Distributor Cintas Corporation (PPAI 303547, D12) has released results for its fiscal 2021 third quarter, which ended February 28. The Cincinnati, Ohio-headquartered company reports revenue for the quarter was $1.78 billion compared to $1.81 billion in last year’s third quarter. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $2.37 in the third quarter of fiscal 2021, an increase of 9.7 percent from last year's third-quarter diluted EPS.

"The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues, and it remains a significant disruption to the economy,” says Scott D. Farmer, Cintas' chairman and CEO. “COVID-19 case counts surged early in our third quarter and the economy slowed considerably. We were further challenged in the quarter by severe winter weather which caused extensive energy blackouts in the U.S. Fortunately, after peaking in January, COVID-19 case counts decreased even more quickly than they had increased. Widespread business restrictions were not imposed and demand for personal protective equipment remained strong, positioning us to exceed our financial expectations."

Cintas’ reports that organic revenue growth rate for the third quarter of fiscal 2021, which is adjusted for the impacts of acquisitions, divestitures, foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations and differences in the number of workdays, was flat. Its organic revenue growth rate for the Uniform Rental and Facility Services operating segment was also flat, while organic revenue for the First Aid and Safety Services operating segment increased 17.7 percent.

The company’s gross margin for third quarter was $809.5 million compared to $824.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. Gross margin as a percentage of revenue increased 10 basis points to 45.6 percent for the quarter compared to 45.5 percent last year. Operating income for the quarter of $326.5 million increased 3.8 percent compared to third quarter last year, which was $314.7 million. Operating income as a percentage of revenue increased 100 basis points to 18.4 percent compared to 17.4 percent last year. Net income from continuing operations was $258.4 million for third quarter fiscal 2021, an increase of 10.2 percent from last year's third quarter net income from continuing operations of $234.5 million.

Farmer adds, “For our fiscal fourth quarter, we expect revenue to be in the range of $1.80 billion to $1.83 billion and diluted EPS to be in the range of $2.20 to $2.40. This financial guidance does not include any future share buybacks or additional restrictions on businesses due to increasing COVID-19 case counts.”