Now I'll turn the call over to Angelo.
Thanks, Peggy. Good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us today.
I’m sure it didn’t come as a surprise to anyone that weather was a challenge for us this quarter. It’s our most winter-dependent quarter with deicing typically making up approximately 2/3 of our company’s earnings. The first quarter snow data and highway deicing volumes that we published earlier this month gave you some idea of the mild weather conditions in the primary regions of North America we serve.In reality, it wasn’t just our service area that seemed more like spring than winter. According to a report published by NOAA this month, this was the warmest first quarter in the US’s lower 48 states since they began keeping records in 1895. It was also mild in the UK and in southern Ontario. In total, the North American cities we track and report on recorded the fewest snow days for a full winter season in at least 15 years. From time to time I’ve been asked to describe the worst case weather scenario for our deicing business. From now on, I’ll just point to the winter of 2011-2012. But given this context, I think most people will also agree that the first quarter helped prove what we’ve said all along. Our salt business is remarkably resilient. Though salt segment sales volumes for $3.6 million tons was the lowest first quarter volume since we became a public company in 2003, our salt segment sales of $254.3 million were well ahead of any first quarter period prior to the heavy snowfall year of 2008, and removing the effects of the tornado, our pro forma salt segment operating margin percentage increased a 200 basis points over the first quarter of 2011 despite a less favorable product mix.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV