Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (HRC)

Morgan Stanley Healthcare Conference Call

September 11, 2012 1:30 pm ET


John J. Greisch – President and Chief Executive Officer

Mark Guinan – Chief Financial Officer


David R. Lewis – Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC


David R. Lewis – Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

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My name is David Lewis, I’m the medical device analyst here at Morgan Stanley. It’s my pleasure to have all of us here, yet again for the second year. I’ll show two members of management, obviously John Greisch, as many of you know, as well as Mark Guinan, and Andy is in the audience as all of you know.

What I was going to have, may be do, I should have talked about this. But you want to give us a quick preamble of the business, and then we jump into Q&A?

John J. Greisch

Sure, thanks, David, great to be here. Just few quick highlights for those of you that aren’t familiar with the story. Hill-Rom market leading medical technology company global market leader in the hospital bed area, we’ve got about 70% installed base market share here in the United States. We’ve got a portfolio of products really focused on patient safety, enhancing patient outcomes, improving caregiver productivity, and caregiver safety in addition to beds, therapeutic surfaces, patient lifting, devices to help mobilized patients, get patients in and out of hospitals faster.

Many of you know, the hospital bed market particularly here in North America has been coming off to very strong years. Our fiscal 2011, we saw growth of over 20% in our core product category. We’ve really been focused since I got to the company about 2.5 years ago on optimizing our core business. We’ve driven significant margin improvements into the company, our operating margins from 2009 till today are up about 400 basis points, so we’ve achieved some very strong financial improvements over the past several years.

Here in fiscal 2012, we’ve really began to focus on diversifying the portfolio beyond our core patient handling products. We made a couple of acquisitions here this year, one in Europe, which represents, Europe broadly about 20% of the company.

We acquired one of the market leading bed manufacturers in Germany to solidify our market position in Europe and specifically in Germany. And most recently, we acquired company called Aspen Surgical, which is market leading provider of surgical blades, scalpels, wound care products, and other surgical accessories really to diversify our offering and strengthen our existing surgical platform with the Allen business, which again is about a $120 million business, very profitable, high margin operation, less cyclical than our patient handling portfolio.

So last couple of year’s lot of work to, as I said optimize the existing portfolio and here in 2012, made some moves to diversify the portfolio while continuing to remain focused on margin improvements, geographic expansion, and few other things, which I’m sure we’ll talk about with few questions.

David R. Lewis – Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

Great, John. That was the perfect exact what we needed. I guess you would know this, but every August, and to help the comments, we sort of reevaluate, what’s happened with the stocks over last year? And congratulations, you were in more vital stocks certainly over the last year. So we set sometime in August trying to figure out, is there something wrong with our thesis on the stock? I want to spend time on this afternoon is, is the thesis still in tact as it relates to Hill-Rom and how investor see Hill-Rom?

I guess the first place, I think you would have thought a year-ago that the capital environment, what we expected to decelerate, there is no question the capital environment has decelerated dramatically faster than the investors, and I even think management front we would say. So the real question is, is what we saw, because we are seeing deceleration for several quarters, but what we saw accurately in the last quarter seem to be a further deceleration, which is let to a wide range of speculation on what’s going on in that quarter? Was it tied to hit the 5010, was it tied to some acute capital slowdown, or is this simply another cycle that we’re in? I guess what can you tell us in hindsight about what the rep saw in that particular quarter, about what may have caused a relative change of the deceleration pattern?

John J. Greisch

Yeah, I’ll give you my own, I guess personal perspective. I don't think it’s tied to any single event over the past three to six months. If you look at our, what we call our patient support systems product category, which is really the business that you are inquiring about, we have seen an accelerated decline in terms of year-over-year comps. However, we’ve seen a relatively stable sequential revenue performance throughout 2012.

So I think what my own view is, if you look at 2010 and 2011, where we came out of the trough of late 2008 and 2009, we clearly benefited from some pent-up demand spending for our product category with hindsight probably a little more pent-up demand than we knew at the time.

And as we came into 2012, you’re right, our expectations were that, we were going to see relatively stable patient support systems sales for 2012, and in fact, we’ve seen, I think in Q3, we had a decline of about 12%, Q2 was down about 8%, so little accelerated decline. Compared to last year, you’ll see an even comparable decline here in the fourth quarter, which as many of you know tends to be Hill-Rom’s strongest quarter, last year was particularly strong, where we had the second largest order in the company's history shipped in Q4.

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