Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Tempur Sealy International Inc (TPX) Q4 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

By Motley Fool Transcribers - Feb 11, 2021 at 1:30PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

TPX earnings call for the period ending December 31, 2020.

Logo of jester cap with thought bubble.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

Tempur Sealy International Inc (TPX 0.04%)
Q4 2020 Earnings Call
Feb 11, 2021, 8:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Tempur Sealy Fourth Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call.

[Operator Instructions] Please be advised that today's conference is being recorded. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker, Aubrey Moore, Investor Relations. Thank you. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Aubrey Moore -- Investor Relations

Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for participating in today's call. Joining me in our headquarters are Scott Thompson, Chairman, President and CEO; and Bhaskar Rao, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. After prepared remarks, we will open the call for Q&A. Forward-looking statements that we make during this call are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that these forward-looking statements, including the company's expectations regarding sales, earnings, net income and adjusted EBITDA, and the anticipated performance of 2021 and subsequent periods involve uncertainties.

Actual results may differ due to a variety of factors that could adversely affect the company's business. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those identified include economic, regulatory, competitive, operating and other factors discussed in the press release issued today. These factors are also discussed in the company's SEC filings including, but not limited to, annual reports on Form 10-K and the company's quarterly reports on Form 10-Q under the headings Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements and/or risk factors. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date which it is made. The company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

This morning's commentary will include non-GAAP financial information. The press release contains reconciliations of this non-GAAP financial information to the most directly comparable GAAP information, except as otherwise discussed in the press release, as well as information regarding methodology used in our constant currency presentation. We have posted the press release on the company's investor website at investor.tempursealy.com and have also filed it with the SEC. Our comments will supplement the detailed information provided in the press release.

And now with that introduction, it's my pleasure to turn the call over to Scott.

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you. Aubrey. Good morning, and thank you for joining us on our 2020 fourth quarter full year earnings call. Our thoughts continue to be with those around the world whose lives have been impacted by the global health crisis. I want to say a sincere thank you to our employees who helped us manage successfully through this unprecedented time, while also managing the challenges of the pandemic on themselves and their family. I'm proud of the team's commitment in their efforts to ensure the safety of our employees and the customers despite the challenging operating environment.

I'll begin with a few highlights of our financial performance, followed by an update on our competitive position, which we believe is the strongest in the company's history, then we will provide an overview of our progress on ESG initiatives. Bhaskar will then review our our record financial performance in more detail and discuss our 2021 financial guidance. Finally, I'll conclude with some thoughts on why we are very optimistic about the future.

In the fourth quarter, our global sales grew 21% year-over-year. The sales growth was driven by broad-based demand across geographies and channels. Retail partners continue to win with our products and our online sales stood out once again in the U.S., with web sales doubling compared to prior year. The strong sales performance combined with favorable companywide margins resulted in record fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA of $240 million, an increase of 57%, and adjusted EPS of $0.67, an increase of 97%. GAAP EPS increased over 200% versus prior year. Though our financial results this quarter were strong, we continue to face supply chain issues, as consumer demand exceeded manufacturing capacity. These supply chain issues primarily impacted our Sealy and Sherwood North American operations and prevented our financial results from being even stronger. We're expecting these constraints to mitigate significantly by early second quarter.

For the full year, global sales grew 18% to $3.7 billion. Our adjusted EBITDA per the credit facility agreement grew 54% to a record $780 million and our adjusted EPS grew 94% to $1.94. GAAP EPS grew 91% to $1.64. Our growth has been driven by two factors, a healthy industry and our competitive position within the industry. Solid underlying industry fundamentals and our strong product offering enabled reinvestment in advertising, creating flywheel effect that benefits all players. Our industry is also benefiting from consumers increased focus on home-related spending, which is accelerated as a result of the pandemic. I would point out, however, that our North America sales grew over 20% in the two quarters prior to the pandemic, well above the industry level during that period. This highlights that while we have benefited from the uptick in consumer spending along with the rest of the industry, the majority of our growth -- or current growth is coming from market share gains, driven by our strong competitive position within the industry.

The investments we've made in people, processes for the past five years have resulted in our market leading position. I'd like to highlight five key areas; product superiority, brand strength, manufacturing efficiency and quality, omni-channel distribution platform and substantial cash flow enforced the balance sheet. In our business, it always starts and ends with exceptional product. When I joined the company in 2015, Tempur was known for its innovative products, while Sealy and Stearns & Foster brands were recognized for their rich heritage. Over the past five years, we've worked to merge the strength of both of these great brands, to make each of them stronger. At Tempur, we introduced an entirely new formulation of the Tempur-Pedic material, in connection with the largest and most successful Tempur-Pedic product rollout in the company's history. In fact, in 2020, for the second year in a row, Tempur-Pedic ranked number one in the U.S. Mattress Satisfaction Report by JD Power. We are honored to have earned this distinction for a third time in four years.

Tempur-Pedic changed the Mattress industry several decades ago with the introduction of a revolutionary sleep technology, and we expect to continue to be a leading innovator in Mattress industry in the future. Tempur has successfully addressed the two biggest reported issues associated with poor sleep, sleeping hard and snoring. Over the years, we've addressed the first difficulty of sleeping hard with our proprietary cooling technology. Today, to address the second issue, snoring, we're rolling out the only sleep system in the market that features snore detection and response with the Ergo smart base Sleeptracker. Smart base has state-of-the-art sensors that monitor the consumers heart rate, breathing right, sleep cycle, and since personalized sleep analytics in coaching to the consumers' smartphone via Sleeptracker app. Retailers are telling us that this product is a game changer, driving ASP and adjustable base attachment rate. I should also point out that the new smart base provides us valuable in-user highlights about their sleep behavior. This proprietary data will bring us closer to the customer and drive further product development and insights.

In our international business, we're developing a new line of Tempur Mattresses, with both the in-consumer and third-party retailers in mind. These new models are expected to closely mirror innovation that we've met with success here in the U.S., but also substantially increasing new addressable market for the Tempur products internationally. The team has made significant progress and we expect to begin targeting this expanded addressable market in 2022.

For the last five years, we've introduced innovative new products from Sealy, including in the award-winning Sealy Hybrid, which has allowed Sealy to reclaim its position as the number one bedding brand in North America. This year in North America, we are refreshing our Sealy portfolio with the launch of new models of Posturepedic Plus, Posturepedic and essential product lines. These models offer superior support and features Sealy [Indecipherable] in Surface-Guard Technology, making this product the ideal choice for the consumer searching for high quality sleep To make the new product rollout as seamless as possible, we're launching this refresh in two phases over the course of 2021. We've already started shipping the essentials in the Posturepedic and expect to complete that rollout in the second quarter. We will then start shipping the high margin Sealy Posturepedic plus line in the back half of the year. We've received great feedback from retailers and consumers on the phone line. We expect this launch to further our gains in market share and extend Sealy's lead as a number one Mattress brand in North America.

The second area that I'd like to highlight is our brand strength. Tempur-Pedic was the original direct-to-consumer Mattress company, with a marketing model focused heavily on television advertising. However, over time, the ways in which consumers engage the media has changed. Over the past few years, we've updated our advertising model to focus more on digital and social media channels. It allow us to reach the modern customer. This improved media mix combined with compelling messaging has proven to be a powerful combination to ensure that our industry leading brands remain top of mind for the consumer. Over the past year, we have seen significant increase in consumer consideration and purchase intent. In fact, according to recent consumer survey, Tempur-Pedic boasts the highest intent to purchase store since we started tracking it in 2017.

Our global 2021 marketing plan is to aggressively support our innovative bedding products through investing significant marketing dollars to promote our worldwide brands. We expect to spend a record amount of marketing dollars in 2021 for Tempur-Pedic Sealy and Stearns & Foster. Our record investment across television and digital media ensures our products are always top of mind for consumers, wherever they are on their purchase journey.

The third area that I'd like to highlight is manufacturing efficiency and quality. It's been a multi-year journey to optimize manufacturing efficiency across our Sealy and Tempur plants. We've made significant investments in our people, facilities and supporting IT structure. As a result, our operations have a solid foundation, making us the preferred provider of premium differentiated bedding products.

Fourth, our powerful omni-channel distribution platform. As we all know, consumers buying habits and expectations have evolved. For a brand to be relevant today, consumers expect that the brand will have an integrated omni-channel presence. Today, we have a more balanced distribution footprint in North America that we did just a few years ago, led by a diversified group of strong retail partners and a rapidly growing direct business. On the third-party retail front, we continue to build momentum as we selectively add to our footprint. In fact, we recently added new distribution to several established retail chains. At the same time, we've been focused on building our own direct-to-consumer channel, both online and with brick-and-mortar retail stores.

The development of our e-commerce business has been particularly important, that consumers have grown more comfortable shopping for bedding online. The trend toward online purchases has accelerated during the pandemic, and we believe that consumers will continue to lean in to the digital channel. In fact, 20% of our sales occur online, either through our own website or through third-party retailer website. This percentage has increased 10-fold over the past five years. We've also built out a network of Tempur-Pedic branded retail stores that offer consumers a differentiated high-end low pressure sales experience. These stores serve as halo, elevating our brand throughout the entire local market.

In 2020, we opened 21 new stores, and currently operate a total of 78 locations in the U.S. Our Manhattan store is performing well, is on track to become our highest grossing sales store. Over the last five years, our direct-to-consumer business has grown from 3% to 13% of our total sales. In addition to representing a meaningful component sales, our direct business is also quite profitable. In fact, we believe that we have one of the fastest growing, most profitable direct-to-consumer bedding businesses in the world.

Finally, I'd like to highlight our substantial cash flow and fortress balance sheet. Over the past year, our leverage ratio has declined from 2.9 times to 1.7 times. This is one of the lowest debt levels in our industry. And both we and our retail partners view it as a competitive advantage. The improvement in our leverage ratio has been to increased in earnings power combined with debt pay down. Last quarter, we announced an update to our long-term capital allocation plan, which we remain committed to. Our updated plan includes investments in business, share repurchase, capacity for strategic accretive acquisitions and for the first time since 2008, the quarterly cash dividend. As we set our 2021 capital allocation strategy, we are targeting the repurchase of 6% of our shares outstanding. We've increased the allocation to share repurchase from 3% to 6% this year, because we believe our stock represents the most compelling investment opportunity in the current environment. This does not change our long-term plan, but demonstrates our flexibility in our capital allocation strategy.

Before turning the call over to Bhaskar, I'd like to highlight our ESG initiatives, which reflect our commitment to our communities and our environment. In the past year, we've made the following progress. First, we established a goal of achieving carbon neutrality for our global wholly owned operations by 2040. Second, achieve a 28% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per unit produced at our wholly owned manufacturing and logistic operations compared to prior year. Third, improve the percentage of waste recycle in North America of our wholly owned manufacturing operations to 91% in 2020 compared to 85% in 2019. Fourth, established ESG metrics for executive leadership compensation beginning in 2021. Fifth, we've contributed over $100 million in products, stock in cash to charity organizations over the last decade. And finally, we expanded our global employee head count by 21% in 2020. I should also point out, last month, we published our 2021 corporate social values report which recaps the 2020 progress in more detail and you can find that on our webpage.

With that, I'll turn it over to Bhaskar to walk you through the financial results in more detail.

Bhaskar Rao -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Scott. Before going into the details of the quarter, I would like to call out a few financial highlights. As compared to the prior year, gross margin improved 160 basis points to 45.9%. Adjusted operating margin improved 470 basis points to 18.9%. Adjusted EBITDA increased 57% to $240 million. And adjusted earnings per share for the quarter was $0.67, an increase of 97%.

Before we discuss the results by segment, I would like to briefly touch on change in reporting that better aligns with how we manage our global business. Historically, we have reported Mexico in the International segment and during the fourth quarter, we began to include it in our North American results. For ease of comparison, we have recast our segment financials to reflect this change and made it available on our Investor Relations website.

Turning to North American results. North American sales increased 21% in the fourth quarter. On a reported basis, the North American wholesale channel increased 19% and the direct channel increased 30%. The stronger than expected North American sales were broad-based across channels and retail orders. North American gross profit margin improved 150 basis points to 43.4% as compared to the prior year. This was primarily driven by favorable floor model cost and fixed cost leverage on higher unit volumes. These improvements were partially offset by brand mix from new Sherwood OEM sales, which are a slight headwind to gross margin rate. North American adjusted operating margin improved 450 basis points to 20.9% as compared to the prior year. The improvement was driven by operating expense leverage as well as the improvement in its gross margin. This was partially offset by incremental advertising investments.

Turning to international. Sales increased a robust 26% on a reported basis, the largest quarterly growth rate for the international segment in the company's history. On a constant currency basis, international sales increased 18%, with the direct and wholesale channels experiencing similar growth rates. A stronger than expected international sales were broad-based across geos and channels. As compared to the prior year, our international gross margin improved 150 basis points to 59.9%, driven by fixed cost leverage, as well as operational efficiency gains. This was partially offset by increased commodity costs. International operating margin improved 420 basis points to 29.8%, driven by operating expense leverage, which include cost reduction and improved gross margin performance.

Turning to the company's global performance. Adjusted operating margin was $200 million and adjusted EBITDA was a record $240 million, up 57% from last year. The increase in adjusted EBITDA was primarily due to higher sales volumes, lower floor model and launch cost, and expense leverage. These benefits were somewhat offset by higher advertising investments. Regarding commodities. Input costs were a slight headwind in the fourth quarter, but largely in line with our expectations. We have a history of taking price on products to offset industry inflation. Most recently, we have implemented pricing actions during the fourth quarter that have fully mitigated the anticipated input cost headwinds at that time. However, as we've entered 2021, input costs have continued to increase beyond our initial expectations. We continue to monitor these costs and expect to take additional pricing actions as needed. The adjusted tax rate was 22%, driven by a favorable change in tax legislation that is not expected to occur in '21. The result was an adjusted EPS for the quarter of $0.67, up 97%.

Now moving to the balance sheet and cash flow items. We generated record operating cash flow of $157 million in the fourth quarter and record full year operating cash flow of $655 million. The cash cycle was favorable by 10 days in the fourth quarter versus 2019. This was principally driven by improved days payable and receivables. At the end of the fourth quarter, net debt was $1.4 billion. Our leverage ratio per credit facility is 1.7 times, down more than 40% from the same period of the prior year. Over the last two quarters, we redeemed our 2023 senior notes in full. And over the last few weeks, we have upsized our revolver by $300 million. We expect this will lower our cost of debt, resulting in an annual interest savings of approximately $18 million pre-tax. We continue to optimize our debt structure against our long-term capital allocation plan. You might find it interesting that in the current market we could issue bonds at an effective rate below 4%. Our 2026 bonds are not callable until later this year, but we expect further interest savings as our cost of debt has fallen.

The company also repurchased 130 million of shares in the fourth quarter and over 330 million of shares for the full year 2020. The Board has also authorized an increase of our share repurchase program, bringing the total available under the repurchase authorization to 400 million. Looking ahead, we have several growth initiatives, including expanding our share of the North American OEM bedding market. We estimate that the OEM market is about 20% of the total U.S. market. We're using our manufacturing expertise to drive sales, diversify our sales training and capture manufacturing profits on bedding brands beyond our own. We began leaning into this new sales stream last year and sold about $150 million of OEM products in 2020. Looking forward, we believe that in five years the run-rate at this business could exceed $600 million of annual sales.

In order to support our OEM business and other growth initiatives, we plan to invest an incremental $150 million of capex by 2023. We expect this will increase our U.S. scoring capacity for Tempur material, specialty and base foam by approximately 50%. In 2021, we expect total capex to be between $125 and $140 million.

Now turning to our 2021 guidance. We pulled guidance in early 2020 as we ran into a very uncertain world due to COVID-19. Based on our ability to manage the business through current conditions and the resiliency of our model, we are comfortable with reestablishing formal guidance. For the full year 2021, we currently expect sales growth between 15% and 20%, with EPS to be between $2.30 and $2.50. This implies EBITDA will be between $875 million and $925 million. We expect to achieve this from double-digit sales growth driven primarily in North America, stable gross margins and share repurchase activity. Our expectations consider gross margins improvements within our brands, brand mix headwinds, as Sealy and OEM operational constraints begin to ease in the second quarter, investments in new innovative products and record advertising spend.

Lastly, I would like to flag a few items for modeling purposes. For the full year 2021, we currently expect D&A to be between $160 and $180 million, interest expense to be between $55 and $60 million, the tax rate to be about 26%, and the full year average diluted share count to be 207 million shares.

With that, I'll turn the call back over to Scott.

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you. Bhaskar. Great job. Before we open up for Q&A, I want to share a few thoughts on why our team is confident that we'll continue to deliver shareholder value over the long-term.

First, we fundamentally believe the bedding market is a stable growing industry with high return on invested capital in the business if run properly.

Second, we believe the importance of mattresses in consumers lives will continue to accelerate as consumers connect overall health and wellness with a good night's sleep. As the population ages and more consumers make this connection, we believe they will continue to prioritize their mattress purchases.

Third, we have a track record of delivering differentiated products from the original Tempur material over 30 years ago to now the Ergo smart base Sleeptracker. These products have all strengthened our competitive position, and all stem from our commitment to being a consumer-centric innovator for the total global addressable sleep market.

Fourth, we expect to further strengthen our dominant competitive position. For consumers and retail partners, we are the preferred provider of premium differentiated bedding products. While our powerful omni-channel strategy allows us to adapt to consumers' behavior.

Lastly, we believe that our robust cash flow and fortified battled balance sheet positioned us to manage through difficult operating environment and provide the flexibility to take images of industry and market opportunities.

Before we open up for Q&A, I want to briefly touch on the latest sales trends. In the U.S. sales trends have accelerated from the fourth quarter. The Asia-Pacific market sales performance has also accelerated, while our European markets are dealing the significant restrictions on retail activity related to COVID-19. In total, international sales have decelerated on a worldwide basis. We currently expect the first quarter sales growth to approximate the fourth quarter growth rate of 20%.

With that, operator please open the call up for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Curtis Nagle with Bank of America. Your line is open.

Curtis Nagle -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Awesome. Thanks very much for the question. To be as much as we can, could we break apart some of the bigger pieces of the revenue guidance, really strong, up to 20%. Yeah, how much of that is capacity adding? How much of that's share gains, pricing mix? Any kind of guideline in terms of how to think about that would be really helpful?

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. First of all, thank you for your question. First I'd say, yes. We expect all that. Certainly we've had -- we continue to get share gains. And in fact, if you look over the past 18 months, I'm sure that our share gain has been the largest share gain in bedding history. We continue to see not just better velocity of our products and our current retailers, but we continue to win new distribution in the U.S. We certainly have seen good acceleration as we talked about on the prepared remarks, in both the Tempur-Pedic product and the Sealy products. The Sealy product has been constrained primarily in the U.S. and that would be Sealy and Sherwood product mainly due to innersprings as you know. I suspect that probably in the fourth quarter, it's hard to compute it exactly, because we had some customers on allocation, but we probably lost $100 million or so in sales in Sealy in the fourth quarter. We expect going forward for that situation to clean up, and call up by the end of the first quarter, beginning in the second quarter, we are expecting now to be in a constrained environment from a component standpoint. So we're expecting an acceleration in Sealy.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Peter Keith with Piper Sandler. Your line is open.

Peter Keith -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Hi, thanks, good morning. Great results, guys.

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Peter Keith -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Scott, you did mention at the end of your prepared remarks that consumers are recognizing the need for a better Mattress to get a better night's sleep. And I was just hoping to convey this opine on what has caused that great unlock? And how you guys can feed into it, because it seems like that could be a pretty powerful driver for for the Tempur brand going forward?

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Thank you. Look, we saw ASP growth in the quarter. We look at it and step back from a couple of things. And first of all, clear there's health and wellness. It's been going through the world. Clearly, the pandemic has accelerated that trend and we see it all over the world, but you also have an aging population in the developed nations. And generally when you see that, we also see more concern about sleep, bedding surfaces, and better ASP. So I think you got [Indecipherable] health and wellness trend accelerating, plus you've got an aging population. And I think it bodes well for what I'll just call high embedding, which does certainly play into the Tempur-Pedic brand and Stearns & Foster brand.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Bobby Griffin with Raymond James. Your line is open.

Bobby Griffin -- Raymond James & Associates, Inc. -- Analyst

Good morning, everybody. Thank you for taking my questions. And congrats on navigating a very challenging year.

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Bobby Griffin -- Raymond James & Associates, Inc. -- Analyst

I guess Scott, I wanted to maybe unpack the guidance just to tad more clearly a lot of moving parts in the macro and economies, probably the hardest to predict. But when you look at commodity supply chains and maybe some of the other aspects, which one of those are the biggest variables or wildcards this year for the EBITDA guidance? And have you assumed some wiggle room where if the supply chain doesn't come back to 100% by 2Q where commodities run a little bit, you have some leisure, some cushion inside that guidance?

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. So, the guidance was put together, like we always put it together. We try to put it in the middle of the fairway. And certainly there is some upside in the guidance and there is there some risk risk in the guidance, and we've continued to try to put it in the middle of the fairway. From a component standpoint, we've got pretty good visibility now from a component standpoint. I mean, that's been a tough one the last couple of quarters, but it certainly gotten better here recently, and so we're feeling much better about the component side.

On the commodity side, as you know, the business model is such that commodity get passed through to the end customer. There may be a delay of a quarter or so, but we've shown great success over time of passing those commodity increases on, with most recently when the fourth quarter passed, we had the last price increase. Look, with the current commodity environment, I would expect that we'll probably have some additional price adjustments in the first half of the year. So I don't think that's a big risk of the forecast and the model has to pass that through. I would tell you this from an experience standpoint now with the pandemic, we feel much better about being able to operate and operate well in the environment. All over the world we see particular countries close and then reopen and then close and reopen. So I think we've got a pretty good handle on what the consumer does during closing, right after closing, and anything short of a hard retail close quite frankly is pretty good business. During a hard closing, that particular country is certainly soft for a while, but when it comes out of closing, certainly is very robust sales. So I think, we put all that together and felt very comfortable kind of reinstating our guidance, because the environment is not as uncertain as it was this time last year.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Keith Hughes with Truist. Your line is open.

Keith Hughes -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Thank you. Question on the revenue guidance for '21. Obviously, your U.S. -- Your North American is going to be strong. What kind of framework we're looking at for international? Is that business expected to be up in '21 or be a little weaker than that given what's going in Europe?

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I think we are expecting to be up. I think we're trying to be very transparent. Look, like Asia is very good. Asia is all the way back. China is performing. That's it ever performed in China. Look, Asia is back. Barring something unusual, we don't see any issues there and expect very good growth. When you get to Europe, its a little more challenging. Up until recently, we seen from the fourth quarter, obviously from the international numbers, even Europe had a very strong quarter. Look, they're currently in lockdown. Assuming they come out of lock down, it will be fine. But we're expecting international market to grow in the first quarter, even experiencing the lockdowns in Europe. But I do think that probably '22 will be the big year for international, because we'll have considered -- we expect continued growth in Asia, and then we've got new product launches coming into the EU in the European market in 2022. So a little bit of investment year in Europe in 2021, but again we expect growth in the international segment for the year of 2021.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Seth Basham with Wedbush Securities. Your line is open.

Seth Basham -- Wedbush Securities -- Analyst

Thanks a lot, and congratulations on an outstanding year.

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Seth Basham -- Wedbush Securities -- Analyst

I just wanted to follow-up on some of the earlier questions, which is helping us understand what gives you guys the confidence in the sales outlook? And what's driven the acceleration in U.S. sales in the first quarter to date? Is there anything related to new distribution and more penetration with existing accounts like Mattress Firm, backlog reduction, or any other variables, how we should consider that are different relative to recent trends?

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. I'll try it again, and then we'll pass it over to Bhaskar to see if he can do a better job on it since we're not getting -- we're not communicating maybe clearly. Look first off, from the new distribution, it got -- we got it in, and then it got a little bit disrupted because of the pandemic and use the new distribution takes a while to take hold. So look, all of the new distribution that we've gotten over the last 18 months, all those accounts are performing very well. We continue to have some reasonably good size floor shifts in the U.S., and it's about product, and certainly about execution, and it's certainly our investment in advertising. As you might remember, what was it on May -- all right, May of last year kind of in the middle of the pandemic, we made a decision to start investing heavily in advertising to help drive the industry and help the industry work through the pandemic, and those investment have been very good. And they show up not only in our sales, but they show up in our brand health stat that we look at.

Additionally, our -- look our retail stores are doing well. If you look at our direct-to-consumer business worldwide, it's about -- run-rate of about 500 million, as we sit here today. If you go to North America, I believe our North America direct-to-consumer business is now probably the fourth and fifth largest bedding retailer. In the U.S., that continues to be a very good growth segment. And then we look, we stepped out into private label and OEM businesses, which are completely new sectors. The Sherwood acquisition is performing very well from a private label standpoint, that growth has been very good, and its performing above pro forma and above our expectations. And recently, we are working on the OEM area, and it's just getting started, but that's incremental business that's doing well, and we would expect it to continue to do well. Bhaskar, do you have anything to tell?

Bhaskar Rao -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I don't think so.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Bob Drbul with Guggenheim Securities. Your line is open.

Robert Drbul -- Guggenheim Partners -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. Just wondering if you could just maybe elaborate a little more on, as you look at 21, the marketing level or the dollars that you're thinking, and I guess just sort of the trends on what you're seeing from like the cost of advertising? Sort of how you're spending those dollars? Thanks.

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure, I'll start and let Bhaskar finish. First, I guess the point to make is, if you look at the direct online advertising, which is something I always like to talk about because when you talk about online growth, you really should talk about advertising too because they go hand-in-hand. Anybody can a buy business. But cost of customer acquisition costs in the U.S. again fell in the fourth quarter. So, advertising efficiency in our direct business continues to improve. From a media mix standpoint, I think it's going to be, obviously a little heavier television in last year, a good bit of digital, a good bit social, going to lean into Stearns & Foster brand in a little bigger way. But from a dollar standpoint, it will be the largest dollar investment that the company has ever made in advertising. On a rate basis sponsor, how we're going to rate base it. So the way I think about it is, is that, it's all about brand product channel, really got to be out there to support those brands. So our thinking is on a rate basis, on a year-over-year it would be up. However, it's not only about the year now, but investing for the future. So we want to make sure that we are in the hearts and minds of consumer where they're in the market to purchase a mattress. And certainly, we need to be to supportive of the new Sealy launch that we have coming and we're in the process.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Brad Thomas with KeyBanc Capital Markets. Your line is open.

Brad Thomas -- Keybanc Capital Markets Inc. -- Analyst

Thanks, good morning, and congrats on the quarter and our momentum in the business. My question is around how to think about the cadence of sales through the year here in 2021?. You gave commentary on 1Q. It would seem to me that 2Q is set up to be very strong against an easy comparison and with the momentum that you have. Any more color on how to think about how good 2Q could be would be helpful? And then as we think about lapping these really strong growth numbers in 3Q, 4Q, are you expecting growth? Or are there any quarters where at this point we might be thinking about a negative number for revenues? Thanks.

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

A good question. Brad. So the way -- a way to think about it without getting into parsing the quarters. We gave the a way to think about Q1, perhaps consistent with the fourth quarter, you're spot on. As you think about 2Q and the way we think about it is, really 2Q and 3Q together, perhaps there were some pent-up demand that when we exited 2Q that perhaps spilled over in 3Q. So what I would expect is that second quarter be a nice growth year -- or sorry -- nice growth quarter. And as I think about from a full year standpoint, sitting here today, we would expect growth in every quarter. And I think one thing people might be missing is the strength of the distribution wins got muted by the virus. And as as the virus issues cleaned up, those distribution wins have really done well and they set a very solid foundation for the growth that you're seeing in the forecast.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Laura Champine with this capital. Your line is open.

Laura Champine -- Loop Capital -- Analyst

Thanks for taking my question. You've talked in the past about the growth opportunities at Sherwood, which seem significant. Do you think that impacts overall ASP in 2021? Or are the new product introductions strong enough you think to lift ASP overall this year?

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sherwood as an individual business unit, we're expecting significant growth, but its size is such that it's not really material that it would impact the ASP numbers overall as Bhasker had said. It's a new growth leg. But I don't think you'll see it in ASP or really even in gross margin.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Atul Maheswari with UBS. Your line is open.

Atul Maheswari -- UBS -- Analyst

Good morning. Thank you so much for taking my questions. Scott, your EBITDA margins are now back to 2012 levels, which is when I believe you had acquired Sealy. So going forward, do you believe margins can expand further from here? And if so, what would drive those gains? it's more of our three to five-year outlook that you.

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Good good question, it or the other way. As I think about margins and how we manage the businesses, that we're always looking for incremental EBITDA. And as we -- as I think about it is, we said this in the prepared material, is that we would expect product margins to increase within products as well as brands. How are those mix is really up to the consumer. If you think about specifically in 2021, one of the items that we pointed to is that we expect Sealy to become unconstrained in the second quarter and beyond. So that will give us a bit of a headwind from a brand mix standpoint. However, also we called out is -- is that we would expect to invest in advertising, which is from a go-forward standpoint healthy from a brand standpoint. So as I think about our margin opportunity, I would continue to believe that those are opportunity from a Tempur standpoint, also from a direct standpoint, and that should buoy our gross margins and our operating margins. However, most important thing is driving incremental EBITDA.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from William Reuter with Bank of America. Your line is open.

William Reuter -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. So even with more aggressive shareholder friendly activities with the EBITDA growth, you're still going to be well below your target range of 2 to 3 times this year. Are you expecting that there is additional M&A? Or are you doing this out of an abundance of caution, just given the uncertainty of what 2022 or '23 could look like? I guess how should we think about that?

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, great question. Look, I think with the pandemic, we thought it would be prudent to run kind of the lower end of leverage until some of that uncertainty is cleared. Clearly, we're running below target. We'll probably run below target here for a little while longer. Then like always, we will continue to look at opportunities, whether it'd be in share repurchase or whether it be an M&A. With the current market of M&A, it's difficult, and then that there's a lot of money out there, and hard to get to normalized earnings considering the pandemic, but we'll continue to be active. And I think over the next two, three years, there is certainly some M&A activity that you should expect from us. And as the market normalizes, we'll continue to look at our leverage ratio.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Carla Casella with J.P.Morgan. Your line is open.

Carla Casella -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Hi. On the growth of the OEM business, you'll use M&A to get to that. And are there any key manufacturers today that you can call out that you're manufacturing for a brand sale your manufacturing for? Or is it mostly for private brands?

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

There is no M&A activity in that area we need to successfully reach our goals. As you might remember, we had a significant call out on future capex last quarter to stand up some new manufacturing facilities. But we can do all of that internally. As far as calling out private labels, the private labels would be for some of the largest retailers that you've heard of, and in some of the OEM brands we generally keep those quiet, but they are the ones that you've heard of in the marketplace. We continue to talk to others. It's a great business from the standpoint, it allows us to spread our fixed cost, and so we're going to continue to move forward in that area.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Jenna Giannelli with Goldman Sachs. Your line is open.

Jenna Giannelli -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Hi. Thanks for taking my question. This is kind of a follow-on, bills. Given the strength in the balance sheet, the low leverage where it is, have you given any timing? You pointed you have access to the market as you pointed out, but have you given any thought on your rating? And whether it might make sense to go IG? or is that a goal or desire at some point in the future?

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, look, I think, I'd love to be my own rating, I'd probably would rate as a little bit differently, we currently are, but they won't let me do those things. But certainly, I would argue that we do some rerating. As far as investment grade, I don't think there is any strategic reason why we need to be investment grade. So, but, certainly we think our current ratings just probably needs a little bit award.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes Keith Hughes with Truist. Your line is open.

Keith Hughes -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Yes, I just want to follow-up on the product launches, you now launched several -- On the Tempur-Pedic launches in '22, will that be both in Europe and North America? And do you have any feel for price point? What's you're focus on refreshing in them.

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

That would be -- '22 would be international. And in international, you may know -- Tempur is just is not just premium, it is like super premium in the international market and as part of that launch, we're going to try to increase our addressable market internationally. So it's more in line with the market we're going after in the U.S. So that's a '22 Tempur launch internationally. And the initiatives you've got Sealy in the U.S.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Peter Keith with Piper Sandler. Your line is open.

Peter Keith -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Thanks for the follow-up. I just wanted to dig into a bit more on the raw materials. So we're certainly in an environment where there is pretty strong inflation with both chemicals and steel. You guys are kind of downplaying the impact. Guys, could you compared to 2018, which was a year when you saw the dual inflation dynamics and that was a $50 million, $60 million EBITDA headwind. What's different today that's allowing you to minimize the overall impact?

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. First of all, I would probably push back a little bit on downplaying. We totally agree with you that we've got an inflationary environment in most of the inputs in our business. And if we're [Indecipherable] downplaying it, I apologize. What you might have heard is a greater confidence in the ability to pass through the price increase more rapidly. A few years ago, we might have to wait a quarter or two before we get passed through. In the current environment because the inflation is so great and the market is so good, I think what you're hearing is our confidence that we can push through the price increase quicker and not have the negative impact in our financials for a quarter before we pass it through. But, yeah, we're certainly expecting that there is a pass-through to the end consumer in the first half of this year that should mitigate the impact on our financial statements.

Operator

Thank you. This concludes the question-and-answer session. I would now like to turn the call back over to Scott Thompson for closing remarks.

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, operator. To the over 9,000 employees around the world, thank you for what you do every day to make the company successful. To our retail partners, thank you for your outstanding representation of our brands. For our shareholders and lenders, thank you for your confidence in Tempur Sealy's leadership team and the Board of Directors. That ends our call today, Operator. Thanks.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 54 minutes

Call participants:

Aubrey Moore -- Investor Relations

Scott L. Thompson -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Bhaskar Rao -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Curtis Nagle -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Peter Keith -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Bobby Griffin -- Raymond James & Associates, Inc. -- Analyst

Keith Hughes -- Truist Securities -- Analyst

Seth Basham -- Wedbush Securities -- Analyst

Robert Drbul -- Guggenheim Partners -- Analyst

Brad Thomas -- Keybanc Capital Markets Inc. -- Analyst

Laura Champine -- Loop Capital -- Analyst

Atul Maheswari -- UBS -- Analyst

William Reuter -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Carla Casella -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Jenna Giannelli -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

More TPX analysis

All earnings call transcripts

AlphaStreet Logo

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Tempur Sealy International, Inc. Stock Quote
Tempur Sealy International, Inc.
TPX
$25.09 (0.04%) $0.01

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
328%
 
S&P 500 Returns
116%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/19/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.