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GrafTech International's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Also, to the extent that we discuss any non-GAAP financial measures, you will find reconciliations in our press release, which is posted on our website at www.graftech.com in the Investor Relations Section. For your reference, a replay of the call is available on our website.

At this time, I’d like to turn the call over to Craig.

Craig Shular

Thank you, Kelly. Good morning to everyone, and thank you for joining Graftech’s call today.

We will take you through our second quarter highlights and then open it to questions. In Q2, sales were $316 million, down 1% versus a year ago. EBITDA increased 11% to $67 million. Net debt came in it at $597 million, up largely the result of our 10 million share buyback and increased working capital.

During the second quarter, we repurchased 8.8 million shares and another 1.2 million in July at an average purchase price of $10.17. This completes our 10 million share buyback program that was announced in December of 2011. Upon completion, the Board of Directors approved a new share repurchase program for up to 10 million additional shares of common stock.

With the recently completed 10 million share buyback program coupled with the 2 million shares that were repurchased in the fourth quarter last year, we have now bought back 8.2% of our outstanding shares. This underscores our commitment to delivering long-term sustainable value for our shareholders.

Wrapping the second quarter highlights, as discussed in the last earnings call, our Seadrip production team has worked with scientists from our Engineered Solutions segment to develop a super-premium grade of needle coke. Seadrip has successfully commercialized this product and has begun sales to third parties.

This development demonstrates our continued commitment to leverage our core competencies in graphite material science to grow our company by commercializing new products and technologies. While we do not anticipate these sales will be material to 2012 results, we are encouraged by the market acceptance and believe it will prove strategically valuable to our business in the future.

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