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Kaman Corp (NYSE:KAMN)
Q1 2021 Earnings Call
May 5, 2021, 8:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good day and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Kaman Corporation First Quarter 2021 Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to turn the conference over to your speaker today, Jamie Coogan, Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Development. Please proceed.

James Coogan -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Development

Good morning. I'd like to welcome everyone to Kaman's first quarter 2021 earnings call. Conducting the call today are, Ian Walsh, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Rob Starr, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin, I'd like to note that some of the information discussed during today's call will consist the forward-looking statements setting forth our current expectations with respect to the future of our business, the economy and other future events. These include projections of revenue, earnings and other financial items, statements on plans and objectives of the company or its management, statements of future economic performance and assumptions underlying these statements regarding the company and its business. The company's actual results could differ materially from those indicated in any forward-looking statements due to many factors. The most important of which are described in the company's latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company's first quarter 2021 results included on Form 10-Q and the current report on Form 8-K filed yesterday evening together with our earnings release.

We also expect to discuss certain information that are non-GAAP measures, as defined in applicable SEC rules and regulations. Reconciliations to the company's GAAP measures are included in the earnings release filed with yesterday's 8-K.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Ian Walsh.

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Jamie. Good morning everyone and thank you for joining our first quarter 2021 earnings call. I'd like to begin today's call with a brief summary of the quarter, followed by operational updates in our key product categories and an update on a couple of R&D efforts. I will then turn the call over to Rob for a more detailed discussion of our financial results for the quarter.

Relative to our internal plan and the guidance we detailed on our fourth quarter call, we are off to a good start in 2021 with sales of $171.6 million and earnings per diluted share of $0.29. These results were modestly ahead of our expectations, particularly on the profit line, which benefited from the timing of customer deliveries, a favorable closeout of Option 14 of our JPF USG contract and strong cost control efforts. Compared to the prior-year, net sales declined 17.2% with organic sales down 14.5%. This was expected as we anticipated fewer deliveries this quarter for our JPF program and our Commercial Aviation products faced a tough comp versus Q1 2020, which was minimally impacted by the pandemic. These declines were partially offset by recoveries in demand for our Medical and Industrial products.

Our first quarter adjusted EBITDA was $17.1 million or 10% of sales, up 70 basis points sequentially, but down 260 basis points from the prior-year period, which again was mainly impacted by the pandemic. The lower year-over-year profit performance was largely the result of lower sales volume on our higher margin Commercial and General Aviation products coupled with an unfavorable mix of JPF deliveries in the current quarter. Recall in 2020 first quarter JPF volume was weighted to our higher margin DCS orders. Despite lower sales, our first quarter results benefited from our comprehensive cost control efforts, with adjusted SG&A as a percentage of sales remaining flat sequentially.

Turning to our product offerings and beginning with our Specialty Bearings products. As anticipated sales were down compared to the first quarter of 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. Our Self-Lubricating Bearings continue to be impacted by pandemic as they are sensitive to Commercial Aerospace volumes. This headwind was partially offset by recoveries in our Industrial Bearings led by strong performance from our Miniature Bearings and Engine Aftermarket components and we expect the strength in these two product categories to continue through the remainder of 2021. Furthermore, as commercial airline traffic begins to rebound and has vaccination rates rise in the United States, we anticipate a significant ramp in sales for our Commercial Bearings products, which will be weighted toward the second half of the year.

Sales for our springs, seals and contacts remained relatively flat this quarter when compared to the prior year, but are well ahead of the pandemic lows as evidenced by sequential increase in sales of 36%. Importantly, Medical sales in the first quarter of 2021 for these products are now at or approaching pre-pandemic levels and our order rate support an expected increase in elective surgeries, which we expect to benefit our Medical and clinical [Phonetic] products for the balance of the year. Similar to Bearings, we continue to expect improved performance for these products for the balance of 2021, particularly in the second half.

Turning to our Joint Programmable Fuze program. We delivered approximately 8,100 fuzes during the quarter, below the 10,000 units we delivered in the prior year with less favorable profit contribution due to the mix of USG and DCS fuzes. We are on plan to deliver 30,000 fuses to 35,000 fuses this year, consistent with historical delivery levels for this product.

Looking at our K-MAX program. We delivered one aircraft during the period and for the full year, we continue to expect to sell four aircrafts in total. We remain optimistic about the prospects for both our manned and unmanned K-MAX programs and in April we completed the first test flight of our new unmanned helicopter the K-MAX TITAN.

Our results for the first quarter represent a strong start to 2021, as we look ahead, we have continued confidence in our performance than the expected ramp-up as we move through the year based on a meaningful recovery in our Commercial Aviation business in the second half.

Before turning the call over to Rob, I would also like to provide an update on some of our R&D initiatives. As we outlined initially as part of our Industrial Distribution divestiture in 2019, we saw a tremendous opportunity to refocus our efforts to build a lean and efficient command that drives shareholder value through innovation, which has been at the core of our culture throughout a rich 75-year history. We have diligently been investing in various R&D projects and I'm pleased to provide an update on two exciting opportunities we have been working on. First, during the quarter, we opened our new production cell for products manufactured using our proprietary Titanium Diffused Hardening process or TDH. With our unique TDH process, we're able to provide highly efficient, high load components using this lightweight material that provides both improved durability and reduction for our customers. While our initial efforts are focused on marketing this technology to our core Aerospace and Defense customers, we are encouraged by initial feedback from prospective industrial and medical customers. We believe this type of innovation will prove to be a meaningful driver and strong differentiator for Kaman. And I would like to congratulate the development team for its incredible efforts in bringing this product to market.

Second, we continue to make investments in the development of our unmanned, autonomous cargo technology. As mentioned earlier, we completed the first test flight of our new unmanned autonomous K-MAX TITAN in April. This system is designed for rugged applications with lift capability of up to 6,000 pounds. This test advances our position as a leader in unmanned lift allowing both our commercial and military customers the ability to operate autonomously in any location or weather. In addition to our heavy lift aircraft, we recognize the opportunity we have to leverage our core software technology and we've begun development of a new air lift application, which will serve a much wider addressable market. This next generation purpose-built UAS, addresses medium lift, duty lift requirements and is expected to provide a potential for substantially higher unit volumes. To support this effort in coordination with our customers, we had committed an incremental $3.5 million in additional R&D spend in 2021. Although it is a bit early to disclose specifics, we believe, each of these initiatives has the capability to be meaningful contributors to our overall product portfolio in the coming years and we look forward to updating investors on developments in the coming quarters.

Now I will turn the call over to Rob for a closer look at the numbers. Rob?

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Ian, and good morning everyone. Today I will walk you through our first quarter results before turning to our outlook for the remainder of 2021. During the first quarter, net sales from continuing operations were $171.6 million, down 17.2% when compared to $207.3 million in the prior year. Organic sales, which excludes sales associated with our former UK operation decreased 14.5%. As expected, our first quarter results were impacted by the adverse effects of COVID-19 on our commercial aerospace products and lower JPF DCS volumes, partially offset by an increase in our industrial markets and favorable performance on our JPF USG contract as we closed out our Option 14 contract. As Ian has commented, we are pleased to see both our Medical and Industrial end markets begin to recover as economic activity rebounds and COVID-19 vaccines continue to rollout.

Turning to our end markets. Defense sales were down 20.2% in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the year ago period and down 10.7% sequentially. The decrease was driven by fewer overall deliveries of our Joint Programmable Fuze and the mix of USG and DCS sales. The result was in line with our expectations as the prior year included higher volumes of DCS fuzes and reflects the quarterly fluctuations we normally see in our JPF program. As expected sales in the commercial business and general aviation markets were 24.2% lower when compared to the year-ago period and down 15% sequentially. While we continue to forecast sales of our commercial aviation products to recover through the first half of the year, we expect a more meaningful rebound in the back half of 2021. In addition our diverse product portfolio and broad range of platforms we support in general and business aviation are expected to partially offset these declines.

Sales in our Medical end markets were relatively flat compared to the prior year period and increased sequentially 22.8%. We anticipate continue to recovery in this market over the course of the year and are encouraged by the order rates we have seen for these products. Finally, sales in our Industrial end markets were up 9.5% from the year ago period and 5.8% sequentially, driven by improved demand for our Miniature Bearings. We have seen strong order rates for these products as overall global economic conditions continue to improve.

Gross margin for the quarter was 30.8% compared to the 32.7% in the prior year period. The 190 basis point decrease over the first quarter 2020 was primarily driven by the sales mix of JPF which was weighted more heavily to our higher margin DCS sales in the prior year.

SG&A for the period decreased $16 million from the first quarter of 2020 and more importantly decreased $4 million sequentially. As a percentage of sales, SG&A was 26.2%, a 10 basis point decrease from the fourth quarter of 2020. Restructuring and severance expenses in the period was $1.4 million compared to $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2020, as we continue to take actions to manage our cost structure and drive improved profitability.

Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations in the first quarter was $17.1 million or 10% of sales, compared to $26.2 million or 12.6% of sales in the first quarter of the prior year. Sequentially, our efforts to maintain gross margin while controlling SG&A allowed us to improve our adjusted EBITDA margins on the lower sales volume we saw in the first quarter. We continue to closely manage our cost structure and are continually evaluating our business for cost reduction opportunities while ensuring we continue to make incremental IR&D investments on some of our key programs to drive future growth.

On a consolidated basis, we recorded operating income of $5.6 million compared to an operating loss of $4.4 million in the first quarter of the prior year. This result was impacted by lower TSA costs and the absence of non-recurring costs associated with our Bal Seal acquisition. As mentioned previously, with the sale of distribution, we agreed to provide certain services during the transition period. We have substantially completed all of these activities during the first quarter of 2021 and expect final close out of this agreement in the near term.

We recorded diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.29 on a GAAP and net adjusted basis compared to a diluted loss per share of $0.01 or $0.48 earnings on an adjusted basis in the prior year. The adjustments in the current quarter included restructuring, severance -- and severance costs associated with the sale of our distribution and the finalization of the loss on our sale of our UK composites business.

During the quarter we had free cash flow usage of $7.1 million compared to a usage of $61 million in the prior-year period. When adjusted for the $25 million retention payment made to Bal Seal employees in the first quarter, we generated adjusted free cash flow of $18 million. Our results benefited from improved collections in the quarter, more specifically, the receipt of approximately $53 million in payments on outstanding JPF receivables.

Our full year outlook for 2021 remains unchanged from our prior expectations, inclusive of the $3.5 million of additional R&D expenses associated with the development of our unmanned technologies Ian mentioned earlier. We are encouraged by our performance in the first quarter and see positive signs, which provide confidence in the expected recovery in the back half of the year.

With that I will turn the call back over to Ian.

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Rob. While the end markets we serve continued to recover from the impact of the global pandemic, we performed well in the first quarter and delivered results above our internal expectations. We remain focused on implementing our operational excellence model across all our businesses. This is designed to drive improved EBITDA margin, free cash flow and return on invested capital and we are starting to see positive results. We are poised to meaningfully improve consolidated performance as the year progresses, particularly in the back half of the year as volume of many of our highest margin products begin to accelerate. As a result, we are on the path to a leaner cost structure with higher profitability and with an even stronger portfolio of businesses and product lines. Our continued R&D development efforts will allow us to accelerate our growth strategies in the coming years.

I will now turn the call back to Jamie.

James Coogan -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Development

Thanks, Ian. Operator, may we have the first question please.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Technical Issues]

James Coogan -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Development

Hi, Steve.

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Oh, hi. I didn't hear an announcement. Yes, so good. Thanks. Ian, you said, each of the three initiatives you mentioned could be meaningful contributors over time. Could you rank those by timing and market opportunity to just help us frame up reasonable expectations for the benefits?

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, yes. Steve, I can. And I -- you said three, I was talking about two. I'm not sure what the third is...

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

The TDH and the TITAN right? I'm sorry. Yes.

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, so TDH right now is like I said, we've got the first cell certified. This has been in work for several years, very strong engineering around it, proprietary level of material science. This year is very marginal. We're just introducing a certain customers. We've got some, a little bit of incremental sales in there, but nothing significant. I would say that's more of a medium term, that's in the next two to three years to really see that ramp-up significantly. When it comes to the other two, which K-MAX, the TITAN program, that testing and development and funding by the Marine Corps is in work this year. Like I said, we just had our first successful test flight. We've got a big demo later in the year. Timing wise, hard to tell, but probably by the end of next year is when we want to see significant -- or not significant, but kind of better level of funding to take it to the next level of development, an operational prove out.

The other opportunity to me is something that, again, we are -- this is not concept stuff, we are already in the development phase. I think that's also a situation where we're funding that internally this year and next year with the intent that the services will then partner with us by the end of next year going into year three and four. So we are in a five-year window on that opportunity we expect to see sales.

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Got it. And this may be a tough question to answer, but as you've come to understand the portfolio and just how you're thinking about potential M&A. How are you thinking about longer term organic growth? Is this steady low single-digit growth with some M&A on top or do you envision this portfolio being more mid to high single-digit growth given your end market exposures. Just trying to get a sense for reasonable expectations.

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

No, I understand. I think it depends on the market and it's hard to tell right now in the segments that we're in. So for example, I think everybody understands kind of where defense sits in the cycles that that goes through. I think for us it's on the relative to the two initiatives I just talked about, that's going to drive some I think higher level sales for us in the near to longer term, longer term being a three to five-year window. The commercial business I think is going to recover very nicely. Again, we're still waiting for Q2 to see how things play out, but we're very optimistic and very encouraged by what we're seeing so far.

I think what we're going to see stronger low double-digit growth is in the Medical side. If you look at kind of the trends right now and the market reports we're getting, we've got a little bit of content on pacemakers, for example, but we've got significant content on neurotransmitters and that's a segment that the -- again, our businesses feel very comfortable is going to be growing in anywhere from a 9% to 11% range over the next five years. In Industrial, I think somewhere in that same neighborhood, quite frankly, that's where we're going to see better growth in the next three to five years.

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

That's really good detail. And I guess just as you net that out, do you -- does that bring the portfolio back to kind of low to mid single digits, just organically on a normalized basis?

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, I kind of predict more of a kind of higher single digit performance on average.

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

That's great. And last one from me and more near term. You said Bearings and spring seals and contacts should much have a -- have a much better back half. Do you expect both 3Q and 4Q can be up year-over-year, or is that more likely just 4Q given how you see the ramp?

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I look at the numbers a little bit closer. I think we're probably going to be year-over-year, perhaps a little bit better depending on how the ramp goes. But that's hard to tell right now.

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes, Steve, this is Rob. I think we're certainly, the second half relative to first half, we're expecting a very significant ramp in particular on the commercial markets. If you look at our order rates sequentially in those markets relative to where we were in the fourth quarter we are seeing very significant levels of growth both in our Medical and Commercial markets and really across all of the units within our Specialty Bearings. So we're very encouraged by that. So, I think just following up on what Ian was mentioning, we do expect to see kind of year-over-year improvements in the back half of the year and some of that will also come down to timing of K-MAX deliveries.

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Right.

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

That will also play a meaningful role. And as you know, given the sale point there that can move the needle plus, minus.

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

All right, thanks.

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Steve.

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Steve.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our next question comes from Pete Skibitski with Alembic Global. Your line is open.

Pete Skibitski -- Alembic Global -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, Ian, Rob and Jamie. Hey, guys. I just want to get a little bit better feel for the second quarter. So we've got this kind of a 11% sequential drop in backlog here, part of it was JPF I guess running off. I think part of it, another big chunk looks to be Bearings kind of running down. Are you expecting backlog to grow in the second quarter and because new Bearings orders coming in and are you expecting sales to be up sequentially also up in the first quarter?

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes, Pete, this is Rob. A couple of things. Our current expectation is to see improvement in Q2 over Q1. That is our expectation. The other thing to keep in mind is as we transition our portfolio over time toward -- on the Bearings side as well as when we think about our business with Bal Seal in that market, those are much shorter lead cycle businesses in general. So what I can tell you is that, sequentially we did see order rates up very significantly in both of those and we don't see anything that -- expect that to continue as we roll through the balance of the year. As a matter of fact for Q2, we feel pretty good about the outlook for the quarter, just given the visibility we have, right. We're sitting here in early May. We haven't -- we have not rolled up April results as yet, but certainly in our reviews with the P&L leads, we remain confident in our forecast, which is why we're holding the outlook at this point.

Pete Skibitski -- Alembic Global -- Analyst

Okay. Okay. So the lead times are so short on these Bearings and Medical products that you can book and ship it within the quarter and we wouldn't never even see it at the end of quarter backlog is what you're saying?

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

That's correct. I mean, there are certain orders [Indecipherable] that certainly will go over quarter ends, but yes, we absolutely see within quarter orders and ship. Yes.

Pete Skibitski -- Alembic Global -- Analyst

Okay. And the other one, I feel like I'm reading a lot about the Biden administration having done its review of Middle East weapon sales. It seems like they're looking to kind of lift restrictions pretty quickly here from what I'm seeing. Are you guys seeing that? Are your -- the restrictions on your Fuze orders in the Middle East, do you expect to be lifted and would that be upside to revenue this year. Can you -- do you guys have a good sense of what's going on?

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, I think we're seeing the same things Pete and again certain countries are different relationships, not to go into each country per say, but to your point, and I've seen this before this exact same cycle and I think I know I said this the last time. My expectation is that you go through about a eight to nine month window of kind of -- everybody kind of pausing, franking down the things and then they start to loosen up, because there are significant relationships we have. Certain countries have already reorganized and they are reestablishing relationships with new administration. So I'm encouraged by that. Again these are orders that haven't been canceled, they've just been on hold. So I would be -- my sense is that this year, I think it's probably 50-50 depending on what happens, but certainly by next year, those things will start to open up again.

Pete Skibitski -- Alembic Global -- Analyst

Okay. Okay now that's helpful. I appreciate it. And then just last one from me. I guess, do you guys have a sense of -- obviously, we've still got a lot of 737 MAXs that Boeing has to deliver from its own inventory. Do you guys have a sense of, if there is a lot of your own product still in the supply chain that needs to be shipped still, or do you get the sense that for your product in particular, the supply -- the destocking has occurred and so particularly for narrow-body aircraft you're going to see that strong demand come through kind of in the back half of the year? Is that how you guys are thinking or give us some additional color on that.

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes, Pete, this is Rob. I mean we have seen a level of sequential improvement in our 737 MAX orders, granted at lower levels than where we had been certainly before the pandemic and before Boeing had their issues with 737 MAX. We do anticipate as Boeing begin their ramp toward 31 a month, which they expect to achieve in the early part of next year that we will see certainly a back half of the year improvements in 737 MAX. And we have very good content on that platform.

And to your point, the rebound in commercial, whether it'd be Boeing, whether it'd be Airbus is going to play in particular, as the narrow bodies. I think people are generally expecting kind of flat, let's call it on 787 or A350 about five per month. Those expectations have not changed. Boeing is I think hopefully going to be able to clear that 787 issues relatively quickly as it relates to some of the surface issue that they're working with spirit [Phonetic] on. I mean that shouldn't be a long-term issue. So we remain very encouraged by how things are playing out, and of course, how the pandemic plays out, how the vaccine rollout unfolds and what that really means will be a large factor in how this plays out through the balance of 2021.

Pete Skibitski -- Alembic Global -- Analyst

All right. Okay, thanks for the color, guys.

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Pete.

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Pete.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Seth Seifman with JPMorgan. Your line is open.

Seth Seifman -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Great. Thanks very much and good morning everyone. I guess on the JPF, it looks like the deliveries in the quarter kind of annualized to something that that's in the guidance range. As we move through the year, a, kind of how does the mix change? And then b, having reached the end of one of the lots, when do you expect the next order to come in?

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, Seth. The first part of your question, to your point, the first quarter was a different mix. The rest of the year will be a shift. It will be more DCS, which is nicely going in sight to all of that like we said, Option 14 ended last year. Option 15 is in play. Now it goes into 2022 Option 16 that we're working on this year will take us into 2023 and that's just USG side FMS. And we still have a range of opportunities that we're working on for DCS. DCS again is, and I've said this before, it's a little bit different dynamic, still encouraging because those orders are lower volumes, the cycle time around those is shorter. We're trying to -- they try keeping around the congressional notification level, so plenty of folks in the pipeline, we talked about the administration that position on that. We anticipate that loosening up a little bit. So yes, you'll see that shift be favorable in the second half of the year.

Seth Seifman -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Right. And are those Options 15 and 16 -- are those in the backlog?

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So yes. So Option, Seth this is Rob. Option 15 is in the backlog. Option 16 is not. We currently expect the Option 16 award to occur in the second half of this year and as Ian mentioned that will take production to 2023.

Seth Seifman -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Okay. Okay, great. And then one thing, I guess since the Medical piece of the business, a lot of incremental piece that came in with Bal Seal right around the time of the pandemic and backed up to almost flat year-on-year. When you think about where sort of a normal run rate is for that business, where is that relative to sort of this low 20s per quarter that we saw in Q1 '20 and Q1 '21?

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. So Seth, good question. I would say, certainly as we indicated we're kind of back to kind of, let's call it pre-pandemic levels. There is some work to be done. There is still -- even though the elective surgeries and other procedures are rebounding, they are still below what we would have forecasted, let's call it a year ago, right? Just given there is still some reluctance for people to visit their physicians, COVID is still very much a factor. When we bought Bal Seal and we certainly continue to view it this way. Over the long-term, we expect that business to deliver, let's call it, high single-digit growth year-over-year. And so, to me, that is really the long-term perspective. We have the right BD efforts, product development efforts and so we feel very confident with that business on long-term, where it's going. Yes. And Seth just talking with the teams recently in looking, we've actually got a cycle of strategic business reviews coming up which is going to be exciting for us this month, but the market in the US seems to be recovering a lot faster. The Pacific Rim, Asia-Pacific actually is also a very strong growing market. The addressable market for Bal Seal is massive. So we're excited to see them really amp up their top line over the next couple of years.

Seth Seifman -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Great, thanks. And then maybe just as the last one, what are you seeing out on the M&A landscape? Is it, I guess, kind of how difficult is it to make progress on transactions before we see kind of more normalized type of numbers from companies coming out of the pandemic and how does that pipeline look?

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

For us, certainly the M&A piece is important for us. We've redefined slightly our filters. We're really looking hard at I think a lot of great opportunities. Our funnel, to your point is relatively full. And so we've got some exciting opportunities out there. Certainly some things in the near term that we're very excited about. We continue to assess them. We want to make sure that they're hitting all the right criteria around free cash flow and conversion and EBITDA margin and that ROIC over time. So we're not going to just go after anything for the sake of going after something, we really want to fit into the strategy of our business, which is really in a highly engineered parts which we talked about and again the pipeline so far looks great and we continue to assess it and we're excited about what's to come.

Seth Seifman -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Excellent, thanks very much.

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Seth.

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks Seth.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our next question is a follow-up from Steve Barger with KeyBanc Capital Markets. Your line is open.

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks. Going back to the orders that are on hold, if that opens up, do you have the capacity to ramp-up right away or would it take you a while to work those back into the production schedule?

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

We do. We have the capacity. The folks at both of our sites have done a very nice job. Certainly our facility down in Florida, massive lean effort, we've redone the lines. So the efficiency and productivity is very strong right now and should those orders come in we do have the ability to ramp up.

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay. And I know you've been adding resources to the M&A team and you just said, you've reworked some of the filters. Can you just talk about what some of those filters or gating factors are that you're having the team focus on for deals that are going to take it to the next level of diligence?

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, in terms of the filters, we really looked at it from -- I mean the criteria we currently had was solid. We went through an exercise that I described before, a very strong exercise, we really looked at the portfolio of our businesses. We looked at the things that really provide that total shareholder return statistically, relative to our peer groups. We've mapped that into our filters. So depending on what side of the business we're looking at or what type of business we really want to understand, what it takes to get the top quartile performance over a five-year window, and that's, that's really the centered target for us. And there is a plenty of I think opportunities that fit that criteria which we're looking at right now.

And again, back to the price of those, the multiple around it, the synergies that we think we can achieve. Those are all part of that we have and improve the capability of our M&A team to look at those things. And we'll see how it plays out here in the near term.

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

And I know you can never predict the timing of M&A, but it's clearly a focus for you right? Is it fair to say, you'd be disappointed if you can't close a deal in the next few quarters?

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I think that's fair.

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Steve, just one thing that I -- this is Rob. I would just want to make sure that's very clear is, our broader capital deployment priorities are unchanged, right. We've been very clear that M&A will play a very integral role and as Ian mentioned we will retain our discipline there. So the pipeline is active, but we are also looking at internal investments, obviously return of capital to shareholders continues to play an important part of the overall return picture for our investors. So we remain just highly disciplined in this effort.

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Understood, thanks.

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Steve.

Operator

Thank you. And I'm currently showing no further questions at this time, I would turn the call back over to Jamie Coogan for closing remarks.

James Coogan -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Development

Great. Thank you for joining us on today's conference call. We look forward to speaking with you again when we report our second quarter results.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 37 minutes

Call participants:

James Coogan -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Development

Ian K. Walsh -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Robert D. Starr -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Steve Barger -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Pete Skibitski -- Alembic Global -- Analyst

Seth Seifman -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

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