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Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 23, 2012 10:00 am ET


Joseph P. Boutross - Director of Investor Relations

Robert L. Wagman - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

John S. Quinn - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Joseph M. Holsten - Chairman and Member of Government Affairs Committee


Joshua Wilson

Craig R. Kennison - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

John Lovallo - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Anthony F. Cristello - BB&T Capital Markets, Research Division

Nathan Brochmann - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Scott L. Stember - Sidoti & Company, LLC

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Greetings, and welcome to the LKQ Corporation Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Joe Boutross, Director of Investor Relations for LKQ Corporation. Thank you. Mr. Boutross, you may begin.

Joseph P. Boutross

Thanks, Kevin. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. This morning, we released our fourth quarter and full year 2011 financial results and provided our full year 2012 guidance. In the room with me today are Rob Wagman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and John Quinn, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Rob and John have some prepared remarks, and then we will open the call for questions. In addition to the telephone access for today's call, we are providing an audio cast via the LKQ website. A replay of the audio cast and conference call will be available shortly after the conclusion of this call.

Before we begin our discussion, I'd like to remind everyone that the statements made in this call that are not historical in nature are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include statements regarding our expectations, beliefs, hopes, intentions or strategies. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, some of which are currently not known to us. Actual events or results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which it was made, except as required by law. Please refer to our Form 10-K and other subsequent documents filed with the SEC and the press release we issued this morning for more information on potential risk. Hopefully, everyone has had a chance to look at our 8-K, which we filed with the SEC earlier today. As normal, we are planning to file our 10-K in the next few days. And with that, I am happy to turn the call over to Mr. Rob Wagman.

Robert L. Wagman

Thank you, Joe. Good morning, and thank you for joining us on the call today. We are very pleased with the results we reported this morning, for both the solid fourth quarter and full year 2011. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations in Q4 was a record $0.38, an increase of 35.7% as compared to $0.28 for the fourth quarter of 2010. Revenue reached a new quarterly high of $940 million in the quarter, an increase of 39.4% as compared to Q4 2010. Organic revenue growth for the quarter was 6.4%. As I reminded everyone on the prior calls, Q4 had one fewer day compared to the prior year so a slight decline in this figure was anticipated.

For the full year, our EPS from continuing operations was $1.42, up significantly from $1.15 in 2010, representing an increase of 23.5%. Revenue reached a record $3.3 billion in 2011, an increase of 32% as compared to 2010. Total organic revenue growth for the year was 10.7%. Organic revenue growth for parts and services for 2011 was 7.9%, which was at the higher end of our guidance. The continued organic parts and service growth in 2011 is a result of the broadening of our product line offerings, our efforts to optimize our regional distribution network and the increased use by insurers and their DRP networks of alternative, quality replacement parts to reduce claim costs.

In the fourth quarter, we witnessed a sequential 90 basis point compression in gross margin, primarily related to commodity pricing and the impact of the Euro Car Parts acquisition, both of which John mentioned during our third quarter call.

Next, I'd like to talk about other aspects of our business. Organic revenue growth of recycled parts and services and aftermarket parts was 5.6% for the quarter including the one fewer selling day. During the fourth quarter, we purchased over 58,000 vehicles for dismantling by our wholesale operations, which is an 18% increase over Q4 2010. As per volume at the auctions, the outlook for supply remains good starting out in 2012, with inventory already on hand and the continuation of our current run rate for acquiring cars, we should have sufficient inventory to grow our recycled parts operation. As mentioned during previous calls, we continue to be focused on the improvement of parts pricing to offset the downward pressure from historically high auction prices on our gross margins.

Turning to our self service retail business. During the fourth quarter, we acquired over 90,000 lower-cost self-service and crush only vehicles as compared to 77,000 in Q4 of 2010, which is an 18% increase. In our Heavy-Duty Truck operations, during the fourth quarter, we purchased roughly 1,900 units for resale or parts, as compared to 1,200 in Q4 2010. Overall, the business is performing well and continues to present a long-term growth opportunity for the company.

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