Vertiv Holdings: VRT's Earnings Offer Poor Outlook

By Duncan Ferris

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Vertiv Holdings (NYSE: VRT) has seen its share price plummet after a disappointing set of earnings, which painted a bleak picture of the coming year.

Shares of Vertiv Holdings (NYSE: VRT) have plummeted after its fourth quarter earnings fell short of analysts’ expectations. Let’s take a look at why investors have been offloading their Vertiv stocks.

What is Vertiv Holdings?

Vertiv designs, manufactures, and services critical digital infrastructure technologies and life cycle services for data centers, communication networks, and commercial and industrial environments in the Americas, the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The Columbus, Ohio, based company offers products for power management, uninterruptible power systems, thermal management products, integrated rack systems, modular solutions, and management systems for monitoring and controlling digital infrastructure.

It offers its products primarily under the Liebert, NetSure, Geist, and Avocent brands. The company serves social media, financial services, healthcare, transportation, retail, education, and government industries through a network of direct sales professionals, independent sales representatives, channel partners, and original equipment manufacturers.

Vertiv’s Q4 Highlights

One of the key reasons that Vertiv’s share price has taken a tumble is the extent to which it missed earnings expectations. Analysts had projected earnings per share of $0.28, but the results showed earnings of just $0.06.

While the company’s revenue came much closer to meeting targets it was still below par. Analysts forecasted revenue of $1.42bn for the three-month period, but Vertiv fell marginally short as it achieved sales of $1.41bn.

Vertiv said its fortunes have been negatively impacted by accelerating inflation headwinds and continued supply chain constraints, leading it to report an operating loss of $4m.

Summing up the company’s performance, Vertiv chief executive Rob Johnson said:

“We consistently underestimated inflation and supply chain constraints for both timing and degree, which dictated a tepid 2021 pricing response. We learned a hard lesson from our slow response in 2021, and we acted decisively late last year and early this year with aggressive price actions. 

“We expect that the impact of these actions will progressively show in our 2022 profitability, with each quarter sequentially better than the previous quarter, and that our second half 2022 results will be strong – setting the stage for consistently improving profitability going forward.”

He added that there were some positives, noting that Vertiv had finished the year with a record-high backlog of business and drawing attention to the company’s acquisition of E&I, which Johnson said would allow the company to meaningfully participate in the $7bn power infrastructure market.

2022 Guidance

Looking ahead to the coming year, Vertiv released the following guidance:

Net Sales: $5.5bn - $5.8bn

Adjusted Operating Profit: $500m - $550m

Adjusted Diluted EPS: $0.65 - $0.75

However, the company said it anticipates a loss per share of $0.20 - $0.15 in the first quarter of the new year as its operations face continued constraint from supply chain headwinds. These issues are expected to be present throughout the year, but the second half of the year is expected to yield a marked improvement.

Vertiv’s Financial Metrics

P/BV: 5.91

P/S: 0.89

Forward P/E: 13.93

Market Cap: $4.65bn

Cash and Cash Equivalents: $439.1m

Total Current Liabilities: $1.85bn

Total Liabilities: $5.52bn

Is Vertiv a Good Investment?

Simply put, Vertiv’s acknowledgement that it will continue to be dogged by supply chain issues in the coming year, along with disappointing guidance, is pretty bad news for investors. While the company is pointing to a forecasted improvement in the second half of the year, EPS will still decline.

Overall, a cloud of uncertainty lies over Vertiv’s operations, making the stock a very risky proposition at the moment.

Vertiv’s share price has fallen by almost 50% across the year to date, though admittedly much of this tumble has taken place in the day since the data centre technology specialist released its most recent earnings.

The stock price might have been sliced in half over the last two months, but snapping it up now would be a gamble with a view to improvement over the medium to long term.

Interested in EV stocks? Read up on whether Lucid is a good investment for 2022 and how the EV battle is heating up.

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Topics:
Electrical Components and Equipment
Data Centres
Industries:
Industrials
Companies:
Vertiv

Author: Duncan Ferris

This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Duncan Ferris does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Duncan Ferris has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of ValueTheMarkets.com, does not hold a position or positions in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of ValueTheMarkets.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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