Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Mar 22, 2018 • 05:00 pm ET
Selling and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenue were 28.3% in the fourth quarter, compared to 28.6% in last year's fourth quarter. SG&A benefited from favorable workers' compensation claims experience. In addition, we are getting leverage from increased revenue covering fixed costs.
Our effective tax rate on continuing operations for the fourth quarter benefited from the new US tax legislation. The effective tax rate excluding G&K integration expenses was 22.1%. Our EPS guidance for fiscal 2019 assumes an effective tax rate of 21.7%. Note that the effective tax rate will fluctuate from quarter-to-quarter based on tax reserve builds and releases relating to discrete items, including the amount of stock compensation benefits in each period.
Our cash and equivalents balance as of May 31st was $138 million. Free cash flow in fiscal '18 was $692 million, an increase of $201 million, or 41% from the prior year period.
Capital expenditures for fiscal '18 were $271 million. Our CapEx by operating segment for the year was as follows: $225 million in Uniform Rental and Facility Services; $28 million in First Aid and Safety; and $18 million in All Other. We expect fiscal '19 CapEx to be in the range of $290 million to $320 million.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal '18, we repatriated about $110 million of international cash. We use the funds to pay down debts into buy back stock. In the quarter, we purchased about $90 million in Cintas stock and $410 million remained on the share buyback authorization approved by the Board of Directors. As of May 31st, total debt was $2,535 million. At May 31st, our leverage was 2.1 times debt-to-EBITDA. As Mike stated earlier, when we acquired G&K, less than 18 months ago, we committed to return our leverage to a target of about two times in three years. We are pleased to have delivered on this commitment, well ahead of expectations. We are excited to have returned to our historical priorities for deployment of cash, which our CapEx, acquisitions, dividend payments and share repurchases.
That concludes our prepared remarks. We are happy to answer your questions.