MRC Global Posts Lower Sales, Earnings

The company’s CEO, however, suggested the distributor has “turned the corner.”

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MRC Global Inc.

MRC Global officials on Wednesday said the company’s first-quarter results “exceeded our expectations” despite declines in sales, profits and earnings.

The Houston pipe, valve and fittings distributor — no. 10 on ID’s latest Big 50 — reported sales of $806 million, down 9% from the $885 million in the first quarter of last year.

The company’s gross profit fell from $179 million to $163 million over that span, while operating income slid from $57 million to $38 million. Net income plummeted from $34 million to $19 million year-over-year, translating to diluted earnings that declined by more than half — from $0.33 per share down to $0.15 per share.

MRC Global President and CEO Rob Saltiel, however, characterized the results as “excellent” and said that executives are optimistic about the remainder of 2024 following a sluggish environment to close its last fiscal year.

“We exceeded our expectations with sequential revenue growth of 5% and adjusted EBITDA margins of 7.1%,” Saltiel said in a statement. “We believe that our business has turned the corner after the lower activity levels of the fourth quarter of 2023.”

MRC’s U.S. sales fell by 10% year-over-year to $667 million in the first quarter with declines in each of the company’s divisions. The gas utilities segment dealt with reduced customer inventories, while the production and transmission infrastructure business experienced lower line pipe sales. Downstream, industrial and energy transition revenue fell due to “non-recurring projects.”

Sales in Canada, meanwhile, were off by more than 30%, which officials attributed mainly to the PTI segment. PTI sales in Europe and the Middle East, however, fueled a 7% increase in the company’s international revenue.

MRC said that it expected to repay a Term Loan B during the current quarter, which Saltiel said would enable the company to end the fiscal year with "minimal net debt.”

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