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Graftech International's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

As an update to our Grafite Electrode book building process, we currently have approximately 80% of our 2012 targeted book completed. This is up from the 50% level we highlighted in our last conference call at the end of February.

In our Engineering Solutions segment, sales came in at 48 million and operating income was a loss of 1 million. This was primarily due to the previously-discussed and expected weakness in the solar sector.

Increases in SG&A and R&D to support future growth also weighed on operating income in the first quarter. We expect Engineer Solutions to return to a profit in Q2 as increased sales to the Advanced Consumer Electronics and Oil and Gas sectors compensate for the low solar sales.

Turning to outlook. As highlighted in prior conference call, we continue to see a slow and very uneven recovery in the global economy. The European economies are struggling with massive debt and sever austerity programs while growth out of emerging economies, particularly China, is also slowing. The U.S. economy, while showing signs of recovery, is still a very fragile and uneven recovery.

For the second quarter, we expect EBITDA to be in the range of 60 to 70 million. We continue to target a full-year EBITDA range of 250 to 290. We have reduced our capital expenditures for 2012 by approximately 10% in light of the continued uncertainty in the global economic environment. We now anticipate capital expenditures to be between 125 and $145 million. We expect our maintenance capital to approximate 80 to $90 million. The majority of the CapEx above maintenance will go to grow our Engineer Solutions business, execute on cedar quality improvements and finally, overall productivity improvements across our global production platform.

That concludes our prepared remarks, Brooke, let’s open it up for Q&A.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator instructions). Your first question comes from Luke Folta with Jefferies.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com

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