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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  J & J Snack Foods Corp.    JJSF

J & J SNACK FOODS CORP.

(JJSF)
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01/25J & J SNACK FOODS : & Snack Fiscal Q1 EPS Misses Street View; Revenue Beats
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J & J Snack Foods : & SNACK FOODS CORP Management's Discussion And Analysis Of Financial Condition And Results Of Operations (form 10-K)

11/25/2020 | 01:31pm EST

In addition to historical information, this document and analysis contains forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained herein are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, those discussed in the "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations." Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect management's analysis only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly revise or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that arise after the date hereof.

Critical Accounting Policies, Judgments and Estimates

We prepare our financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The preparation of such financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of those financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

The Company discloses its significant accounting policies in the accompanying notes to its audited consolidated financial statements.

Judgments and estimates of uncertainties are required in applying the Company's accounting policies in certain areas. Following are some of the areas requiring significant judgments and estimates: revenue recognition, accounts receivable, cash flow and valuation assumptions in performing asset impairment tests of long-lived and intangible assets, estimates of the value and useful lives of intangible assets, insurance reserves, inventories and income taxes.

There are numerous critical assumptions that may influence accounting estimates in these and other areas. We base our critical assumptions on historical experience, third-party data and various other estimates we believe to be reasonable. A description of the aforementioned policies follows:

Revenue Recognition - We adopted the new revenue recognition guidance on the first day of our fiscal 2019 year using a modified retrospective approach; however, we did not record a cumulative-effect adjustment from initially applying the standard as the adoption did not have a material impact on our financial position or results of operations. We completed a review of customer contracts and evaluated the impact of the new standard on certain common practices currently employed by us. We also finalized our assessment of the impact on our accounting policies, processes, system requirements, internal controls and disclosures.

When Performance Obligations Are Satisfied

A performance obligation is a promise in a contract to transfer a distinct good or service to the customer and is the unit of account for revenue recognition. A contract's transaction price is allocated to each distinct performance obligation and recognized as revenue when, or as, the performance obligation is satisfied.

The singular performance obligation of our customer contracts for product and machine sales is determined by each individual purchase order and the respective products ordered, with revenue being recognized at a point-in-time when the obligation under the terms of the agreement is satisfied and product control is transferred to our customer. Specifically, control transfers to our customers when the product is delivered to, installed or picked up by our customers based upon applicable shipping terms, as our customers can direct the use and obtain substantially all of the remaining benefits from the product at this point in time. The performance obligations in our customer contracts for product are generally satisfied within 30 days.

The singular performance obligation of our customer contracts for time and material repair and maintenance equipment service is the performance of the repair and maintenance with revenue being recognized at a point-in-time when the repair and maintenance is completed.

The singular performance obligation of our customer repair and maintenance equipment service contracts is the performance of the repair and maintenance with revenue being recognized over the time the service is expected to be performed. Our customers are billed for service contracts in advance of performance and therefore we have contract liability on our balance sheet.




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Significant Payment Terms

In general, within our customer contracts, the purchase order identifies the product, quantity, price, pick-up allowances, payment terms and final delivery terms. Although some payment terms may be more extended, presently the majority of our payment terms are 30 days. As a result, we have used the available practical expedient and, consequently, do not adjust our revenues for the effects of a significant financing component.

Shipping

All amounts billed to customers related to shipping and handling are classified as revenues; therefore, we recognize revenue for shipping and handling fees at the time the products are shipped or when services are performed. The cost of shipping products to the customer is recognized at the time the products are shipped to the customer and our policy is to classify them as Distribution expenses.




Variable Consideration

In addition to fixed contract consideration, our contracts include some form of variable consideration, including sales discounts, trade promotions and certain other sales and consumer incentives, including rebates and coupon redemptions. In general, variable consideration is treated as a reduction in revenue when the related revenue is recognized. Depending on the specific type of variable consideration, we use the most likely amount method to determine the variable consideration. We believe there will be no significant changes to our estimates of variable consideration when any related uncertainties are resolved with our customers. We review and update our estimates and related accruals of variable consideration each period based on historical experience.

Warranties & Returns

We provide all customers with a standard or assurance type warranty. Either stated or implied, we provide assurance the related products will comply with all agreed-upon specifications and other warranties provided under the law. No services beyond an assurance warranty are provided to our customers.

We do not grant a general right of return. However, customers may return defective or non-conforming products. Customer remedies may include either a cash refund or an exchange of the product. We do not estimate a right of return and related refund liability as returns of our products are rare.

Contract Balances

Our customers are billed for service contracts in advance of performance and therefore we have contract liability on our balance sheet as follows:



                                           Fiscal Year Ended
                                   September 26,       September 28,
                                       2020                2019
                                            (in thousands)

Beginning Balance                 $         1,334     $         1,865
Additions to contract liability             5,526               6,308
Amounts recognized as revenue              (5,533 )            (6,839 )
Ending Balance                    $         1,327     $         1,334




Disaggregation of Revenue

See Note O of the Notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements for disaggregation of our net sales by class of similar product and type of customer.

Allowance for Doubtful Receivables

We provide an allowance for doubtful receivables after taking into consideration historical experience and other factors. The allowance for doubtful receivables was $1,388,000 and $572,000 on September 26, 2020 and September 28, 2019, respectively. Our allowance has increased based on our assessment of collectability considering the impact of COVID-19 on some of our customers.




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Accounts Receivable - We record accounts receivable at the time revenue is recognized. Bad debt expense is recorded in marketing and administrative expenses. The amount of the allowance for doubtful accounts is based on our estimate of the accounts receivable amount that is uncollectable. It is comprised of a general reserve based on historical experience and amounts for specific customers' accounts receivable balances that we believe are at risk due to our knowledge of facts regarding the customer(s). We continually monitor our estimate of the allowance for doubtful accounts and adjust it monthly. We have approximately 15 customers with accounts receivable balances of between $1 million to $10 million with one customer having a balance of approximately $15 million. Failure of these customers, and others with lesser balances, to pay us the amounts owed, could have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

Accounts receivable due from any of our customers is subject to risk. Our total bad debt expense was $1,105,000, $389,000 and $259,000 for the fiscal years 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. At September 26, 2020 and September 28, 2019, our accounts receivable were $126,587,000 and $140,938,000 net of an allowance for doubtful accounts of $1,388,000 and $572,000.

Asset Impairment - We have three reporting units with goodwill totaling $121,833,000 as of September 26, 2020. Goodwill is evaluated annually by the Company for impairment. We perform impairment tests at year end for our reporting units, which is also the operating segment level, with recorded goodwill utilizing primarily the discounted cash flow method. This methodology used to estimate the fair value of the total Company and its reporting units requires inputs and assumptions (i.e. revenue growth, operating profit margins, capital spending requirements and discount rates) that reflect current market conditions. The estimated fair value of each reporting unit is compared to the carrying value of the reporting unit. If the carrying value of the reporting unit exceeds its fair value, the goodwill of the reporting unit is potentially impaired, and the Company then determines the implied fair value of goodwill, which is compared to the carrying value of goodwill to determine if impairment exists. Our tests at September 26, 2020 show that the fair value of each of our reporting units with goodwill exceeded its carrying value. Therefore no further analysis was required. The inputs and assumptions used involve considerable management judgment and are based upon assumptions about expected future operating performance. Assumptions used in these forecasts are consistent with internal planning. The actual performance of the reporting units could differ from management's estimates due to changes in business conditions, operating performance, economic conditions, competition and consumer preferences.

Licenses and rights, customer relationships and non- compete agreements are being amortized by the straight-line method over periods ranging from 2 to 20 years and amortization expense is reflected throughout operating expenses. Long-lived assets, including fixed assets and amortizing intangibles, are reviewed for impairment as events or changes in circumstances occur indicating that the carrying amount of the asset may not be recoverable. Indefinite lived intangibles are reviewed annually for impairment. Cash flow and sales analyses are used to assess impairment. The estimates of future cash flows and sales involve considerable management judgment and are based upon assumptions about expected future operating performance. Assumptions used in these forecasts are consistent with internal planning. The actual cash flows and sales could differ from management's estimates due to changes in business conditions, operating performance, economic conditions, competition and consumer preferences.

Useful Lives of Intangible Assets - Most of our trade names which have carrying value have been assigned an indefinite life and are not amortized because we plan to receive the benefit from them indefinitely. If we decide to curtail or eliminate the use of any of the trade names or if sales that are generated from any particular trade name do not support the carrying value of the trade name, then we would record impairment or assign an estimated useful life and amortize over the remaining useful life. Rights such as prepaid licenses and non-compete agreements are amortized over contractual periods. The useful lives of customer relationships are based on the discounted cash flows expected to be received from sales to the customers adjusted for an attrition rate. The loss of a major customer or declining sales in general could create an impairment charge.

Insurance Reserves - We have a self-insured medical plan which covers approximately 1,600 of our employees. We record a liability for incurred but not yet reported or paid claims based on our historical experience of claims payments and a calculated lag time period. We maintain a spreadsheet that includes claims payments made each month according to the date the claim was incurred. This enables us to have an historical record of claims incurred but not yet paid at any point in the past. We then compare our accrued liability to the more recent claims incurred but not yet paid amounts and adjust our recorded liability up or down accordingly. Our recorded liability at September 26, 2020 and September 28, 2019 was $1,737,000 and $1,392,000, respectively. Considering that we have stop loss coverage of $200,000 for each individual plan subscriber, the general consistency of claims payments and the short time lag, we believe that there is not a material exposure for this liability. Because of the foregoing, we do not engage a third party actuary to assist in this analysis.




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We self-insure, up to loss limits, worker's compensation, automobile and general liability claims. Accruals for claims under our self-insurance program are recorded on a claims-incurred basis. Under this program, the estimated liability for claims incurred but unpaid in fiscal years 2020 and 2019 was $5,300,000 and $3,300,000, respectively. Our total recorded liability for all years' claims incurred but not yet paid was $12,800,000 and $8,700,000 at September 26, 2020 and September 28, 2019, respectively. We estimate the liability based on total incurred claims and paid claims adjusting for loss development factors which account for the development of open claims over time. We estimate the amounts we expect to pay for some insurance years by multiplying incurred losses by a loss development factor which is based on insurance industry averages and the age of the incurred claims; our estimated liability is then the difference between the amounts we expect to pay and the amounts we have already paid for those years. Loss development factors that we use range from 1.0 to 2.0. However, for some years, the estimated liability is the difference between the amounts we have already paid for that year and the maximum we could pay under the program in effect for that particular year because the calculated amount we expect to pay is higher than the maximum. For other years, where there are few claims open, the estimated liability we record is the amount the insurance company has reserved for those claims. We evaluate our estimated liability on a continuing basis and adjust it accordingly. Due to the multi-year length of these insurance programs, there is exposure to claims coming in lower or higher than anticipated; however, due to constant monitoring and stop loss coverage of $350,000 on individual claims, we believe our exposure is not material. Because of the foregoing, we do not engage a third party actuary to assist in this analysis. In connection with these self-insurance agreements, we customarily enter into letters of credit arrangements with our insurers. At both September 26, 2020 and September 28, 2019, we had outstanding letters of credit totaling $9,275,000.

Inventories - Inventories are valued at the lower of cost (determined by the first-in, first-out method) or net realizable value. We recognize abnormal amounts of idle facilities, freight, handling costs, and spoilage as charges of the current period. Additionally, we allocate fixed production overhead to inventories based on the normal capacity of our production facilities. We calculate normal capacity as the production expected to be achieved over a number of periods or seasons under normal circumstances, taking into account the loss of capacity resulting from planned maintenance. This requires us to use judgment to determine when production is outside the range of expected variation in production (either abnormally low or abnormally high). In periods of abnormally low production (for example, periods in which there is significantly lower demand, labor and material shortages exist, or there is unplanned equipment downtime) the amount of fixed overhead allocated to each unit of production is not increased. However, in periods of abnormally high production the amount of fixed overhead allocated to each unit of production is decreased to assure inventories are not measured above cost.

Income Taxes - We account for our income taxes under the liability method. Under the liability method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on the difference between the financial statement and tax bases of assets and liabilities as measured by the enacted tax rates that will be in effect when these differences reverse. Deferred tax expense is the result of changes in deferred tax assets and liabilities.

Refer to Note A to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for additional information on our accounting policies.



RESULTS OF OPERATIONS:


Fiscal Year 2020 (52 weeks) Compared to Fiscal Year 2019 (52 weeks)

Net sales decreased $164,449,000, or 14%, to $1,022,038,000 in fiscal 2020 from $1,186,487,000 in fiscal 2019. Excluding sales from the acquisition of ICEE Distributors in October 2019 and BAMA ICEE in February 2020, sales decreased 15% for the year. Sales for our fourth quarter improved to being down approximately 19% from a year ago compared to being down 34% from a year ago in our third quarter as parts of the economy that impact our operations continue to open up. Approximately 2/3 of the Company's sales are to venues and locations that have shut down or sharply curtailed their foodservice operations, and therefore we anticipate COVID-19 will continue to have a negative impact on our business. As we have $278 million of cash and marketable securities on our balance sheet, up from $267 million at March 28, 2020, we do not expect to have any liquidity issues, nor do we anticipate a material amount of our assets would be impaired.

We have three reportable segments, as disclosed in the accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements: Food Service, Retail Supermarkets and Frozen Beverages.

The Chief Operating Decision Maker for Food Service and Retail Supermarkets and the Chief Operating Decision Maker for Frozen Beverages monthly review detailed operating income statements and sales reports in order to assess performance and allocate resources to each individual segment. Sales and operating income are the key variables monitored by the Chief Operating Decision Makers and management when determining each segment's and the Company's financial condition and operating performance. In addition, the Chief Operating Decision Makers review and evaluate depreciation, capital spending and assets of each segment on a quarterly basis to monitor cash flow and asset needs of each segment.




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FOOD SERVICE


Sales to food service customers decreased $117,094,000, or 16%, to $618,893,000 in fiscal 2020. Soft pretzel sales to the food service market decreased 28% to $150,786,000 for the year. Frozen juice bar and ices sales decreased $8,496,000, or 19%, to $35,176,000 for the year. Churro sales to food service customers were down 29% to $46,881,000 for the year. Sales of bakery products decreased $26,506,000, or 7%, to $332,514,000 for the year. Handheld sales to food service customers were up 14% to $36,088,000 in 2020 with sales of a new product to a warehouse club store customer accounting for all of the increase. Sales of funnel cake decreased $8,170,000, or 33% to $16,623,000. Sales were down across all product lines except handhelds as many of the venues and locations where our products are sold had been shut down or operated at reduced capacity for some or all of the third and fourth quarters due to COVID-19.

Sales of new products in the first twelve months since their introduction were approximately $5 million for the year. Operating income in our Food Service segment decreased from $76,546,000 in 2019 to $6,458,000 in 2020 primarily because of lower production and sales volume due to COVID-19. This year's operating income was impacted by plant shutdown impairment costs of $6,387,000 for the shutdown of one of our manufacturing plants. We expect to reduce manufacturing overhead and distribution costs by about $7-8 million annually as a result of this plant closure. This year also included approximately $6 million of costs for employee safety and increased COVID-19 compensation as well as increased expense of about $3.5 million for accounts receivable allowances and inventory losses due to the impact of COVID-19 on some of our customers and on sales of some of our products.



RETAIL SUPERMARKETS


Sales of products to retail supermarkets increased $32,573,000 or 23% to $177,165,000 in fiscal year 2020. Soft pretzel sales to retail supermarkets were $49,157,000, an increase of $12,893,000, or 36%, from sales in 2019. Sales of frozen juices and ices increased $14,992,000 or 20% to $88,743,000. Sales of biscuits and dumplings increased 12% to $28,317,000 for the year. Coupon redemption costs, a reduction of sales, of $3,569,000 were down less than 1 % from 2019. Handheld sales to retail supermarket customers increased 13% to $12,303,000 for the year. Sales were generally higher for all product lines as sales in the year ago periods were impacted by lost volume and placements due the price increases implemented in last year's first quarter and because of increased sales to supermarkets generally since mid-March 2020 due to COVID-19.

Sales of new products in the first twelve months since their introduction were approximately $1 million in fiscal year 2020. Operating income in our Retail Supermarkets segment increased from $10,460,000 to $23,202,000 for the year primarily due to higher volume.



FROZEN BEVERAGES


Total frozen beverage segment sales decreased 26% to $225,980,000 in fiscal 2020 and beverage sales decreased 38% or $64,816,000 for the year. Excluding sales from the acquisition of ICEE Distributors in October 2019 and BAMA ICEE in February 2020, total frozen beverage segment sales decreased 30% for the year and beverage sales decreased 45% for the year. Gallon sales were down 41% from last year exclusive of ICEE Distributors' gallons. Service revenue decreased 3% to $83,420,000 for the year with sales increases and decreases spread throughout our customer base with additional sales to existing customers and to new customers to largely offset declines in sales business to customers due to COVID-19. Machines revenue, primarily sales of machines, decreased from $45,811,000 in 2019 to $33,986,000 in 2020 with the decrease due to two significant install projects during the prior fiscal year, as well as the slowdown due to COVID-19. Sales are down across all product lines as many of the venues and locations where our products are sold have been shut down or operating at reduced capacity for some or all of the third and fourth quarters due to COVID-19.

The estimated number of Company owned frozen beverage dispensers was 27,000 and 26,000 at September 26, 2020 and September 28, 2019, respectively. Our Frozen Beverage segment had an operating loss of $12,466,000 in 2020 compared to operating income of $29,950,000 in 2019 primarily as a result of lower sales volume due to COVID-19. This year's operating income was also impacted by relocation costs of our ICEE's headquarters of $2.5 million.



CONSOLIDATED


Other than as commented upon above by segment, there are no material specific reasons for the reported sales increases or decreases. Sales levels can be impacted by the appeal of our products to our customers and consumers and their changing tastes, competitive and pricing pressures, sales execution, marketing programs, seasonal weather, customer stability and general economic conditions.




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Gross profit as a percentage of sales decreased to 23.33% in 2020 from 29.53% in 2019. Gross profit percentage decreased because of lower volume in our food service and frozen beverages segments, higher costs related to production disruptions due to volume mix changes, expenses related to employee safety and increased COVID-19 compensation and increased cost compared to last year of about $4.5 million for the writedown and disposal of inventory.

Total operating expenses decreased $12,212,000 to $221,233,000 in fiscal 2020 but as a percentage of sales increased to 21.64% of sales from 19.68% in 2019. Operating expenses this year included $6,387,000 of plant shutdown impairment costs for the shutdown of one of our manufacturing plants. Marketing and selling expenses increased to 8.31% this year from 8.13% of sales in 2019. Distribution expenses as a percent of sales increased to 9.08% from 8.00% in 2019. Administrative expenses were 3.60% and 3.43% of sales in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The percentage increases mentioned above were because of the drop in sales (lower denominators) and our inability to reduce expenses in line with the decrease in sales because of fixed costs that do not fluctuate with sales.

Operating income decreased $99,762,000 or 85% to $17,194,000 in fiscal year 2020 as a result of the aforementioned items.

Our investments generated before tax income of $4,356,000 million this year, down from $7,741,000 last year due to decreases in the amount of investments and lower interest rates.

Other income in 2019 includes a $2.0 million payment received from a customer due to cancellation of production under a co-manufacturing agreement.

Other income in 2018 includes $520,000 gain on a sale of property and $869,000 reimbursement of business interruption losses due to the MARY B's biscuits recall in January 2018.

Net earnings in 2019 benefitted by a reduction of approximately $900,000 in tax as the provision for the one-time repatriation tax under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act recorded in 2018 was reduced as the amount recorded in 2018 was an estimate.

Excluding the reduction in the provision for the one-time repatriation tax, our effective tax rate was 25.8% for 2019. Net earnings for the 2020 year benefited from a reduction in income tax expense related to state taxes of approximately $2.2 million. Excluding this benefit, our effective tax rate in our fiscal 2020 year was 25.0%.

Net earnings decreased $76,514,000 or 81%, in fiscal 2020 to $18,305,000, or $.96 per diluted share, from $94,819,000 or $5.00 per diluted share, in fiscal 2019 as a result of the aforementioned items.

There are many factors which can impact our net earnings from year to year and in the long run, among which are the supply and cost of raw materials and labor, insurance costs, factors impacting sales as noted above, the continuing consolidation of our customers, our ability to manage our manufacturing, marketing and distribution activities, our ability to make and integrate acquisitions and changes in tax laws and interest rates.



RESULTS OF OPERATIONS:


Fiscal 2019 (52 weeks) Compared to Fiscal Year 2018 (52 weeks)

In fiscal 2020, due to a change in management and the reporting of our MARY B's biscuit operations, which had sales and operating income of $25,316,000 and $1,584,000, respectively, in our 2019 fiscal year, we have reclassified the operations from our Food Service segment to our Retail Supermarket segment. The amounts below have not been adjusted to reflect this reclassification.

Net sales increased $48,222,000, or 4%, to $1,186,487,000 in fiscal 2019 from $1,138,265,000 in fiscal 2018.

We have three reportable segments, as disclosed in the accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements: Food Service, Retail Supermarkets and Frozen Beverages.

The Chief Operating Decision Maker for Food Service and Retail Supermarkets and the Chief Operating Decision Maker for Frozen Beverages monthly review detailed operating income statements and sales reports in order to assess performance and allocate resources to each individual segment. Sales and operating income are the key variables monitored by the Chief Operating Decision Makers and management when determining each segment's and the Company's financial condition and operating performance. In addition, the Chief Operating Decision Makers review and evaluate depreciation, capital spending and assets of each segment on a quarterly basis to monitor cash flow and asset needs of each segment.




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FOOD SERVICE


Sales to food service customers increased $15,659,000, or 2 percent, to $761,603,000 in fiscal 2019. Soft pretzel sales to the food service market increased about 1/3 of 1 percent to $209,227,000 for the year with higher sales to convenience store chains offset by lower sales to restaurant chains and with sales increases and decreases throughout our customer base. Our line of BRAUHAUS pretzels contributed to the increased sales. Frozen juice bar and ices sales increased $1,308,000, or 3%, to $43,672,000 for the year due primarily to higher sales to warehouse club stores. Churro sales to food service customers were up 7% to $65,976,000 for the year with sales increases and decreases across our customer base but with particularly strong sales to warehouse club stores. Sales of bakery products increased $13,245,000, or 4%, to $384,636,000 for the year with increased sales to one customer accounting for all of the increase. Handheld sales to food service customers were down 19% to $31,685,000 in 2019 with sales decreases to three customers accounting for all of the decrease. Sales of funnel cake increased $3,223,000, or 15% to $24,793,000 due primarily to increased sales to a quick service restaurant under a limited time offer in our second quarter. Overall food service sales to restaurant chains were down about 2% for the year. Sales of new products in the first twelve months since their introduction were approximately $13.5 million for the year. Price increases accounted for approximately $15 million of sales for the year and net volume including new product sales were essentially flat. Operating income in our Food Service segment increased from $74,056,000 in 2018 to $78,130,000 in 2019 resulting from benefits of improved operations at several of our manufacturing facilities and increased pricing.



RETAIL SUPERMARKETS


Sales of products to retail supermarkets decreased $1,663,000 or 1% to $119,276,000 in fiscal year 2019. Soft pretzel sales to retail supermarkets were $36,264,000 compared to $36,438,000 in 2018. Strong pretzel sales increases from sales of AUNTIE ANNE'S products were offset by lower sales of our SUPER PRETZEL products. Sales of frozen juices and ices decreased $684,000 or 1% to $73,751,000 as we lost some volume and placements due to price increases. Coupon redemption costs, a reduction of sales, decreased 19% to $3,596,000 for the year. Handheld sales to retail supermarket customers decreased 12% to $10,902,000 for the year as sales of this product line in retail supermarkets continues its long-term decline.

Sales of new products in the first twelve months since their introduction were approximately $1 million in fiscal year 2019. Price increases provided about $4 million of sales for the year and net volume decreased about $5.5 million for the year. Operating income in our Retail Supermarkets segment increased from $8,304,000 to $8,876,000 for the year. The primary contribution to the higher operating income this year was increased pricing.



FROZEN BEVERAGES


Frozen beverage and related product sales increased 13% to $305,608,000 in fiscal 2019. Beverage sales alone increased 7% or $10,883,000 for the year with increases and decreases throughout our customer base. About one third of the beverage sales increase was from increased flow through sales to one distributor which did not benefit operating income. Gallon sales were up 3% in our base ICEE business, with sales increases spread throughout our customer base. Service revenue increased 8% to $85,103,000 for the year with sales increases and decreases spread throughout our customer base. Machines revenue, primarily sales of machines, increased from $28,652,000 in 2018 to $45,811,000 in 2019 with sales to two customers accounting for most of the increase. The estimated number of Company owned frozen beverage dispensers was 26,000 and 25,000 at September 28, 2019 and September 29, 2018, respectively. Operating income in our Frozen Beverage segment increased from $28,415,000 in 2018 to $29,950,000 in 2019 as a result of higher sales.



CONSOLIDATED


Other than as commented upon above by segment, there are no material specific reasons for the reported sales increases or decreases. Sales levels can be impacted by the appeal of our products to our customers and consumers and their changing tastes, competitive and pricing pressures, sales execution, marketing programs, seasonal weather, customer stability and general economic conditions.

Gross profit as a percentage of sales was essentially unchanged at 29.53% in 2019 and 29.54% in 2018 as the benefits of improved operations at several of our manufacturing facilities and increased pricing were offset by increases in lower margin sales of machines in our frozen beverages segment and increases in lower margin sales of bakery products in our food service segment.




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Total operating expenses increased $7,934,000 to $233,445,000 in fiscal 2019 and as a percentage of sales decreased to 19.68% of sales from 19.81% in 2018. Marketing expenses decreased to 8.13% this year from 8.38% of sales in 2018 because of modest spending increases in all of our businesses. Distribution expenses as a percent of sales decreased to 8.00% from 8.11% in 2018 because freight rates have dropped from last year. Administrative expenses were 3.43% and 3.32% of sales in 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Operating income increased $6,181,000 or 6% to $116,956,000 in fiscal year 2019 as a result of the aforementioned items.

Our investments generated before tax income of $7.7 million this year, up from $6.3 million last year due to increases in the amount of investments and higher interest rates.

Other income in 2019 includes a $2.0 million payment received from a customer due to cancellation of production under a co-manufacturing agreement.

Other income in 2018 includes $520,000 gain on a sale of property and $869,000 reimbursement of business interruption losses due to the MARY B's biscuits recall in January 2018.

Other expenses in 2017 include $1,070,000 of expenses incurred to acquire Hill & Valley, the ICEE distributor and Labriola Bakery.

Net earnings for the year ended September 29, 2018 benefited from a $20.7 million gain, or $1.11 per diluted share, on the remeasurement of deferred tax liabilities and a $8.8 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, reduction in income taxes related primarily to the lower corporate tax rate enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017 which was partially offset by a $1.2 million, or $.06 per diluted share, provision for the one time repatriation tax, both of which resulted from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017. Net earnings for the year were also impacted by a $1.4 million, or $.07 per diluted share, expense on the remeasurement of deferred tax liabilities due to changes in New Jersey tax regulations effective July 2018. Excluding the deferred tax gain, the deferred tax expense and the one-time repatriation tax, our effective tax rate was 27.7% in the year ended September 29, 2018. Net earnings this year benefitted by a reduction of approximately $900,000 in tax as the provision for the one-time repatriation tax was reduced as the amount recorded last year was an estimate. Excluding the reduction in the provision for the one-time repatriation tax, our effective tax rate was 25.8% for this year.

Net earnings decreased $8,777,000 or 8%, in fiscal 2019 to $94,819,000, or $5.00 per diluted share, from $103,596,000, or $5.51 per diluted share, in fiscal 2018 as a result of the aforementioned items.

There are many factors which can impact our net earnings from year to year and in the long run, among which are the supply and cost of raw materials and labor, insurance costs, factors impacting sales as noted above, the continuing consolidation of our customers, our ability to manage our manufacturing, marketing and distribution activities, our ability to make and integrate acquisitions and changes in tax laws and interest rates.



RESULTS OF OPERATIONS



ACQUISITIONS


On December 30, 2016, we acquired Hill & Valley Inc., a premium bakery located in Rock Island, Illinois, for approximately $31 million. Hill & Valley, with sales of over $45 million annually, is a manufacturer of a variety of pre-baked cakes, cookies, pies, muffins and other desserts selling to retail in-store bakeries. Hill & Valley is a leading brand of Sugar Free and No Sugar Added pre-baked in-store bakery items. Additionally, Hill & Valley sustains strategic private labeling partnerships with retailers nationwide. Sales and operating income of Hill & Valley included in our 2017 fiscal year operating results were $35,770,000 and $653,000, respectively.

On May 22, 2017, we acquired an ICEE distributor doing business in Georgia and Tennessee for approximately $11 million. Sales and operating income of the acquired business included in our 2017 fiscal year operating results were $1,689,000 and $395,000, respectively.

On August 16, 2017, we acquired Labriola Baking Company, a premium bakery of breads and artisan soft pretzels located in Alsip, Illinois for approximately $6 million. Labriola Bakery, with sales of approximately $17 million annually, is a manufacturer of pre-baked breads, rolls and soft pretzels for retail in-store bakery and foodservice outlets nationwide. Sales of Labriola included in our 2017 fiscal year operating results were $2,061,000 with marginal operating income.




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On October 1, 2019, we acquired the assets of ICEE Distributors LLC, based in Bossier City, Louisiana for approximately $45 million. ICEE Distributors does business in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas with annual sales of approximately $13 million. Sales and operating income of ICEE Distributors were $11.4 million and $3.6 million for the year ended September 26, 2020.

On February 4, 2020, we acquired the assets of BAMA ICEE, based in Birmingham, Alabama for approximately $12 million. BAMA ICEE does business in Alabama and Georgia with annual sales of approximately $3.5 million. Sales and operating income of BAMA ICEE were $1.7 million and $630,000 for the year ended September 26, 2020.

These acquisitions were accounted for under the purchase method of accounting, and their operations are included in the accompanying consolidated financial statements from their respective acquisition dates.

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

Although there are many factors that could impact our operating cash flow, most notably net earnings, we believe that our future operating cash flow, along with our borrowing capacity, our current cash and cash equivalent balances and our investment securities is sufficient to fund future growth and expansion. See Note C to our financial statements for a discussion of our investment securities.

Fluctuations in the value of the Mexican and Canadian currencies and the resulting translation of the net assets of our Mexican and Canadian subsidiaries caused an increase of $2,599,000 in accumulated other comprehensive loss in 2020, $909,000 in accumulated other comprehensive loss in 2019 and $2,738,000 in accumulated other comprehensive loss in 2018. In 2020, sales of the two subsidiaries were $15,421,000 as compared to $33,906,000 in 2019 and $32,459,000 in 2018. The sales decrease in 2020 was the result of COVID-19.

In our fiscal year ended September 29, 2018, we purchased and retired 20,604 shares of our common stock at a cost of $2,794,027.

We did not purchase any shares of our common stock in our fiscal year ended September 28, 2019.

In our fiscal year ended September 26, 2020, we purchased and retired 65,648 shares of our common stock at a cost of $8,972,292.

In November 2016, we entered into an amendment and modification to an amended and restated loan agreement with our existing banks which provides for up to a $50,000,000 revolving credit facility repayable in November 2021. The agreement contains restrictive covenants and requires commitment fees in accordance with standard banking practice. There were no outstanding balances under the facility at September 26, 2020 or at September 28, 2019. The significant financial covenants are:



  • Tangible net worth must initially be more than $465 million.




     •  Total funded indebtedness divided by earnings before interest expense,
        income taxes, depreciation and amortization shall not be greater than
        2.25 to 1.



We were in compliance with the financial covenants described above at September 26, 2020.

We self-insure, up to loss limits, certain insurable risks such as worker's compensation, automobile and general liability claims. Accruals for claims under our self-insurance program are recorded on a claims-incurred basis. Under this program, the estimated liability for claims incurred but unpaid in fiscal years 2020 and 2019 was $5,300,000 and $3,300,000, respectively. In connection with certain self-insurance agreements, we customarily enter into letters of credit arrangements with our insurers. At both September 26, 2020 and September 28, 2019, we had outstanding letters of credit totaling $9,275,000.




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The following table presents our contractual cash flow commitments on long-term debt, operating leases and purchase commitments for raw materials and packaging. See Notes to the consolidated financial statements for additional information on our long-term debt and operating leases.



                                                       Payments Due by Period
                                                           (in thousands)

                                                  Less
                                                  Than           1-3           4-5          After
                                    Total        1 Year         Years         Years        5 Years

Long-term debt, including
current maturities                $       -     $       -     $       -     $       -     $       -
Finance lease liabilities               717           349           247           121             -
Purchase commitments                 75,000        75,000             -             -             -
Operating lease liabilities          68,560        13,906        22,412        12,713        19,529
Total                             $ 144,277$  89,255$  22,659$  12,834$  19,529

The purchase commitments do not exceed our projected requirements over the related terms and are in the normal course of business.

Fiscal 2020 Compared to Fiscal 2019

Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities held to maturity and available for sale decreased $64,886,000 or 19%, to $277,863,000 from a year ago for reasons described below.

Accounts receivables, net decreased $14,351,000, or 10%, to $126,587,000 in 2020 because of lower sales in this year's September month and timing of collections. Inventories decreased $7,242,000 or 6% to $108,923,000 in 2020 due to lower sales this year.

Prepaid expenses and other was $17,087,000 compared to $5,768,000 last year, as prepaid income tax increased by $11,552,000 as payments in the first six months were based on pre-COVID expectations.

Net property, plant and equipment increased $8,168,000 to $261,616,000 because purchases of property, plant and equipment for the improvement and expansion of our manufacturing capabilities and frozen carbonated beverage business and equipment of $6,573,000 acquired in the acquisitions in our frozen beverage segment exceeded depreciation on existing assets. Purchases of property, plant and equipment increased to $57,817,000 in 2020 from $57,128,000 in 2019, as we have completed and have ongoing several large projects across our manufacturing base to modernize our facilities to have state-of-the-art systems to produce high quality products, increase capacity and move some production closer to our customers. We are continually looking for opportunities to invest in projects at our manufacturing facilities that have a financial payback on capital invested with the goal of improving efficiency and reducing operating costs.

Goodwill increased to $121,833,000 from $102,511,000 in 2019 as $19,322,000 was acquired in the acquisitions in our frozen beverage segment.

Other intangible assets, less accumulated amortization increased $26,700,000 to $81,622,000 due to $29,902,000 acquired in the acquisitions in our frozen beverage segment, net of amortization.

Marketable securities available for sale and held to maturity decreased by $68,300,000 to $82,054,000 as we decreased our holdings of corporate bonds and available for sale securities primarily due to the decline in interest rates.

Accounts Payables increased 2% to $73,135,000 from $72,029,000 in 2019.

Accrued insurance liability increased 25% to $13,039,000 as our estimates for incurred but not yet paid claims under our group insurance and insurance liability programs increased from a year ago as our claims in 2020 were significantly higher than in prior years.

Accrued compensation expense decreased 24% to $16,134,000 due primarily to a decrease in our bonus accrual.




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Dividends payable increased to $10,876,000 as our quarterly dividend payment increased to $.575/share from $.50/share.

Deferred income tax liabilities increased $2,493,000 to $64,413,000 from $61,920,000 because of increased liabilities related to depreciation of property and equipment.

Common stock increased $3,524,000 to $49,628,000 in 2020 because of proceeds from the exercise of incentive and nonqualified stock options and stock issued under our stock purchase plan for employees, stock issued under our deferred stock plan and share-based compensation expense exceeded buyback purchases of common stock of $8,972,000.

Net cash provided by operating activities decreased $55,356,000 to $92,143,000 in 2020 primarily because of a decrease in net earnings of $76,514,000.

Net cash used in investing activities increased $1,100,000 to $44,463,000 in 2020 from $43,363,000 in 2019 primarily because proceeds, net of purchases, of marketable securities of $67,123,000 in 2020 increased from proceeds, net of purchases, of marketable securities of $13,067,000 in 2019 which largely offset an increase in payments for purchases of companies of $56,056,000.

Net cash used in financing activities of $22,826,000 in 2019 increased to $43,464,000 in 2020 primarily because we had repurchases of common stock of $8,972,000 in 2020 compared to none in 2019 and our payments of cash dividends increased by $5,409,000.

In 2020, the major variables in determining our net increase in cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were our decrease in net earnings, depreciation and amortization of fixed assets, changes in accounts receivable, accounts payable and accrued liabilities and changes in deferred tax liabilities, purchases of property, plant and equipment, payments for purchases of companies and payments of cash dividends and repurchases of common stock. Other variables which in the past have had a significant impact on our change in cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities are proceeds from borrowings and payments of long-term debt. As discussed in results of operations, our net earnings may be influenced by many factors. Depreciation and amortization of fixed assets is primarily determined by past purchases of property, plant and equipment although it could be impacted by a significant acquisition. Purchases of property, plant and equipment are primarily determined by our ongoing normal manufacturing and marketing requirements but could be increased significantly for manufacturing expansion requirements or large frozen beverage customer needs. We are actively seeking acquisitions that could be a significant use of cash. Although we have no long-term debt at September 26, 2020, we may borrow in the future depending on our needs.

Fiscal 2019 Compared to Fiscal 2018

Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities held to maturity and available for sale increased $66,714,000 or 24%, to $342,749,000 from a year ago for reasons described below.

Accounts receivables, net increased $8,596,000, or 6%, to $140,938,000 in 2019 because of higher sales in this year's September month and timing of collections. Inventories increased $3,281,000 or 3% to $116,165,000 in 2019 due to higher sales this year and inventory build to support increased service revenue in our frozen beverages business.

Prepaid expenses and other was $5,768,000 compared to $5,044,000 last year, as prepaid income tax increased by $787,000.

Net property, plant and equipment increased $10,775,000 to $253,448,000 because purchases of property, plant and equipment for the improvement and expansion of our manufacturing capabilities and frozen carbonated beverage business exceeded depreciation on existing assets. Although purchases of property, plant and equipment decreased to $57,128,000 in 2019 from $60,022,000 in 2018, we have completed and have ongoing several large projects across our manufacturing base to modernize our facilities to have state-of-the-art systems to produce high quality products, increase capacity and move some production closer to our customers. We are continually looking for opportunities to invest in projects at our manufacturing facilities that have a financial payback on capital invested with the goal of improving efficiency and reducing operating costs.

Goodwill was $102,511,000 for fiscal year 2019 and $102,511,000 in 2018.

Other intangible assets, less accumulated amortization decreased $2,840,000 to $54,922,000 due to amortization during the year net of $480,000 of additions in our frozen beverage segment.




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Marketable securities available for sale and held to maturity decreased by $14,202,000 to $150,354,000 as we decreased our holdings of corporate bonds and available for sale securities.

Accounts Payables increased 4% to $72,029,000 from $69,592,000 in 2018.

Accrued insurance liability decreased 7% to $10,457,000 as our estimates for incurred but not yet paid claims under our group insurance and insurance liability programs decreased from a year ago.

Accrued compensation expense increased 4% to $21,154,000 due to an increase in our bonus accrual.

Dividends payable increased to $9,447,000 as our quarterly dividend payment increased to $.50/share from $.45/share.

Deferred income tax liabilities increased $9,598,000 to $61,920,000 from $52,322,000 because of increased liabilities related to depreciation of property and equipment.

Common stock increased $18,404,000 to $45,744,000 in 2019 because of proceeds from the exercise of incentive and nonqualified stock options and stock issued under our stock purchase plan for employees, stock issued under our deferred stock plan and share-based compensation expense.

Net cash provided by operating activities increased $24,132,000 to $147,499,000 in 2019 primarily because of an increase of accounts payable and accrued liabilities of $2,150,000 compared to an decrease of $1,736,000 in 2018, an increase of $744,000 in prepaid expenses and other compared to an increase of prepaid expenses and other in 2018 of $1,120,000, and an increase in inventories of $3,231,000 compared to an increase of $9,639,000 in 2018.

Net cash used in investing activities decreased $29,776,000 to $43,363,000 in 2019 from $73,139,000 in 2018 primarily because proceeds, net of purchases, of marketable securities of $13,067,000 in 2019 compared to purchases, net of proceeds, of marketable securities of $15,810,000 in 2018.

Net cash used in financing activities of $27,336,000 in 2018 decreased to $22,826,000 in 2019 primarily because we did not repurchase any common stock in 2019 and proceeds from the issuance of common stock for stock option exercises was $5,288,000 higher in 2019 compared to 2018.

In 2019, the major variables in determining our net increase in cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were our net earnings, depreciation and amortization of fixed assets, changes in accounts receivable, accounts payable and accrued liabilities and changes in deferred tax liabilities, purchases of property, plant and equipment and payments of cash dividends. Other variables which in the past have had a significant impact on our change in cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities are proceeds from borrowings, repurchases of our common stock, payments of long-term debt and purchases of companies. As discussed in results of operations, our net earnings may be influenced by many factors. Depreciation and amortization of fixed assets is primarily determined by past purchases of property, plant and equipment although it could be impacted by a significant acquisition. Purchases of property, plant and equipment are primarily determined by our ongoing normal manufacturing and marketing requirements but could be increased significantly for manufacturing expansion requirements or large frozen beverage customer needs. From time to time, we have repurchased common stock and we anticipate that we will do so again in the future. We are actively seeking acquisitions that could be a significant use of cash. Although we have no long-term debt at September 28, 2019, we may borrow in the future depending on our needs.

Off -Balance Sheet Arrangements

The Company has off-balance sheet arrangements for operating leases and purchase commitments as of September 26, 2020.




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