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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
Articles (9427)  | Author's Website |

Bill Ackman Comments on Platform

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November 16, 2017 | About:
Platform (PAH)’s earnings continued to grow this quarter as growth in the Performance Solutions business offset a decline in the Ag Solutions business. Platform’s organic revenue declined 1%, as Performance Solutions grew 4% and Ag Solutions declined 5%. The growth in the Performance Solutions segment continued to be driven by the positive results of the electronics business it recently acquired from Alent and strength in its industrial business. The decline in Ag Solutions resulted primarily from the ongoing drought in Brazil, which has caused buyers to delay their typical purchases in advance of the planting season. If the drought abates within the next few months, management believes it is likely it will recover these sales in future quarters.

Platform’s organic EBITDA increased 1%. Performance Solutions organic EBITDA grew 4% due to revenue growth and ongoing cost synergies from the acquisition of Alent, which was somewhat offset by a higher mix of sales from lower margin products. Ag Solutions organic EBITDA declined 3%, as the portion of sales from higher-margin products increased and the company continued to reduce structural costs.

Platform’s overall EBITDA grew 3% due to a 2% tailwind from foreign exchange. As a result of interest savings from the company’s recent debt refinancing and its leveraged capital structure, EPS grew roughly 18%.

At the end of August, Platform announced that it intends to separate its Ag and Performance Solutions businesses into two publicly traded companies in order to increase long-term value. Management expects the separation to occur by the middle of next year, and is likely be effectuated by an IPO of the Ag business.

From Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio)'s third quarter 2017 shareholder letter.

About the author:

Holly LaFon
I'm a financial journalist with a Master of Science in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.

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