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BlueLinx Announces First Quarter 2021 Results

General News
BlueLinx Logo - Lumber Manufacturer & Wholesaler

BlueLinx Holdings Inc., a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of building products, reported financial results for the three months ended April 3, 2021.

First Quarter 2021 Results (all comparisons versus the prior-year period unless otherwise noted)

–Net sales increased $363 million, or 55%, to $1.0 billion

–Gross margin increased 350 basis points to 17.6%

–Net income of $62 million, an increase of $63 million

–Adjusted EBITDA of $107 million, improved by $87 million

–Excess availability and cash on hand increased to $238 million

–Term Loan fully repaid

“The BlueLinx team has continued to perform at a high level during a period of continued strength in residential construction and home renovation, leading to significant year-over-year growth in revenue and profitability,” said Mitch Lewis, President and CEO. “We generated more than $1 billion in revenue and $107 million in Adjusted EBITDA during the first quarter, providing the Company a strong platform to drive continued growth and efficiency across our business.”

“The ongoing supply-demand imbalances for many of our products contributed to further price escalations during the first quarter, a trend that is continuing in the second quarter,” stated Lewis. “We are a beneficiary of these price escalations, which are a key near-term driver of improved margin realization and profitability, while remaining focused on preemptive actions to help mitigate the impact of downside commodity price risk.”

“Our business transformation continued during the first quarter, supported by a significant increase in gross profit across both product categories,” stated Kelly Janzen, Chief Financial Officer. “Since the end of the first quarter 2020, we have reduced our total outstanding bank debt by over $100 million. Late in the quarter, we voluntarily repaid the approximately $16 million of remaining outstanding principal under our term loan, an action which further simplifies our capital structure and reduces cash interest expense. We ended the first quarter with excess availability of $238 million under our revolving credit facility, an increase of $141 million versus the prior-year period, and a net leverage ratio of 2.5x, inclusive of finance lease obligations.”

“Given the significant increase in net sales, accounts receivable grew by more than $125 million in the first quarter, when compared to the fourth quarter 2020,” continued Janzen. “As we look to the second half of the current year, we anticipate that the conversion of our accounts receivable will result in significant growth in cash flow.”

Financial Performance

The Company reported net sales of $1.0 billion in the first quarter, compared to $662 million in the prior year period, and gross profit of $180 million, compared to $93 million in the prior year period. First quarter net sales for specialty products, which includes products such as engineered wood, cedar, moulding, siding, metal products and insulation, accounted for $563 million of net sales in the period, up from $421 million in the prior year period. The $142 million improvement year over year was primarily a result of price escalations. The specialty gross margin was 19.3% which increased 290 basis points compared to the first quarter of 2020. Net sales of structural products, which includes products such as lumber, plywood, oriented strand board, rebar, and remesh, continued to benefit from wood-based commodity price inflation and were $462 million, an increase of $222 million compared to last year. The impact of wood-based commodity price inflation is estimated to approximate the full amount of the increase in net sales. Structural product gross margin increased by 540 basis points year over year to 15.5% for the first quarter.

The Company reported net income of $62 million in the first quarter, or $6.28 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $0.8 million, or $(0.08) per diluted share, in the prior-year period. First quarter 2021 net income was reduced by approximately $5 million from non-recurring items, including a $6 million write-off of debt issuance costs, that was included in interest expense, associated with the term loan payoff, offset by a $1 million gain on sales of property, and first quarter 2020 net income was reduced by approximately $4 million of integration, real estate financing, and restructuring expenses. Excluding the impact of these non-recurring items, net income increased by $64 million, or $6.44 per diluted share, on a year-over-year basis.

Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, was $107 million in the first quarter, compared to $20 million in the prior-year period. Cash used in operating activities for the first quarter was $25 million, an improvement of $35 million when compared to the prior year period and was primarily a result of increased net income offset by an increase in accounts receivable of $125 million in the first quarter, due to increased net sales.

Business Update

The Company remains committed to its strategic priorities that include sales growth, margin expansion, strategic product emphasis and continuous improvements in operational efficiency.

–Sales growth and margin expansion. BlueLinx is committed to driving sustained sales growth and margin expansion through increased penetration of the national dealer, home center and local markets. The Company has continued to invest in resources and analytical tools to support its disciplined pricing strategies and has expanded sales support for these key customer segments.

–Value-added product line expansion. BlueLinx is focused on delivering specialized, higher-value products, in which two-step distribution plays a key role. The Company is committed to further building its relationships with marquee brands through its valued supplier partners, while investing in products with low disintermediation risk.

–Operational efficiencies. BlueLinx emphasizes continuous improvement in its operational processes. Productivity improvements through project initiatives and investments in fleet, facility optimization, and technologies remain a primary focus for the Company. Overall selling, general and administrative expense remained relatively consistent compared to the prior year period, increasing approximately $1 million due to higher variable incentive compensation and sales commissions of approximately $4 million. Offsetting the increase in variable compensation was a reduction in fixed overhead costs, primarily from reduced labor expense. Working capital management improvements continued during the first quarter, with Days Sales of Inventory of 39 days, an improvement of 19 days, when compared to the prior year period.

Market Outlook

While domestic new residential construction and home renovation markets remain robust, higher raw material costs and adverse weather conditions impacted construction activity during the first quarter, as key North American mills continue to have supply constraints.

–Single-family housing starts (SFHS), a key economic indicator with a high historical correlation to the Company’s business, remain relatively strong, although SFHS on a trailing twelve month basis as of March 2021 are still approximately 40% below the prior cyclical peak achieved in 2005.

–Total U.S. monthly supply of homes for sale increased from year-end levels but remain constrained, with housing inventory at the end of the first quarter at approximately 38% below the 20-year average.

–According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the April 2021 Builders’ Confidence Index increased slightly to 83 from 82 in March. Increases in materials costs and delivery times have impacted short-term builder sentiment.

–While existing home sales were down 10% due to limited housing inventory, remodeling expenditures continued to increase on a quarter-over-quarter basis. According to the NAHB, the Remodeling Market Index (RMI) increased 9% to 86 for the first quarter 2021 index as compared to 79 for fourth quarter 2020.

For the full press release, click here.

About BlueLinx Holdings

BlueLinx (NYSE: BXC) is a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of residential and commercial building products with both branded and private-label SKUs across product categories such as lumber, panels, engineered wood, siding, millwork, metal building products, and other construction materials. With a strong market position, broad geographic coverage footprint servicing 40 states, and the strength of a locally focused sales force, we distribute our comprehensive range of products to over 15,000 national, regional, and local dealers, specialty distributors, national home centers, and manufactured housing customers. BlueLinx is able to provide a wide range of value added services and solutions to our customers and suppliers. We are headquartered in Georgia, with executive offices located at 1950 Spectrum Circle, Marietta, Georgia, and we operate our distribution business through a broad network of distribution centers. BlueLinx encourages investors to visit its website,, which is updated regularly with financial and other important information about BlueLinx.


Noel Ryan – – (720) 778-2415

Source: BlueLinx Holdings, Inc.