Landis+Gyr wants the world to know its financial fortunes are no longer connected to Toshiba -- even if its former parent company is still classifying L+G as its own.
On Monday, Landis+Gyr reported unaudited second-quarter net revenues of $433 million and $54.6 million in adjusted EBITDA for the quarter ending on June 30, 2017. It did so not as part of its new reporting requirements as a listed company on the Swiss stock exchange, but in response to Toshiba's decision -- described as "uncoordinated" with Landis+Gyr management -- to include the former subsidiary's operations as part of its August 10 fiscal year 2016 and Q1 2017 financial results.
Toshiba’s dire earnings report also "provided certain additional financial information for Landis+Gyr, net sales and operating income, which included certain unspecified additions and adjustments," the company wrote in Monday’s statement.
Specifically, Toshiba reported that Landis+Gyr “recorded lower sales” and “saw lower operating income” in the first nine months of its fiscal year 2016, which ends on March 30. To be fair, however, it also noted that Landis+Gyr saw higher sales and “markedly higher and improved operating income” in the quarter ending December 30, 2016, and higher sales in the quarter ending March 30, 2017.
Out-of-sync data like this could be an issue, given the smart meter maker's new status as a publicly traded company. The company we now know as Landis+Gyr has its roots in turn-of-the-century Switzerland as a gas metering provider. Its modern version has been a connection of metering and communications providers, previously owned by KKR and Siemens. It was bought by private equity firm Bayard Capital in 2004, added Cellnet and Hunt in the years after that, and sold for $2.3 billion in 2011 to a consortium including Toshiba, with a 60 percent stake, and Innovation Corporation Network of Japan, with a 40 percent stake.
Toshiba integrated Landis+Gyr's technology into its own smart grid and energy businesses. The subsidiary then went on to win a lot of the mega-contracts for smart meters, including 16 million meters for British Gas, and, in partnership with Toshiba, 27 million meters with Tokyo Electric Power. Recent wins include one of Poland’s largest distribution system operators, Seattle City Light, Westar Energy and Mexico’s CFE.
But any such successes have been overshadowed by Toshiba's big losses from its bankrupt nuclear power business, which have brought the Japanese industrial giant to the verge of financial meltdown. In its August 10 earnings report, Toshiba reported a "negative net worth" due to its Westinghouse losses, in the form of “consolidated net assets of -222.3 billion yen,” or negative $1.99 billion, as of the end of June.
Landis+Gyr's IPO came after Toshiba ejected several private offers that fell short of the $2-billion-plus price tag it was reputed to be seeking. So far its July 20 IPO has met those expectations, with an offering price of 78 francs ($80.20) providing a value of $2.4 billion. That was enough to yield Toshiba a net profit of 40 billion yen ($357.3 million) from the sale, Reuters reported.
Since then the company’s shares have trended slightly below this starting point, however, with the most recent dip coming after Toshiba’s earnings release last week. Landis+Gyr noted that this week's release of unaudited results is an "exception" to its half-year financial reporting policy, which it will return to when it provides H1 2017 financial updates at the end of October.
Meanwhile, the two publicly traded, large-scale competitors to Landis+Gyr are Itron and Silver Spring Networks. For the purposes of comparison, Itron last month reported second-quarter 2017 net income of $14.1 million on revenues of $503 million last month, and Silver Spring Networks last week reported second-quarter 2017 net income of $18.6 million on revenues of $261.6 million, or $78.6 million in non-GAAP billings.
The remaining two are privately held, with Germany’s Elster having been acquired by Honeywell for $5 billion in 2015. U.S.-based Sensus was bought by water treatment company Xylem for $1.7 billion last year.