Company Quick10K Filing
Quick10K
Illinois Tool Works
Closing Price ($) Shares Out (MM) Market Cap ($MM)
$143.61 332 $47,650
10-K 2018-12-31 Annual: 2018-12-31
10-Q 2018-09-30 Quarter: 2018-09-30
10-Q 2018-06-30 Quarter: 2018-06-30
10-Q 2018-03-30 Quarter: 2018-03-30
10-K 2017-12-31 Annual: 2017-12-31
10-Q 2017-09-30 Quarter: 2017-09-30
10-Q 2017-06-30 Quarter: 2017-06-30
10-Q 2017-03-31 Quarter: 2017-03-31
10-K 2016-12-31 Annual: 2016-12-31
10-Q 2016-09-30 Quarter: 2016-09-30
10-Q 2016-06-30 Quarter: 2016-06-30
10-Q 2016-03-31 Quarter: 2016-03-31
10-K 2015-12-31 Annual: 2015-12-31
8-K 2019-02-14 Other Events, Exhibits
8-K 2019-02-01 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-12-21 Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-10-24 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-07-23 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-05-04 Shareholder Vote
8-K 2018-04-26 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-01-24 Earnings, Exhibits
ETN Eaton
TRMB Trimble
NDSN Nordson
CW Curtiss Wright
AEIS Advanced Energy Industries
CUB Cubic
TNC Tennant
PLUG Plug Power
HPJ Highpower International
POLA Polar Power
ITW 2018-12-31
Part I
Item 1. Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary
EX-21 itw-20181231xex21.htm
EX-23 itw-20181231xex23.htm
EX-24 itw-20181231xex24.htm
EX-31 itw-20181231xex31.htm
EX-32 itw-20181231xex32.htm

Illinois Tool Works Earnings 2018-12-31

ITW 10K Annual Report

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

10-K 1 itw-20181231x10k.htm 10-K Document


UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018
OR
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                    to                    
Commission file number 1-4797
ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
 
Delaware
 
36-1258310
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
 
 
155 Harlem Avenue, Glenview, Illinois
 
60025
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
 
(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (847) 724-7500
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class
 
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock
 
New York Stock Exchange
1.75% Euro Notes due 2022
 
New York Stock Exchange
1.25% Euro Notes due 2023
 
New York Stock Exchange
2.125% Euro Notes due 2030
 
New York Stock Exchange
3.00% Euro Notes due 2034
 
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes   x    No  o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
Yes  o    No  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Yes  x    No  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Yes  x    No  o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer
x
Accelerated filer
o
Non-accelerated filer
o  
Smaller reporting company
o
Emerging growth company
o
 
 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Yes  o    No  x
The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2018 was approximately $43.5 billion based on the New York Stock Exchange closing sales price as of June 30, 2018.
Shares of Common Stock outstanding at January 31, 2019: 328,108,383.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Portions of the 2019 Proxy Statement for Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on May 3, 2019.
 
Part III




 
Table of Contents
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 





PART I

ITEM 1. Business

General

Illinois Tool Works Inc. (the "Company" or "ITW") was founded in 1912 and incorporated in 1915. The Company's ticker symbol is ITW. The Company is a global manufacturer of a diversified range of industrial products and equipment with 87 divisions in 55 countries. As of December 31, 2018, the Company employed approximately 48,000 people.

The Company's operations are organized and managed based on similar product offerings and end markets, and are reported to senior management as the following seven segments: Automotive OEM; Food Equipment; Test & Measurement and Electronics; Welding; Polymers & Fluids; Construction Products; and Specialty Products. The following is a description of the Company's seven segments:

Automotive OEMThis segment is a global, niche supplier to top tier OEMs, providing unique innovation to address pain points for sophisticated customers with complex problems. Businesses in this segment produce components and fasteners for automotive-related applications. This segment primarily serves the automotive original equipment manufacturers and tiers market. Products in this segment include:

plastic and metal components, fasteners and assemblies for automobiles, light trucks and other industrial uses.

Food EquipmentThis segment is a highly focused and branded industry leader in commercial food equipment differentiated by innovation and integrated service offerings. This segment primarily serves the food service, food institutional/restaurant and food retail markets. Products in this segment include:

warewashing equipment;
cooking equipment, including ovens, ranges and broilers;
refrigeration equipment, including refrigerators, freezers and prep tables;
food processing equipment, including slicers, mixers and scales;
kitchen exhaust, ventilation and pollution control systems; and
food equipment service, maintenance and repair.

Test & Measurement and ElectronicsThis segment is a branded and innovative producer of test and measurement and electronic manufacturing and maintenance, repair, and operations, or "MRO" solutions that improve efficiency and quality for customers in diverse end markets. Businesses in this segment produce equipment, consumables, and related software for testing and measuring of materials and structures, as well as equipment and consumables used in the production of electronic subassemblies and microelectronics. This segment primarily serves the electronics, general industrial, industrial capital goods, automotive original equipment manufacturers and tiers, and consumer durables markets. Products in this segment include:

equipment, consumables, and related software for testing and measuring of materials, structures, gases and fluids;
electronic assembly equipment and related consumable solder materials;
electronic components and component packaging;
static control equipment and consumables used for contamination control in clean room environments; and
pressure sensitive adhesives and components for electronics, medical, transportation and telecommunications applications.

WeldingThis segment is a branded value-added equipment and specialty consumable manufacturer with innovative and leading technology. Businesses in this segment produce arc welding equipment, consumables and accessories for a wide array of industrial and commercial applications. This segment primarily serves the general industrial market, which includes fabrication, shipbuilding and other general industrial markets, and energy, construction, MRO, automotive original equipment manufacturers and tiers, and industrial capital goods markets. Products in this segment include:

arc welding equipment;
metal arc welding consumables and related accessories; and
metal jacketing and other insulation products.


3



Polymers & FluidsThis segment is a branded supplier to niche markets that require value-added, differentiated products. Businesses in this segment produce engineered adhesives, sealants, lubrication and cutting fluids, and fluids and polymers for auto aftermarket maintenance and appearance. This segment primarily serves the automotive aftermarket, general industrial, MRO and construction markets. Products in this segment include:

adhesives for industrial, construction and consumer purposes;
chemical fluids which clean or add lubrication to machines;
epoxy and resin-based coating products for industrial applications;
hand wipes and cleaners for industrial applications;
fluids, polymers and other supplies for auto aftermarket maintenance and appearance;
fillers and putties for auto body repair; and
polyester coatings and patch and repair products for the marine industry.

Construction ProductsThis segment is a branded supplier of innovative engineered fastening systems and solutions. This segment primarily serves the residential construction, renovation/remodel and commercial construction markets. Products in this segment include:

fasteners and related fastening tools for wood and metal applications;
anchors, fasteners and related tools for concrete applications;
metal plate truss components and related equipment and software; and
packaged hardware, fasteners, anchors and other products for retail.

Specialty ProductsThis segment is focused on diversified niche market opportunities with substantial patent protection producing beverage packaging equipment and consumables, product coding and marking equipment and consumables, and appliance components and fasteners. This segment primarily serves the food and beverage, consumer durables, general industrial, printing and publishing and industrial capital goods markets. Products in this segment include:

line integration, conveyor systems and line automation for the food and beverage industries;
plastic consumables that multi-pack cans and bottles and related equipment;
foil, film and related equipment used to decorate consumer products;
product coding and marking equipment and related consumables;
plastic and metal closures and components for appliances;
airport ground support equipment; and
components for medical devices.

The information set forth below is applicable to all segments of the Company unless otherwise noted.

The ITW Business Model

The powerful and highly differentiated ITW Business Model is the Company’s core source of value creation. This business model is the Company’s competitive advantage and defines how ITW creates value for its shareholders and comprises three unique elements:

ITW’s 80/20 Front-to-Back process is the operating system that is applied in every ITW business. Initially introduced as a manufacturing efficiency tool in the 1980s, ITW has continually refined, improved and expanded 80/20 into a proprietary, holistic business management process that generates significant value for the Company and its customers. Through the application of data driven insights generated by 80/20 practice, ITW focuses on its largest and best opportunities (the “80”) and eliminates cost, complexity and distractions associated with the less profitable opportunities (the “20”). 80/20 enables ITW businesses to consistently achieve world-class operational excellence in product availability, quality, and innovation, while generating superior financial performance;

Customer-back Innovation has fueled decades of profitable growth at ITW. The Company’s unique innovation approach is built on insight gathered from the 80/20 Front-to-Back process. Working from the customer back, ITW businesses position themselves as the go-to problem solver for their “80” customers. ITW’s innovation efforts are focused on understanding customer needs, particularly those in “80” markets with solid long-term growth fundamentals, and subsequently creating unique solutions to address those needs. These customer insights and learnings drive innovation at ITW and have contributed to a portfolio of approximately 18,000 granted and pending patents;

4



ITW’s Decentralized, Entrepreneurial Culture enables ITW businesses to be fast, focused, and responsive. ITW businesses have significant flexibility within the framework of the ITW Business Model to customize their approach in order to best serve their specific customers' needs. ITW colleagues recognize their unique responsibilities to execute the Company's strategy and values. As a result, the Company maintains a focused and simple organizational structure that, combined with outstanding execution, delivers best-in-class services and solutions adapted to each business' customers and end markets.

Enterprise Strategy

In late 2012, ITW began its strategic framework transitioning the Company on its current path to fully leverage the compelling performance potential of the ITW Business Model. Since then, ITW has made considerable progress in its path to full potential.

The roots of ITW’s Enterprise Strategy began in late 2011 / early 2012, when the Company undertook a complete review of its performance. Focusing on its businesses delivering consistent above-market growth with best-in-class margins and returns, ITW developed a strategy to replicate that performance across its operations.

Based on this rigorous evaluation, ITW determined that solid and consistent above-market organic growth must be the core growth engine to deliver world-class financial performance and compelling long-term returns for its shareholders. To shift its primary growth engine to organic, the Company began executing a multi-step approach.

The first step was to narrow the focus and improve the quality of ITW’s business portfolio. As part of the Portfolio Management initiative, ITW exited businesses that were operating in commoditized market spaces and prioritized sustainable differentiation as a must-have requirement for all ITW businesses. This process included both divesting entire businesses and exiting commoditized product lines and customers inside otherwise highly differentiated ITW divisions.

As a result of this work, ITW’s business portfolio now has significantly higher organic growth potential. ITW segments and divisions now possess attractive and differentiated product lines and end markets as they continue to improve operating margins and generate price/cost increases. The Company achieved this through product line simplification, or eliminating the complexity and overhead costs associated with smaller product lines and customers, while supporting and growing the businesses’ largest / most profitable customers and product lines.

Step two, Business Structure Simplification, was implemented to simplify and scale-up ITW’s operating structure to support increased engineering, marketing, and sales resources, and, at the same time, improve global reach and competitiveness, all of which were critical to driving accelerated organic growth. ITW now has 87 scaled-up divisions with significantly enhanced focus on growth investments, core customers and products, and customer-back innovation.

The Strategic Sourcing initiative established sourcing as a core strategic and operational capability at ITW. The Company’s 80/20-enabled sourcing organization has delivered an average of one percent reduction in spend each year from 2013 through 2018 and is on track to do the same in 2019.

With the initial portfolio realignment and scale-up work largely complete, the Company has shifted its focus to preparing for and accelerating organic growth, reapplying the 80/20 Front-to-Back process to optimize its newly scaled-up divisions for growth, first, to build a foundation of operational excellence, and second, to identify the best opportunities to drive organic growth.

ITW has clearly demonstrated superior 80/20 management, resulting in meaningful incremental improvement in margins and returns as evidenced by the Company’s operating margin and after-tax return on invested capital. At the same time, these 80/20 initiatives can also result in restructuring initiatives that reduce costs and improve profitability and returns.

5



Path to Full Potential - Finishing the Job

Since the launch of the enterprise strategy, the Company has made considerable progress to position itself to reach full potential. The ITW Business Model and unique set of capabilities are a source of strong and enduring competitive advantage, but for the Company to truly reach its full potential over the next five years, every one of its divisions must also be operating at its full potential. To do so, the Company remains focused on three key areas to finish the job of positioning ITW to perform to its full potential:

Portfolio discipline
80/20 Front-to-Back practice excellence
Full-potential organic growth

Portfolio Discipline

The Company only operates in industries where it can generate significant, long-term competitive advantage from the ITW Business Model. ITW businesses have the right “raw material” in terms of market and business attributes that best fit the ITW Business Model and have significant potential to drive above-market organic growth over the long-term.

The Company focuses on high-quality businesses, ensuring it operates in markets with positive long-term macro fundamentals and with customers that have critical needs and value ITW's differentiated products, services and solutions. ITW’s portfolio operates in diverse end markets and geographies which makes the Company more resilient in the face of uncertain or volatile market environments.

80/20 Front-to-Back Practice Excellence

The 80/20 Front-to-Back process is a rigorous, iterative and highly data-driven approach to identify where the Company has true differentiation and the ability to drive sustainable, high-quality organic growth. The Company simplifies and eliminates complexity and redesigns every aspect of its business to ensure focused execution on key opportunities, markets, customers, and products. ITW will continue its efforts to drive 80/20 Front-to-Back practice excellence in every division in the Company, every day.

Full-potential Organic Growth

Reaching full potential means that every division is positioned for sustainable, high-quality organic growth. The Company has clearly defined action plans aimed at leveraging the performance power of the ITW Business Model to achieve full-potential organic growth in every division. At the same time, the Company consistently reviews its portfolio, assesses businesses that are growth-challenged and evaluates if further portfolio refinements may be needed. The Company is currently exploring options, including potential divestitures, for certain businesses with revenues totaling up to $1 billion. If a decision is made to divest any of these businesses, the Company expects that earnings per share dilution would be offset by incremental share repurchases.

Divestiture Activity

Divestiture of the Industrial Packaging Segment— In February 2013, the Company announced that it was initiating a review process to explore strategic alternatives for the Industrial Packaging segment. In September 2013, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized a plan to commence a sale process for the Industrial Packaging segment. The Company classified the Industrial Packaging segment as held for sale beginning in the third quarter of 2013 and no longer presented this segment as part of its continuing operations.
On February 6, 2014, the Company announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to sell the Industrial Packaging business to The Carlyle Group for $3.2 billion. The transaction was completed on May 1, 2014, resulting in a pre-tax gain of $1.7 billion ($1.1 billion after-tax) in the second quarter of 2014 which was included in Income from discontinued operations.

Current Year Developments

Refer to Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.


6



Distribution Methods

The Company’s businesses primarily distribute their products directly to industrial manufacturers and through independent distributors.

Backlog

Backlog generally is not considered a significant factor in the Company’s businesses as relatively short delivery periods and rapid inventory turnover are characteristic of most of their products. Backlog by segment as of December 31, 2018 and 2017 was as follows:

In millions
2018
 
2017
Automotive OEM
$
500

 
$
462

Food & Equipment
215

 
204

Test & Measurement and Electronics
378

 
342

Welding
93

 
90

Polymers & Fluids
67

 
57

Construction Products
30

 
39

Specialty Products
280

 
243

Total
$
1,563

 
$
1,437


Due to the predominately short term nature of the Company's arrangements with its customers, backlog orders scheduled for shipment beyond calendar year 2019 were not material as of December 31, 2018.

Competition

With operations in 55 countries, the Company offers a wide range of products in a myriad of markets, many of which are fragmented, and the Company encounters a variety of competitors that vary by product line, end market and geographic area. The Company's competitors include many regional or specialized companies, as well as large U.S. and non-U.S. companies or divisions of large companies. Each of the Company's segments generally has several main competitors and numerous smaller ones in most of their end markets and geographic areas. In addition to numerous smaller regional competitors, the Welding segment competes globally with Lincoln Electric and ESAB.

In virtually all segments, the Company differentiates its businesses from its competitors based on product innovation, product quality, brand preference and service delivery. Technical capability is also a competitive factor in most segments. The Company believes that each segment's primary competitive advantages derive from the Company's business model and decentralized operating structure, which creates a strong focus on end markets and customers at the local level, enabling its businesses to respond rapidly to market dynamics. This structure enables the Company's businesses to drive operational excellence utilizing the Company's 80/20 Front-to-Back process and leveraging its product innovation capabilities. The Company also believes that its global footprint is a competitive advantage in many of its markets, especially in its Automotive OEM segment.

Raw Materials

The Company uses raw materials of various types, primarily steel, resins and chemicals, that are available from numerous commercial sources. The availability of materials and energy has not resulted in any significant business interruptions or other major problems, and no such problems are currently anticipated.

Intellectual Property

The Company owns approximately 3,500 unexpired U.S. patents and 8,400 foreign patents covering articles, methods and machines. In addition, the Company has approximately 1,500 applications for patents pending in the U.S. Patent Office and 4,200 applications pending in foreign patent offices. There is no assurance that any of these patents will be issued. The Company maintains a patent group for the administration of patents and processing of patent applications.


7



The Company believes that many of its patents are valuable and important; however, the expiration of any one of the Company's patents would not have a material effect on the Company's results of operations or financial position. The Company also credits its success in the markets it serves to engineering capability; manufacturing techniques; skills and efficiency; marketing and sales promotion; and service and delivery of quality products to its customers.

In addition to patents, many of the Company's products and services are sold under various owned or licensed trademarks, which are important to the Company in the aggregate. Some of the Company's more significant trademarks include ITW, which is also used in conjunction with the trademarks of many of the Company's businesses; Deltar and Shakeproof in the Automotive OEM segment; Hobart in the Food Equipment segment; Instron in the Test & Measurement and Electronics segment; Miller in the Welding segment; Rain-X and Permatex in the Polymers & Fluids segment; Paslode in the Construction Products segment; and Hi-Cone in the Specialty Products segment.

Environmental

The Company believes that its manufacturing plants and equipment are in substantial compliance with all applicable environmental regulations. Additional measures to maintain compliance are not expected to materially affect the Company’s capital expenditures, competitive position, financial position or results of operations.

Various legislative and administrative regulations concerning environmental issues have become effective or are under consideration in many parts of the world relating to manufacturing processes and the sale or use of certain products. To date, such developments have not had a substantial adverse impact on the Company's revenues, earnings or cash flows.

Employees

The Company employed approximately 48,000 people as of December 31, 2018 and considers its employee relations to be excellent.


8



Executive Officers

The executive officers of the Company serve at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Set forth below is information regarding the principal occupations and employment and business experience over the past five years for each executive officer. Unless otherwise stated, employment is by the Company.

Executive Officers of the Company as of February 15, 2019 were as follows:

Name
Age
Present Position
Year Elected to Present Position
Other Positions Held During 2014-2018
E. Scott Santi
57
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
2015
President and Chief Executive Officer, 2012-2015
Norman D. Finch Jr.
54
Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary
2017
Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Sealed Air Corporation, a global manufacturer of products related to food safety and security, facility hygiene and product protection, 2013-2017
John R. Hartnett
58
Executive Vice President
2012
 
Michael M. Larsen
50
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
2013
 
Mary K. Lawler
53
Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer
2014
Executive Vice President, Human Resources, GATX Corporation, a rail car leasing company, 2013-2014
Steven L. Martindale
62
Executive Vice President
2008
 
Andrew Mines
47
Executive Vice President
2018
Group President, construction businesses 2013-2018
Sundaram Nagarajan
56
Executive Vice President
2010
 
Christopher O’Herlihy
55
Vice Chairman
2015
Executive Vice President, 2010-2015
Randall J. Scheuneman
51
Vice President & Chief Accounting Officer
2009
 
Lei Schlitz
52
Executive Vice President
2015
Group President, food equipment businesses, 2011-2015
Juan Valls
57
Executive Vice President
2007
 
Michael R. Zimmerman
58
Executive Vice President
2015
Group President, welding businesses, 2010-2015

Available Information

The Company electronically files reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). The SEC maintains a website (www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. Copies of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are also available free of charge through the Company's website (www.itw.com), as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing with or otherwise furnishing such information to the SEC, and are available in print to any shareholder who requests them. The Company will furnish any exhibit not contained herein upon the payment of a fee representing the reasonable cost to the Company of furnishing the exhibit. Requests for exhibits may be sent to Illinois Tool Works Inc., 155 Harlem Avenue, Glenview, IL 60025, Attention: Secretary. Also posted on the Company’s website are the following:

Statement of Principles of Conduct;
Code of Ethics for CEO and key financial and accounting personnel;
Charters of the Audit, Corporate Governance and Nominating, and Compensation Committees of the Board of Directors;
Corporate Governance Guidelines;
Global Anti-Corruption Policy;

9



Corporate Social Responsibility Report;
Anti-Human Trafficking Disclosure;
Conflict Minerals Policy Statement;
Supplier Code of Conduct; and
Government Affairs Information.

ITEM 1A. Risk Factors

The Company's business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows are subject to various risks, including, but not limited to, those set forth below, which could cause actual results to vary materially from recent results or from anticipated future results. These risk factors should be considered together with information included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

The Company's results are impacted by global economic conditions. Downturns in the markets served by the Company could adversely affect its businesses, results of operations or financial condition.

The Company's businesses are impacted by economic conditions around the globe. Slower economic growth, financial market instability, natural disasters, public health crises, high unemployment, government deficit reduction, sequestration and other austerity measures impacting the markets the Company serves can adversely affect the Company’s businesses by reducing demand for the Company's products and services, limiting financing available to the Company's customers, causing production delays, increasing order cancellations and the difficulty in collecting accounts receivable, increasing price competition, or increasing the risk that counterparties to the Company's contractual arrangements will become insolvent or otherwise unable to fulfill their obligations.

The global nature of the Company's operations subjects it to political and economic risks that could adversely affect its business, results of operations or financial condition.

Over 50% of the Company's net sales are derived from customers outside the United States, and the Company currently operates in 55 countries. The risks inherent in the Company's global operations include:

fluctuation in currency exchange rates;
limitations on ownership or participation in local enterprises;
price controls, exchange controls and limitations on repatriation of earnings;
transportation delays and interruptions;
political, social and economic instability and disruptions;
acts of terrorism;
government embargoes or foreign trade restrictions;
the imposition of duties and tariffs and other trade barriers and retaliatory countermeasures;
government actions impacting international trade agreements;
import and export controls;
labor unrest and current and changing regulatory environments;
the potential for expropriation or nationalization of enterprises;
difficulties in staffing and managing multi-national operations;
limitations on its ability to enforce legal rights and remedies; and
potentially adverse tax consequences.

If the Company is unable to successfully manage these and other risks associated with managing and expanding its international businesses, the risks could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, results of operations or financial condition. In addition, the current global geopolitical and trade environment has resulted in raw material inflation and potential for increased escalation of domestic and international tariffs and retaliatory trade policies. Further changes in U.S. trade policy (including new or additional increases in duties or tariffs), additional retaliatory actions by U.S. trade partners, or worsening of economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, results of operations or financial condition.

The benefits from the Company’s Enterprise Strategy may not be as expected and the Company's financial results could be adversely impacted.

With the initial Enterprise Strategy initiatives of portfolio management and business structure simplification largely complete, the Company's focus has pivoted to organic revenue growth and continued margin improvement. Product line and

10



customer base simplification activities, which are core elements of the Company’s 80/20 Front-to-Back process, continue to be applied to the Company’s scaled up operating divisions and remain active elements of the Enterprise Strategy. Although these activities are expected to improve future operating margins and organic revenue growth, they are also expected to have a negative impact on the Company’s overall organic revenue growth in the short term. If the Company is unable to realize the expected benefits from its Enterprise Strategy initiatives, the Company's financial results could be adversely impacted.

The timing and amount of the Company’s share repurchases are subject to a number of uncertainties.

Share repurchases constitute a significant component of the Company’s capital allocation strategy. The Company funds its share repurchases with free cash flow and short-term borrowings. The amount and timing of share repurchases will be based on a variety of factors. Important factors that could cause the Company to limit, suspend or delay its share repurchases include unfavorable trading market conditions, the price of the Company's common stock, the nature of other investment opportunities presented to us from time to time, the ability to obtain financing at attractive rates and the availability of U.S. cash.

The Company may incur fines or penalties, damage to its reputation or other adverse consequences if its employees, agents or business partners violate anti-bribery, competition, export and import, environmental or other laws.

The Company has a decentralized operating structure under which its individual businesses are allowed significant decision-making autonomy within the Company’s strategic framework and internal financial and compliance controls. The Company cannot ensure that its internal controls will always protect against reckless or criminal acts committed by its employees, agents or business partners that might violate U.S. and/or non-U.S. laws, including anti-bribery, competition, export and import, and environmental laws. Any such improper actions could subject the Company to civil or criminal investigations, could lead to substantial civil or criminal monetary and non-monetary penalties against the Company or its subsidiaries, or could damage its reputation.

A significant fluctuation between the U.S. Dollar and other currencies could adversely impact the Company's operating income.

Although the Company's financial results are reported in U.S. Dollars, a significant portion of its sales and operating costs are realized in other currencies, with the largest concentration of foreign sales occurring in Europe. The Company's profitability is affected by movements of the U.S. Dollar against the Euro and other foreign currencies in which it generates revenues and incurs expenses. Significant long-term fluctuations in relative currency values, and in particular, an increase in the value of the U.S. Dollar against foreign currencies, has had and could have an adverse effect on profitability and financial condition.

If the Company is unable to successfully introduce new products, its future growth may be adversely affected.

The Company's ability to develop new products based on innovation can affect its competitive position and sometimes requires the investment of significant time and resources. Difficulties or delays in research, development, production or commercialization of new products and services may reduce future revenues and adversely affect the Company's competitive position. If the Company is unable to create sustainable product differentiation, its organic growth may be adversely affected.

If the Company is unable to adequately protect its intellectual property, its competitive position and results of operations may be adversely impacted.

Protecting the Company's intellectual property is critical to its innovation efforts. The Company owns patents, trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks and/or other intellectual property rights related to many of its products, and also has exclusive and non-exclusive license rights under intellectual property owned by others. The Company's intellectual property rights may be challenged or infringed upon by third parties, particularly in countries where property rights are not highly developed or protected, or the Company may be unable to maintain, renew or enter into new license agreements with third-party owners of intellectual property on reasonable terms. Unauthorized use of the Company's intellectual property rights or inability to preserve existing intellectual property rights could adversely impact the Company's competitive position and results of operations.


11



The Company's acquisition of businesses could negatively impact its profitability and returns.

The Company has engaged in various acquisitions in the past, and could choose to acquire additional businesses in the future. Acquisitions involve a number of risks and financial, accounting, managerial and operational challenges, including the following, any of which could adversely affect the Company's profitability and returns:

The acquired business could under-perform relative to the Company’s expectations and the price paid for it, or not perform in accordance with the Company’s anticipated timetable.
The acquired business could cause the Company's financial results to differ from expectations in any given fiscal period, or over the long term.
Acquisition-related earnings charges could adversely impact operating results.
The acquired business could place unanticipated demands on the Company's management, operational resources and financial and internal control systems.
The Company may assume unknown liabilities, known contingent liabilities that become realized or known liabilities that prove greater than anticipated, internal control deficiencies or exposure to regulatory sanctions resulting from the activities of the acquired business. The realization of any of these liabilities or deficiencies may increase the Company's expenses, adversely affect its financial position or cause noncompliance with its financial reporting obligations.
As a result of acquisitions, the Company has in the past recorded significant goodwill and other identifiable intangible assets on its balance sheet. If the Company is not able to realize the value of these assets, it may recognize charges relating to the impairment of these assets.

Past divestitures pose the risk of retained liabilities that could adversely affect the Company's financial results.

The Company's divestiture activity increased in 2012, 2013 and 2014 in accordance with its portfolio management initiative, and the Company has retained certain liabilities directly or through indemnifications made to the buyers against known and unknown contingent liabilities such as lawsuits, tax liabilities, product liability claims and environmental matters, which could adversely affect the Company's financial results.

The Company has significant goodwill and other intangible assets, and future impairment of these assets could have a material adverse impact on the Company's financial results.

The Company has recorded significant goodwill and other identifiable intangible assets on its balance sheet as a result of acquisitions. A number of factors may result in impairments to goodwill and other intangible assets, including significant negative industry or economic trends, disruptions to our business, increased competition and significant changes in the use of the assets. Impairment charges could adversely affect the Company's financial condition or results of operations in the periods recognized.

Disruptions or volatility in global financial markets or changes in the Company's credit ratings could increase the Company's funding costs or reduce the availability of credit.

Global economic conditions may cause volatility and disruptions in the financial markets. The Company’s continued ability to meet its cash requirements requires substantial liquidity and access to the financial markets. In addition, the Company’s borrowing costs can be affected by short and long-term ratings assigned by independent rating agencies. If conditions in the financial markets decline or the Company’s credit ratings are negatively impacted, its funding costs could be increased or the availability of credit could be diminished.

Raw material price increases and supply shortages could adversely affect results.

The supply of raw materials to the Company and to its component parts suppliers could be interrupted for a variety of reasons, including availability and pricing. Prices for raw materials necessary for production have fluctuated significantly in the past and significant increases could adversely affect the Company's results of operations and profit margins. In particular, changes in trade policies, the imposition of duties and tariffs and potential retaliatory countermeasures could adversely impact the price or availability of raw materials. Due to pricing pressure or other factors, the Company may not be able to pass along increased raw material and components parts prices to its customers in the form of price increases or its ability to do so could be delayed. Consequently, its results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.


12



Unfavorable tax law changes and tax authority rulings may adversely affect results.

The Company is subject to income taxes in the U.S. and in various foreign jurisdictions. Domestic and international tax liabilities are based on the income and expenses in various tax jurisdictions. The Company's effective tax rate could be adversely affected by changes in the mix of earnings among countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in the valuation allowance of deferred tax assets or changes in tax laws. The amount of income taxes is subject to ongoing audits by U.S. federal, state and local tax authorities and by non-U.S. authorities. If these audits result in assessments different from amounts recorded, future financial results may include unfavorable tax adjustments.

In December 2017, the U.S. government enacted comprehensive tax legislation that included significant changes to the taxation of business entities. The Company’s accounting for the tax effects of the Act may be subject to change due to subsequent clarification of the tax law which could adversely affect the Company's operating results or financial condition.

The Company's defined benefit pension plans are subject to financial market risks that could adversely affect its results of operations and cash flows.

The performance of financial markets and interest rates impact the Company's funding obligations under its defined benefit pension plans. Significant changes in market interest rates, decreases in the fair value of plan assets and investment losses on plan assets may increase the Company's funding obligations and adversely impact its results of operations and cash flows.

Potential adverse outcomes in legal proceedings may adversely affect results.

The Company's businesses expose it to potential toxic tort and other types of product liability claims that are inherent in the design, manufacture and sale of its products and the products of third-party vendors. The Company currently maintains insurance programs consisting of self-insurance up to certain limits and excess insurance coverage for claims over established limits. There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to obtain insurance on acceptable terms or that its insurance programs will provide adequate protection against actual losses. In addition, the Company is subject to the risk that one or more of its insurers may become insolvent and become unable to pay claims that may be made in the future. Even if it maintains adequate insurance programs, claims could have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition, liquidity and results of operations and on its ability to obtain suitable, adequate or cost-effective insurance in the future.

Uncertainty related to climate change regulation and industry standards could impact the Company's results of operations and financial position.

Increased public awareness and concern regarding global climate change may result in more international, regional and/or federal requirements to reduce or mitigate global warming and these regulations could mandate even more restrictive standards, such as stricter limits on greenhouse gas emissions, than the voluntary commitments that the Company has made or require such changes on a more accelerated time frame. There continues to be a lack of consistent climate legislation, which creates economic and regulatory uncertainty. If environmental laws or regulations are either changed or adopted and impose significant operational restrictions and compliance requirements upon the Company or its products, they could negatively impact the Company’s business, capital expenditures, results of operations, financial condition and competitive position.

If the Company is unable to protect its information technology infrastructure against service interruptions, data corruption, cyber-based attacks or network security breaches, or if there is a violation of data privacy laws, there could be a negative impact on operating results or the Company may suffer financial or reputational damage.

The Company relies on information technology networks and systems, including the Internet, to process, transmit and store electronic information, and to manage or support a variety of business processes and activities, including procurement, manufacturing, distribution, invoicing and collection. These technology networks and systems may be susceptible to damage, disruptions or shutdowns due to failures during the process of upgrading or replacing software, databases or components; power outages; hardware failures; attacks by computer hackers; computer viruses; employee error or malfeasance. In addition, security breaches could result in unauthorized disclosure of confidential information or personal data belonging to our employees, partners, customers or suppliers. We are also subject to data privacy laws, including the EU General Data Protection Regulation, in the various countries in which we operate. If our information technology systems suffer severe damage, disruption, or shutdown, and business continuity plans do not effectively resolve the issues in a timely manner, or if we violate data privacy laws, there could be a negative impact on operating results or the Company may suffer financial or reputational damage.

13



Forward-Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as "believe," "expect," "plans," "intends," "may," "strategy," "prospects," "estimate," "project," "target," "anticipate," "guidance," "forecast," and other similar words, including, without limitation, statements regarding the expected performance of acquired businesses and impact of divested businesses, the impact of tariffs and raw material cost inflation, economic and regulatory conditions in various geographic regions, the timing and amount of share repurchases, the timing and amount of benefits from the Company's enterprise initiatives, the adequacy of internally generated funds and credit facilities to service debt and finance the Company's capital allocation priorities, the sufficiency of U.S. generated cash to fund cash requirements in the U.S., the impact of the recently enacted U.S. tax legislation, the cost and availability of additional financing, the Company's portion of future benefit payments related to pension and postretirement benefits, the availability of raw materials and energy, the expiration of any one of the Company's patents, the cost of compliance with environmental regulations, the likelihood of future goodwill or intangible asset impairment charges, the impact of failure of the Company's employees to comply with applicable laws and regulations, the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, the outcome of outstanding legal proceedings, the impact of adopting new accounting pronouncements, and the estimated timing and amount related to the resolution of tax matters. These statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Important risks that may influence future results include those risks described above. These risks are not all inclusive and given these and other possible risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results.

Any forward-looking statements made by ITW speak only as of the date on which they are made. ITW is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or otherwise.

ITW practices fair disclosure for all interested parties. Investors should be aware that while ITW regularly communicates with securities analysts and other investment professionals, it is against ITW's policy to disclose to them any material non-public information or other confidential commercial information. Investors should not assume that ITW agrees with any statement or report issued by any analyst irrespective of the content of the statement or report.

ITEM 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

ITEM 2. Properties

Due to the Company’s decentralized operating structure, the Company operates out of a number of facilities worldwide, none of which are individually significant to the Company or its segments. As of December 31, 2018, the Company operated the following plants and office facilities, excluding regional sales offices and warehouse facilities:

 
 
Number Of Properties
 
Owned
 
Leased
 
Total
Automotive OEM
 
66

 
25

 
91

Food Equipment
 
26

 
19

 
45

Test & Measurement and Electronics
 
27

 
57

 
84

Welding
 
27

 
12

 
39

Polymers & Fluids
 
34

 
29

 
63

Construction Products
 
25

 
24

 
49

Specialty Products
 
49

 
29

 
78

Corporate
 
1

 
9

 
10

Total
 
255

 
204

 
459


The Company’s properties are well suited for the purposes for which they were designed and are maintained in good operating condition. Production capacity, in general, currently exceeds operating levels. Capacity levels are somewhat flexible based on the number of shifts operated and on the number of overtime hours worked. The Company adds production

14



capacity from time to time as required by increased demand. Additions to capacity can be made within a reasonable period of time due to the nature of the Company’s businesses.

The Company operated 288 plants and office facilities outside of the U.S. Principal countries include China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

ITEM 3. Legal Proceedings

None.

ITEM 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

None.

15



PART II

ITEM 5. Market For Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Common Stock Data— The Company's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. There were approximately 5,834 holders of record of common stock as of January 31, 2019. This number does not include beneficial owners of the Company's securities held in the name of nominees.

graphfor10kv2.jpg
*Assumes $100 invested on 12/31/13 in stock or index, including reinvestment of dividends. Fiscal years ended December 31.
Copyright© 2019 S&P, a division of McGraw Hill Financial. All rights reserved.

The 2018 peer group consists of the following 17 public companies, consistent with the peer group included in the Company's Proxy statement:

3M Company
Emerson Electric Co.
Parker-Hannifin Corporation
Caterpillar Inc.
Fortive Corporation
PPG Industries, Inc.
Cummins Inc.
General Dynamics Corporation
Raytheon Company
Deere & Company
Honeywell International Inc.
Rockwell Automation, Inc.
Dover Corporation
Ingersoll-Rand plc
Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.
Eaton Corporation plc
Johnson Controls, Inc.
 

The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors of the Company reviews the peer group annually and from time to time it changes the composition of the Company’s peer group where changes are appropriate. Although Fortive Corporation was added to the Company’s peer group in 2017, it was excluded from the five year cumulative total return as there was insufficient historical data due to its spin-off from Danaher Corporation in 2016.


16



Repurchases of Common Stock— On February 13, 2015, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program which provides for the repurchase of up to $6.0 billion of the Company’s common stock over an open-ended period of time (the "2015 Program"). As of December 31, 2018, there were approximately $446 million of authorized repurchases remaining under the 2015 Program.

On August 3, 2018, the Company's Board of Directors authorized a new stock repurchase program which provides for the buyback of up to an additional $3.0 billion of the Company's common stock over an open-ended period of time (the "2018 Program"). As of December 31, 2018, there were $3.0 billion of authorized repurchases remaining under the 2018 program.

Share repurchase activity under the Company's share repurchase programs for the fourth quarter of 2018 was as follows:

In millions except per share amounts
 
 
 
 
 
 
Period
Total Number of Shares Purchased
 
Average Price Paid Per Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Program
 
Maximum Value of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under Programs
October 2018
2.0

 
$
126.43

 
2.0

 
$
3,690

November 2018
0.7

 
$
131.50

 
0.7

 
$
3,595

December 2018
1.2

 
$
131.92

 
1.2

 
$
3,446

Total
3.9

 
 
 
3.9

 
 

ITEM 6. Selected Financial Data

In millions except per share amounts
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
Operating revenue
$
14,768

 
$
14,314

 
$
13,599

 
$
13,405

 
$
14,484

Income from continuing operations
2,563

 
1,687

 
2,035

 
1,899

 
1,890

Income per share from continuing operations:
 
 
 
 
Basic
7.65

 
4.90

 
5.73

 
5.16

 
4.70

Diluted
7.60

 
4.86

 
5.70

 
5.13

 
4.67

Total assets at year-end
14,870

 
16,780

 
15,201

 
15,729

 
17,465

Long-term debt at year-end
6,029

 
7,478

 
7,177

 
6,896

 
5,943

Cash dividends declared per common share
3.56

 
2.86

 
2.40

 
2.07

 
1.81


In 2017, the Company recorded a one-time additional income tax expense of $658 million, or $1.90 per diluted share, related to the enactment of the United States "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act." Refer to Note 6. Income Taxes in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.

Certain reclassifications of prior year data have been made to conform to current year reporting, including the adoption of new accounting guidance as discussed below.

In April 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the "FASB") issued authoritative guidance to change the criteria for reporting discontinued operations. Under the new guidance, only disposals representing a strategic shift in a company's operations and financial results should be reported as discontinued operations. The Company adopted this new guidance effective January 1, 2015. The new guidance applies prospectively to new disposals and new classifications of disposal groups held for sale after such date. There were no discontinued operations subsequent to 2014 under this new accounting guidance. Income from discontinued operations was $1.1 billion in 2014.

In November 2015, the FASB issued authoritative guidance to simplify the presentation of deferred taxes. Under the new guidance, all deferred tax assets and liabilities are presented as noncurrent in the statement of financial position. Early adoption of this guidance in the fourth quarter of 2015 decreased total assets by $175 million in 2014.

In March 2016, the FASB issued authoritative guidance that included several changes to simplify the accounting for stock-based compensation, including the accounting for income taxes, forfeitures, statutory tax withholding requirements and classification of tax benefits in the statement of cash flows. Among the more significant changes, the new guidance requires that the income tax effects associated with the settlement of stock-based awards after adoption of the guidance be recognized through income tax expense rather than directly in equity. Additionally, the income tax effects related to excess tax benefits

17



should be presented within operating cash flows in the statement of cash flows rather than as a financing activity. Excess tax benefits recognized in equity under the prior guidance were $29 million, $20 million and $33 million for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015, 2014, respectively. The Company adopted the new guidance effective January 1, 2017 and applied the new guidance prospectively. Excess tax benefits of $10 million and $50 million were included in Income taxes in the statement of income for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. The expected effect on income tax expense or net cash provided from operating activities related to future stock-based award settlements will vary each period and will depend on inputs such as the stock price at the time of settlement and the number of awards settled in the period presented.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Additional information on the comparability of results is included in Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.


18



ITEM 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

INTRODUCTION

Illinois Tool Works Inc. (the "Company" or "ITW") is a global manufacturer of a diversified range of industrial products and equipment with 87 divisions in 55 countries. As of December 31, 2018, the Company employed approximately 48,000 people.

The Company's operations are organized and managed based on similar product offerings and end markets, and are reported to senior management as the following seven segments: Automotive OEM; Food Equipment; Test & Measurement and Electronics; Welding; Polymers & Fluids; Construction Products; and Specialty Products.

Due to the large number of diverse businesses and the Company's decentralized operating structure, the Company does not require its businesses to provide detailed information on operating results. Instead, the Company's corporate management collects data on several key measurements: operating revenue, operating income, operating margin, overhead costs, number of months on hand in inventory, days sales outstanding in accounts receivable, past due receivables and return on invested capital. These key measures are monitored by management and significant changes in operating results versus current trends in end markets and variances from forecasts are discussed with operating unit management.

THE ITW BUSINESS MODEL

The powerful and highly differentiated ITW Business Model is the Company’s core source of value creation. This business model is the Company’s competitive advantage and defines how ITW creates value for its shareholders and comprises three unique elements:

ITW’s 80/20 Front-to-Back process is the operating system that is applied in every ITW business. Initially introduced as a manufacturing efficiency tool in the 1980s, ITW has continually refined, improved and expanded 80/20 into a proprietary, holistic business management process that generates significant value for the Company and its customers. Through the application of data driven insights generated by 80/20 practice, ITW focuses on its largest and best opportunities (the “80”) and eliminates cost, complexity and distractions associated with the less profitable opportunities (the “20”). 80/20 enables ITW businesses to consistently achieve world-class operational excellence in product availability, quality, and innovation, while generating superior financial performance;

Customer-back Innovation has fueled decades of profitable growth at ITW. The Company’s unique innovation approach is built on insight gathered from the 80/20 Front-to-Back process. Working from the customer back, ITW businesses position themselves as the go-to problem solver for their “80” customers. ITW’s innovation efforts are focused on understanding customer needs, particularly those in “80” markets with solid long-term growth fundamentals, and subsequently creating unique solutions to address those needs. These customer insights and learnings drive innovation at ITW and have contributed to a portfolio of approximately 18,000 granted and pending patents;

ITW’s Decentralized, Entrepreneurial Culture enables ITW businesses to be fast, focused, and responsive. ITW businesses have significant flexibility within the framework of the ITW Business Model to customize their approach in order to best serve their specific customers' needs. ITW colleagues recognize their unique responsibilities to execute the Company's strategy and values. As a result, the Company maintains a focused and simple organizational structure that, combined with outstanding execution, delivers best-in-class services and solutions adapted to each business' customers and end markets.

ENTERPRISE STRATEGY

In late 2012, ITW began its strategic framework transitioning the Company on its current path to fully leverage the compelling performance potential of the ITW Business Model. Since then, ITW has made considerable progress in its path to full potential.

The roots of ITW’s Enterprise Strategy began in late 2011 / early 2012, when the Company undertook a complete review of its performance. Focusing on its businesses delivering consistent above-market growth with best-in-class margins and returns, ITW developed a strategy to replicate that performance across its operations.


19



Based on this rigorous evaluation, ITW determined that solid and consistent above-market organic growth must be the core growth engine to deliver world-class financial performance and compelling long-term returns for its shareholders. To shift its primary growth engine to organic, the Company began executing a multi-step approach.

The first step was to narrow the focus and improve the quality of ITW’s business portfolio. As part of the Portfolio Management initiative, ITW exited businesses that were operating in commoditized market spaces and prioritized sustainable differentiation as a must-have requirement for all ITW businesses. This process included both divesting entire businesses and exiting commoditized product lines and customers inside otherwise highly differentiated ITW divisions.

As a result of this work, ITW’s business portfolio now has significantly higher organic growth potential. ITW segments and divisions now possess attractive and differentiated product lines and end markets as they continue to improve operating margins and generate price/cost increases. The Company achieved this through product line simplification, or eliminating the complexity and overhead costs associated with smaller product lines and customers, while supporting and growing the businesses’ largest / most profitable customers and product lines.

Step two, Business Structure Simplification, was implemented to simplify and scale-up ITW’s operating structure to support increased engineering, marketing, and sales resources, and, at the same time, improve global reach and competitiveness, all of which were critical to driving accelerated organic growth. ITW now has 87 scaled-up divisions with significantly enhanced focus on growth investments, core customers and products, and customer-back innovation.

The Strategic Sourcing initiative established sourcing as a core strategic and operational capability at ITW. The Company’s 80/20-enabled sourcing organization has delivered an average of one percent reduction in spend each year from 2013 through 2018 and is on track to do the same in 2019.

With the initial portfolio realignment and scale-up work largely complete, the Company has shifted its focus to preparing for and accelerating organic growth, reapplying the 80/20 Front-to-Back process to optimize its newly scaled-up divisions for growth, first, to build a foundation of operational excellence, and second, to identify the best opportunities to drive organic growth.

ITW has clearly demonstrated superior 80/20 management, resulting in meaningful incremental improvement in margins and returns as evidenced by the Company’s operating margin and after-tax return on invested capital. At the same time, these 80/20 initiatives can also result in restructuring initiatives that reduce costs and improve profitability and returns.

PATH TO FULL POTENTIAL - FINISHING THE JOB

Since the launch of the enterprise strategy, the Company has made considerable progress to position itself to reach full potential. The ITW Business Model and unique set of capabilities are a source of strong and enduring competitive advantage, but for the Company to truly reach its full potential over the next five years, every one of its divisions must also be operating at its full potential. To do so, the Company remains focused on three key areas to finish the job of positioning ITW to perform to its full potential:

Portfolio discipline
80/20 Front-to-Back practice excellence
Full-potential organic growth

Portfolio Discipline

The Company only operates in industries where it can generate significant, long-term competitive advantage from the ITW Business Model. ITW businesses have the right “raw material” in terms of market and business attributes that best fit the ITW Business Model and have significant potential to drive above-market organic growth over the long-term.

The Company focuses on high-quality businesses, ensuring it operates in markets with positive long-term macro fundamentals and with customers that have critical needs and value ITW's differentiated products, services and solutions. ITW’s portfolio operates in diverse end markets and geographies which makes the Company more resilient in the face of uncertain or volatile market environments.


20



80/20 Front-to-Back Practice Excellence

The 80/20 Front-to-Back process is a rigorous, iterative and highly data-driven approach to identify where the Company has true differentiation and the ability to drive sustainable, high-quality organic growth. The Company simplifies and eliminates complexity and redesigns every aspect of its business to ensure focused execution on key opportunities, markets, customers, and products. ITW will continue its efforts to drive 80/20 Front-to-Back practice excellence in every division in the Company, every day.

Full-potential Organic Growth

Reaching full potential means that every division is positioned for sustainable, high-quality organic growth. The Company has clearly defined action plans aimed at leveraging the performance power of the ITW Business Model to achieve full-potential organic growth in every division. At the same time, the Company consistently reviews its portfolio, assesses businesses that are growth-challenged and evaluates if further portfolio refinements may be needed. The Company is currently exploring options, including potential divestitures, for certain businesses with revenues totaling up to $1 billion. If a decision is made to divest any of these businesses, the Company expects that earnings per share dilution would be offset by incremental share repurchases.

TERMS USED BY ITW

Management uses the following terms to describe the financial results of operations of the Company:

Organic business - acquired businesses that have been included in the Company's results of operations for more than 12 months on a constant currency basis.
Operating leverage - the estimated effect of the organic revenue volume changes on organic operating income, assuming variable margins remain the same as the prior period.
Price/cost - represents the estimated net impact of increases or decreases in the cost of materials used in the Company's products versus changes in the selling price to the Company's customers.
Product line simplification (PLS) - focuses businesses on eliminating the complexity and overhead costs associated with smaller product lines and customers, and focuses businesses on supporting and growing their largest customers and product lines; in the short-term, PLS may result in a decrease in revenue and overhead costs while improving operating margin. In the long-term, PLS is expected to result in growth in revenue, profitability, and returns.

Unless otherwise stated, the changes in financial results in the consolidated results of operations and the results of operations by segment represent the current year period versus the comparable period in the prior year.

CONSOLIDATED RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The Company delivered solid financial results in 2018 despite some near-term market challenges in the second half of the year. While overall market conditions in North America were solid, auto production in Europe and China and demand levels in various international end markets served by the Specialty Products segment softened during the second half of the year. The primary driver of the Company's financial performance is the continued successful execution of enterprise initiatives and continued focus on the highly differentiated ITW Business Model. In 2018, five of seven segments achieved worldwide organic revenue growth while two segments were flat. All segments had operating margin above 21% for 2018.

The Company does not believe that recently imposed tariffs in 2018 have had a material impact on its operating results. However, the impact of tariffs and global trade policies could increase in the future. The Company will continue to evaluate the impact of enacted and proposed tariffs on its businesses, as well as pricing actions to mitigate the impact of raw material cost increases resulting from these tariffs.

The Company presents certain financial measures in fiscal year 2017 excluding the $658 million tax charge related to the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" and the benefit of a favorable $95 million legal settlement. These non-GAAP measures are consistent with the way management analyzes and assesses the Company's operating performance. The Company believes these non-GAAP measures enhance investors' understanding of the Company's underlying financial performance, as well as their ability to compare the Company's financial results and overall performance to that of its peers.


21



The Company’s consolidated results of operations for 2018, 2017 and 2016 are summarized as follows:

2018 compared to 2017

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2018
 
2017
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acq/Div
Restructuring
Impairment
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
14,768

 
$
14,314

 
3.2
%
 
2.2
%
(0.1
)%
%
%
1.1
%
3.2
%
Operating income
3,584

 
3,485

 
2.8
%
 
1.2
%
 %
0.5
%
%
1.1
%
2.8
%
Operating margin %
24.3
%
 
24.3
%
 

 
(20) bps


10 bps


10 bps



Operating revenue increased due to an increase in organic revenue and the favorable effect of foreign currency translation.
Organic revenue grew 2.2% primarily due to penetration gains, higher end market demand and product innovation. Product line simplification activities reduced organic revenue growth by 70 basis points.
North American organic revenue increased 4.0% as all seven segments had revenue growth.
Asia Pacific organic revenue grew 0.4% primarily driven by growth in the Welding, Test & Measurement and Electronics, Food Equipment and Polymers & Fluids segments, partially offset by a decline in the Specialty Products, Automotive OEM and Construction Products segments.
Europe, Middle East and Africa organic revenue decreased 0.2% primarily driven by the Automotive OEM, Specialty Products and Polymers & Fluids segments.
In the second quarter of 2017, the Company entered into a $95 million confidential settlement agreement to resolve a litigation matter. Based on the terms of the agreement, the Company received the settlement within 120 days of the execution of the agreement. The receipt of the settlement resulted in a favorable pre-tax impact of $15 million in the second quarter of 2017 and $80 million in the third quarter of 2017, which was included in operating income.
Operating income of $3.6 billion increased 2.8%. Excluding the favorable impact of the 2017 confidential legal settlement, operating income would have increased 5.7%.
Operating margin of 24.3% was flat with the prior year. Excluding the 60 basis points of favorability from the 2017 confidential legal settlement, operating margin increased 60 basis points primarily due to the benefits of the Company's enterprise initiatives that contributed 110 basis points and positive operating leverage of 50 basis points, partially offset by unfavorable price/cost of 50 basis points and higher freight and employee-related expenses.
The effective tax rate was 24.5% and 48.4% for 2018 and 2017, respectively. Included in the effective tax rate for 2017 was a one-time additional income tax expense of $658 million related to the enactment of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" in the United States. Excluding the tax charge of $658 million, the 2017 effective tax rate would have been 28.3%. Refer to Note 6. Income Taxes in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.
Diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $7.60 increased 56.4%. Excluding the 2017 unfavorable impact of $1.90 for the previously discussed one-time tax charge and the favorable impact of $0.17 for the confidential legal settlement, EPS increased 15.3%.
Free cash flow was $2.4 billion for 2018. Refer to the Cash Flow section of Liquidity and Capital Resources for a reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure.
The Company repurchased approximately 13.9 million shares of its common stock in 2018 for approximately $2.0 billion.
The Company increased the quarterly dividend by 28.2% in 2018. Total cash dividends of approximately $1.1 billion were paid in 2018.
Adjusted after-tax return on average invested capital was 28.2%, an increase of 390 basis points, primarily due to the new U.S. tax rules and regulations. Refer to the Adjusted After-Tax Return on Average Invested Capital section of Liquidity and Capital Resources for a reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure.


22



2017 compared to 2016
 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2017
 
2016
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acq/Div
Restructuring
Impairment
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
14,314

 
$
13,599

 
5.3
%
 
2.9
%
1.8
%
%
%
0.6
%
5.3
%
Operating income
$
3,485

 
$
3,056

 
14.1
%
 
12.6
%
0.7
%
0.1
%
0.1
%
0.6
%
14.1
%
Operating margin %
24.3
%
 
22.5
%
 
180 bps

 
200 bps

(30) bps

10 bps



180 bps


Operating revenue increased due to growth in organic and acquisition revenues and the favorable effect of foreign currency translation.
On July 1, 2016, the Company completed the acquisition of the Engineered Fasteners and Components business ("EF&C") from ZF TRW for a purchase price of approximately $450 million. EF&C had operating revenue of $517 million in 2017 and $245 million for the last six months of 2016. EF&C diluted the Company's operating margin in 2017 and 2016 due to lower operating margin and acquisition related expenses. The Company expects EF&C's operating margin to improve in later years through the application of the Company's 80/20 Front-to-Back process. The operating results of EF&C are reported within the Company's Automotive OEM segment. The acquisition of EF&C did not materially affect the Company's results of operations or financial position for any period presented. Refer to Note 2. Acquisitions in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.
Organic revenue grew 2.9% as all seven segments achieved growth.
North American organic revenue grew 1.6%. Growth in five segments was partially offset by a decline in the Automotive OEM and Food Equipment segments.
Europe, Middle East and Africa organic revenue increased 3.5% as growth in five segments was partially offset by a decline in the Welding and Polymers & Fluids segments.
Asia Pacific organic revenue increased 6.8% as growth in five segments was partially offset by a decline in the Welding and Food Equipment segments.
In the second quarter of 2017, the Company entered into a $95 million confidential settlement agreement to resolve a litigation matter. Based on the terms of the agreement, the Company received the settlement within 120 days of the execution of the agreement. The receipt of the settlement resulted in a favorable pre-tax impact of $15 million in the second quarter of 2017 and $80 million in the third quarter of 2017, which was included in operating income. Refer to Note 4. Legal Settlement in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information on the confidential legal settlement.
Operating income of $3.5 billion increased 14.1%. Excluding the favorable impact of the confidential legal settlement, operating income would have increased 11.0%.
Operating margin of 24.3% increased 180 basis points. Excluding the 60 basis points of favorability from the confidential legal settlement, operating margin of 23.7% increased 120 basis points primarily driven by the benefits of the Company's enterprise initiatives of 120 basis points. In addition, positive operating leverage of 70 basis points was offset by unfavorable price/cost of 40 basis points and the dilutive impact of 30 basis points from the EF&C acquisition.
On December 22, 2017, the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (the “Act”) was enacted in the United States. The provisions of the Act significantly revised the U.S. corporate income tax rules. As a result, the Company recorded a one-time income tax charge of $658 million during the fourth quarter of 2017. Refer to Note 6. Income Taxes in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.
Diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $4.86 included the unfavorable impact of $1.90 for the previously discussed one-time tax charge and the favorable impact of $0.17 for the confidential legal settlement. Excluding these two items, EPS of $6.59 increased 15.6%.
Free cash flow was $2.1 billion for 2017 and included the impact from an additional discretionary pension contribution of $115 million in the second quarter of 2017. Refer to the Cash Flow section of Liquidity and Capital Resources for a reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure.
The Company repurchased approximately 7.1 million shares of its common stock in 2017 for approximately $1.0 billion.
The Company increased the quarterly dividend by 20.0% in 2017. Total cash dividends of $941 million were paid in 2017.
Adjusted after-tax return on average invested capital was 24.3%, an increase of 220 basis points. Refer to the Adjusted After-Tax Return on Average Invested Capital section of Liquidity and Capital Resources for a reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure.


23



RESULTS OF OPERATIONS BY SEGMENT

The reconciliation of segment operating revenue and operating income to total operating revenue and operating income is as follows:

 
Operating Revenue
In millions
2018
 
2017
 
2016
Automotive OEM
$
3,338

 
$
3,271

 
$
2,864

Food Equipment
2,214

 
2,123

 
2,110

Test & Measurement and Electronics
2,171

 
2,069

 
1,974

Welding
1,691

 
1,538

 
1,486

Polymers & Fluids
1,724

 
1,724

 
1,691

Construction Products
1,700

 
1,672

 
1,609

Specialty Products
1,951

 
1,938

 
1,885

Intersegment revenue
(21
)
 
(21
)
 
(20
)
  Total
$
14,768

 
$
14,314

 
$
13,599


 
Operating Income
In millions
2018
 
2017
 
2016
Automotive OEM
$
751

 
$
747

 
$
690

Food Equipment
572

 
556

 
537

Test & Measurement and Electronics
523

 
464

 
372

Welding
474

 
415

 
370

Polymers & Fluids
369

 
357

 
343

Construction Products
414

 
399

 
361

Specialty Products
522

 
527

 
482

  Total Segments
3,625

 
3,465

 
3,155

Unallocated
(41
)
 
20

 
(99
)
  Total
$
3,584

 
$
3,485

 
$
3,056


Segments are allocated a fixed overhead charge based on the segment's revenue. Expenses not charged to the segments are reported separately as Unallocated. Because the Unallocated category includes a variety of items, it is subject to fluctuations on a quarterly and annual basis. Unallocated in 2017 includes the favorable impact from the previously discussed confidential legal settlement.

AUTOMOTIVE OEM

This segment is a global, niche supplier to top tier OEMs, providing unique innovation to address pain points for sophisticated customers with complex problems. Businesses in this segment produce components and fasteners for automotive-related applications. This segment primarily serves the automotive original equipment manufacturers and tiers market. Products in this segment include:

plastic and metal components, fasteners and assemblies for automobiles, light trucks and other industrial uses.


24



The results of operations for the Automotive OEM segment for 2018, 2017 and 2016 were as follows:

2018 compared to 2017

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2018
 
2017
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
3,338

 
$
3,271

 
2.0
%
 
 %
%
%
2.0
%
2.0
%
Operating income
$
751

 
$
747

 
0.5
%
 
(2.0
)%
%
0.6
%
1.9
%
0.5
%
Operating margin %
22.5
%
 
22.8
%
 
(30) bps

 
(40) bps


10 bps


(30) bps


Operating revenue increased due to the favorable effect of foreign currency translation.
Organic revenue was flat compared to worldwide auto builds which declined 1%. Product line simplification activities reduced organic revenue growth by 120 basis points.
North American organic revenue increased 3.0% compared to North American auto builds which declined 1%. Auto builds for the Detroit 3, where the Company has higher content, were flat.
European organic revenue declined 2.7% compared to European auto builds which declined 1% due to customer mix. Organic revenue was negatively impacted by the new emissions testing requirements in Europe which disrupted auto production in the second half of 2018.
Asia Pacific organic revenue decreased 0.7%. China organic revenue grew 2.6% versus Chinese auto builds which declined 4%, as auto production in China softened during the second half of 2018.
Operating margin was 22.5% in 2018. The decrease of 30 basis points was primarily due to unfavorable price/cost of 130 basis points, partially offset by benefits from the Company's enterprise initiatives.

2017 compared to 2016

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2017
 
2016
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
3,271

 
$
2,864

 
14.2
%
 
4.1
%
8.9
%
 %
1.2
%
14.2
%
Operating income
$
747

 
$
690

 
8.2
%
 
5.7
%
3.2
%
(1.6
)%
0.9
%
8.2
%
Operating margin %
22.8
%
 
24.1
%
 
(130) bps

 
30 bps

(120) bps

(40) bps


(130) bps


Operating revenue increased due to the EF&C acquisition, higher organic revenue and the favorable effect of foreign currency translation.
Organic revenue grew 4.1% as a result of penetration gains, exceeding auto build growth of 2%.
European organic revenue growth of 8.3% exceeded European auto builds which grew 3%.
Asia Pacific organic revenue increased 9.5%. China organic revenue growth of 16.6% exceeded Chinese auto build growth of 2%. Auto builds of foreign automotive manufacturers in China, where the Company has higher content, grew 5%.
North American organic revenue decreased 1.1% versus total North American auto builds which declined 4%. Auto build growth for the Detroit 3, where the Company has higher content, declined 7%.
Operating margin of 22.8% decreased 130 basis points primarily driven by the dilutive impact of 120 basis points from the EF&C acquisition, unfavorable price/cost of 120 basis points and higher restructuring expenses, partially offset by positive operating leverage of 60 basis points and the net benefits from the Company's enterprise initiatives and cost management of 90 basis points.


25



FOOD EQUIPMENT

This segment is a highly focused and branded industry leader in commercial food equipment differentiated by innovation and integrated service offerings. This segment primarily serves the food service, food institutional/restaurant and food retail markets. Products in this segment include:

warewashing equipment;
cooking equipment, including ovens, ranges and broilers;
refrigeration equipment, including refrigerators, freezers and prep tables;
food processing equipment, including slicers, mixers and scales;
kitchen exhaust, ventilation and pollution control systems; and
food equipment service, maintenance and repair.

The results of operations for the Food Equipment segment for 2018, 2017 and 2016 were as follows:

2018 compared to 2017

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2018
 
2017
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
2,214

 
$
2,123

 
4.3
%
 
2.8
%
%
%
1.5
%
4.3
%
Operating income
$
572

 
$
556

 
2.9
%
 
1.0
%
%
0.3
%
1.6
%
2.9
%
Operating margin %
25.8
%
 
26.2
%
 
(40) bps

 
(50) bps


10 bps


(40) bps


Operating revenue increased due to higher organic revenue and the favorable effect of foreign currency translation.
Organic revenue increased 2.8% as equipment and service organic revenue increased 3.2% and 2.1%, respectively.
North American organic revenue increased 3.5%. Equipment organic revenue grew 4.6% as higher end market demand in cooking, refrigeration and warewash was offset by lower end market demand in food retail. Service organic revenue grew 1.9%.
International organic revenue increased 1.9%. Equipment organic revenue grew 1.8% primarily due to higher demand in the European warewash and cooking end markets, partially offset by lower end market demand in refrigeration. Service organic revenue increased 2.4%.
Operating margin of 25.8% in 2018 declined 40 basis points primarily due to the unfavorable impact of product mix and higher employee-related expenses, partially offset by benefits from the Company's enterprise initiatives and positive operating leverage of 60 basis points.

2017 compared to 2016

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2017
 
2016
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
2,123

 
$
2,110

 
0.6
%
 
0.5
%
%
%
0.1
%
0.6
%
Operating income
$
556

 
$
537

 
3.6
%
 
2.2
%
%
1.2
%
0.2
%
3.6
%
Operating margin %
26.2
%
 
25.4
%
 
80 bps

 
50 bps


30 bps


80 bps


Operating revenue increased primarily due to organic revenue growth.
Organic revenue increased 0.5% as equipment and service organic revenue grew 0.2% and 0.8%, respectively.
International organic revenue grew 2.3%. International equipment organic revenue increased 2.6% primarily due to higher demand in the European refrigeration and warewash end markets. International service organic revenue grew 1.7%.
North American organic revenue decreased 1.0%. Equipment organic revenue, which had a challenging comparable in the prior year period of 6.6% growth, decreased 1.8% primarily due to lower end market demand in the retail, restaurant and institutional end markets. Service revenue in North America increased 0.3%.

26



Operating margin of 26.2% increased 80 basis points primarily driven by lower restructuring expenses, positive operating leverage and favorable price/cost of 20 basis points each, and the net benefits of the Company's enterprise initiatives and cost management.

TEST & MEASUREMENT AND ELECTRONICS

This segment is a branded and innovative producer of test and measurement and electronic manufacturing and maintenance, repair, and operations, or "MRO" solutions that improve efficiency and quality for customers in diverse end markets. Businesses in this segment produce equipment, consumables, and related software for testing and measuring of materials and structures, as well as equipment and consumables used in the production of electronic subassemblies and microelectronics. This segment primarily serves the electronics, general industrial, industrial capital goods, automotive original equipment manufacturers and tiers, and consumer durables markets. Products in this segment include:

equipment, consumables, and related software for testing and measuring of materials, structures, gases and fluids;
electronic assembly equipment and related consumable solder materials;
electronic components and component packaging;
static control equipment and consumables used for contamination control in clean room environments; and
pressure sensitive adhesives and components for electronics, medical, transportation and telecommunications applications.

The results of operations for the Test & Measurement and Electronics segment for 2018, 2017 and 2016 were as follows:

2018 compared to 2017

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2018
 
2017
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
2,171

 
$
2,069

 
4.9
%
 
3.5
%
%
%
1.4
%
4.9
%
Operating income
$
523

 
$
464

 
12.7
%
 
11.3
%
%
%
1.4
%
12.7
%
Operating margin %
24.1
%
 
22.4
%
 
170 bps

 
170 bps




170 bps


Operating revenue increased due to higher organic revenue and the favorable effect of foreign currency translation.
Organic revenue increased 3.5% in 2018.
Organic revenue for the test and measurement businesses increased 5.5% with growth in all major regions primarily due to higher semi-conductor end market demand. Instron, where demand is more closely tied to the capital spending environment, had organic revenue growth of 7.1%.
Electronics organic revenue grew 1.2%. The electronics assembly businesses declined 4.3% due to lower demand across North America and Europe. The other electronics businesses, which include the contamination control, static control and pressure sensitive adhesives businesses, grew 5.0% primarily due to higher semi-conductor end market demand in North America.
Operating margin was 24.1% in 2018. The increase of 170 basis points was primarily driven by positive operating leverage of 90 basis points and benefits from the Company's enterprise initiatives.

2017 compared to 2016

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2017
 
2016
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
2,069

 
$
1,974

 
4.8
%
 
4.8
%
%
%
%
4.8
%
Operating income
$
464

 
$
372

 
24.7
%
 
24.0
%
%
0.7
%
%
24.7
%
Operating margin %
22.4
%
 
18.9
%
 
350 bps

 
340 bps


10 bps


350 bps


Operating revenue increased due to organic revenue growth.
Organic revenue increased 4.8%.

27



Organic revenue for the test and measurement businesses increased 7.2% primarily due to higher semi-conductor end market demand in North America and Asia. Instron, where demand is more closely tied to the capital spending environment, had organic revenue growth of 5.1%.
Electronics organic revenue, which had a challenging comparable in the prior year period of 4.9% growth, increased 2.2%. The electronics assembly businesses declined 1.1% primarily due to a decrease in North America. The other electronics businesses, which include the contamination control, static control and pressure sensitive adhesives businesses, grew 4.7% primarily due to higher semi-conductor end market demand in North America.
Operating margin of 22.4% increased 350 basis points primarily driven by the net benefits resulting from the Company's enterprise initiatives and cost management of 130 basis points, positive operating leverage of 130 basis points and favorable price/cost of 30 basis points.

WELDING

This segment is a branded value-added equipment and specialty consumable manufacturer with innovative and leading technology. Businesses in this segment produce arc welding equipment, consumables and accessories for a wide array of industrial and commercial applications. This segment primarily serves the general industrial market, which includes fabrication, shipbuilding and other general industrial markets, and energy, construction, MRO, automotive original equipment manufacturers and tiers, and industrial capital goods markets. Products in this segment include:

arc welding equipment;
metal arc welding consumables and related accessories; and
metal jacketing and other insulation products.

The results of operations for the Welding segment for 2018, 2017 and 2016 were as follows:

2018 compared to 2017

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2018
 
2017
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Restructuring
Impairment
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
1,691

 
$
1,538

 
9.9
%
 
9.7
%
%
%
0.2
%
9.9
%
Operating income
$
474

 
$
415

 
14.3
%
 
13.1
%
1.0
%
%
0.2
%
14.3
%
Operating margin %
28.0
%
 
27.0
%
 
100 bps

 
80 bps

20 bps



100 bps


Operating revenue increased primarily due to higher organic revenue.
Organic revenue grew 9.7% driven by growth in equipment of 11.0% and consumables of 7.9%. Organic revenue grew primarily due to increased demand in the industrial end markets related to heavy equipment for agriculture, infrastructure and mining, in the commercial end markets related to construction, light fabrication and farm and ranch customers, and in the oil and gas end markets.
North American organic revenue increased 10.6% primarily due to 14.7% and 5.8% growth in the industrial and commercial end markets, respectively.
International organic revenue increased 5.7% primarily due to higher demand in the oil and gas end markets.
Operating margin was 28.0% in 2018. The increase of 100 basis points was primarily due to positive operating leverage of 150 basis points and benefits from the Company's enterprise initiatives, partially offset by higher freight and employee-related expenses.


28



2017 compared to 2016

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2017
 
2016
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Restructuring
Impairment
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
1,538

 
$
1,486

 
3.5
%
 
3.2
%
%
%
0.3
%
3.5
%
Operating income
$
415

 
$
370

 
12.1
%
 
9.6
%
1.5
%
0.8
%
0.2
%
12.1
%
Operating margin %
27.0
%
 
24.9
%
 
210 bps

 
160 bps

30 bps

20 bps


210 bps


Operating revenue increased due to higher organic revenue and the favorable effect of foreign currency translation.
Organic revenue grew 3.2% as equipment grew 6.5%, partially offset by a decrease of 1.0% in consumables. Organic revenue grew primarily due to increased demand in the industrial end markets related to heavy equipment for agriculture, infrastructure and mining and in the commercial end markets related to construction, light fabrication and farm and ranch customers.
North American organic revenue grew 6.2% primarily driven by 7.2% growth in the industrial end markets and 4.8% growth in the commercial end markets.
International organic revenue decreased 8.0% primarily due to weaker end market demand in the European and Asian oil and gas end markets.
Operating margin of 27.0% increased 210 basis points primarily due to the net benefits of the Company's enterprise initiatives and cost management of 150 basis points, positive operating leverage of 70 basis points and lower restructuring expenses of 30 basis points, partially offset by unfavorable price/cost of 60 basis points. In addition, the prior year period was negatively impacted by an intangible asset impairment charge of 20 basis points.

POLYMERS & FLUIDS

This segment is a branded supplier to niche markets that require value-added, differentiated products. Businesses in this segment produce engineered adhesives, sealants, lubrication and cutting fluids, and fluids and polymers for auto aftermarket maintenance and appearance. This segment primarily serves the automotive aftermarket, general industrial, MRO and construction markets. Products in this segment include:

adhesives for industrial, construction and consumer purposes;
chemical fluids which clean or add lubrication to machines;
epoxy and resin-based coating products for industrial applications;
hand wipes and cleaners for industrial applications;
fluids, polymers and other supplies for auto aftermarket maintenance and appearance;
fillers and putties for auto body repair; and
polyester coatings and patch and repair products for the marine industry.

The results of operations for the Polymers & Fluids segment for 2018, 2017 and 2016 were as follows:

2018 compared to 2017

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2018
 
2017
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
1,724

 
$
1,724

 
-

 
1.0
%
(0.4
)%
%
(0.6
)%
-

Operating income
$
369

 
$
357

 
3.3
%
 
2.1
%
(0.2
)%
1.7
%
(0.3
)%
3.3
%
Operating margin %
21.4
%
 
20.7
%
 
70 bps

 
20 bps


40 bps

10 bps

70 bps


Operating revenue was flat as an increase in organic revenue was offset by the unfavorable effect of foreign currency translation and a divestiture.
Organic revenue increased 1.0% as higher demand in North America was partially offset by lower demand in Europe.

29



Organic revenue for the automotive aftermarket businesses grew 2.3% as stronger demand in the car care and tire repair businesses in North America was partially offset by a decline in the engine and body repair businesses.
Organic revenue for the polymers businesses increased 0.9% primarily driven by an increase in North America and South America, partially offset by a decline in Europe.
Organic revenue for the fluids businesses declined 1.1% primarily due to decreased demand in Europe and South America, partially offset by growth in the industrial maintenance, repair, and operations end markets in North America.
Operating margin of 21.4% increased 70 basis points primarily driven by benefits from the Company's enterprise initiatives, lower restructuring expenses and positive operating leverage of 30 basis points, partially offset by unfavorable price/cost of 100 basis points.

2017 compared to 2016

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2017
 
2016
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
1,724

 
$
1,691

 
2.0
%
 
1.0
%
%
 %
1.0
%
2.0
%
Operating income
$
357

 
$
343

 
4.1
%
 
4.7
%
%
(1.1
)%
0.5
%
4.1
%
Operating margin %
20.7
%
 
20.3
%
 
40 bps

 
80 bps


(30) bps

(10) bps

40 bps


Operating revenue increased due to higher organic revenue and the favorable effect of foreign currency translation.
Organic revenue grew 1.0% primarily due to higher demand in North American end markets.
Organic revenue for the automotive aftermarket businesses increased 0.6% primarily driven by stronger demand in the car care and tire repair businesses in North America.
Organic revenue for the fluids businesses grew 2.9% primarily due to an increase in the industrial maintenance, repair, and operations end markets in North America and Europe.
Organic revenue for the polymers businesses was flat as increases in Asia and South America were offset by a decline in Europe.
Operating margin of 20.7% increased 40 basis points primarily driven by the net benefits of the Company's enterprise initiatives and cost management of 80 basis points and favorable operating leverage of 30 basis points, partially offset by unfavorable price/cost of 30 basis points and higher restructuring expenses.

CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS

This segment is a branded supplier of innovative engineered fastening systems and solutions. This segment primarily serves the residential construction, renovation/remodel and commercial construction markets. Products in this segment include:

fasteners and related fastening tools for wood and metal applications;
anchors, fasteners and related tools for concrete applications;
metal plate truss components and related equipment and software; and
packaged hardware, fasteners, anchors and other products for retail.


30



The results of operations for the Construction Products segment for 2018, 2017 and 2016 were as follows:

2018 compared to 2017

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2018
 
2017
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
1,700

 
$
1,672

 
1.6
%
 
1.2
%
%
%
0.4
%
1.6
%
Operating income
$
414

 
$
399

 
3.6
%
 
3.1
%
%
0.3
%
0.2
%
3.6
%
Operating margin %
24.3
%
 
23.9
%
 
40 bps

 
40 bps


10 bps

(10) bps

40 bps


Operating revenue increased due to higher organic revenue and the favorable effect of foreign currency translation.
Organic revenue increased 1.2% in 2018.
North American organic revenue grew 1.6% as growth in the residential end markets of 3.2% was partially offset by a decline in the commercial end markets of 5.7%.
International organic revenue increased 0.9%. European organic revenue increased 2.7% primarily due to growth in continental Europe and the Nordic countries. Asia Pacific organic revenue declined 0.8% primarily due to a decrease in the Australia and New Zealand retail end markets in the second half of the year.
Operating margin was 24.3% in 2018. The increase of 40 basis points was primarily driven by the net benefits of the Company's enterprise initiatives and cost management of 110 basis points and positive operating leverage of 20 basis points, partially offset by unfavorable price/cost of 90 basis points.

2017 compared to 2016

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2017
 
2016
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
1,672

 
$
1,609

 
3.9
%
 
2.9
%
%
%
1.0
%
3.9
%
Operating income
$
399

 
$
361

 
10.7
%
 
7.5
%
%
2.0
%
1.2
%
10.7
%
Operating margin %
23.9
%
 
22.4
%
 
150 bps

 
100 bps


50 bps


150 bps


Operating revenue increased due to organic revenue growth and the favorable effect of foreign currency translation.
Organic revenue increased 2.9%.
International organic revenue increased 3.6%. European organic revenue grew 4.0% primarily due to growth in the United Kingdom and the Nordic countries. Asia Pacific organic revenue increased 3.1% primarily due to growth in the Australia and New Zealand retail end markets.
North American organic revenue increased 1.9% primarily due to 2.1% growth in the residential end markets, partially offset by a decline of 0.5% in the commercial end markets.
Operating margin of 23.9% increased 150 basis points driven by the net benefits of the Company's enterprise initiatives and cost management of 110 basis points, positive operating leverage of 70 basis points and lower restructuring expenses of 50 basis points, partially offset by unfavorable price/cost of 80 basis points.

SPECIALTY PRODUCTS

This segment is focused on diversified niche market opportunities with substantial patent protection producing beverage packaging equipment and consumables, product coding and marking equipment and consumables, and appliance components and fasteners. This segment primarily serves the food and beverage, consumer durables, general industrial, printing and publishing and industrial capital goods markets. Products in this segment include:

line integration, conveyor systems and line automation for the food and beverage industries;
plastic consumables that multi-pack cans and bottles and related equipment;
foil, film and related equipment used to decorate consumer products;
product coding and marking equipment and related consumables;

31



plastic and metal closures and components for appliances;
airport ground support equipment; and
components for medical devices.

The results of operations for the Specialty Products segment for 2018, 2017 and 2016 were as follows:

2018 compared to 2017

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2018
 
2017
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
1,951

 
$
1,938

 
0.7
 %
 
(0.4
)%
(0.1
)%
%
1.2
%
0.7
 %
Operating income
$
522

 
$
527

 
(0.8
)%
 
(2.5
)%
(0.1
)%
0.6
%
1.2
%
(0.8
)%
Operating margin %
26.8
%
 
27.2
%
 
(40) bps

 
(60) bps


20 bps


(40) bps


Operating revenue increased due to the favorable effect of foreign currency translation.
Organic revenue decreased 0.4% as consumables declined 2.9%, partially offset by growth in equipment sales of 9.9%. Product line simplification activities reduced organic revenue growth by 130 basis points.
North American organic revenue grew 1.8% primarily due to increased demand in the consumer packaging and ground support businesses, partially offset by a decline in the labels, appliance and plastic films businesses.
International organic revenue decreased 3.8% primarily due to a decline in the graphics, appliance and plastic films businesses in Europe and Asia Pacific.
Operating margin of 26.8% in 2018 decreased 40 basis points primarily driven by the unfavorable impact of product mix, higher freight and employee-related expenses, and unfavorable price/cost of 20 basis points, partially offset by benefits from the Company's enterprise initiatives and lower restructuring expenses.

2017 compared to 2016

 
For the Years Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dollars in millions
December 31,
 
Components of Increase (Decrease)
 
2017
 
2016
 
Inc (Dec)
 
Organic
Acquisition/Divestiture
Restructuring
Foreign Currency
Total
Operating revenue
$
1,938

 
$
1,885

 
2.8
%
 
3.5
%
(1.1
)%
 %
0.4
%
2.8
%
Operating income
$
527

 
$
482

 
9.4
%
 
10.0
%
(0.1
)%
(1.0
)%
0.5
%
9.4
%
Operating margin %
27.2
%
 
25.6
%
 
160 bps

 
160 bps

30 bps

(30) bps


160 bps


Operating revenue increased due to organic revenue growth and the favorable effect of foreign currency translation, partially offset by a divestiture.
Organic revenue increased 3.5% primarily driven by growth of 4.2% in the consumer packaging businesses.
International organic revenue increased 7.3% driven by growth in the appliance and consumer packaging businesses across all major regions.
North American organic revenue increased 1.3% driven by growth in the consumer packaging, medical and appliance businesses, partially offset by a decline in the ground support equipment and gluing system businesses.
Operating margin of 27.2% increased 160 basis points primarily driven by the net benefits of the Company's enterprise initiatives and cost management of 110 basis points and positive operating leverage of 70 basis points, partially offset by unfavorable price/cost of 30 basis points and higher restructuring expenses.

OTHER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Interest expense was $257 million in 2018, $260 million in 2017 and $237 million in 2016. Interest expense in 2018 was $3 million lower than the previous year primarily due to lower outstanding commercial paper in 2018. The increased expense in 2017 compared to 2016 was primarily due to the November 2016 debt issuance.
Other income (expense) was income of $67 million in 2018, $45 million in 2017 and $89 million in 2016. The income in 2018 increased $22 million compared to 2017 primarily due to other net periodic benefit income related

32



to defined benefit pension and other postretirement plans and lower foreign currency translation losses. The income in 2017 is lower than 2016 primarily due to foreign currency translation losses and a $54 million pre-tax gain recorded in 2016 resulting from a $167 million dividend distribution from Wilsonart that exceeded the equity investment balance, partially offset by $30 million of pre-tax losses in 2016 related to the disposals of businesses and the disposal of a partnership investment.
The effective tax rate was 24.5% in 2018, 48.4% in 2017, and 30.0% in 2016. The effective tax rate for 2018 and 2017 included discrete tax benefits of $10 million and $50 million, respectively, related to excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation guidance effective January 1, 2017. Additionally, included in the effective tax rate for 2017 was a one-time additional income tax expense of $658 million related to the United States "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act". Refer to Note 1. Description of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Note 6. Income Taxes in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.
The impact of the Euro and other foreign currencies against the U.S. Dollar increased operating revenue and income before taxes by approximately $150 million and $37 million in 2018 versus 2017, respectively. The impact of the Euro and other foreign currencies against the U.S. Dollar increased operating revenue and income before taxes by approximately $77 million and $13 million in 2017 versus 2016, respectively.

NEW ACCOUNTING PRONOUNCEMENTS

Effective January 1, 2017

In March 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the "FASB") issued authoritative guidance that includes several changes to simplify the accounting for stock-based compensation, including the accounting for income taxes, forfeitures, statutory tax withholding requirements and classification of tax benefits in the statement of cash flows. Among the more significant changes, the new guidance requires that the income tax effects associated with the settlement of stock-based awards after adoption of the guidance be recognized through income tax expense rather than directly in equity. Additionally, the income tax effects related to excess tax benefits should be presented within operating cash flows in the statement of cash flows rather than as a financing activity. Excess tax benefits recognized in equity under the prior guidance was $29 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. The Company adopted the new guidance effective January 1, 2017 and applied the new guidance prospectively. Excess tax benefits of $10 million and $50 million were included in Income taxes in the statement of income for the years ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017, respectively. The expected effect on income tax expense or net cash provided from operating activities related to future stock-based award settlements will vary each period and will depend on inputs such as the stock price at the time of settlement and the number of awards settled in the period presented.

Effective January 1, 2018

In May 2014, the FASB issued authoritative guidance to change the criteria for revenue recognition. The core principle of the new guidance is that revenue should be recognized to depict the transfer of control of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. In addition, expanded revenue disclosures are required. The Company's sales arrangements with customers are predominantly short-term in nature and generally provide for transfer of control and risks and rewards of ownership at the time of product shipment or delivery of service. As such, the timing of revenue recognition under both the prior and new guidance is the same for the majority of the Company’s transactions. Effective January 1, 2018, the Company adopted the new revenue recognition guidance under the modified retrospective method and recorded a cumulative-effect adjustment reducing retained earnings by $9 million as of January 1, 2018. Under the modified retrospective method of adoption, prior periods are not restated and the new guidance is applied prospectively to revenue transactions completed on or after January 1, 2018. Given the nature of the Company’s revenue transactions, the new guidance had an immaterial impact on the Company's operating revenue, results of operations, and financial position for the year ended December 31, 2018. The Company updated its revenue recognition accounting policy to reflect the requirements of the new guidance and included additional disclosures regarding the Company's revenue transactions. Refer to Note 1. Description of Business and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Note 3. Operating Revenue in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.

In October 2016, the FASB issued authoritative guidance requiring the recognition of the income tax consequences of an intra-entity transfer of an asset, other than inventory, when the transfer occurs rather than when transferred to a third party as required under the prior guidance. The provisions of the new guidance are being applied prospectively to intra-entity asset transfers on or after January 1, 2018 and may result in future tax rate volatility. Upon adoption of the new guidance on January 1, 2018, the Company recorded a cumulative-effect adjustment reducing deferred tax assets and retained earnings by

33



$406 million. For the year ended December 31, 2018, the impact of the new guidance on the Company's effective income tax rate was not material.

In March 2017, the FASB issued authoritative guidance which changes the income statement presentation of net periodic benefit cost related to defined benefit pension and other postretirement plans. The primary change under the new guidance is that only the service cost component of net periodic benefit cost should be included in operating income and is eligible for capitalization as an asset. The other components of net periodic benefit cost ("other net periodic benefit cost"), including interest cost, expected return on assets, settlements, curtailments, and amortization of actuarial gains and losses and prior service cost, should be presented below operating income. Effective January 1, 2018, the Company adopted the new presentation of other net periodic benefit cost and restated the prior year statements of income and related disclosures for comparability, as required under the new guidance. For the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, other net periodic benefit cost included in Other income (expense) was income of $20 million, $9 million and $8 million, respectively. Refer to Note 10. Pension and Other Postretirement Benefits in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.

In February 2018, the FASB issued authoritative guidance which allows for an optional one-time reclassification of the stranded tax effects resulting from the change in the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate under the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (the "Act") from accumulated other comprehensive income ("AOCI") to retained earnings. The guidance is effective January 1, 2019, with early adoption permitted. The Company elected to early adopt this guidance as of January 1, 2018 and to reclassify the stranded tax effects related to the Act, which resulted in an increase of $45 million to both retained earnings and accumulated other comprehensive loss. Refer to Note 12. Stockholders' Equity in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.

Effective January 1, 2019

In February 2016, the FASB issued authoritative guidance to change the criteria for recognizing leasing transactions. Under the new guidance, a lessee will be required to recognize a lease liability and a right-of-use asset for all leases with a lease term greater than twelve months, including operating leases, in the statement of financial position. This guidance was effective January 1, 2019 and the Company will apply the guidance prospectively to lease transactions as of and after the effective date. Although the Company is currently finalizing its review of operating leases as of the adoption date, the Company expects to record a right of use asset and lease liability for its operating leases of less than two percent of total assets. Additionally, the Company expects to provide additional disclosures in periods subsequent to adoption. The new guidance is not expected to have a material impact on the results of operations or cash flows of the Company.

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

The Company’s primary sources of liquidity are free cash flow and short-term credit facilities. In addition, the Company had $1.5 billion of cash and equivalents on hand at December 31, 2018 and also maintains strong access to public debt markets. Management believes that these sources are sufficient to service debt and to finance the Company's capital allocation priorities, which include:

internal investments to support organic growth and sustain core businesses;
payment of an attractive dividend to shareholders; and
external investments in selective strategic acquisitions that support the Company's organic growth focus and an active share repurchase program.

The Company believes that, based on its operating revenue, operating margin, free cash flow, and credit ratings, it could readily obtain additional financing if necessary.


34



Cash Flow

The Company uses free cash flow to measure cash flow generated by operations that is available for dividends, share repurchases, acquisitions and debt repayment. The Company believes this non-GAAP financial measure is useful to investors in evaluating the Company’s financial performance and measures the Company's ability to generate cash internally to fund Company initiatives. Free cash flow represents net cash provided by operating activities less additions to plant and equipment. Free cash flow is a measurement that is not the same as net cash flow from operating activities per the statement of cash flows and may not be consistent with similarly titled measures used by other companies. Summarized cash flow information for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 was as follows:

In millions
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
Net cash provided by operating activities
 
$
2,811


$
2,402

 
$
2,302

Additions to plant and equipment
 
(364
)

(297
)
 
(273
)
Free cash flow
 
$
2,447

 
$
2,105

 
$
2,029

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash dividends paid
 
$
(1,124
)
 
$
(941
)
 
$
(821
)
Repurchases of common stock
 
(2,000
)
 
(1,000
)
 
(2,000
)
Acquisition of businesses (excluding cash and equivalents) and additional interest in affiliates
 

 
(3
)
 
(453
)
Dividend distribution from equity investment in Wilsonart
 

 

 
167

Net proceeds (repayments) of debt
 
(851
)
 
197

 
465

Other
 
50

 
119

 
128

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and equivalents
 
(112
)
 
145

 
(133
)
Net increase (decrease) in cash and equivalents
 
$
(1,590
)
 
$
622

 
$
(618
)

Free cash flow for the year ended December 31, 2017 included the impact of an additional $115 million discretionary pension contribution related to the U.S. primary pension plan.

Stock Repurchase Programs

On February 13, 2015, the Company's Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program which provides for the repurchase of up to $6.0 billion of the Company’s common stock over an open-ended period of time (the "2015 Program"). Under the 2015 Program, the Company repurchased approximately 6.1 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $91.78 per share during 2015, 18.7 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $107.17 per share during 2016, approximately 7.1 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $140.56 per share during 2017 and approximately 13.9 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $143.66 per share during 2018. As of December 31, 2018, there were approximately $446 million of authorized repurchases remaining under the 2015 Program.

On August 3, 2018, the Company's Board of Directors authorized a new stock repurchase program which provides for the buyback of up to an additional $3.0 billion of the Company's common stock over an open-ended period of time (the "2018 Program"). As of December 31, 2018, there were $3.0 billion of authorized repurchases remaining under the 2018 program.

35



Adjusted After-Tax Return on Average Invested Capital

The Company uses adjusted after-tax return on average invested capital ("ROIC") to measure the effectiveness of its operations’ use of invested capital to generate profits. ROIC is a non-GAAP financial measure that the Company believes is a meaningful metric to investors in evaluating the Company’s financial performance and may be different than the method used by other companies to calculate ROIC. For comparability, the Company excluded the third quarter net discrete tax benefit of $15 million from the effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2018. The Company also excluded the $658 million income tax charge from the effective tax rate and the $95 million confidential legal settlement from the calculation of ROIC for the year ended December 31, 2017. Adjusted average invested capital represents the net assets of the Company, excluding cash and equivalents and outstanding debt, which are excluded as they do not represent capital investment in the Company's operations, as well as the Company's equity investment in the Wilsonart business (formerly the Decorative Surfaces segment). Average invested capital is calculated using balances at the start of the period and at the end of each quarter. ROIC for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017, and 2016 was as follows:

Dollars in millions
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
Operating income
 
$
3,584

 
$
3,485

 
$
3,056

Less: Legal settlement income
 

 
(95
)
 

Adjusted operating income
 
3,584

 
3,390

 
3,056

Adjusted tax rate
 
24.9
%

28.3
%
 
30.0
%
Income taxes
 
(893
)

(958
)
 
(917
)
Operating income after taxes
 
$
2,691

 
$
2,432


$
2,139

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Invested capital:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Trade receivables
 
$
2,622


$
2,628

 
$
2,357

Inventories
 
1,318


1,220

 
1,076

Net plant and equipment
 
1,791


1,778

 
1,652

Goodwill and intangible assets
 
5,717


6,024

 
6,021

Accounts payable and accrued expenses
 
(1,795
)

(1,848
)
 
(1,713
)
Other, net
 
(519
)

21

 
223

Total invested capital
 
$
9,134

 
$
9,823

 
$
9,616

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Average invested capital
 
$
9,533


$
10,005

 
$
9,780

Adjustment for Wilsonart (formerly the Decorative Surfaces segment)
 



 
(91
)
Adjusted average invested capital
 
$
9,533

 
$
10,005

 
$
9,689

Adjusted return on average invested capital
 
28.2
%

24.3
%
 
22.1
%

ROIC for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 was 28.2%, an improvement of 390 basis points primarily related to the new U.S. tax rules and regulations. ROIC increased 220 basis points in 2017 versus 2016 as a result of a 13.7% improvement in after-tax operating income versus a 3.3% increase in adjusted average invested capital. The discrete tax benefits related to share-based compensation improved after-tax ROIC by 50 basis points in 2017.

A reconciliation of the 2018 effective tax rate excluding the third quarter net discrete tax benefit is as follows:

 
Twelve Months Ended
 
December 31, 2018
 
Income Taxes
 
Tax Rate
As reported
$
831

 
24.5
%
Net discrete tax benefit related to third quarter
15

 
0.4
%
As adjusted
$
846

 
24.9
%

36



A reconciliation of the 2017 effective tax rate excluding the discrete tax charge related to the 2017 U.S. tax legislation is as follows:

 
Twelve Months Ended
 
December 31, 2017
 
Income Taxes
 
Tax Rate
As reported
$
1,583

 
48.4
 %
Discrete tax charge related to 2017 U.S. tax legislation
(658
)
 
(20.1
)%
As adjusted
$
925

 
28.3
 %

Refer to Note 6. Income Taxes in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information regarding the third quarter 2018 net discrete tax benefit and the 2017 discrete tax charge related to the 2017 U.S. tax legislation.

Working Capital

Management uses working capital as a measurement of the short-term liquidity of the Company. Net working capital at December 31, 2018 and 2017 is summarized as follows:

Dollars in millions
 
2018
 
2017
 
Increase
(Decrease)
Current Assets:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and equivalents
 
$
1,504

 
$
3,094

 
$
(1,590
)
Trade receivables
 
2,622

 
2,628

 
(6
)
Inventories
 
1,318

 
1,220

 
98

Other
 
334

 
336

 
(2
)
 
 
5,778

 
7,278

 
(1,500
)
Current Liabilities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Short-term debt
 
1,351

 
850

 
501

Accounts payable and accrued expenses
 
1,795

 
1,848

 
(53
)
Other
 
396

 
355

 
41

 
 
3,542

 
3,053

 
489

Net Working Capital
 
$
2,236

 
$
4,225

 
$
(1,989
)

The decrease in net working capital at December 31, 2018 was primarily driven by lower cash and equivalents and higher short-term debt due to current maturities of long-term debt.

As of December 31, 2018, a majority of the Company's cash and equivalents was held by international subsidiaries. Cash and equivalents held internationally may be subject to foreign withholding taxes if repatriated to the U.S. A portion of the cash and equivalents balances held internationally is typically used for international operating needs, reinvested to fund expansion of existing international businesses, used to fund new international acquisitions, or used to repay debt held internationally. In the U.S., the Company utilizes cash flows from domestic operations to fund domestic cash needs, which primarily consist of dividend payments, share repurchases, acquisitions, servicing of domestic debt obligations, reinvesting to fund expansion of existing U.S. businesses and general corporate needs. The Company also uses its commercial paper program, which is backed by long-term credit facilities, for short-term liquidity needs. The Company believes cash generated domestically and liquidity provided by the Company's commercial paper program will continue to be sufficient to fund cash requirements in the U.S.
On December 22, 2017, the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (the “Act”) was enacted in the United States. The provisions of the Act significantly revised the U.S. corporate income tax rules, including a one-time repatriation tax on the deemed repatriation of post-1986 undistributed earnings of foreign subsidiaries. As a result of the one-time repatriation provisions of the Act, the Company provided for substantially all U.S. taxes on the undistributed earnings of its foreign subsidiaries as of December 31, 2017. During 2018, the Company repatriated approximately $3.0 billion of cash and equivalents held by its international subsidiaries, a portion of which was used to repay outstanding commercial paper and to fund additional share repurchases. Refer to Note 6. Income Taxes in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data for further information.


37



Debt

Total debt at December 31, 2018 and 2017 was as follows:

In millions
 
2018
 
2017
 
Increase
(Decrease)
Short-term debt
 
$
1,351

 
$
850