Bemis Co Inc Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
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Description of the company
Bemis Company, Inc., a Missouri corporation (the “Registrant” or “Company”), continues a business formed in 1858. We were incorporated in 1885 as Bemis Bro. Bag Company with the name changed to Bemis Company, Inc. in 1965. We are a global manufacturer of packaging products.
Our long-term strategic objectives are to accelerate growth, focus innovation, and continuously improve. During 2017, we launched Agility, our three-pronged approach to fix, strengthen, and grow our business. Our vision is: passionate commitment to the growth and success of our customers will make Bemis the clear choice for inspired packaging solutions.
The majority of our products are sold to customers in the food industry. Other customers include companies in the following types of businesses: chemical, agribusiness, medical, pharmaceutical, personal care, electronics, industrial, and other consumer goods. Further information about our operations in our business segments and geographic areas is available in Note 21 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately 16,500 employees worldwide. Approximately 8,100 of these employees were in the U.S., with approximately 41 percent of the 5,800 hourly production employees covered by collective bargaining agreements involving six different unions. Of the approximately 8,400 employees who were outside the U.S., over half of the hourly production employees and some of the salaried workforce are covered by collective bargaining agreements and are represented by numerous unions.
Working capital fluctuates throughout the year in relation to business volume and other marketplace conditions. We maintain inventory levels that provide a reasonable balance between obtaining raw materials at favorable prices and maintaining adequate inventory levels to enable us to fulfill our commitment to promptly fill customer orders. Manufacturing backlogs are not a significant factor in the industries in which we operate. The business of each of the reportable segments is not seasonal to any material extent.
We are the owner or licensee of a number of United States and foreign patents and patent applications that relate to certain of our products, manufacturing processes, and equipment. We also have a number of trademarks and trademark registrations in the United States and in foreign countries. Our patents, licenses, and trademarks collectively provide a competitive advantage. However, the loss of any single patent or license alone would not have a material adverse effect on our results as a whole or those of any of our segments.
Our business activities are organized around our three reportable business segments, U.S. Packaging (65 percent of 2017 net sales) , Latin America Packaging (18 percent) and Rest of World Packaging (17 percent). A summary of our business activities reported by our three reportable business segments follows.
U.S. Packaging Segment
The U.S. Packaging segment represents all food, consumer, and industrial products packaging-related manufacturing operations located in the United States. This segment manufactures multilayer polymer, blown and cast film structures which are then converted to produce packaging for processed and fresh meat, dairy, liquids, frozen foods, cereals, snacks, cheese, coffee, condiments, candy, pet food, bakery, lawn and garden, tissue, fresh produce, personal care and hygiene, disposable diapers, and agribusiness.
Latin America Packaging Segment
The Latin America Packaging segment includes all food and non-food packaging-related manufacturing operations located in Latin America. This segment manufactures multilayer polymer, blown and cast film structures to produce packaging sold for a variety of food, medical, pharmaceutical, personal care, electronics, and industrial applications. Additional products include injection molded and thermoformed plastic as well as folding carton packaging. These packaging solutions are used for a variety of applications including processed and fresh meat, dairy, liquids, snacks, cheese, coffee, condiments, candy, bakery, tissue, fresh produce, personal care and hygiene, disposable diapers, pet food, pharmaceutical, and medical devices.
Rest of World Packaging Segment
The Rest of World Packaging segment includes all food and non-food packaging-related manufacturing operations located in Europe and Asia-Pacific as well as medical device and pharmaceutical packaging-related manufacturing operations in
the U.S., Europe, and Asia. This segment manufactures multilayer polymer, blown and cast film structures to produce packaging sold for a variety of food, medical, pharmaceutical, personal care, electronics, and industrial applications. These applications include processed and fresh meat, dairy, liquids, snacks, cheese, coffee, condiments, candy, bakery, tissue, fresh produce, personal care and hygiene, pharmaceutical, and medical devices.
Marketing, Distribution, and Competition
While our sales are made through a variety of distribution channels, substantially all sales are made by our direct sales force. Sales offices and plants are located throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific to provide prompt and economical service to thousands of customers. Our technically trained sales force is supported by product development engineers, design technicians, field service technicians, and a customer service organization.
Sales to the Kraft Heinz Company, and its subsidiaries, accounted for approximately 10 and 11 percent of our sales in 2017 and 2016, respectively. Business arrangements with them and certain large customers require a large portion of the manufacturing capacity at a few individual manufacturing sites. Any change in the business arrangement would typically occur over a period of time, which would allow for an orderly transition for both our manufacturing sites and the customer.
The major markets in which we sell our products historically have been, and continue to be, highly competitive. Areas of competition include service, innovation, quality, and price. This competition is significant as to both the size and the number of competing firms. Competitors include Amcor Limited, Berry Global Group, Inc., Bryce Corporation, Coveris Holdings S.A., Printpack, Inc., Sealed Air Corporation, Sonoco Products Company, Wipak OY, Winpak Ltd, and a variety of other privately held companies.
We consider ourselves to be a significant participant in the markets in which we serve; however, due to the diversity of our business, our precise competitive position in these markets is not reasonably determinable. Advertising is limited primarily to business and trade publications emphasizing our product features and related technical capabilities.
Polymer resins and films, paper, inks, adhesives, aluminum, and chemicals constitute the major raw materials we use. These are purchased from a variety of global industry sources, and we are not significantly dependent on any one supplier for our raw materials. While temporary industry-wide shortages of raw materials may occur, we expect to continue to successfully manage raw material supplies without significant supply interruptions. Currently, raw materials are readily available.
Our operations and the real property we own or lease are subject to broad environmental laws and regulations by multiple jurisdictions. These laws and regulations pertain to the discharge of certain materials into the environment, handling and disposition of waste, and cleanup of contaminated soil and ground water as well as various other protections of the environment. We believe that we are in substantial compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations based on implementation of our Environmental, Health, and Safety Management System and regular audits. However, we cannot predict with certainty that we will not in the future incur liability with respect to noncompliance with environmental laws and regulations due to contamination of sites formerly or currently owned or operated by us (including contamination caused by prior owners and operators of such sites) or the off-site disposal of regulated materials, which could be material. In addition, these laws and regulations are constantly changing, and we cannot always anticipate these changes.