Hubbell Inc. (HUB.B)

Q2 2010 Earnings Conference Call

July 22, 2010 10:00 AM ET


Bill Sperry – Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Development

Tim Powers – Chairman, President & CEO

Dave Nord – CFO


Christopher Glynn – Oppenheimer

Scott Davis – Morgan Stanley

Jeff Sprague – Vertical Research Partners

Bob Cornell – Barclays Capital

Jeff Beach – Stifel Nicolaus

Phil Gresh – JP Morgan



Good day, everyone. Welcome to the Hubbell Incorporated second quarter results conference call. Today's call is being recorded. Now, for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Bill Sperry. Please go ahead, sir.

Bill Sperry

Thank you and good morning, everyone. Welcome to Hubbell's second quarter earnings call. We know it's a very busy day, so we'll try to be concise. It's a special call for us as we're speaking to you from our new headquarters building and we hope you come visit us soon here. I'm here this morning with Tim Powers, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; Dave Nord, our Chief Financial Officer; and Jim Farrell, our Director of Investor Relations.

Hubbell announced its second quarter year-to-date 2010 earnings this morning and hopefully you've found that press release on the wires and on our website. You also find presentation materials on our website that Tim and Dave will be referring to during the call.

Let me know for everyone listening to the call, the paragraph and the press release and in the materials regarding forward-looking statements. The press release and materials may contain expectations based on assumptions and Hubbell's performance in the future, particularly regarding our earnings. We also may make some comments here today on the call or answer questions, which may include forward-looking statements.

All of these involve inherent assumptions with known and unknown risks, and other factors that can cause our actual or future results to differ, perhaps materially from what we may discuss or project today. So please note that paragraph in our release and I'd like to consider it incorporated by reference into the call this morning.

In addition, we may make reference to non-GAAP financial measures. Those measures are reconciled to comparable GAAP measures in the Appendix on the presentation materials.

And with that, I'll turn it over to Tim.

Tim Powers

Thank you, Bill. Welcome everyone and thank you for joining us this morning. As we typically do on our quarterly calls, I will provide you with some overview commentary on the results we announced this morning and then Dave will walk you through a detailed discussion of our financial performance. Then I will share my perspective on the outlook for the remainder of 2010 and some closing remarks. We will open it up and take some questions from you.

We refer to the presentation material you can find on our website. I am starting on page three. Our strong financial results in the second quarter are reflective of performance in our end markets that was better than our expectation. Residential construction market has improved year-to-date, but remain soft in the near-term as available tax credits expire. I expect the market to slowly make the turn upward as we proceed through the rest of the year.

Our industrial end markets grew significantly in the quarter. Positive signs we have seen watching improving capacity utilization and manufacturing production have been felt across many of the industrial segments we serve.

On the utility side, the return to growth and electric demand experienced so far this year has been a welcome development. This is enabling our utility customers to spend their capital budget on maintaining their networks to drive reliable performance. We believe some inventory restocking is occurring and there is some anticipation of an active storm season in the channel. The result for us was a large sequential uptick in our utility business and a return to levels consistent with our expectations.

The non-residential market continues to decline, but less than we anticipated. The two bright spots are public spending and the need for more energy efficient lighting. Energy efficiency is diving strong growth in three key product areas for us, building automation and controls, solid state and lighting and retrofit lighting.

An update on Burndy would be appropriate here. This is the third quarter since our acquisition and Burndy is performing as expected and the integration has gone well. Top line performances consistent with comparable Hubble end markets and the margins are being realized as we plan. So, good news on the Burndy front.

Another note worthy item is the successful consolidation of several wiring system locations and our corporate headquarters into one building. The wiring team combined our executive offices, engineering and sales and marketing, which had previously been in three locations. The new setup saves money, enhances communication and team work.

Let's turn our attention now to some recent developments in the news. The first item is the concern that many of you have had about the economic situation in Europe and the impact that it will have on us. Our European based operations generate less than 10% of Hubble's total sales, but these units are selling around the world. The percentage of volume going into Europe is much smaller.

The second issue is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Our harsh and hazardous business has a strong presence in the energy markets in general and the offshore drilling markets, specifically. A ban on Gulf drilling would be a temporary small negative for us, but most likely that capacity would be shifted to other parts of the world, where we would hopefully follow.

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