our business through a combination of strategic acquisitions, opening new branch locations (“greenfields”) and organic growth. On June 1, 2016, we completed our initial public offering (“IPO”) of our common stock. On February 28, 2017,  June 7, 2017 and December 14, 2017, certain of our stockholders completed secondary public offerings of our common stock. Following the secondary offering of our common stock on June 7, 2017, the control group consisting of certain affiliates of AEA Investors LP (“AEA”) and certain other of our stockholders no longer controls a majority of the voting power of our outstanding common stock. Accordingly, we are no longer a “controlled company” within the meaning of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) corporate governance standards.

Acquisition of Titan

On June 1, 2018, we acquired all of the outstanding equity interests of WSB Titan (“Titan”), a distributer of wallboard, lumber, insulation and other complementary commercial and residential building materials. Titan is Canada’s largest gypsum specialty distributer with 30 locations across five provinces in Canada. The stated purchase price was $627.0 million ($800.0 million Canadian dollars). As part of the consideration, certain members of existing Titan management converted $35.0 million of their ownership position in Titan into equity that is exchangeable for the Company’s stock. The transaction extended our leadership position in North America with additional scale and footprint, expanded our geographic coverage into the Canadian market and has created opportunities for product expansion in both the United States and Canada.

To finance this transaction, on June 1, 2018, we entered into a Third Amendment to our First Lien Credit Agreement (the “Third Amendment”) that provides for a new first lien term loan facility under the credit agreement in the aggregate principal amount of $996.8 million due in June 2025 that bears interest at a floating rate based on LIBOR plus 2.75%, representing a 25 basis point improvement compared to the interest rate of the existing first lien term loan facility under the credit agreement immediately prior to giving effect to the Third Amendment. We also drew down $143.0 million under our asset backed revolving credit facility. The net proceeds from the new first lien term loan facility, asset backed revolving credit facility and cash on hand were used to repay our existing first lien term loan facility of approximately $571.8 million and to finance the Titan acquisition.

Our Growth Strategy

Our growth strategy entails taking market share within our existing footprint, expanding into new markets by opening new branches and through strategic acquisitions, and expanding our product lines. We expect to continue to capture profitable market share in our existing footprint by delivering industry-leading customer service. Our usual strategy for opening new branches is to further penetrate markets that are adjacent to our existing operations. Typically, we have pre-existing customer relationships in these markets but need a new location to fully capitalize on those relationships. In addition, we will continue to selectively pursue acquisitions. Due to the large, highly fragmented nature

3

 

of our market and our reputation throughout the industry, we believe we have the potential to access a robust acquisition pipeline that will continue to supplement our organic growth. We use a rigorous targeting process to identify acquisition candidates that will fit our culture and business model and have an experienced team of professionals to manage the acquisition and integration processes. As a result of our scale, purchasing power and ability to improve operations through implementing best practices, we believe we can achieve substantial synergies and drive earnings accretion from our acquisition strategy.

Products

We provide a comprehensive product offering of wallboard, ceilings, steel framing and complementary interior construction products. By carrying a full line of wallboard and ceilings along with steel framing and ancillary products, we are able to serve as a one-stop-shop for our customers. For information on net sales of our products, see Note 17, “Segments” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Wallboard

Wallboard is one of the most widely used building products for interior and exterior walls and ceilings in residential and commercial structures due to its low cost, ease of installation and superior performance in providing comfort, fire resistance, thermal insulation, sound insulation, mold and moisture resistance, impact resistance, aesthetics and design elements. Wallboard is sold in panels of various dimensions, suited to various applications. In commercial and institutional construction projects, architectural specifications and building codes provide requirements related to the thickness of the panels and, in some cases, other characteristics, including fire resistance. In addition, there are wallboard products that provide some additional value in use. These include lighter weight panels, panels with additional sound insulation, and panels coated to provide mold and moisture resistance. In addition to the interior wallboard products described above, exterior sheathing is a water-resistant wallboard product designed for attachment to exterior side-wall framing as an underlayment for various exterior siding materials. These panels are manufactured with a treated, water-resistant core faced with water-repellent paper on both face and back surfaces and long edges.

 

While highly visible and essential, wallboard typically comprises only 3% to 5% of a new home's total cost. Given its low price point relative to other materials, we believe that there is no economical substitute for wallboard in either residential or commercial applications. We believe wallboard demand is driven by a balanced mix of both residential and commercial new construction as well as repair and remodeling (“R&R”) activity.

 

Ceilings

 

Our ceilings product line consists of suspended mineral fiber, soft fiber and metal ceiling systems primarily used in offices, hotels, hospitals, retail facilities, schools and a variety of other commercial and institutional buildings. The principal components of our ceiling systems are typically square mineral fiber tiles and the metal grid that holds the tile in place. The systems vary by acoustical performance characteristics, reflectivity, color, fire protection and aesthetic appeal. In addition to these systems, we have expanded our ceilings product offering to include architectural specialty ceilings. This product line consists of a variety of specialty shapes that provide a room with a unique visual effect as well as enhanced acoustical performance. As a result of the specified, often customized nature of these products, architectural specialty ceilings are a growing, high margin component of our product offering.

 

Our ceilings product line is almost exclusively sold into commercial and institutional applications. Because interior contractors who purchase ceilings frequently buy wallboard from the same distributor, carrying our ceilings product line helps increase our sales of wallboard and other complementary products, which are often delivered together with ceilings to the same worksite as part of a commercial package.

 

In the ceilings market, brand is highly valued and often specified by the architect of a commercial building. Because of our strong market position, we have exclusive access to the leading ceilings brand in many of our local markets. Where we have exclusivity, these specifications help us drive sales of ceilings products as well as all of the complementary products we sell as part of our commercial package. In effect, our exclusivity on the leading ceiling tile brand creates a cycle which helps reinforce our market position in our other products. In addition, because ceiling tile systems differ in size, shape and aesthetic appeal between manufacturers, they are often replaced with the same brand for R&R projects. As a result, the leading brand's installed base of product generates built-in demand for replacement

4

 

product over time. Because we have exclusive access to that brand in certain markets, we benefit from these recurring sales.

 

Steel Framing

Our steel framing product line consists of steel track, studs and the various other steel products used to frame the interior walls of a commercial or institutional building. Typically the contractor who installs the steel framing also installs the wallboard, and the two products, along with ceilings, insulation and other products are sold together as part of a commercial package. Nearly all of our steel framing products are sold for use in commercial buildings.

Other Products

In addition to our three primary product lines, we offer our customers complementary products, including insulation, lumber, ready-mix joint compound and various other interior construction products as well as ancillary products they need to complete the job including tools and safety products. We partner with leading branded vendors for many of these products and merchandise them in showrooms that are adjacent to many of our warehouses. In recent years, through specific initiatives and acquisitions, including Titan, we have expanded our complementary and ancillary product lines in order to further solidify our position as a one-stop-shop for the interior contractor and gain a greater share of their purchases.

Our Industry

 

As the construction market in the North America evolved during the second half of the 20th century, contractors began to specialize in specific trades within the construction process, and specialty distributors emerged to supply them. Wallboard and ceilings installation were some of these trades, and we, along with other specialty distributors, tailored our product offerings and service capabilities to meet the unique needs of those trades. Today, specialty distributors comprise the preferred distribution channel for wallboard and ceilings in both the commercial and residential construction markets.

 

We believe the success of the specialty distribution model in wallboard and ceilings is driven by the strong value proposition provided to our customers. Given the logistical complexity of the distribution services we provide, the expertise needed to execute effectively, and the special equipment required, we believe specialty distributors focused on wallboard and ceilings are best suited to meet contractors’ needs. The main drivers for our products are commercial new construction, commercial R&R, residential new construction and residential R&R.

 

Commercial

 

Our addressable commercial construction market is comprised of a variety of commercial and institutional sub-segments with varying demand drivers. Our commercial markets include offices, hotels, retail stores and other commercial buildings, while our institutional markets include educational facilities, healthcare facilities, government buildings and other institutional facilities. The principal demand drivers across these markets include the overall economic outlook, the general business cycle, government spending, vacancy rates, employment trends, interest rates, availability of credit and demographic trends.

 

We believe commercial R&R spending is typically more stable than new commercial construction activity. Commercial R&R spending is driven by a number of factors, including commercial real estate prices and rental rates, office vacancy rates, government spending and interest rates. Commercial R&R spending is also driven by commercial lease expirations and renewals, as well as tenant turnover. Such events often result in repair, reconfiguration and/or upgrading of existing commercial space.

 

Residential

 

Residential construction activity is driven by a number of factors, including the overall economic outlook, employment, income growth, home prices, availability of mortgage financing and related government regulations, interest rates and consumer confidence, among others.

5

 

 

We believe residential R&R activity is typically more stable than new residential construction activity. The primary drivers of residential R&R spending include changes in existing home prices, existing home sales, the average age of the housing stock, consumer confidence and interest rates.

 

Customers

Our diverse customer base consists of more than 34,500 contractors as well as homebuilders. We maintain local relationships with our contractors through our network of branches and our extensive salesforce. We also serve our large homebuilder customers through our local branches, but are able to coordinate the relationships on a national basis through our corporate facility. Our ability to serve multi-regional homebuilders across their footprints provides value to them and differentiates us from most of our competitors. During fiscal 2019 and 2018, our single largest customer accounted for 2.0%  and 1.9%  of our net sales, respectively, and our top ten customers accounted for 8.8% and 8.5% of our net sales, respectively.

Suppliers

Our leading market position, North American footprint and superior service capabilities have allowed us to develop strong relationships with our suppliers. We maintain exceptional, long-term relationships with all seven major North American wallboard manufacturers, as well as the three major ceilings manufacturers: Armstrong World Industries, Inc., or Armstrong, CertainTeed Corporation and USG Corporation, or USG. Because we account for a meaningful portion of their volumes and provide them with an extensive salesforce to market their products, we are viewed by our suppliers as a key channel partner and often have exclusive relationships with these suppliers in certain markets. We believe this position provides us with advantaged procurement.

Sales and Marketing

Our sales and marketing strategy is to provide a comprehensive suite of high-quality products and superior services to contractors and builders reliably, safely, accurately and on-time. We have a highly experienced sales force who manage our customer relationships and grow our customer base. We have strategies to increase our customer base at both the corporate and local branch levels, which focus on building and growing strong relationships with our customers, whether they serve a small local market, or a national footprint. We believe that the experience and expertise of our salesforce differentiates us from our competition particularly in the commercial market, which requires a highly technical and specialized product knowledge and a sophisticated delivery plan.

Competition

We compete against other specialty distributors as well as big box retailers and lumberyards. Among specialty distributors, we compete against a small number of large distributors and many small, local, privately-owned distributors. Our largest competitors include: Allied Building Products (a subsidiary of Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc.), Foundation Building Materials and L&W Supply Co. Inc (a subsidiary of ABC Supply Company). However, we believe smaller, regional or local competitors still comprise approximately half of the North American specialty distribution market. The principal competitive factors in our business include, but are not limited to, availability of materials and supplies; technical product knowledge and expertise; advisory or other service capabilities; delivery capabilities; pricing of products; and availability of credit.

Seasonality

In a typical year, our operating results are impacted by seasonality. Historically, sales of our products have been slightly higher in the first and second quarters of each fiscal year due to favorable weather and longer daylight conditions during these periods. Seasonal variations in operating results may be impacted by inclement weather conditions, such as cold or wet weather, which can delay construction projects.

6

 

Intellectual Property

We own United States trademark registrations for approximately 31 trademarks that we use in our business. Generally, registered trademarks have a perpetual life, provided that they are renewed on a timely basis and continue to be used properly as trademarks. We intend to maintain these trademark registrations as long as they remain valuable to our business. Other than certain of our local brands, the retention of which we believe helps maintain customer loyalty, we do not believe our business is dependent to a material degree on trademarks, patents, copyrights or trade secrets. In addition, other than commercially available software licenses, we do not believe that any of our licenses for third-party intellectual property are material to our business, taken as a whole.

Employees

As of April 30, 2019, we had over 5,800 employees. We do not have a significant amount of employees affiliated with labor unions. We believe that we have good relations with our employees. Additionally, we believe that the training provided through our employee development programs and our entrepreneurial, performance-based culture provides significant benefits to our employees.

Government Regulation

 

While we are not engaged in a “regulated industry,” we are subject to various federal, state, provincial and local government regulations applicable to the business in the jurisdictions in which we operate, including laws and regulations relating to our relationships with our employees, public health and safety, workplace safety, transportation, zoning and fire codes. We strive to operate each of our branches in accordance with applicable laws, codes and regulations. We believe we are in compliance in all material respects with existing applicable environmental laws and regulations and, in addition, that our employment, workplace health and workplace safety practices comply with related regulations.

 

Our operations in domestic interstate commerce are subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, or DOT, which has broad administrative powers with respect to our transportation operations. We are subject to safety requirements governing interstate operations prescribed by the DOT. Vehicle dimension and driver hours of service also are subject to both federal and state regulations. See Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry—Federal, state, local and other regulations could impose substantial costs and restrictions on our operations that would reduce our net income.” Our operations are also subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, which has broad administrative powers with respect to workplace and jobsite safety.

 

Environmental, Health and Safety

 

We are subject to various federal, state, provincial and local environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including laws and regulations governing the investigation and cleanup of contaminated properties, air emissions, water discharges, waste management and disposal, product safety and workplace health and safety. These laws and regulations impose a variety of requirements and restrictions on our operations and the products we distribute. The failure by us to comply with these laws and regulations could result in fines, penalties, enforcement actions, third party claims, damage to property or natural resources and personal injury, requirements to investigate or clean up property or to pay for the costs of investigation or cleanup, or regulatory or judicial orders requiring corrective measures, including the installation of pollution control equipment or remedial actions and could negatively impact our reputation with customers. Environmental, health and safety laws and regulations applicable to our business, the products we distribute and the business of our customers, and the interpretation or enforcement of these laws and regulations, are constantly evolving and it is impossible to predict accurately the effect that changes in these laws and regulations, or their interpretation or enforcement, may have upon our business, financial condition or results of operations. Should environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, or their interpretation or enforcement, become more stringent, our costs, or the costs of our customers, could increase, which may have an adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

 

7

 

Under certain laws and regulations, such as the U.S. federal Superfund law or its state or foreign equivalents, the obligation to investigate, remediate, monitor and clean up contamination at a facility may be imposed on current and former owners, lessees or operators or on persons who may have sent waste to that facility for disposal. Liability under these laws and regulations may be imposed without regard to fault or to the legality of the activities giving rise to the contamination. Moreover, we may incur liabilities in connection with environmental conditions currently unknown to us relating to our prior, existing or future owned or leased sites or operations or those of predecessor companies whose liabilities we may have assumed or acquired.

 

Available Information

We are subject to the informational requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and in accordance therewith, we file reports, proxy and information statements and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to these reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are available through the investor relations section of our website at www.gms.com. Reports are available free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file them with, or furnish them to, the SEC. The information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

In addition to our website, you may read and copy public reports we file with or furnish to the SEC at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains our reports, proxy and information statements, and other information that we file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov.

8

 

 

Item 1A.  Risk Factors

 

The following risk factors may be important to understanding any statement in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or elsewhere. Our business, financial condition and operating results can be affected by a number of factors, whether currently known or unknown, including but not limited to those described below. Any one or more of such factors could directly or indirectly cause our actual results of operations and financial condition to vary materially from past or anticipated future results of operations and financial condition. Any of these factors, in whole or in part, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

Risks Related to our Business and Industry

 

Our business is affected by general business, financial market and economic conditions, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

Our business and results of operations are significantly affected by general business, financial market and economic conditions in the United States and Canada. General business, financial market and economic conditions that could impact the level of activity in the commercial and residential construction and the R&R markets include, among others, interest rate fluctuations, inflation, unemployment levels, tax rates and policy, capital spending, bankruptcies, volatility in both the debt and equity capital markets, liquidity of the global financial markets, credit and mortgage markets, consumer confidence, global economic growth, local, state, provincial and federal government regulation and the strength of regional and local economies in which we operate. Because our markets are sensitive to changes in the economy, downturns (or lack of substantial improvement) in the economy in any region in which we operate could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. 

 

Our sales are in part dependent upon the commercial new construction market and the commercial R&R market.

 

We cannot predict the duration of the current market conditions or the timing or strength of any future recovery or downturn of commercial construction activity in our markets. Weakness in the commercial construction market and the commercial R&R market, would have a significant adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results. Furthermore, uncertainty about current and future economic conditions will continue to pose a risk to our business that serves the commercial construction and R&R markets as participants in this industry may postpone spending in response to tighter credit, negative financial news and/or declines in income or asset values, which could have a continued material negative effect on the demand for our products and services.

 

Our sales are also in part dependent upon the residential new construction market and home R&R activity.

 

The distribution of our products, particularly wallboard, to contractors serving the residential market represents a significant portion of our business. Though its cyclicality has historically been somewhat moderated by R&R activity, wallboard demand is highly correlated with housing starts. Housing starts and R&R activity, in turn, are dependent upon a number of factors, including housing demand, housing inventory levels, housing affordability, building mix between single- and multi-family homes, foreclosure rates, geographical shifts in the population and other changes in demographics, the availability of land, local zoning and permitting processes, the availability of construction financing, and the health of the economy and mortgage markets, including related government regulations. Unfavorable changes in any of these factors beyond our control could adversely affect consumer spending, result in decreased demand for homes and adversely affect our business.

 

Although the homebuilding industry has improved over the past several years, housing start activity remains below their long-term historical averages. There is still uncertainty regarding whether the recovery will be sustained, and there can be no assurances that there will not be any future downturns. There can be no assurances regarding whether more recent growth in our markets can be sustained or if demand will ever return to historical averages. In addition, some analysts project that the demand for residential construction may be negatively impacted as the number of renting households has increased in recent years and a shortage in the supply of affordable housing is expected to result in lower home ownership rates. The timing and extent of the continued recovery in homebuilding and the resulting impact on demand for our products are uncertain. Further, even if homebuilding activity fully recovers, the impact of such recovery on our business may be suppressed if, for example, the average selling price or average size of new single family homes

9

 

decreases, which could cause homebuilders to decrease spending on our services and the products we distribute.

        

We also rely, in part, on home R&R activity. Although the market for residential R&R has improved in recent years, there is no guarantee that it will continue to improve. High unemployment levels, high mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates, lower home prices, limited availability of mortgage and home improvement financing and significantly lower housing turnover may restrict consumer spending, particularly on discretionary items such as home improvement projects, and affect consumer confidence levels leading to reduced spending in the R&R end markets. Furthermore, consumer preferences and purchasing practices and the strategies of our customers may adjust in a manner that could result in changes to the nature and prices of products demanded by the end consumer and our customers and could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

Our industry and the markets in which we operate are highly fragmented and competitive, and increased competitive pressure may adversely affect our results.

 

We currently compete in the wallboard, ceilings and complementary interior construction products distribution markets primarily with smaller distributors, but we also face competition from a number of national and multi-regional distributors of building materials, some of which are larger and have greater financial resources than us.

 

Competition varies depending on product line, type of customer and geographic area. If our competitors have greater financial resources, they may be able to offer higher levels of service or a broader selection of inventory than we can. Furthermore, any of our competitors may (i) foresee the course of market development more accurately than we do, (ii) provide superior service and sell or distribute superior products, (iii) have the ability to supply or deliver similar products and services at a lower cost, (iv) develop stronger relationships with our customers and other consumers in the industry in which we operate, (v) adapt more quickly to evolving customer requirements than we do, (vi) develop a superior network of distribution centers in our markets or (vii) access financing on more favorable terms than we can obtain. As a result, we may not be able to compete successfully with our competitors.

 

Competition can also reduce demand for our products, negatively affect our product sales or cause us to lower prices. The consolidation of homebuilders may result in increased competition for their business. Certain product manufacturers that sell and distribute their products directly to homebuilders may increase the volume of such direct sales. Our suppliers may also elect to enter into exclusive supplier arrangements with other distributors.

 

Our customers consider the performance of the products we distribute, our customer service and price when deciding whether to use our services or purchase the products we distribute. Excess industry capacity for certain products in several geographic markets could lead to increased price competition. We may be unable to maintain our operating costs or product prices at a level that is sufficiently low for us to compete effectively. If we are unable to compete effectively with our existing competitors or new competitors enter the markets in which we operate, our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows may be adversely affected.

 

We are subject to significant pricing pressures.

 

Large contractors and homebuilders in both the commercial and residential industries have historically been able to exert significant pressure on their outside suppliers and distributors to keep prices low in the highly fragmented building products supply and services industry. Continued consolidation in the commercial and residential industries and changes in builders’ purchasing policies and payment practices could result in even further pricing pressure. A decline in the prices of the products we distribute could adversely impact our operating results. When the prices of the products we distribute decline, customer demand for lower prices could result in lower sales prices and, to the extent that our inventory at the time was purchased at higher costs, lower margins. Alternatively, due to the rising market price environment, our suppliers may increase prices or reduce discounts on the products we distribute and we may be unable to pass on any cost increase to our customers, thereby resulting in reduced margins and profits. Overall, these pricing pressures may adversely affect our operating results and cash flows.

 

10

 

The trend toward consolidation in our industry may negatively impact our business.

 

Customer demands and supplier capabilities have resulted in consolidation in our industry, which could cause markets to become more competitive as greater economies of scale are achieved by distributors that are able to efficiently expand their operations. We believe these customer demands could result in fewer overall distributors operating multiple locations. There can be no assurance that we will be able to effectively take advantage of this trend toward consolidation which may make it more difficult for us to maintain operating margins and could also increase the competition for acquisition targets in our industry, resulting in higher acquisition costs and prices.

 

We may be unable to successfully implement our growth strategy, which includes pursuing strategic acquisitions and opening new branches.

 

Our long-term business strategy depends in part on increasing our sales and growing our market share through strategic acquisitions and opening new branches. If we fail to identify and acquire suitable acquisition targets on appropriate terms, our growth strategy may be materially and adversely affected. Further, if our operating results decline as a result of reduced activity in the residential or commercial construction markets, we may be unable to obtain the capital required to effect new acquisitions or open new branches.

 

In addition, we may not be able to integrate the operations of future acquired businesses in an efficient and cost-effective manner or without significant disruption to our existing operations. Moreover, acquisitions involve significant risks and uncertainties, including uncertainties as to the future financial performance of the acquired business, difficulties integrating acquired personnel and corporate cultures into our business, the potential loss of key employees, customers or suppliers, difficulties in integrating different computer and accounting systems, exposure to unknown or unforeseen liabilities of acquired companies, difficulties implementing disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting for the acquired businesses, and the diversion of management attention and resources from existing operations. We may be unable to successfully complete potential acquisitions due to multiple factors, such as issues related to regulatory review of the proposed transactions. We may also be required to incur additional debt in order to consummate acquisitions in the future, which debt may be substantial and may limit our flexibility in using our cash flow from operations. Our failure to integrate future acquired businesses effectively or to manage other consequences of our acquisitions, including increased indebtedness, could prevent us from remaining competitive and, ultimately, could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

In addition, if we finance acquisitions by issuing our equity securities or securities convertible into our equity securities, our existing stockholders would be diluted, which, in turn, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. We could also finance an acquisition with debt, resulting in higher leverage and interest costs relating to the acquisition. As a result, if we fail to evaluate and execute acquisitions efficiently, we may not ultimately experience the anticipated benefits of the acquisitions, and we may incur costs that exceed our expectations.

 

We may not be able to expand into new geographic markets, which may impact our ability to grow our business.

 

We intend to continue to pursue our growth strategy to expand into new geographic markets for the foreseeable future. Our expansion into new geographic markets may present competitive, distribution and other challenges that differ from the challenges we currently face. In addition, we may be less familiar with the customers in these markets and may ultimately face different or additional risks, as well as increased or unexpected costs, compared to those we experience in our existing markets. Expansion into new geographic markets may also expose us to direct competition with companies with whom we have limited or no past experience as competitors. To the extent we rely upon expanding into new geographic markets and do not meet, or are unprepared for, any new challenges posed by such expansion, our future sales growth could be negatively impacted, our operating costs could increase, and our business and results of operations could be negatively affected.

 

We may be unable to fully realize expected benefits from our recent acquisition of Titan.

 

On June 1, 2018, we acquired Titan, Canada’s largest gypsum specialty distributer with 30 locations across five provinces in Canada. We expect to achieve operating and capital synergies as a result of our acquisition of Titan. If we are unable to continue to successfully integrate the business, or integrate them in a timely fashion, we may face material adverse effects including, but not limited to the diversion of the attention of management and key personnel and

11

 

potential disruption of our ongoing businesses; customer losses; the loss of quality employees; adverse developments in vendor relationships; declines in our results of operations and financial condition; and a decline in the market price of our common stock. Even if we successfully integrate the businesses, there can be no assurance that the integration will result in the realization of the full benefit of the anticipated synergies and cost savings or that these benefits will be realized within the expected time frames.

 

Product shortages, loss of key suppliers or failure to develop relationships with qualified suppliers, and our dependence on third-party suppliers and manufacturers could affect our financial health.

 

The products we distribute are manufactured by a number of major suppliers. Our ability to offer a wide variety of products to our customers is dependent upon our ability to obtain adequate product supply from manufacturers and other suppliers. Generally, the products we distribute are obtainable from various sources and in sufficient quantities. However, any disruption in our sources of supply, particularly of the most commonly sold items, could result in a loss of revenues, reduced margins and damage to our relationships with customers. Supply shortages may occur as a result of unanticipated increases in demand, shortage of raw materials, including the availability of synthetic gypsum, or difficulties in production or delivery. When shortages occur, our suppliers often allocate products among distributors. The loss of, or a substantial decrease in the availability of, products from our suppliers or the loss of key supplier arrangements, such as those whereby we are afforded exclusive distribution rights in certain geographic areas, could adversely impact our financial condition, operating results and cash flows.

 

Our ability to maintain relationships with qualified suppliers who can satisfy our high standards for quality and our need to be supplied with products in a timely and efficient manner is a significant challenge. Our suppliers’ ability to provide us with products can also be adversely affected in the event they become financially unstable, particularly in light of continuing economic difficulties in various regions of the United States and the world, fail to comply with applicable laws, encounter supply disruptions, shipping interruptions or increased costs, or they become faced with other factors beyond our control.

 

Although in some instances we have agreements with our suppliers, these agreements are generally terminable by either party on limited notice. If market conditions change, suppliers may stop offering us favorable terms. Failure by our suppliers to continue to supply us with products on favorable terms, commercially reasonable terms, or at all, could put pressure on our operating margins or could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

The commercial and residential construction markets are seasonal.

 

The markets in which we operate are seasonal. Although weather patterns affect our operating results throughout the year, the months of November through February have historically been, and are generally expected to continue to be, adversely affected by weather patterns in some of our markets, causing reduced commercial and residential construction activity. We experience seasonal variation as a result of our customers’ dependence on suitable weather to engage in construction, R&R projects. For example, during the winter months, construction activity generally declines due to inclement weather and shorter daylight hours. In addition, to the extent that hurricanes, severe storms, earthquakes, floods, fires, other natural disasters or similar events occur in the markets in which we operate, our business may be adversely affected. As a result, our operating results have historically varied significantly between fiscal quarters, and we anticipate that we will continue to experience these quarterly fluctuations in the future.

 

The loss of any of our significant customers or a reduction in the quantity of products they purchase could affect our financial health.

 

Our ten largest customers generated approximately 8.8%, 8.5% and 8.7% of our net sales in the aggregate for fiscal 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. We cannot guarantee that we will maintain or improve our relationships with these customers, or successfully assume the customer relationships of any businesses that we acquire, or that we will continue to supply these customers at historical levels. Due to the weak housing market in recent years in comparison to long-term averages, many of our homebuilder customers substantially reduced their construction activity. Some of our homebuilder customers exited or severely curtailed building activity in certain of our markets.

 

In addition, professional homebuilders, commercial builders and other customers may: (i) purchase some of the

12

 

products that we currently sell and distribute directly from manufacturers; (ii) elect to establish their own building products manufacturing and distribution facilities; or (iii) favor doing business with manufacturing or distribution intermediaries in which they have an economic stake. Continued consolidation among professional homebuilders and commercial builders could also result in a loss of some of our present customers to our competitors. The loss of one or more of our significant customers or deterioration in our existing relationships with any of our customers could adversely affect our financial condition, operating results and cash flows. Furthermore, our customers typically are not required to purchase any minimum amount of products from us. Should our customers purchase the products we distribute in significantly lower quantities than they have in the past, or should the customers of any businesses that we acquire purchase products from us in significantly lower quantities than they had prior to our acquisition of the business, such decreased purchases could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

We are exposed to product liability, warranty, casualty, construction defect, contract, tort, employment and other claims and legal proceedings related to our business, the products we distribute, the services we provide and services provided for us by third parties.

 

In the ordinary course of business, we are subject to various claims and litigation. Any such claims, whether with or without merit, could be time consuming and expensive to defend and could divert management’s attention and resources. The building materials industry has been subject to personal injury and property damage claims arising from alleged exposure to raw materials contained in building products as well as claims for incidents of catastrophic loss, such as building fires. As a distributor of building materials, we face an inherent risk of exposure to product liability claims in the event that the use of the products we have distributed in the past or may in the future distribute is alleged to have resulted in economic loss, personal injury or property damage or violated environmental, health or safety or other laws. Such product liability claims have included and may in the future include allegations of defects in manufacturing, defects in design, a failure to warn of dangers inherent in the product, negligence, strict liability or a breach of warranties. In particular, certain of our subsidiaries have been the subject of claims related to alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products they distributed prior to 1979, which have not materially impacted our financial condition or operating results. See “Item 3, Legal Proceedings.” We are also from time to time subject to casualty, contract, tort and other claims relating to our business, the products we have distributed in the past or may in the future distribute, and the services we have provided in the past or may in the future provide, either directly or through third parties. If any such claim were adversely determined, our financial condition, operating results and cash flows could be adversely affected if we were unable to seek indemnification for such claims or were not adequately insured for such claims. We rely on manufacturers and other suppliers to provide us with the products we sell or distribute. Since we do not have direct control over the quality of products that are manufactured or supplied to us by third-parties, we are particularly vulnerable to risks relating to the quality of such products. In addition, we are exposed to potential claims arising from the conduct of our employees, builders and their subcontractors, and third-party installers for which we may be liable. We and they are subject to regulatory requirements and risks applicable to general contractors, which include management of licensing, permitting and quality of third-party installers. As they apply to our business, if we fail to manage these processes effectively or provide proper oversight of these services, we could suffer lost sales, fines and lawsuits, as well as damage to our reputation, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and cash flows.

 

In addition, claims and investigations may arise related to distributor relationships, commercial contracts, antitrust or competition law requirements, employment matters, employee benefits issues, consumer privacy concerns and other compliance and regulatory matters, including anti-corruption and anti-bribery matters. While we have processes and policies designed to mitigate these risks and to investigate and address such claims as they arise, we cannot predict or, in some cases, control the costs to defend or resolve such claims.

 

Although we believe we currently maintain suitable and adequate insurance in excess of our self-insured amounts, there can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain such insurance on acceptable terms or that such insurance will provide adequate protection against potential liabilities, and the cost of any product liability, warranty, casualty, construction defect, contract, tort, employment or other litigation or other proceeding, even if resolved in our favor, could be substantial. Additionally, we do not carry insurance for all categories of risk that our business may encounter. Any significant uninsured liability may require us to pay substantial amounts. There can be no assurance that any current or future claims will not adversely affect our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

 

13

 

Our operations are subject to various hazards that may cause personal injury or property damage and increase our operating costs, and which may exceed the coverage of our insurance.

        

There are inherent risks to our operations. Our delivery employees are subject to the usual hazards associated with providing services on construction sites, while our distribution center personnel are subject to the hazards associated with moving and storing large quantities of heavy materials. In addition, we employ drivers in connection with our distribution operations and, from time to time, these drivers are involved in accidents which may cause injuries and in which goods carried by these drivers may be lost or damaged. Our trucks with articulating boom loaders, particularly when loaded, expose our drivers and others to traffic hazards.

        

Operating hazards can cause personal injury and loss of life, damage to or destruction of property, building and equipment and environmental damage, and we cannot eliminate these risks. We maintain vehicle and commercial insurance to cover property damages and personal injuries resulting from traffic accidents, and rely on state mandated social insurance for work-related injuries of our employees. Nevertheless, any claim that exceeds the scope of our insurance coverage, if successful and of sufficient magnitude, could result in the incurrence of substantial costs and the diversion of resources, which could have a material adverse effect on us. A material increase in the frequency or severity of accidents, claims for lost or damaged goods, liability claims, workers’ compensation claims, or unfavorable resolutions of any such claims could also adversely affect our results of operations to the extent such claims are not covered by our insurance or such losses exceed our reserves. Further, significant increases in insurance costs or the inability to purchase insurance as a result of these claims could reduce our profitability and have an adverse effect on our results of operations. The timing of the incurrence of these costs could significantly and adversely impact our results of operations compared to prior periods.

 

Failure to attract and retain key employees could have a significant adverse effect on our business.

        

Our success depends in part on our ability to attract, hire, train and retain qualified managerial, operational, sales and other personnel. We face significant competition for these types of employees in our industry and from other industries. We may be unsuccessful in attracting and retaining the personnel we require to conduct and expand our operations successfully. In addition, key personnel may leave us and compete against us. Our success also depends to a significant extent on the continued service of our senior management team. We may be unsuccessful in replacing key managers who either resign or retire. The loss of any member of our senior management team or other experienced senior employees could impair our ability to execute our business plan, cause us to lose customers and reduce our net sales, or lead to employee morale problems and/or the loss of other key employees. In any such event, our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected.

 

In April 2019, we announced a leadership succession plan pursuant to which John C. Turner, Jr. will succeed Mike Callahan as our Chief Executive Officer in August 2019. In October 2018, we also announced the resignation of Douglas Goforth as our Chief Financial Officer and appointed Lynn Ross as our Interim Chief Financial Officer in January 2019. Any significant leadership change or executive management transition involves inherent risk and any failure to ensure the effective transfer of knowledge and a smooth transition could hinder our strategic planning, execution and future performance.

 

Higher health care costs and labor costs could adversely affect our business.

        

As a result of the passage in 2010 of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or the ACA, we are required to provide affordable coverage, as defined in the ACA, to all employees, or otherwise be subject to a payment per employee based on the affordability criteria in the ACA. Additionally, some states and localities have passed state and local laws mandating the provision of certain levels of health benefits by some employers. Efforts to modify, repeal or otherwise invalidate all, or certain provisions of, the ACA and/or adopt a replacement healthcare reform law may impact our employee healthcare costs. At this time, there is uncertainty concerning whether the ACA will be repealed or what requirements will be included in a new law, if enacted. Increased health care and insurance costs as well as other changes in federal or state workplace regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Various federal and state labor laws govern our relationships with our employees and affect our operating costs. These laws include employee classifications as exempt or non-exempt, minimum wage requirements, unemployment tax

14

 

rates, workers' compensation rates, overtime, family leave, safety standards, payroll taxes, citizenship requirements and other wage and benefit requirements for employees classified as non-exempt. As our employees may be paid at rates that relate to the applicable minimum wage, further increases in the minimum wage could increase our labor costs. Significant additional government regulations could materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

In addition, we compete with other companies for many of our employees in hourly positions, and we invest significant resources to train and motivate our employees to maintain a high level of job satisfaction. Our hourly employment positions have historically had high turnover rates, which can lead to increased spending on training and retention and, as a result, increased labor costs. If we are unable to effectively retain highly qualified employees in the future, it could adversely impact our results of operations.

 

The majority of our net sales are credit sales that are made primarily to customers whose ability to pay is dependent, in part, upon the economic strength of the industry and geographic areas in which they operate, and the failure to collect or timely collect monies owed from customers could adversely affect our financial condition.

 

The majority of our net sales volume is facilitated through the extension of credit to our customers whose ability to pay is dependent, in part, upon the economic strength of the industry in the areas where they operate. We offer credit to customers, either through unsecured credit that is based solely upon the creditworthiness of the customer, or secured credit for materials sold for a specific construction project where we establish a security interest in the material used in the project. The type of credit we offer depends both on the customer's financial strength and the nature of the business in which the customer is involved. End users, resellers and other non-contractor customers typically purchase more on unsecured credit than secured credit. If any of our customers are unable to repay credit that we have extended in a timely manner, or at all, our financial condition, operating results and cash flows would be adversely affected. Further, our collections efforts with respect to non-paying or slow-paying customers could negatively impact our customer relations going forward.

 

Because we depend on certain of our customers to repay extensions of credit, if the financial condition of our customers declines, our credit risk could increase as a result. Significant contraction in the commercial and residential construction markets, coupled with limited credit availability and stricter financial institution underwriting standards, could adversely affect the operations and financial stability of certain of our customers. Should one or more of our larger customers declare bankruptcy, it could adversely affect the collectability of our accounts receivable, bad debt reserves and net income.

 

We occupy many of our facilities under long-term non-cancellable leases, and we may be unable to renew our leases at the end of their terms.

 

Many of our facilities and distribution centers are located on leased premises subject to non-cancellable leases. Typically, our leases have initial terms ranging from three to five years, with options to renew for specified periods of time. We believe that our future leases will likely also be long-term and non-cancellable and have similar renewal options. If we close or stop fully utilizing a facility, we will most likely remain obligated to perform under the applicable lease, which would include, among other things, making the base rent payments, and paying insurance, taxes and other expenses on the leased property for the remainder of the lease term. Our inability to terminate a lease when we stop fully utilizing a facility or exit a geographic market can have a significant adverse impact on our financial condition, operating results and cash flows. In addition, at the end of the lease term and any renewal period for a facility, we may be unable to renew the lease without substantial additional cost, if at all. If we are unable to renew our facility leases, we may close or relocate a facility, which could subject us to construction and other costs and risks, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results. Further, we may not be able to secure a replacement facility in a location that is as commercially viable, including access to rail service, as the lease we are unable to renew. Having to close a facility, even briefly to relocate, would reduce the sales that such facility would have contributed to our revenues. Additionally, a relocated facility may generate less revenue and profit, if any, than the facility it was established to replace.

 

15

 

We may be unable to effectively manage our inventory and working capital as our sales volume increases or the prices of the products we distribute fluctuate, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

        

We purchase products, including wallboard, ceilings, steel framing and other specialty building materials, from manufacturers which are then sold and distributed to customers. We must maintain, and have adequate working capital to purchase, sufficient inventory to meet customer demand. Due to the lead times required by our suppliers, we order products in advance of expected sales. As a result, we are required to forecast our sales and purchase accordingly. In periods characterized by significant changes in economic growth and activity in the commercial and residential building and home R&R industries, it can be especially difficult to forecast our sales accurately. We must also manage our working capital to fund our inventory purchases. Excessive increases in the market prices of certain building products, such as wallboard, ceilings and steel framing, can put negative pressure on our operating cash flows by requiring us to invest more in inventory. In the future, if we are unable to effectively manage our inventory and working capital as we attempt to expand our business, our cash flows may be negatively affected, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

An impairment of goodwill could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

        

As April 30, 2019, we had $617.3 million of goodwill. We perform an impairment test of our goodwill annually during the fourth quarter of our fiscal year or when events occur or circumstances change that would more-likely-than-not indicate that goodwill might be impaired. Factors that may be considered a change in circumstances, indicating that the carrying value of our goodwill may not be recoverable, include a decline in stock price and market capitalization, reduced future cash flow estimates and slower growth rates in our industry. Our annual impairment tests resulted in no impairment of goodwill during fiscal 2019, 2018 and 2017. However, deterioration in estimated future cash flows in our reporting units could result in future goodwill impairment. Changes to our business strategy, changes in industry or market conditions, changes in operating performance or other indicators of impairment could cause us to record a significant impairment charge during the period in which the impairment is determined, negatively impacting our results of operations and financial position.

 

Federal, state, provincial, local and other regulations could impose substantial costs and restrictions on our operations that would reduce our net income.

        

We are subject to various federal, state, provincial, local and other laws and regulations, including, among other things, transportation regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, or the DOT, work safety regulations promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, employment regulations promulgated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, regulations of the U.S. Department of Labor, accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or similar entities, consumer protection laws regarding privacy, and state and local zoning restrictions, building codes and contractors’ licensing regulations. More burdensome regulatory requirements in these or other areas may increase our general and administrative costs and adversely affect our financial condition, operating results and cash flows. Moreover, failure to comply with the regulatory requirements applicable to our business could expose us to litigation and substantial fines and penalties that could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

        

Our transportation operations, upon which we depend to distribute products from our distribution centers, are subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the DOT, which has broad administrative powers with respect to our transportation operations. Vehicle dimensions and driver hours of service also are subject to both federal and state regulation. More restrictive limitations on vehicle weight and size, trailer length and configuration, or driver hours of service would increase our costs, which, if we are unable to pass these cost increases on to our customers, may increase our selling, general and administrative expenses and adversely affect our financial condition, operating results and cash flows. If we fail to comply adequately with the DOT regulations or regulations become more stringent, we could experience increased inspections, regulatory authorities could take remedial action including imposing fines or shutting down our operations or we could be subject to increased audit and compliance costs. If any of these events were to occur, our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows would be adversely affected.

        

In addition, the commercial and residential construction industries are subject to various local, state and federal statutes, ordinances, codes, rules and regulations concerning zoning, building design and safety, construction, contractor

16

 

licensing, energy conservation and similar matters, including regulations that impose restrictive zoning and density requirements on the residential new construction industry or that limit the number of homes or other buildings that can be built within the boundaries of a particular area. Regulatory restrictions may increase our operating expenses and limit the availability of suitable building lots for our customers, any of which could negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Compliance with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations could be expensive. Failure to comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations could subject us to significant liability.

        

We are subject to various federal, state, provincial and local environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including laws and regulations governing the investigation and cleanup of contaminated properties, air emissions, water discharges, waste management and disposal, product safety and the health and safety of our employees and customers. These laws and regulations impose a variety of requirements and restrictions on our operations and the products we distribute. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations could result in fines, penalties, enforcement actions, third party claims, damage to property or natural resources and personal injury, requirements to investigate or cleanup property or to pay for the costs of investigation or cleanup, or regulatory or judicial orders requiring corrective measures, including the installation of pollution control equipment or remedial actions and could negatively impact our reputation with customers. Environmental, health and safety laws and regulations applicable to our business, the products we distribute and the business of our customers, and the interpretation or enforcement of these laws and regulations, are constantly evolving and it is difficult to accurately predict the effect that changes in these laws and regulations, or their interpretation or enforcement, may have upon our business, financial condition or results of operations. Should environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, or their interpretation or enforcement, become more stringent, our costs, or the costs of our customers, could increase, which may have an adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

        

Under certain environmental laws and regulations, such as the U.S. federal Superfund law or its state or foreign equivalents, the obligation to investigate, remediate, monitor and clean up contamination at a facility may be imposed on current and former owners, lessees or operators or on persons who may have sent waste to that facility for disposal. Liability under these laws and regulations may be imposed without regard to fault or to the legality of the activities giving rise to the contamination. Contamination has been identified at several of our current and former facilities, and we have incurred and will continue to incur costs to investigate, remediate, monitor and otherwise address these conditions. Moreover, we may incur liabilities in connection with environmental conditions currently unknown to us relating to our prior, existing or future owned or leased sites or operations or those of predecessor companies whose liabilities we may have assumed or acquired.

 

Any significant fuel cost increases or shortages in the supply of fuel could disrupt our ability to distribute products to our customers, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

We currently use our own fleet of owned and leased delivery vehicles to service customers in the regions in which we operate. As a result, we are inherently dependent upon energy to operate and are impacted by changes in fuel prices. The cost of fuel is largely unpredictable and has a significant impact on our results of operations. Fuel availability, as well as pricing, is also impacted by political, economic and market factors that are outside our control. It is difficult to predict the future availability of fuel due to the following factors, among others:

 

·

dependency on foreign imports of crude oil and the potential for hostilities or other conflicts in oil producing areas; 

·

limited refining capacity; and 

·

the possibility of changes in governmental policies on fuel production, transportation and marketing.

       

Significant increases in the cost of fuel or disruptions in the supply of fuel could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

17

 

Cybersecurity breaches could harm our business.

 

In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including our proprietary business information and that of our customers, suppliers and business partners, and personally identifiable information of our customers and employees, in our data centers and on our networks. The secure processing, maintenance and transmission of this information is critical to our operations. We have incurred costs and may incur significant additional costs in order to implement the security measures that we feel are appropriate to protect our IT systems. Our security measures are focused on the prevention, detection and remediation of damage from computer viruses, natural or man-made disasters, unauthorized access, cyber attacks and other similar disruptions. Despite our security measures, our IT systems and infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions. To date, we have not experienced a material breach of our IT systems. Any attacks on our IT systems could result in our systems or data being breached or damaged by computer viruses or unauthorized physical or electronic access. Such a breach could result in not only business disruption, but also theft of our intellectual property or other competitive information or unauthorized access to controlled data and any personal information stored in our IT systems. To the extent that any data is lost or destroyed or any confidential information is inappropriately disclosed or used, it could adversely affect our competitive position or customer relationships. In addition, any such access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, damage our reputation and cause a loss of confidence in our business, products and services, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, profitability and cash flows.

 

A disruption of our IT systems could adversely impact our business and operations.

        

We rely on the accuracy, capacity and security of our IT systems, some of which are managed or hosted by third parties, and our ability to continually update these systems in response to the changing needs of our business. Our IT systems and those of our third-party service providers are vulnerable to damage or interruption from fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods and other natural disasters, terrorist attacks, power loss, capacity limitations, telecommunications failures, software and hardware defects or malfunctions, break-ins, sabotage and vandalism, human error and other disruptions that are beyond our control. We continue to invest capital to enhance, expand and increase the reliability of our network, but these capital expenditures may not achieve the results we expect. The occurrence of any disruption or system failure or other significant disruption to business continuity may result in a loss of business, increase expenses, damage our reputation or expose us to litigation and possible financial losses, any of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and cash flows.

 

Natural or man-made disruptions to our facilities may adversely affect our business and operations.

        

We currently maintain distribution facilities throughout the United States and Canada, as well as our corporate headquarters in Tucker, Georgia, which supports our facilities with various back office functions. In the event any of our facilities are damaged or operations are disrupted from fire, earthquake, hurricanes and other weather-related events, an act of terrorism or any other cause, a significant portion of our inventory could be damaged and our ability to distribute products to customers could be materially impaired. Moreover, we could incur significantly higher costs and experience longer lead times associated with distributing products to our customers during the time that it takes for us to reopen or replace a damaged facility. Disruptions to the transportation infrastructure systems in the United States and Canada, including those related to a terrorist attack or changes in response to terrorism threats or attacks, may also affect our ability to keep our operations and services functioning properly. If any of these events were to occur, our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be materially adversely affected.

 

We may have exposure to greater than anticipated tax liabilities and we may be limited in the use of our net operating losses in the future.

 

Our future income taxes could be adversely affected by changes in tax laws, regulations, accounting principles or interpretations thereof. Our determination of our tax liability is always subject to review by applicable tax authorities. Any adverse outcome of such a review could have a negative effect on our operating results and financial condition. In addition, the determination of our provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities requires significant judgment, and there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Although we believe our estimates are reasonable, the ultimate tax outcome may differ from the amounts recorded in our financial statements and may materially affect our financial results in the period or periods for which such determination is made.

18

 

 

Our Canadian operations could have a material adverse effect on us, including currency rate fluctuations.

 

On June 1, 2018, we acquired Titan, a distributer of wallboard, lumber, insulation and other complementary commercial and residential building materials with 30 locations across five provinces in Canada. We are subject to a number of risks specific to this country. We may also become subject to risks specific to other countries where we may complete acquisitions. These risks include social, political and economic instability, unexpected changes in regulatory requirements, tariffs and other trade barriers, currency exchange fluctuations, acts of war or terrorism and import/export requirements. Our financial statements are reported in U.S. dollars with international transactions being translated into U.S. dollars. Our exposure to currency rate fluctuations could be material to the extent that currency rate changes are significant or that our international operations comprise a larger percentage of our consolidated results. In addition, such fluctuations may also affect the comparability of our results between financial periods. We do not currently hedge the net investments in our foreign operations. There can be no assurances that any of these factors will not materially impact our production cost or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Trade policies could make sourcing product from foreign countries more difficult or more costly.

 

We source some of our products from outside of the United States. Suppliers that we utilize may rely upon non-domestic products, and therefore, any significant changes to the United States trade policies (and those of other countries in response) may cause a material adverse effect on our ability to procure products from suppliers that source from other countries or significantly increase the costs of obtaining such products, which could result in a material adverse effect on our financial results.

 

Risks Relating to Our Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

The agreements that govern our indebtedness contain various financial covenants that could limit our ability to engage in activities that may be in our best long-term interests.

        

The agreements that govern our indebtedness include covenants that, among other things, may impose significant operating and financial restrictions, including restrictions on our ability to engage in activities that may be in our best long-term interests. These covenants may restrict our ability to:

 

·

incur additional indebtedness; 

·

create or maintain liens on property or assets; 

·

make investments, loans and advances; 

·

sell certain assets or engage in acquisitions, mergers or consolidations; 

·

redeem debt; 

·

pay dividends and repurchase our shares; and 

·

enter into transactions with affiliates.

        

In addition, under the terms of our senior secured asset based revolving credit facility (the “ABL Facility”), we may at times be required to comply with a specified fixed charge coverage ratio. Our ability to meet this ratio could be affected by events beyond our control, and we cannot assure that we will meet this ratio.

        

A breach of any of the covenants under any of our debt agreements would result in a default under such agreement. If any such default occurs, the administrative agent under the agreement would be entitled to take various actions, including the acceleration of amounts due under the agreement and all actions permitted to be taken by a secured creditor. This could have serious adverse consequences on our financial condition and could cause us to become insolvent.

 

Our current indebtedness, degree of leverage and any future indebtedness we may incur, may adversely affect our cash flow, limit our operational and financing flexibility and negatively impact our business and our ability to make payments on our indebtedness and declare dividends and make other distributions.

 

As of April 30, 2019,  $986.9 million was outstanding under our senior secured first lien term loan facility (“the First Lien Facility”) and $44.0 million was outstanding under our ABL Facility. We may incur substantial additional

19

 

debt in the future. The ABL Facility, First Lien Facility and other debt instruments we may enter into in the future, may have significant consequences to our business and, as a result, may impact our stockholders, including:

 

·

impairing our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or general corporate purposes; 

·

requiring us to dedicate a significant portion of our cash flows from operations to pay interest on any outstanding indebtedness, which would reduce the funds available to us for operations and other purposes; 

·

limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business, the industries in which we operate; 

·

making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our indebtedness; 

·

making us more vulnerable to adverse changes in general economic, industry and competitive conditions and adverse changes in government regulation; 

·

placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that are less leveraged and, therefore, more able to take advantage of opportunities that our leverage prevents us from exploiting; 

·

impairing our ability to refinance existing indebtedness or borrow additional amounts for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, debt service requirements, execution of our business strategy or other purposes; 

·

restricting our ability to pay dividends, make other distributions and repurchase our shares; and 

·

adversely affecting our credit ratings.

        

Any of the above listed factors could materially adversely affect our financial condition, liquidity or results of operations.

        

Furthermore, we expect that we will depend primarily on cash generated by our operations in order to pay our expenses and any amounts due under our existing indebtedness and any future indebtedness we may incur. As a result, our ability to repay our indebtedness depends on the future performance of our business, which will be affected by financial, business, economic and other factors, many of which we cannot control. Our business may not generate sufficient cash flows from operations in the future and we may not achieve our currently anticipated growth in revenues and cash flows, either or both of which could result in our being unable to repay indebtedness or to fund other liquidity needs. If we do not have enough funds, we may be required to refinance all or part of our then existing indebtedness, sell assets or borrow additional funds, in each case on terms that may not be acceptable to us, if at all. In addition, the terms of existing or future debt agreements, including our existing ABL Facility, may restrict us from engaging in any of these alternatives. Our ability to recapitalize and incur additional debt in the future could also delay or prevent a change in control of our Company, make certain transactions more difficult to complete or impose additional financial or other covenants on us.

 

Despite our current level of indebtedness, we may still be able to incur substantially more debt.

        

We may be able to incur significant additional indebtedness in the future, including secured debt. Although the agreements governing our indebtedness contain restrictions on the incurrence of additional indebtedness, these restrictions are subject to a number of qualifications and exceptions, and the additional indebtedness incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial. These restrictions also will not prevent us from incurring obligations that do not constitute indebtedness, including obligations under operating lease arrangements. In addition, the ABL Facility provides a commitment of up to $345.0 million, subject to a borrowing base. As of April 30, 2019, we were able to borrow an additional $291.4 million under the ABL Facility. If new debt is added to our current debt levels, the related risks that we now face could intensify.

 

An increase in interest rates would increase the cost of servicing our debt and could reduce our profitability.

        

Our First Lien Facility and ABL Facility bear interest at variable rates. We have entered into interest rate swaps with the objective of minimizing the risks associated with our First Lien Facility. However, increases in interest rates with respect to any amount of our debt not covered by the interest rate swaps could increase the cost of servicing our debt and could materially reduce our profitability and cash flows. Such increases may occur from changes in regulatory standards or industry practices, such as the contemplated transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as a benchmark reference for short-term interests. Such a transition may result in the usage of a higher reference rate for our variable rate debt. Excluding the effect of the interest rate swaps and the interest rate floor on the

20

 

First Lien Facility, each 1% increase in interest rates on the First Lien Facility would increase our annual interest expense by $9.9 million based on balances outstanding under the First Lien Facility as of April 30, 2019. Assuming the ABL Facility was fully drawn up to the $345.0 million maximum commitment, each 1% increase in interest rates would result in a $3.5 million increase in annual interest expense on the ABL Facility.

 

We may have future capital needs that require us to incur additional debt and may be unable to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all.

        

We rely substantially on the liquidity provided by our existing ABL Facility and cash on hand to provide working capital and fund our operations. Our working capital and capital expenditure requirements are likely to grow as the commercial and residential construction markets improve and we execute our strategic growth plan. Economic and credit market conditions, the performance of the commercial and residential construction markets, and our financial performance, as well as other factors, may constrain our financing abilities. Our ability to secure additional financing, if available, and to satisfy our financial obligations under indebtedness outstanding from time to time will depend upon our future operating performance, the availability of credit, economic conditions and financial, business and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. The prolonged continuation or worsening of current housing market conditions and the macroeconomic factors that affect our industry could require us to seek additional capital and have a material adverse effect on our ability to secure such capital on favorable terms, if at all.

        

We may be unable to secure additional financing or financing on favorable terms or our operating cash flow may be insufficient to satisfy our financial obligations under our outstanding indebtedness. If additional funds are raised through the issuance of additional equity or convertible debt securities, our stockholders may experience significant dilution. We may also incur additional indebtedness in the future, including secured debt, subject to the restrictions contained in the ABL Facility and the First Lien Facility. If new debt is added to our current debt levels, the related risks that we now face could intensify.

 

Because we are a holding company with no operations of our own, we are financially dependent on receiving distributions from our subsidiaries and we could be harmed if such distributions could not be made in the future.

        

We are a holding company and all of our operations are conducted through subsidiaries. Consequently, we rely on payments or distributions from our subsidiaries. We do not currently expect to declare or pay dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future; however, to the extent that we determine in the future to pay dividends on our common stock, we will be dependent on our subsidiaries to make funds available to us for the payment of such dividends. The ability of such subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other payments or distributions to us is subject to applicable local law. Such laws and restrictions could limit the payment of dividends and distributions to us, which would restrict our ability to continue operations. In addition, the terms of the agreements governing the ABL Facility and the First Lien Facility restrict the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends, make loans or otherwise transfer assets to us. Furthermore, our subsidiaries are permitted under the terms of the ABL Facility and the First Lien Facility to incur additional indebtedness that may restrict or prohibit the making of distributions, the payment of dividends or the making of loans by such subsidiaries to us.

        

Some of our subsidiaries sponsor deferred compensation arrangements that entitle selected employees of those subsidiaries to participate in increases in the adjusted book value of a specified number of shares of common stock of those subsidiaries. Employees participate in these arrangements through cash-based stock appreciation rights, by holding common stock of the applicable subsidiary and/or through deferred compensation programs. As of April 30, 2019, we have reflected an aggregate fair value of $37.6 million of liabilities related to these compensation arrangements on our consolidated balance sheet, of which $3.0 million was classified as a current liability and $34.6 million was classified as a long-term liability. Upon termination of employment of those with whom we have these arrangements, these subsidiaries are required to make payments to these individuals. Settlements of these awards are typically made with cash or through execution of an installment note payable to the employee over a period of four to five years. Any requirement to make payments to employees pursuant to these deferred compensation arrangements could impact the cash flows of these subsidiaries and their ability to make funds available to us.

 

21

 

Risks Relating to Ownership of Our Common Stock

 

The market price of our common stock may be highly volatile.

        

The trading price of our common stock has been and may continue to be volatile. A significant drop in our stock price could also expose us to the risk of securities class action lawsuits, which could result in substantial costs and divert management’s attention and resources, which could adversely affect our business. Finally, volatility or a lack of positive performance in our stock price may adversely affect our ability to retain key employees, many of whom have been granted stock incentive awards. The following events and factors, in addition to other factors described in this “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, may have a significant impact on the market price of our common stock:

 

·

announcements of innovations or new products or services by us or our competitors; 

·

any adverse changes to our relationship with our customers, manufacturers or suppliers; 

·

variations in the costs of products that we distribute; 

·

any legal actions in which we may become involved; 

·

announcements concerning our competitors or the building supply industry in general; 

·

achievement of expected product sales and profitability; 

·

manufacture, supply or distribution shortages; 

·

adverse actions taken by regulatory agencies with respect to our services or the products we distribute; 

·

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly or annual operating results; 

·

changes in financial estimates; 

·

changes in recommendations or reduced coverage by securities analysts; 

·

trading volume of our common stock; 

·

sales of our common stock by us, our executive officers and directors or our stockholders (including certain affiliates of AEA) in the future; 

·

changes in accounting principles;

·

the loss of any of our management or key personnel;

·

market trends unelated to our performance; and

·

general economic and market conditions and overall fluctuations in the U.S. equity markets.

        

We may be subject to securities litigation, which is expensive and could divert management attention.

 

   Our share price may be volatile and, in the past, companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their stock have been subject to securities class action litigation. We may be the target of this type of litigation in the future. Litigation of this type could result in substantial costs and diversion of management's attention and resources, which could adversely impact our business. Any adverse determination in litigation could also subject us to significant liabilities.

 

AEA may influence major corporate decisions or their interests may conflict with the interests of other holders of our common stock.

        

Certain affiliates of AEA beneficially own approximately 16.6% of the voting power of our outstanding common stock. Additionally, for so long as certain affiliates of AEA hold an aggregate of at least 10% of our outstanding common stock, AEA shall be entitled to nominate at least one individual for election to our Board of Directors.  As a result of this control, AEA is able to influence matters requiring approval by our stockholders and/or our board of directors, including the election of directors and the approval of business combinations or dispositions and other extraordinary transactions. AEA may also have interests that differ from yours and may vote in a way with which you disagree and which may be adverse to your interests. The concentration of ownership may have the effect of delaying, preventing or deterring a change of control of our Company, could deprive our stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their common stock as part of a sale of our Company and may materially and adversely affect the market price of our common stock. In addition, AEA may in the future own businesses that directly compete with ours.

 

22

 

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market could cause our stock price to fall.

        

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market or the perception that these sales might occur, could depress the market price of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities.

 

As of April 30, 2019, we had 2.3 million stock options and restricted stock units outstanding and 1.8 million shares available for future grant under the GMS Inc. Equity Incentive Plan. In connection with the acquisition of Titan, we issued 1.1 million exchangeable shares to certain members of Titan’s management (the “Management Holders”) that allow the Management Holders to exchange their exchangeable shares for GMS common stock on a one-for-one basis.  On May 7, 2019, we filed a registration statement with the SEC registering the resale of the shares of GMS common stock that the Management Holders will receive upon exchange of the exchangeable shares, which registration statement was declared effective on May 24, 2019. On June 13, 2019, the Management Holders exchanged all of the exchangeable shares for shares of GMS common stock, which are freely tradeable by the Management Holders, subject to compliance with the Company’s insider trading policy, pursuant to the registration statement. Sales of stock by these stockholders could have a material adverse effect on the trading price of our common stock. The exercise and vesting of equity awards will result in dilution of the value of our common stock and could also depress the market price of our common stock.

        

Moreover, certain holders of our common stock have rights, subject to certain conditions, to require us to file registration statements covering their shares or to include their shares in registration statements that we may file for ourselves or other stockholders. Registration of these shares under the Securities Act would result in the shares becoming freely tradable without restriction under the Securities Act, except for shares held by our affiliates as defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act. Any sales of securities by these stockholders could have a material adverse effect on the trading price of our common stock.

 

We do not intend to pay dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future.

        

We currently anticipate that we will retain future earnings for the development, operation and expansion of our business and do not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. In addition, the terms of the ABL Facility, the First Lien Facility and any future debt agreements may preclude our subsidiaries from paying dividends to us which, in turn, may preclude us from paying dividends to our stockholders. As a result, we expect that only appreciation of the price of our common stock, if any, will provide a return to investors in our common stock for the foreseeable future.

 

Some provisions of our charter documents and Delaware law may have anti-takeover effects that could discourage an acquisition of us by others, even if an acquisition would be beneficial to our stockholders, and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.

        

Provisions in our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws, as well as provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or DGCL, could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us or increase the cost of acquiring us, even if doing so would benefit our stockholders, including transactions in which stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares. These provisions include:

 

·

establishing a classified board of directors such that not all members of the board are elected at one time; 

·

allowing the total number of directors to be determined exclusively (subject to the rights of holders of any series of preferred stock to elect additional directors) by resolution of our board of directors and granting to our board the sole power (subject to the rights of holders of any series of preferred stock or rights granted pursuant to the stockholders’ agreement) to fill any vacancy on the board; 

·

limiting the ability of stockholders to remove directors without cause; 

·

authorizing the issuance of "blank check" preferred stock by our board of directors, without further shareholder approval, to thwart a takeover attempt; 

·

prohibiting stockholder action by written consent (and, thus, requiring that all stockholder actions be taken at a meeting of our stockholders); 

·

eliminating the ability of stockholders to call a special meeting of stockholders; 

23

 

·

establishing advance notice requirements for nominations for election to the board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon at annual stockholder meetings; and 

·

requiring the approval of the holders of at least two-thirds of the voting power of all outstanding stock entitled to vote thereon, voting together as a single class, to amend or repeal our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or bylaws if AEA.

        

In addition, while we have opted out of Section 203 of the DGCL, our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation contains similar provisions providing that we may not engage in certain “business combinations” with any “interested stockholder” for a three-year period following the time that the stockholder became an interested stockholder, unless:

 

·

prior to such time, our board of directors approved either the business combination or the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder; 

·

upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of our voting stock outstanding at the time the transaction commenced, excluding certain shares; or 

·

at or subsequent to that time, the business combination is approved by our board of directors and by the affirmative vote of holders of at least two-thirds of our outstanding voting stock that is not owned by the interested stockholder.

        

Generally, a “business combination” includes a merger, asset or stock sale or other transaction provided for or through our Company resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. Subject to certain exceptions, an “interested stockholder” is a person who owns 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock and the affiliates and associates of such person. For purposes of this provision, “voting stock” means any class or series of stock entitled to vote generally in the election of directors.

        

Under certain circumstances, this provision will make it more difficult for a person who would be an “interested stockholder” to effect certain business combinations with us for a three-year period. This provision may encourage companies interested in acquiring us to negotiate in advance with our board of directors in order to avoid the stockholder approval requirement if our board of directors approves either the business combination or the transaction that results in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder. These provisions also may have the effect of preventing changes in our board of directors and may make it more difficult to accomplish transactions that stockholders may otherwise deem to be in their best interests.

        

These anti-takeover defenses could discourage, delay or prevent a transaction involving a change in control of our Company. These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for stockholders to elect directors of their choosing and cause us to take corporate actions other than those our stockholders desire.

 

Our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation designates the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware as the exclusive forum for certain litigation that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us.

        

Our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed to us or our stockholders by any of our directors, officers, employees or agents, (iii) any action asserting a claim against us arising under the DGCL or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our common stock is deemed to have notice of and have consented to the provisions of our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation related to choice of forum. The choice of forum provision in our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation may limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us.

 

 

24

 

Item 1B.  Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2.  Properties

Our corporate headquarters is in Tucker, Georgia. As of April 30, 2019, we operated our business through 254 branches across 43 states and the District of Columbia in the United States and five provinces in Canada. As of April 30, 2019, we owned 81 of our facilities, some of which were used as collateral to secure the First Lien Facility. We believe that substantially all of our property and equipment is in good condition, subject to normal wear and tear, and meets our current operating needs. 

As of April 30, 2019, we operated branches in the following locations, a few with multiple facilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of

    

 

    

Number of

State/Province

 

Branches

 

State/Province

 

Branches

Alabama

 

 5

 

Montana

 

 2

Alaska

 

 1

 

Nebraska

 

 3

Arizona

 

 4

 

Nevada

 

 1

Arkansas

 

 3

 

New Jersey

 

 2

California

 

 7

 

New Mexico

 

 5

Colorado

 

 7

 

North Carolina

 

10

Connecticut

 

 1

 

North Dakota

 

 2

Delaware

 

 2

 

Ohio

 

 5

District of Columbia

 

 1

 

Oklahoma

 

 2

Florida

 

14

 

Oregon

 

 5

Georgia

 

16

 

Pennsylvania

 

 5

Hawaii

 

 1

 

South Carolina

 

11

Idaho

 

 3

 

South Dakota

 

 1

Illinois

 

 3

 

Tennessee

 

 4

Iowa

 

 1

 

Texas

 

17

Indiana

 

 1

 

Virginia

 

13

Kansas

 

 1

 

Washington

 

11

Kentucky

 

 4

 

Wisconsin

 

 5

Louisiana

 

 3

 

Wyoming

 

 1

Maine

 

 1

 

Alberta

 

 7

Maryland

 

 8

 

British Columbia

 

16

Massachusetts

 

 4

 

Manitoba

 

 1

Michigan

 

17

 

Ontario

 

 5

Minnesota

 

 6

 

Saskatchewan

 

 1

Missouri

 

 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

254

 

 

Item 3.  Legal Proceedings

 

From time to time, we are involved in lawsuits that are brought against us in the normal course of business. We are not currently a party to any legal proceedings that would be expected, either individually or in the aggregate, to have a material adverse effect on our business or financial condition.

 

The building materials industry has been subject to personal injury and property damage claims arising from alleged exposure to raw materials contained in building products as well as claims for incidents of catastrophic loss, such as building fires. As a distributor of building materials, we face an inherent risk of exposure to product liability claims in the event that the use of the products we have distributed in the past or may in the future distribute is alleged to have resulted in economic loss, personal injury or property damage or violated environmental, health or safety or other laws. Such product liability claims have included and may in the future include allegations of defects in manufacturing, defects in design, a failure to warn of dangers inherent in the product, negligence, strict liability or a breach of

25

 

warranties. In particular, certain of our subsidiaries have been the subject of claims related to alleged exposure to asbestos‑containing products they distributed prior to 1979. Since 2002 and as of April 30, 2019, approximately 994 asbestos‑related personal injury lawsuits have been filed and we vigorously defend against them. Of these, 953 have been dismissed without any payment by us, 31 are pending and only 10 have been settled, which settlements have not materially impacted our financial condition or operating results. See Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry—We are exposed to product liability, warranty, casualty, construction defect, contract, tort, employment and other claims and legal proceedings related to our business, the products we distribute, the services we provide and services provided for us by third parties.”

 

Item 4.  Mine Safety Disclosures

None.

PART II

Item 5.  Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “GMS.”

As of the close of business on May 31, 2019, there were 20 holders of record of the Company’s common stock, which does not reflect those shares held beneficially or those shares held in “street” name. Accordingly, the number of beneficial owners of our common stock exceeds this number.

 

Dividend Policy

 

No dividends were paid to stockholders during the years ended April 30, 2019, 2018 or 2017. The Company currently intends to retain all of its future earnings, if any, to finance operations, development and growth of its business and repay indebtedness. Most of the Company’s indebtedness contains restrictions on the Company’s activities, including paying dividends on its capital stock. See Note 7, “Long-Term Debt” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Any future determination relating to our dividend policy will be made at the discretion of the Company’s board of directors and will depend on a number of factors, including future earnings, capital requirements, financial conditions, future prospects, contractual restrictions and covenants and other factors that the board of directors may deem relevant.

Performance Graph

The following graph shows a comparison of cumulative total return to holders of shares of GMS Inc.’s common stock against the cumulative total return of S&P 500 Index and Industrial Select Sector SPDR® Fund (XLI) from May 26, 2016 (the date our common stock commenced trading on the NYSE) through April 30, 2019 (the last trading day in fiscal 2019). The comparison of the cumulative total returns for each investment assumes that $100 was invested in GMS Inc. common stock and the respective indices on May 26, 2016 through April 30, 2019 including reinvestment of any dividends. Historical share price performance should not be relied upon as an indication of future share price performance.

 

This performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act or Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing. The points on the graph represent stock prices at the date of the IPO and the last trading days in fiscal 2017, 2018 and 2019.

26

 

Picture 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5/26/2016

 

4/28/2017

 

4/30/2018

 

4/30/2019

GMS Inc

 

$

100.00

 

$

165.04

 

$

142.22

 

$

80.42

S&P 500 Index

 

 

100.00

 

 

116.25

 

 

131.67

 

 

149.44

S&P 500 Select Sector SPDR (XLI)

 

 

100.00

 

 

118.05

 

 

128.55

 

 

139.02

 

 

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

On November 30, 2018, our Board of Directors authorized a common stock repurchase program to repurchase up to $75.0 million of our outstanding common stock. We may conduct repurchases under the share repurchase program through open market transactions, under trading plans in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 and/or in privately negotiated transactions, in compliance with Rule 10b-18 under the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, subject to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, our liquidity, credit availability, general business and market conditions, our debt covenant restrictions and the availability of alternative investment opportunities. The share repurchase program does not obligate us to acquire any particular amount of common stock, and it may be suspended or terminated at any time at our discretion.

 

The number of shares repurchased and the average price paid per share for each month in the three months ended April 30, 2019 are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Number of

 

 

Maximum Dollar

 

 

Total Number

 

Average

 

Shares Repurchased

 

 

Value that May

 

    

of Shares

    

Price Paid

    

as Part of Publicly

 

    

Yet be Purchased

 

 

Repurchased

 

Per Share

 

Announced Program (1)

 

 

Under the Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in thousands)

February 1 through February 28

 

85,063

 

$

19.96

 

85,063

 

$

61,788

March 1 through March 31

 

146,591

 

 

16.72

 

146,591

 

 

59,337

April 1 through April 30

 

55,228

 

 

15.51

 

55,228

 

 

58,480

Total

 

286,882

 

 

 

 

286,882

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27

 

Item 6.  Selected Financial Data

The following selected consolidated financial data was derived from our consolidated financial statements. The data should be read in conjunction with “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

April 30, 

 

April 30, 

 

April 30, 

 

April 30, 

 

April 30, 

 

 

2019(1)

 

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

 

 (in thousands, except per share data)

Statement of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

3,116,032

 

$

2,511,469

 

$

2,319,146

 

$

1,858,182

 

$

1,570,085

Gross profit

 

 

1,004,119

 

 

818,576

 

 

758,571

 

 

593,164

 

 

478,971

Operating income

 

 

147,200

 

 

119,169

 

 

104,253

 

 

58,914

 

 

18,651

Income (loss) before taxes

 

 

70,041

 

 

83,854

 

 

71,540

 

 

25,148

 

 

(18,323)

Net income (loss)

 

 

56,002

 

 

62,971

 

 

48,886

 

 

12,564

 

 

(11,697)

Weighted average shares outstanding:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

Basic

 

 

40,914

 

 

41,015

 

 

40,260

 

 

32,799

 

 

32,450

Diluted

 

 

41,589

 

 

42,163

 

 

41,070

 

 

33,125

 

 

32,450

Net income (loss) per share:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

Basic

 

$

1.33

 

$

1.54

 

$

1.21

 

$

0.38

 

$

(0.36)

Diluted

 

$

1.31

 

$

1.49

 

$

1.19

 

$

0.38

 

$

(0.36)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

April 30, 

    

April 30, 

    

April 30, 

    

April 30, 

    

April 30, 

 

 

2019(1)

 

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

 

(in thousands)

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

47,338

 

$

36,437

 

$

14,561

 

$

19,072

 

$

12,284

Total assets

 

 

2,149,554

 

 

1,454,511

 

 

1,393,265

 

 

1,240,814

 

 

1,160,976

Total debt(2)

 

 

1,141,195

 

 

595,886

 

 

594,920

 

 

644,610

 

 

556,984

Total stockholders’ equity

 

 

629,176

 

 

579,451

 

 

514,606

 

 

311,160

 

 

299,572

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

April 30, 

    

April 30, 

    

April 30, 

    

April 30, 

    

April 30, 

 

 

2019(1)

 

2018

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

Selected Operating Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Branches (at period end)

 

 

254

 

 

214

 

 

205

 

 

186

 

 

156

Employees (at period end)

 

 

5,858

 

 

4,642

 

 

4,464

 

 

3,934

 

 

3,088

Wallboard volume (million square feet)

 

 

3,916

 

 

3,548

 

 

3,457

 

 

2,843

 

 

2,328

 


(1)

On June 1, 2018, we acquired all of the outstanding equity interests of Titan, a distributer of wallboard, lumber, insulation and other complementary commercial and residential building materials in Canada. The results of operations of Titan have been included in our consolidated financial statements since the acquisition date. The comparison of selected financial data is affected by this acquisition and, to a lesser extent, by other smaller acquisitions completed during periods presented.

(2)

Includes debt and capital lease obligations, net of unamortized discount and debt issuance costs.

 

 

28

 

Item 7.  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Overview

GMS Inc. (“we,” “our,” “us,” or the “Company”) is a distributor of specialty building products including wallboard, suspended ceilings systems, or ceilings, steel framing and other complementary building products. We purchase products from a large number of manufacturers and then distribute these goods to a customer base consisting of wallboard and ceilings contractors and homebuilders and, to a lesser extent, general contractors and individuals. We operate a network of more than 250 distribution centers across the United States and Canada.

Business Strategy

Our growth strategy entails increasing our market share within our existing footprint, expanding into new markets by opening new branches and acquiring competitors. We expect to continue to capture profitable market share in our existing footprint by delivering industry‑leading customer service. Our strategy for opening new branches is to further penetrate markets that are adjacent to our existing operations. Typically, we have pre‑existing customer relationships in these markets but need a new location to fully capitalize on those relationships. In addition, we will continue to selectively pursue acquisitions. Due to the large, highly fragmented nature of our market and our reputation throughout the industry, we believe we have the potential to access a robust acquisition pipeline that will continue to supplement our organic growth. We use a rigorous targeting process to identify acquisition candidates that will fit our culture and business model and have an experienced team of professionals to manage the acquisition and integration processes. As a result of our scale, purchasing power and ability to improve operations through implementing best practices, we believe we can achieve substantial synergies and drive earnings accretion from our acquisition strategy.

Fiscal 2019 Highlights

Key developments in our business during fiscal 2019 are described below:

·

Generated net sales of $3,116.0 million in fiscal 2019, a 24.1% increase from the prior year due to an increase in sales across all product categories driven by sales from acquired businesses, primarily our acquisition of WSB Titan (“Titan”) as further described below, organic sales and sales from new greenfield branches.

·

Generated net income of $56.0 million in fiscal 2019, compared to $63.0 million in the prior year, primarily due to an increase in depreciation and amortization expense resulting from assets obtained in the acquisition of Titan and an increase in interest expense resulting from the debt financing completed in connection with the acquisition of Titan, offset by the inclusion of Titan’s results for most of fiscal 2019, operating lease amendments, increased cost efficiencies and increases in our base business.

·

Generated Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure, see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” in this Item 7) of $295.7 million in fiscal 2019, an increase from $199.3 million in the prior year, primarily due to the inclusion of Titan Adjusted EBITDA, operating lease amendments, increased cost efficiencies and increases in our base business.  

·

Completed the Titan acquisition as well as two additional acquisitions totaling three branches in the United States and 30 branches across Canada for approximately $583.1 million of aggregate cash consideration.

·

Repurchased 1.0 million shares of our common stock for $16.5 million.

Acquisition of Titan

On June 1, 2018, we acquired all of the outstanding equity interests of Titan, a distributer of wallboard, lumber, insulation and other complementary commercial and residential building materials. Titan is Canada’s largest gypsum specialty dealer with 30 locations across five provinces in Canada. The stated purchase price was $627.0 million ($800.0 million Canadian dollars). As part of the consideration, certain members of Titan’s management converted a portion of their ownership position into 1.1 million shares of equity that are exchangeable for the Company’s common stock. The

29

 

transaction extended our leadership position in North America with additional scale and footprint, expanded our geographic coverage into the Canadian market and has created opportunities for further expansion in Canada.

To finance this transaction, on June 1, 2018, we entered into the Third Amendment to our First Lien Credit Agreement (the “Third Amendment”) as detailed under the heading “Term Loan Amendment.” We also drew down $143.0 million under our asset backed revolving credit facility (the “ABL Facility”).

Other Acquisitions

On August 7, 2018, we acquired Charles G. Hardy, Inc. (“CGH”), an interior building products distributor in Paramount, California. CHG has been treated as a new greenfield branch. On March 4, 2019, we acquired Commercial Builders Group, LLC, an interior building products distributer in LaPlace, Louisiana. On June 3, 2019, we acquired the acoustical and drywall operations of J.P. Hart Lumber Company (“Hart Acoustical & Drywall Supply”). Hart Acoustical & Drywall Supply distributes drywall, metal studs, insulation and ceiling tiles through two locations in San Antonio, TX and one location in La Feria, TX.

 

Term Loan Amendment

On June 1, 2018, we entered into the Third Amendment that provides for a new first lien term loan facility under the credit agreement in the aggregate principal amount of approximately $996.8 million due in June 2025 that bears interest at a floating rate based on LIBOR plus 2.75%, with a 0% floor, representing a 25 basis point improvement compared to the interest rate of the existing first lien term loan facility under the credit agreement immediately prior to giving effect to the Third Amendment. The net proceeds from the new first lien term loan facility, ABL Facility and cash on hand were used to repay our existing first lien term loan facility of $571.8 million and to finance the Titan acquisition.

Operating Lease Amendments

During the first quarter of fiscal 2019, we amended certain of our operating lease agreements for equipment. The amendments resulted in the Company classifying these leases as capital leases upon the date of the modification. As a result, we recorded $73.6 million of capital lease assets and capital lease obligations during year ended April 30, 2019.

Restructuring

During the first quarter of fiscal 2019,  we initiated a reduction in workforce as part of a strategic cost reduction plan to improve operational efficiency. We recorded $5.0 million of restructuring costs during the year ended April 30, 2019 in connection with the reduction in workforce and certain other restructuring activities, consisting primarily of severance and other employee costs. Such costs are classified within selling, general and administrative expenses in the Consolidated Statement of Operations and Comprehensive Income. As of April 30, 2019, all costs related to the reduction in force have been paid.

Share Repurchase Program

On November 30, 2018, our Board of Directors authorized a common stock repurchase program to repurchase up to $75.0 million of our outstanding common stock. We may conduct repurchases under the share repurchase program through open market transactions, under trading plans in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 and/or in privately negotiated transactions, in compliance with Rule 10b-18 under the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, subject to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, our liquidity, credit availability, general business and market conditions, our debt covenant restrictions and the availability of alternative investment opportunities. The repurchase program does not require us to acquire any specific number of shares and may be terminated at any time. As of April 30, 2019, we had $58.5 million available under the repurchase program. 

30

 

Factors and Trends Affecting our Operating Results

 

General Economic Conditions

 

Our business is sensitive to changes in general economic conditions, including, in particular, conditions in the United States and Canadian  commercial construction and housing markets. The markets we serve are broadly categorized as commercial new construction, commercial R&R, residential new construction and residential R&R. We believe all four end markets are currently in an extended period of expansion following a deep and prolonged downturn.

Commercial New Construction

Our addressable commercial construction market is composed of a variety of commercial and institutional sub‑segments with varying demand drivers. Our commercial markets include offices, hotels, retail stores and other commercial buildings, while our institutional markets include educational facilities, healthcare facilities, government buildings and other institutional facilities. The principal demand drivers across these markets include the overall economic outlook, the general business cycle, government spending, vacancy rates, employment trends, interest rates, availability of credit and demographic trends. Given the extreme depth of the last recession, despite the growth to date, activity in the commercial construction market remains well below average historical levels.

Commercial R&R

We believe commercial R&R spending is typically more stable than new commercial construction activity. Commercial R&R spending is driven by a number of factors, including commercial real estate prices and rental rates, office vacancy rates, government spending and interest rates. Commercial R&R spending is also driven by commercial lease expirations and renewals, as well as tenant turnover. Such events often result in repair, reconfiguration and/or upgrading of existing commercial space. As such, the commercial R&R market has historically been less volatile than commercial new construction. While there is very limited third party data for commercial R&R spending, we believe spending in this end market is in a period of expansion.

Residential New Construction

Residential construction activity is driven by a number of factors, including the overall economic outlook, employment, income growth, home prices, availability of mortgage financing and related government regulations, interest rates and consumer confidence, among others. While housing starts have generally recovered in recent years, activity in the market remains well below historical levels.

Residential R&R

While residential R&R activity is typically more stable than new construction activity, we believe the prolonged period of under‑investment during the downturn from 2007 to 2011 will continue to result in above‑average growth for the next several years. The primary drivers of residential R&R spending include changes in existing home prices, existing home sales, the average age of the housing stock, consumer confidence and interest rates.

Seasonality and Inflation

Our operating results are typically impacted by seasonality. Historically, sales of our products have been slightly higher in the first and second quarters of each fiscal year (covering the calendar months of May through October) due to favorable weather and longer daylight conditions during these periods. Seasonal variations in operating results may be impacted by inclement weather conditions, such as cold or wet weather, which can delay construction projects.

We believe that our results of operations are not materially impacted by moderate changes in the economic inflation rate. In general, we have historically been successful in passing on price increases from our vendors to our customers in a timely manner, although there is no assurance that we can successfully do so in the future.

31

 

Acquisitions

Our results of operations are impacted by acquisitions, as we complement our organic growth strategy with selective acquisitions. During fiscal 2019, we completed three acquisitions totaling three branches in the United States and 30 branches across Canada. During fiscal 2018, we completed five acquisitions totaling seven branches in the United States.  During fiscal 2017, we completed eight acquisitions totaling 16 branches in the United States. We believe that significant opportunities exist to expand our geographic footprint by executing additional strategic acquisitions and we consistently strive to maintain an extensive and active acquisition pipeline. We are often evaluating several acquisition opportunities at any given time. See Note 3 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information regarding our business acquisitions.

Our Products

The following is a summary of our net sales by product group for the years ended April 30, 2019, 2018 and 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

 

 

April 30, 

 

% of

 

April 30, 

 

% of

 

April 30, 

 

% of

 

    

2019

    

Total

    

2018

    

Total

    

2017

    

Total

 

 

(dollars in thousands)

Wallboard

 

$

1,272,068

    

40.8%

    

$

1,109,552

    

44.2%

    

$

1,058,400

    

45.7%

Ceilings

 

 

451,695

 

14.5%

 

 

387,360

 

15.4%

 

 

341,007

 

14.7%

Steel framing

 

 

506,805

 

16.3%

 

 

411,630

 

16.4%

 

 

374,151

 

16.1%

Other products

 

 

885,464

 

28.4%

 

 

602,927

 

24.0%

 

 

545,588

 

23.5%

Total net sales

 

$

3,116,032

 

  

 

$

2,511,469

 

  

 

$

2,319,146

 

  

 

32

 

Results of Operations

Fiscal Years Ended April 30, 2019 and 2018

The following table summarizes key components of our results of operations for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2019 and 2018:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

 

April 30,

 

 

    

2019

    

2018

 

 

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

Statement of operations data(1):

 

 

  

    

 

  

 

Net sales

 

$

3,116,032

 

$

2,511,469

 

Cost of sales (exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below)

 

 

2,111,913

 

 

1,692,893

 

Gross profit

 

 

1,004,119

 

 

818,576

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

 

739,460

 

 

633,877

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

117,459

 

 

65,530

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

856,919

 

 

699,407

 

Operating income

 

 

147,200

 

 

119,169

 

Other (expense) income:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

Interest expense

 

 

(73,677)

 

 

(31,395)

 

Change in fair value of financial instruments

 

 

(6,395)

 

 

(6,125)

 

Write-off of discount and deferred financing fees

 

 

 —

 

 

(74)

 

Other income, net

 

 

2,913

 

 

2,279

 

Total other expense, net

 

 

(77,159)

 

 

(35,315)

 

Income before tax

 

 

70,041

 

 

83,854

 

Income tax expense

 

 

14,039

 

 

20,883

 

Net income

 

$

56,002

 

$

62,971

 

Non-GAAP measures:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

Adjusted EBITDA(2)

 

$

295,669

 

$

199,258

 

Adjusted EBITDA margin(2)(3)

 

 

9.5

%

 

7.9

%


(1)

The comparison of statement of operations data is affected by our acquisition of Titan on June 1, 2018. The results of operations of Titan are included in our operating results beginning on the acquisition date.

(2)

Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin are non‑GAAP measures. See “Non-GAAP Measures” in this Item 7 for how we define and calculate Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin, reconciliations thereof to net income and a description of why we believe these measures are important.

(3)

Adjusted EBITDA margin is Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net sales.

Net Sales

Net sales of $3,116.0 million during the year ended April 30, 2019 increased $604.6 million, or 24.1%, from the year ended April 30, 2018. The increase in net sales was due to the following:

·

Wallboard sales, which are impacted by both commercial and residential construction activity, increased $162.5 million, or 14.6%, compared to the year ended April 30, 2018. The increase in wallboard sales was driven by the impact of the acquisition of Titan on June 1, 2018, pricing improvement and organic wallboard unit volume increase of 0.4%.

 

·

Ceilings sales increased $64.3 million, or 16.6%, compared to the year ended April 30, 2018. The increase in ceilings sales was mainly due to strong organic growth driven by greater commercial activity and pricing improvement as well as the positive impact of acquisitions.

 

33

 

·

Steel framing sales increased $95.2 million, or 23.1%, compared to the year ended April 30, 2018. The increase in steel framing sales was mainly due to strong organic growth driven by greater commercial activity and meaningful pricing improvement as well as the positive impact of acquisitions.

 

·

Other products sales increased $282.5 million, or 46.9%, compared to the year ended April 30, 2018. The increase was due to the impact of the acquisition of Titan, pricing improvement and organic sales.

 

From February 2, 2017 through April 30, 2019, we completed four acquisitions, which included six branches in the United States and 30 branches across Canada. These acquisitions contributed $448.8 million and $21.1 million to our net sales in fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2018, respectively. Excluding net sales for recently acquired businesses for fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2018, our base business net sales increased $176.9 million, or 7.1%, compared to the fiscal year ended April 30, 2018. The overall increase in our base business net sales reflected the increase in demand for our products due to increased R&R activity, commercial construction and an increase in the breadth of our product offerings. In addition, our base business net sales improved through the addition of new greenfield branches opened from February 2, 2017 through April 30, 2019, which contributed $87.7 million to our base business net sales in fiscal 2019 and $26.1 million to our base business net sales in fiscal 2018.

 

The following table presents base business net sales and recently acquired net sales:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

April 30, 

(Unaudited)

    

2019

    

2018

 

 

(in thousands)

Base business net sales

 

$

2,667,211

 

$

2,490,330

Recently acquired net sales (excluded from base business)

 

 

448,821

 

 

21,139

Total net sales

 

$

3,116,032

 

$

2,511,469

 

When calculating our “base business” results, we exclude any branches that were acquired in the current fiscal year, prior fiscal year and three months prior to the start of the prior fiscal year. Therefore, any acquisition occurring between February 2, 2017 and April 30, 2019 have been excluded from base business net sales.

 

We have excluded the following acquisitions from the base business for the periods identified:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Branches

 

 

Acquisition(1)

    

Acquisition Date

    

Acquired

    

Periods Excluded

ASI Building Products, LLC (MI)

 

August 1, 2017

 

3

 

August 1, 2017 - April 30, 2019

Southwest Building Materials, Ltd. (TX)

 

December 4, 2017

 

1

 

December 4, 2017 - April 30, 2019

WSB Titan (CAN)

 

June 1, 2018

 

30

 

June 1, 2018 - April 30, 2019

Commercial Builders Group, LLC (LA)

 

March 4, 2019

 

2

 

March 4, 2019 - April 30, 2019


(1)

Our acquisition of CGH on August 7, 2018 has been treated as a new greenfield branch and is included in base business net sales for purposes of calculating our base business results.

Gross Profit and Gross Margin

Gross profit of $1,004.1 million for the year ended April 30, 2019 increased $185.5 million, or 22.7%, from the year ended April 30, 2018 as a result of higher sales including the positive impact of acquisitions and pricing improvement. Gross margin on net sales decreased to 32.2% for the year ended April 30, 2019 compared to 32.6% for the year ended April 30, 2018. The decrease was primarily due to a $4.1 million, or 0.4%, non-cash cost of sales impact of purchase accounting adjustments to increase inventory to its estimated fair value, as well as changes in product mix. As part of our accounting for business combinations, we are required to value inventory acquired in the business combination at its fair value, less costs to sell. The inventory adjustment is typically fully recognized in cost of sales within the first month after completion of an acquisition. This step-up in basis and related expense has a negative effect on gross margins as the related inventory is sold.

34

 

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses consist of warehouse, delivery and general and administrative expenses. Selling, general and administrative expenses of $739.5 million for the year ended April 30, 2019 increased $105.6 million, or 16.7%, from the year ended April 30, 2018. The increase was due to the acquisition of Titan, a $16.1 million increase in payroll and payroll related costs due to growth in our base business, $4.4 million increase in transaction costs primarily related to the acquisition of Titan, a  $6.7 million increase in severance primarily related to the reduction in workforce implemented during the first quarter of 2019 and a $2.3 million increase in insurance costs. These increases were partially offset by $22.7 million of expense savings from the amendment of certain equipment operating leases that are now being accounted for as capital leases. Selling, general and administrative expenses was 23.7% of our net sales during the year ended April 30, 2019, compared to 25.2% of our net sales during the year ended April 30, 2018. The decrease was driven by increased cost efficiencies, primarily the result of cost reduction initiatives taken during the fiscal year, contributions from the Titan acquisition and our changes to lease accounting.

Depreciation and Amortization Expense

Depreciation and amortization includes depreciation of property and equipment and amortization of definite-lived intangible assets acquired in purchases of businesses and purchases of assets from other companies.  Depreciation and amortization expense was $117.5 million for the year ended April 30, 2019 compared to $65.5 million for the year ended April 30, 2018. The increase was due to a $29.5 million increase in amortization expense and a $22.4 million increase in depreciation expense. The increase in amortization expense compared to the prior year was primarily attributable to expense resulting from definite-lived intangible assets obtained in the acquisition of Titan. The increase in depreciation expense compared to the prior year was primarily attributable to expense resulting from property and equipment obtained in the acquisition of Titan and additional depreciation expense resulting from amendments of certain operating leases for equipment that are now being accounted for as capital leases.

Interest Expense

Interest expense consists primarily of interest expense incurred on our debt and capital leases and amortization of deferred financing fees and debt discounts. Interest expense was $73.7 million during the year ended April 30, 2019 compared to $31.4 million for the year ended April 30, 2018. The increase was primarily due to an increase in the outstanding amount of debt related to the financing of the acquisition of Titan. The gross amount of outstanding debt increased $425.0 million during the year ended April 30, 2019 due to the Third Amendment to our first lien term loan facility and increased due to net borrowings under our ABL facility. Also contributing to the increase was  $11.7 million of interest expense resulting from amendments of certain operating leases for equipment that are now being accounted for as capital leases.

Change in Fair Value of Financial Instruments

Change in fair value of financial instruments includes changes in fair value of our derivative instruments that are recognized in earnings. During the years ended April 30, 2019 and 2018, we recognized losses of $5.7 million and $5.1 million, respectively, on the change in fair value of a foreign currency forward contract. The foreign currency forward contract was entered into to mitigate foreign currency exchange risk associated with the purchase price of Titan that was denominated in Canadian dollars during the time between signing the agreement and closing the transaction. The foreign currency forward contract effectively fixed the amount we paid for the purchase price by contracting us to pay U.S. dollars and receive Canadian dollars on the notional amount. The remaining change from the prior year was due to changes in fair value of our interest rate cap, which expired in October 2018.

Income Tax Expense

Income tax expense was $14.0 million during the year ended April 30, 2019 compared to income tax expense of $20.9 million during the year ended April 30, 2018. Our effective tax rate was 20.0% and 24.9% for the years ended April 30, 2019 and 2018, respectively. The decrease in the effective income tax rate from the year ended April 30, 2018 to the year ended April 30, 2019 was primarily due the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”), the impact of foreign tax rates and other tax effects associated with the acquisition of Titan. For more information regarding the Tax

35

 

Act and its impact on us, see Note 9 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Fiscal Years Ended April 30, 2018 and 2017

The following table summarizes key components of our results of operations for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2018 and 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

 

 

April 30, 

 

 

    

2018

    

2017

 

 

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

Statement of operations data:

 

 

  

    

 

  

 

Net sales

 

$

2,511,469

 

$

2,319,146

 

Cost of sales (exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below)

 

 

1,692,893

 

 

1,560,575

 

Gross profit

 

 

818,576

 

 

758,571

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

 

633,877

 

 

585,078

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

65,530

 

 

69,240

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

699,407

 

 

654,318

 

Operating income

 

 

119,169

 

 

104,253

 

Other (expense) income:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

Interest expense

 

 

(31,395)

 

 

(29,360)

 

Change in fair value of financial instruments

 

 

(6,125)

 

 

(382)

 

Write-off of discount and deferred financing fees

 

 

(74)

 

 

(7,103)

 

Other income, net

 

 

2,279

 

 

4,132

 

Total other expense, net

 

 

(35,315)

 

 

(32,713)

 

Income before tax

 

 

83,854

 

 

71,540

 

Income tax expense

 

 

20,883

 

 

22,654

 

Net income

 

$

62,971

 

$

48,886

 

Non-GAAP measures:

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

Adjusted EBITDA(1)