Acme United: Making Profits in Arts & Crafts

10/23/2020 5:00 am EST


Douglas Gerlach

President, ICLUBcentral, Inc.

For more than 150 years, Acme United Corporation (ACU) has supplied innovative cutting, measuring, first aid, and sharpening products to the school, home, and office market, notes Douglas Gerlach, editor of SmallCap Informer.

Its products are used in arts and crafts, hardware, sporting goods, fishing tools, and industrial markets. Its top brands include First Aid Only, PhysiciansCare, Pac-Kit, Spill Magic, Westcott, Clauss, Camillus, Cuda, and DMT.

The company’s diversified end markets provide exposure to both hobbyists and industrial facilities. Growing concerns about industrial health safety is driving interest in many of Acme United’s products.

Its safety solutions include component kits that are often required by industrial safety regulations and can be restocked using its SafetyHub app. The kits focus on different needs, such as first aid, eye washes, or medications, and the app can deliver push messages about refills and maintain an OSHA compliance log.

Management sees several drivers for Acme United’s growth. New first aid programs being put into place at large industrial, food service, and other distributors should drive growth, along with an expanding refill business. The company’s widening product line should increase cross-selling opportunities, as well.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an uptick in Acme United’s sales a wide array of products including fishing tools, hunting knives, craft scissors, sharpening tools, first aid, and safety products. Increasing awareness of the need for safe workplaces should benefit the company as the nation returns to work.

In the second quarter ended June 30, 2020, sales grew 9.5% and EPS grew 19.5% over Q2 2019. In the first half of 2020, EPS reached $1.28, up 27% over 2019 first half performance and closing in already on the 2019 full FY EPS of $1.60. Analysts expect EPS to reach $1.92 for the full year, a healthy increase over 2019.

We project future annual average growth of EPS and sales to be around 10% a year, plus dividends. Acme has increased dividends every year in the last decade.

Acme United’s stock is currently selling a P/E ratio of 12.0, just below our revised average P/E ratio of 12.4. We think the stock can sell for a P/E ratio of 15.7, which would take the price as high as $47.

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