LSI Industries (LYTS) This autumn 2022 Earnings Name Transcript

August 19, 2022

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LSI Industries (LYTS 7.97%)
This autumn 2022 Earnings Name
Aug 18, 2022, 11:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Ready Remarks
  • Questions and Solutions
  • Name Individuals

Ready Remarks:

Operator

Greetings and welcome to LSI Industries’ fiscal fourth quarter 2022 earnings convention name. Presently, all members are in a listen-only mode. A matter-and-answer session will observe the formal presentation. [Operator instructions] As a reminder, this convention is being recorded.

It’s now my pleasure to introduce your host Jim Galeese, chief monetary officer. Thanks. You might start.

Jim GaleeseChief Monetary Officer

Good morning, everybody, and thanks for becoming a member of. We issued a press launch earlier than the market opened this morning detailing our fiscal ’22 fourth quarter and full 12 months outcomes. Along side this launch, we additionally posted a convention name presentation within the investor relations portion of our company web site at www.lsicorp.com. Data contained on this presentation can be referenced all through immediately’s convention name.

Included are sure non-GAAP measures to enhance the transparency of our working outcomes. A whole reconciliation of GAAP and non-GAAP outcomes is contained in our press launch and 10-Okay. Please notice that administration’s commentary and responses to questions on immediately’s convention name might embrace forward-looking statements about our enterprise outlook. Such statements contain dangers and alternatives, and precise outcomes may differ materially.

I refer you to our protected harbor assertion, which seems on this morning’s press launch, in addition to our most up-to-date 10-Okay and 10-Q. Right this moment’s name will start with remarks summarizing our fiscal fourth quarter and full 12 months outcomes. On the conclusion of those ready remarks, we’ll open the road for questions. With that, I will flip the decision over to LSI president and chief government officer, Jim Clark.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Thanks, Jim. And good morning, all. Thanks for becoming a member of us immediately. As we’re right here discussing our fourth quarter and full 12 months outcomes.

The quick model of the story is we had a terrific 12 months. Earlier than we go into the specifics, let me take you again a brief three years in the past to 2019. As a administration staff, we sat down with a dedication to our shareholders out there that we’d be a $500 million firm with double-digit EBITDA in 2025. Gross sales at the moment had been teetering round $300 million, EBITDA was roughly 3%, and our firm’s momentum was a bit flat.

We got down to design and execute a plan which was to make our firm a greater firm earlier than we made it a much bigger firm. We engaged our workforce to strengthen our relationship with our clients and brokers and put collectively a concentrate on particular vertical markets the place we believed we may add worth and differentiate ourselves as a key companion. We had been picky concerning the markets we chosen. We seemed for vertical alternatives that matched up nicely with our core competencies, had the best components for sustainable development, and we do acknowledge the worth and differentiation we had been making an attempt to realize.

A great instance of that vertical market choice was a grocery. Again in 2019, earlier than the pandemic, we felt there was an actual alternative for rework and new retailer growth within the grocery area. Their conventional grocers had been being disrupted by buyer experiences of latest entrants like Entire Meals, Recent Market and Amazon. The large guys in groceries needed to vary the appear and feel of their shops to compete on a distinct stage and LSI was an ideal match.

We supplied excessive effectivity, power saving, low upkeep, and out of doors lighting, coupled with graphics, and signage on the buildings. Transferring indoors, we supplied high-quality, high-efficiency indoor lighting with fashionable, participating graphics and signage to the inside of the shops. We additionally supplied venture administration, venture administration, and a full turnkey answer that took a number of the burden of the shop staff and allowed them to concentrate on different actions. Trying additional into the grocery vertical, we search for methods to develop and enhance our price, and we determine JSI Fixtures as a terrific complement to the options we’re already offering.

However the acquisition of JSI in Might of 2021, we added refrigerated and stand-alone shows, and we had been in a position to create a continuity in the appear and feel of the merchandise is simply attainable when these options come from one firm. This 12 months, the grocery was our primary vertical market, changing C-store and refueling stations for the primary time within the firm’s historical past. The most effective half is we’ve different vertical markets we really feel characterize development alternatives that could possibly be simply as sturdy as grocery and proceed to propel us ahead. Given all of this immediately, we have a good time our fourth consecutive quarter with gross sales of over $100 million in every quarter, and a complete gross sales income of $455 million, with 7.7% adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months, and eight.3% adjusted EBITDA within the fourth quarter.

All underpinned by a really sturdy pipeline as we work into our first quarter of 2023. Nice pricing self-discipline, margin administration, and gross sales execution could be the theme for 2023, and clearly, our aim of $500 million is nicely inside attain. You could be assured we’ll be sitting down within the subsequent quarter or two to plan out our subsequent goal. As I stated, we’ve good purpose to have a good time, we’ve not merely talked about our plans, however we put these plans into motion and have proven the outcomes.

Going again to 2019, we additionally made the choice to revive as a lot of our provide chain as attainable. At the moment, round 80% of our supplies had been coming from abroad. I am pleased to say, immediately that quantity is round 30%, however we moved nearly 70% of our sourcing to home and North American suppliers. Together with that transfer, we determined to strategically enhance our stock ranges.

The lumpiness of the provision chain and transportation delays within the provide chain had been interfering with our means to ship our merchandise on time. We elevated our stock by nearly $20 million within the first half of the 12 months. As , this impacted free money stream a bit within the first half of the 12 months, however in doing so, we lowered inefficiencies in our manufacturing course of. And enhance our total profitability, effectiveness, and on-time supply.

This efficiency was seen. It was seen by our brokers, our clients, and our rivals. We took a share out there and we created stickiness with these new clients by sustaining our dedication and reliability as an excellent, sturdy companion. Merely put, we didn’t have to begin and cease our manufacturing processes due to restricted components availability.

Now, I anticipate on a comparable foundation, our stock ranges stay elevated for a while. It simply is smart to have it preserve the next stage of stock and take a number of the uncertainty out of our processes. With that stated, it doesn’t imply that we can’t tune that stage some. And as you’ll have already famous, we’re bringing stock ranges down.

Which has resulted in improved money stream, which was constructive for the third and fourth quarters, and I anticipate that efficiency can be maintained. Given this, you additionally notice that our debt has improved under $77 million and our debt ratio is round 2.2%. This can be a good money stream enterprise and we’ll proceed to tackle debt and contemplate different alternatives as our firm continues to carry out. In closing, I need to acknowledge and say thanks to the virtually 1,400 staff of LSI, together with our brokers, and companions.

None of this may be attainable and not using a nice staff of individuals and powerful leaders. The dedication of our folks to participation, engagement, and management is really exceptional. The previous few years haven’t been simple on any enterprise or particular person. The fixed narrative that arduous instances are simply across the nook could be exhausting.

Nevertheless it jogs my memory of the saying that arduous instances create sturdy folks, and powerful folks create good instances. We’re not answerable for the broader financial system, however I can let you know that we’ve sturdy folks. And due to that, I am assured we will proceed to create good instances. I am happy and excited concerning the momentum we have developed.

I see sturdy order and quote exercise main into our new 12 months. And I hope you’ll proceed to take a detailed take a look at LSI and see the strong execution this staff continues to offer. We’ve a number of runway in entrance of us. With that, I will flip the decision again over to Jim Galeese for a more in-depth take a look at the numbers.

Jim GaleeseChief Monetary Officer

Thanks, Jim. We completed fiscal ’22 with a robust fourth quarter. Web gross sales had been a file $127 million development of 31% over the prior 12 months, a 16% enhance sequentially from Q3, with each reportable segments producing vital development. Fiscal fourth quarter earnings additionally improved considerably.

As non-GAAP earnings per diluted share had been $0.21 in comparison with $0.12 per share final 12 months, adjusted EBITDA elevated to $10.6 million or 56% over final 12 months. Margin enlargement was a robust focus all through fiscal ’22 and the enterprise attained our highest ranges within the fourth quarter with our adjusted working margin bettering 160 foundation factors versus final 12 months and adjusted EBITDA elevated 130 foundation factors to eight.3% of gross sales. Incremental gross sales development in goal market verticals, promoting value aligned with inflationary impacts, and disciplined price administration productiveness, all contributed to margin enlargement. For the fiscal 12 months, the enterprise executed at a excessive stage all year long, with all 4 quarters producing vital year-over-year gross sales and earnings development regardless of a difficult working setting.

Gross sales elevated 44% to a file $455 million, adjusted internet revenue improved to $18 million, 84% above the prior 12 months, and adjusted earnings per diluted share elevated to $0.64 versus $0.35 final 12 months. Adjusted EBITDA elevated to $35 million or 66% above fiscal ’21. In actual fact, these outcomes characterize the very best EPS and adjusted EBITDA attainment in numerous years. We mentioned in earlier calls the purposeful choice to spend money on stock, particularly within the first half of the fiscal 12 months to mitigate provide chain challenges and help gross sales development.

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An bettering provide chain allowed us to cut back stock ranges in This autumn, contributing to the next charge of earnings conversion to money. Because of this, free money stream elevated to $8 million within the fourth quarter. Enhance money stream served to cut back internet long-term debt to $77 million in This autumn, reducing the ratio of internet debt to trailing 12-month adjusted EBITDA to 2.2 instances. A daily money dividend of $0.05 per share was declared payable on September seventh for shareholders of file on August thirtieth.

Shifting to section efficiency. Each segments obtain substantial will increase in gross sales and working revenue for the quarter, bettering each sequentially from Q3 and to the prior 12 months. Gross sales for the lighting section elevated 29% 12 months over 12 months in This autumn, persevering with sturdy development in key vertical markets. Lighting generated a gross margin charge of 31% within the quarter 210 foundation factors above the prior 12 months, reflecting further quantity leverage and efficiently aligning promoting value with inflation.

For the fiscal 12 months, lighting gross sales elevated 24%. Progress was balanced with double-digit development realized in a number of market verticals and thru each the venture and distributor [Inaudible] inventory channels. Progress was pushed by a number of elements new merchandise, expanded promoting efforts, a number of efficient advertising and marketing packages for each our channel companions and finish customers, and product availability enabled by our funding in incremental stock. Lighting enters fiscal ’23 with continued momentum with favorable citation and order exercise within the final three months book-to-bill ratio over one and a backlog roughly 30% above the prior 12 months.

Fourth quarter gross sales for our Show Options section elevated 35% versus final 12 months, led by the grocery and fast service restaurant verticals. Progress in grocery was led not solely by continued sturdy demand for JSI show circumstances throughout nationwide a number of chains, however our printed graphics additionally had a strong quarter with a number of key accounts. This helps the options promoting strategy we’re using within the grocery vertical. We proceed to efficiently execute the foremost QSR Digital Menu Board program initiated in fiscal ’21 and have begun supporting the extra awards obtained ensuing from our efficiency.

Exercise for each will run by fiscal ’23 and past. For the complete fiscal 12 months, Show Options gross sales elevated 75%, together with the impression of the JSI acquisition, which occurred within the fourth quarter of fiscal ’21. All show options vertical markets realized elevated gross sales besides refueling, which was down barely due to the continued web site building delays. Program proposal exercise stays at a really excessive stage, nonetheless, and we lately obtained a rebranding program from a significant oil firm offering a turnkey answer, together with each product and set up providers for places in Puerto Rico.

We anticipate this program will generate greater than $10 million of latest income within the first half of fiscal ’23. Fiscal ’22 working revenue for show options elevated to $18.1 million or 8.2% of gross sales fundamentals for the market verticals on this section stay constructive and our outlook is favorable as we enter fiscal ’23. I’ll now flip the decision again to the moderator.

Questions & Solutions:

Operator

Thanks. [Operator instructions] Our first query comes from the road of Amit Dayal with H.C. Wainwright. Please proceed along with your query.

Amit DayalH.C. Wainwright — Analyst

Thanks. Good morning, everybody. Admire you taking my questions. Most of my questions are simply primarily based across the outlook.

For subsequent 12 months relative to the $500 million income goal for 2025, it seems to be such as you’re nearly there. Will or not it’s too aggressive to imagine that you may hit that quantity in fiscal ’23?

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Effectively, Amit, to start with, thanks for becoming a member of us, and good to listen to you. I am at all times making an attempt to — or we’re at all times making an attempt to only ensure we ship on what we are saying. There’s environmental, there’s nonetheless a number of challenges. I really feel very constructive concerning the first quarter and I really feel constructive about the place we could be within the 12 months.

I am not — I do not need to commit that we’ll hit the $500 million. However I’ll say that primarily based on the momentum we have generated over the previous few years, we’re actually on our approach to it.

Amit DayalH.C. Wainwright — Analyst

Understood. After which, working leverage has improved considerably, adjusted working revenue grew by, I believe, over 150%, whereas revenues grew by 44%. Is that this type of the extent of adjusted EBITDA margins we will anticipate in a extra regular trend for not less than fiscal ’23 for you, guys?

Jim GaleeseChief Monetary Officer

Yeah. Hello, Amit. That is Jim Galeese right here. Sure, we have labored exhausting.

Should you return a few years, we recognized that we would have liked work on our margin enlargement. And so in case you take a look at what we have completed over the past a number of years on this space, we’re very happy with that, it is no accident. And it concerned a number of levers, each industrial initiatives, and operational initiatives. And, we’ll proceed to work each these levers, and we do see that we will preserve and proceed to boost, each our working and EBITDA margins shifting ahead.

Amit DayalH.C. Wainwright — Analyst

Understood. Your book-to-bill ratio coming into the fourth quarter was 1.1. Is it stronger coming into the primary quarter of ’23?

Jim GaleeseChief Monetary Officer

I am sorry, Amit —

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

It was a book-to-bill ratio of 1.1.

Jim GaleeseChief Monetary Officer

OK.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

And, yeah, I imply it — coming into Q1 it is remaining at that stage, and we take a each day take a look at it clearly, however we’re proper at that stage.

Amit DayalH.C. Wainwright — Analyst

When it comes to the backlog that backlog combine, guys, may you perhaps give somewhat bit extra granularity on what’s within the combine, perhaps simply an total proportion of the totally different income sources?

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Effectively, our two reportable segments are Show Options and Lighting. And in case you return a few years, we had been 70/30. Right this moment we’re 50/50 and it stays there. It is staying there.

It is on stability, we’ve a few giant initiatives that we are inclined to work, after which most of it’s smaller infill merchandise, however from a mixture standpoint, it is 50/50 proper now. Lights and Show Options.

Amit DayalH.C. Wainwright — Analyst

Thanks, Jim. Actually good to see such a robust execution in the sort of setting. So congratulations on that. I will take my different questions offline.

Thanks.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Thanks, Amit.

Operator

Our subsequent query comes from the road of George Gianarikas with Canaccord. Please proceed along with your query.

George GianarikasCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Hey, guys. Thanks for taking my questions. Admire it. Simply perhaps to begin.

I am curious as to what led to the choice to cut back stock. As you see issues within the market that recommend a provide chain loosening such that you simply really feel comfy bringing down inventories immediately, after which rising your place to achieve share within the market? Thanks.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah, George. Thanks for becoming a member of. You hit the nail on the top, we’re simply seeing a few provide points form of strengthen and get extra dependable. And so, we knew that about 20 million is the place we needed to be.

I do not suppose we ever received excessively heavy. I believe that we’ll — on a year-over-year foundation on a comparable you are going to see us carry a heavier stock probably for years to come back and —

Jim GaleeseChief Monetary Officer

From a historic stage.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah, from historic ranges. And the rationale for that’s to take out a few of that variation in provide chain and transportation in that. However we’ve undoubtedly seen some enchancment. And we need to be diligent about making the most of that and lowering a few of the positions we had had.

That is all it’s. It’s not it has nothing to do with weaker gross sales, or quantity, or something like that. Simply a few of these gadgets have stabilized, and we see it as a possibility.

George GianarikasCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Is there nonetheless a possibility to take care of even greater stock ranges? How do you stability that, versus buybacks, versus, I am assuming there’s some know-how obsolescence that it’s a must to cope with? I am simply curious, as to how that math works out fairly nicely?

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah. So, working backward from what you simply stated, we attempt to — the way in which we attempt to handle our stock is pushed by a few issues. One is availability, proper? We do not need to have the orders and never have the ability to ship the product. And I believe that over the past couple of years, that is been a major aggressive benefit for us, is that it was actually about availability and we made positive that we seemed on the key parts and those that we felt had been at highest threat, and we made positive we had ample stock to hold us by that.

The second aspect we take a look at is know-how and obsolescence. We don’t need to get the other way up on one thing that’s shifting towards out of date. However one thing we have performed over the past three years is absolutely checked out reengineering our merchandise. And a part of that reengineering was price efficiency, but in addition simply uniformity in components that we use throughout our product line.

In order that’s a giant lever for us in hedging towards obsolescence. However even with these, we’re very cautious about the place we refill on something that could possibly be topic to obsolescence. After which, the third is, like I stated, the provision chain is getting extra dependable. For us particularly, we tried to maneuver from offshore to onshore, and we did this pre-pandemic, who would have recognized? Nevertheless it was a part of our plan.

We had been about, 80/20 offshore. Should you went again 4 years in the past, we had been about 80/20 offshore. Right this moment, we’re about 30% offshore and 70% home in North America. And so, all three of these levers simply give us a possibility to form of takedown that stock somewhat bit.

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Jim GaleeseChief Monetary Officer

George, Jim Galeese right here, within the final couple of years, we have launched a file variety of new merchandise, proper? And we have performed a very nice job on the section in, section out means of that, regardless of the continued provide chain challenges. So we’re assured, shifting ahead as we proceed to undergo know-how modifications are simply phased in, section out of latest merchandise that, we’re going to have the ability to handle the stock state of affairs successfully.

George GianarikasCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

The second query has to do with the power in your small business, I imply you guys are placing up actually nice outcomes and also you juxtapose that subsequent to a few of the issues that we’re studying within the paper about financial weak spot. I imply, how do you stability what you examine, and also you form of alluded to on the decision versus the power you are seeing within the enterprise? I imply, are you listening to any anecdotes from clients about points, or is it full steam forward? Otherwise you’re gaining a lot market shares, in your opinion that you have been in a position to buttress yourselves from any macroeconomic weak spot?

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

No, we’re not — we’re actually not proof against something that would occur to the broader financial system. We’re all shoppers right here, we’re all seeing, ache factors and by way of inflation, from gasoline to groceries. And, clearly, we’re seeing the provision chain points work out in all types of various locations, whether or not it is the supply of in case you needed to go purchase a brand new automobile, or machine, upgrades, we need to do right here all of these sorts of issues. Once we take a look at our enterprise, although, a number of the choices we made early on or what’s giving us the momentum to work by this.

We aren’t seeing a slowdown in quote exercise. We’re actually not seeing a slowdown in demand, as evidenced by the numbers that we’re simply publishing right here in This autumn, and also you take a look at Q3 and also you take a look at Q2 earlier than that. I do know the narrative is on the market relative to exhausting instances, and form of the broader financial system, and we’re conscious of it. However I’ll let you know truthfully, we’re simply not seeing the impression, though we’re preloaded to be prepared if we do.

George GianarikasCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Acquired it. And I may focus in your margin targets. Have you ever given us targets that an organization that has $500 million in gross sales, or ought to we simply assume the type of related leverage that you have proven over the past 12 months?

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah. I believe as Jim Galeese talked about earlier, we have nonetheless received levers we will pull. And there are two issues I will say, one is as we get greater, we get extra environment friendly, and our utilization improves. We did a number of restructuring three years in the past, we offered some properties.

We consolidated numerous operations, however once we did that, we left capability within the places that we preserve and that we stored. And as we proceed to soak up a few of that capability, we develop into extra environment friendly that hits margin. The second factor is, I believe proper now there are nonetheless a number of inefficiencies which are built-in due to the provision chain challenges that workforce points, these sorts of issues. I consider as these issues proceed to stabilize, we have already got put the work in.

We’ll simply profit mechanically as these issues stabilize, lowering stock. Clearly, the upper stock you may have, the extra you are shifting round, the extra you are storing, and the extra work that’s. And simply from an effectivity standpoint, that is not nice, however we have to do this proper now to guarantee availability and all these sorts of issues. And it is labored out very nicely for us.

However as we cut back stock, because the workforce form of stabilizes, continues to stabilize, the provision chain stabilizes, we’ve some pure efficiencies that can profit and you will see that within the margin.

George GianarikasCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Thanks. And perhaps a last query. You introduced buybacks, which is nice. Any steerage on the timing of that buyback? Is it open-ended? Do you anticipate to be completed with that in numerous years? That will be nice in case you may give us somewhat steerage on that.

Thanks.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah, the buyback is certainly open-ended. And, we checked out it as a administration staff and as a board and stated on the ranges that our inventory was buying and selling at it, simply didn’t make sense. Our capital fashions are fairly nicely outlined, we’re versatile. We take a look at them on a regular basis.

However, debt for us, debt funding form of take, is form of on the prime of that pyramid. And the rationale why we’d concentrate on debt solely is as a result of it provides us alternatives. And by way of funding, we make investments that we expect can generate the next return than perhaps another actions we will do. After which, we’ve in that blend the buyback.

And because the inventory value goes up, I believe the market naturally says, hey, hear, your cash is likely to be finest served to do, paying down debt and reloading and with the ability to be somewhat bit extra opportunistic out there or make some investments that we’ve acquire productiveness. So proper now, it is nonetheless on the desk and nonetheless in our prime two, prime three mixes. However we do not have — I am unable to say that we’ve any particular plans to tug the set off for optics or anything. We would like it to make monetary sense.

And clearly, as we’re wanting on the inventory value immediately, because the inventory goes up, it makes much less and fewer sense. But when the inventory did get depressed or settled once more, you could be assured we’d act on it.

George GianarikasCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Effectively, thanks for taking the time, and congratulations on a terrific quarter and executing in a tricky setting. Thanks.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah, George, and I am unable to say thanks sufficient for taking the time. I do know it was a problem, so I respect the additional effort.

George GianarikasCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

After all.

Operator

Our subsequent query comes from the road of Rick Fearon with Accretive Capital Companions. Please proceed along with your query.

Rick FearonAccretive Capital Companions — Analyst

Good morning, Jim, and Jim. And congrats on one other terrific quarter.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah, thanks, Rick.

Rick FearonAccretive Capital Companions — Analyst

So the primary query is simply across the forecasting of LSIs development immediately, and Jim began off by evaluating the state of affairs three years in the past. It is obvious immediately that the corporate’s reworked into a way more diversified enterprise, with extra orders, and a bigger variety of clients, constituting that income base. And so, sure, I simply puzzled about your commentary across the forecasting immediately versus three years in the past, the predictability of that, the steadiness of gross sales, as you see it, whether or not a few of the lumpiness of gross sales is ironed out with the transformation of the corporate.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah. I imply, I believe that may be a nice query, Rick. And I believe from the corporate’s perspective, from an organization standpoint, sure, we have develop into far more secure, and have higher visibility. Our forecasting is healthier, our dedication from our clients, our salespeople, and our brokers are significantly better, and that each one works.

Environmentally a number of that progress is offset simply by the present setting, and I do not suppose anyone’s proof against it. There’s a lot instability within the basic form of financial market that we’re not solely making an attempt to forecast what we’ll do and what our brokers will do, however what their clients are doing after which what their suppliers will do to them. And, we have seen it run the gamut by way of a brand new shock on a regular basis. At one level it is copper wire, at one other level it is sheetrock, at one other level, it is acoustical ceiling tiles or asphalt for a parking zone.

So there’s a number of, trigger to be cautious relative to creating any daring statements on forecasting or what we see the longer term to be. However I can let you know this, and I’ve stated it earlier than, and I believe that we adopted by each time we have stated it, our quote exercise stays very sturdy, historic ranges, and our order exercise stays sturdy. And as I discussed at first, our book-to-bill stays elevated. So all of these indicators say we’ll be sturdy.

However I do not — for me to be on the spot and attempt to forecast out greater than six to eight weeks, I simply do not need to be that man that will get caught. However, I’ll say that usually, I am very optimistic.

Rick FearonAccretive Capital Companions — Analyst

Understood. And it could appear that the better concentrate on the grocery vertical most likely offers rather less cyclicality within the gross sales, not less than the petroleum. And I assume that results in one other query, which is concerning, further verticals that you have focused. Can you discuss a few of the — you alluded to alternatives to develop exterior these verticals that you have recognized? Are there issues you can converse to immediately, or ought to we maintain off to listen to about that?

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah, I imply, I might fairly maintain off on any specifics on expanded verticals as a result of this serves a few functions. And considered one of them, which is simply frankly, our guys — our brokers, our guys, we need to keep narrowly centered on the verticals we have already recognized that do create nice development alternatives for us. Grocery is one thing that we had recognized far earlier than the pandemic and I talked about it somewhat bit in my feedback at first, which had been that we noticed disruption occurring, and so we noticed a possibility there. The pandemic form of accelerated in groceries, proper, the place we form of forecasted it could be.

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Petro the refueling stations, they are not essentially any weaker. They’re just below strain, frankly, it is allowing and issues like that. And it is the underlying infrastructure, state, federal, and native municipalities which are simply slower to get better they usually’re holding up initiatives. It isn’t an exercise, it isn’t curiosity, it isn’t a quote.

It is simply getting them to be transformed the place, frankly, of us can exit and, put a shovel within the floor and begin a few of these initiatives. Even with that, I believe that if the tempo had remained excessive in petro, we nonetheless would have gained with grocery. I imply, the grocery was simply such a robust mixture for us and it is throughout that broader share of pockets, that we’re in a particular vertical, and we’re simply providing extra by way of an answer. And it is — one part is the product facet, however remember, we do venture administration for lots of those and these have been crucial components for us to win.

After I take into consideration our digital menu board, that that is now, in extra of a $125 million contract. And a giant part of that was our means to handle that nationwide and to verify the deployments went good. That is the identical components we’re utilizing. It is a component in that components with petroleum, and C-store refueling.

It is one other aspect with grocery, in order that’s a giant win for us. Automotive, automotive we have been very sturdy in, but it surely’s underneath strain proper now, the market, generally, is underneath strain. However of the initiatives which are developing, we expect we’re taking share in that. A warehouse is one thing that has simply, frankly, nearly 4 instances our thesis relative to the place we thought we’d be and we have been in a position to serve it.

So that is what’s most necessary. The demand got here and we weren’t caught, once more, due to a number of uniformity between our components — the way in which we make our totally different merchandise, we had been in a position to shift and meet that demand. So of the verticals, we’re in, we’re doing good. And I will simply say this, Rick, we’re experimenting with some others, however we love to do it in a smaller group in order that we do not detract consideration from anyone in case it isn’t going to fulfill our necessities by way of velocity of development and sustainability.

We do not need issues which are a flash within the pan. If we’ll make investments, we would like issues which have legs underneath them that may go 5, 7, 10, or 15 years.

Rick FearonAccretive Capital Companions — Analyst

Understood. That is smart. Thanks for that colour, Jim. After which, concerning geographic development and a few of the slowdowns you had been experiencing a few quarters in the past in Mexico, these have been alleviated as nicely?

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah. I imply, I will discuss particularly in Mexico. Mexico, it is opened again up once more, but it surely’s nonetheless about half of what we anticipated. Once more, no illustration of misplaced initiatives or curiosity.

In actual fact, on this state of affairs, it’s, once more, a broader form of authorities approvals and transactions, and getting paperwork throughout the desk. Nothing to do with us, however every thing from allowing to switch of belongings, actual property transactions, and issues like that. With that stated, Canada opened up — broadly opened up, and 6 months in the past that has — we have undoubtedly picked up exercise there. And also you seen in Jim Galeese’s feedback in our press launch, we’ve a really good-sized win in Puerto Rico with a petroleum buyer, which isn’t solely an excellent venture, a terrific venture, but it surely’s a brand new buyer for us too.

Rick FearonAccretive Capital Companions — Analyst

Yeah, congrats on that. And simply I imply, it is thrilling to listen to further worldwide markets opening up, so that’s actually encouraging. The 2 different questions simply concerning margins and the margin enchancment proceed to be actually spectacular. Undoubtedly, doing a number of issues proper, and I am curious, with respect to form of retaining that momentum going, if in case you’ve been in a position to determine one other niche-oriented type of add-on gross sales, that is likely to be bundled collectively, greater margin enterprise once you’re in these initiatives on the bottom, that may form of proceed to enhance your gross margins?

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah. I imply, nice query. And albeit, it goes again to that broader share pockets, proper? Which is, if we’ll stroll in and get the arrogance of a buyer, we need to remedy as lots of their issues as we will. And once we’re on-site, once we’re doing the venture administration, once we are managing the logistics within the background, it provides us great flexibility to work round delays.

It’d occur some place else the place we will pivot and speed up one thing whereas we’re delayed by one thing else. We’ve a listing of — we had been continually contributing to it, and scratching issues off, and making an attempt to determine a method in. However we do have a listing of our vertical markets and issues that we expect we may add. And, generally we’re profitable within the conversations, with corporations that may have these merchandise, or ways in which we would have the ability to engineer them, and generally, issues are on the sideline, JSI is a good instance.

JSI is form of purposefully sourced if you’ll, and we had been very lucky to have the ability to get along with such an excellent, sturdy firm, and added to our portfolio. We’ve others which are on the market like that. And this goes again to, a few of the questions we had been simply speaking about by way of prioritization, inventory buyback, and debt discount investments. And, these are issues we expect we proceed to spend money on.

And so long as the inventory value stays elevated, then we will concentrate on these issues. And we do have a listing that we’re in, pursuing. After which after that, it is simply there are a number of playing cards that should fall in place.

Rick FearonAccretive Capital Companions — Analyst

Thanks for a few of that commentary, Jim. The final query is extra of a remark since you’ve got addressed the inventory repurchases. And I’d — I simply encourage your — the administration staff and as you sit with the board and take into consideration valuations and all of the a number of of gross sales that the corporate trades at lower than one-time gross sales, the place EBITDA quickly must be 10% of gross sales actually is, I received to consider out of your perspective, irritating. However from our perspective, it is simply — it is a possibility that this firm trades, continues to commerce at this sort of low cost, and definitely as in comparison with a few of the rivals, albeit they’re bigger.

However as LSI grows, it ought to actually develop into multiples like that. It simply looks like there’s a rare alternative, even at immediately’s costs to retire a few of these shares. The profit, after all, being that you simply’re shopping for again extra of what all of us have already come to detest, which is that this enterprise, JSI a part of it. You are shopping for extra of JSI, you’re retiring a dividend cost.

So there’s some profit there that these shares do not should be paid their dividends going ahead. After which, after all, lowering the share rely improves your EPS. And I simply encourage you to proceed to consider what’s clearly a dynamic valuation of the corporate. As the corporate grows and turns into extra worthwhile, the valuation goes up as nicely.

And the inventory value in my thoughts, anyway, displays a rare alternative. So to not belabor it additional, however simply encourage you to proceed desirous about deploying a few of the capital into inventory repurchases.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

I respect that remark, Rick. And I would like you to know this doesn’t fall on deaf ears, not by the administration staff, not by me, and never by the board. We need to be very opportunistic. And, if that — if the inventory repurchase rises to one of the best alternative, you could be assured, I will execute towards it, we’ll execute towards it.

Rick FearonAccretive Capital Companions — Analyst

Sure. And I take you completely at face worth on that. Thanks, Jim, and thanks. Thanks for the exhausting work, and congrats on a incredible quarter once more.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Yeah, thanks.

Operator

This concludes our question-and-answer session. I might like handy the decision again to administration for closing remarks.

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

I simply need to say that, that is the tip of our fiscal 12 months, we’re — Completely satisfied New 12 months. We’re really into a brand new 12 months right here. Our first quarter is beginning off very, very strong and I am very inspired by it. However I need to take a minute to only thank the trouble of the entire staff, the administration staff that is right here, an impressive effort.

I am unable to let you know how dynamic, and the way a lot work all of them put in, and the way they’re continually making an attempt to take a look at issues and remedy issues from totally different angles. And I additionally need to say, because of all of the staff members which are right here, we’re nearly 1,400 staff sturdy now. And we — each enterprise is simply as sturdy because the folks which are in it. And, for these of the staff which are listening, or members of the family or those that know of us right here, I simply need to say thanks.

None of this may be attainable if we did not have a stronger staff as we do, and pretty much as good folks as we do. So for all of the folks which are on the decision or studying the transcript, thanks for taking the curiosity and we’ll look ahead to the following name.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Length: 0 minutes

Name members:

Jim GaleeseChief Monetary Officer

Jim ClarkPresident and Chief Govt Officer

Amit DayalH.C. Wainwright — Analyst

George GianarikasCanaccord Genuity — Analyst

Rick FearonAccretive Capital Companions — Analyst

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