Precision Castparts (PCP)

Q1 2011 Earnings Call

July 22, 2010 10:00 am ET


Shawn Hagel - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Senior Vice President and Assistant Secretary

Mark Donegan - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President


Cai Von Rumohr - Cowen and Company, LLC

J. B. Groh - D.A. Davidson & Co.

Eric Hugel - Stephens Inc.

Howard Rubel - Jefferies & Company, Inc.

Joseph Nadol - JP Morgan Chase & Co

Richard Safran - Goldman Sachs

Robert Spingarn - Crédit Suisse AG

Noah Poponak - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Samuel Pearlstein - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

David Strauss - UBS Investment Bank

Peter Arment - Gleacher & Company, Inc.



Good morning and welcome to Precision Castparts Webcast and Conference Call to discuss its first quarter earnings for fiscal 2011. This event is being recorded and will be available on PCC's company website at shortly after the conclusion of the presentation and discussion. Following remarks by members of PCC management, the dial-in access line will be open for questions [Operator Instructions]. Now I will turn the floor over to Mr. Mark Donegan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Precision Castparts.

Mark Donegan

Thank you, operator. I'm sure you're all very familiar with the forward-looking statement and PCP's [ph] consideration when you're analyzing the following information. If I look at Q1, Q1 is certainly kind of tailed to two cities. We saw some very strong traction in some of our core markets, but we also had to face one last significant hurdle with our seamless extruded pipe and we're going to get into all that as we move on. I'm going to try today to provide probably more clarity than we've done some moments in the past. I also have Shawn Hagel, who will go over to some of the questions that kind of came up continuously throughout the course of the quarter. So we'll go through all that.

But if I start and looking at the company in total, we saw sales increase of roughly 5% versus last year, going from $1.37 billion last year to $1.45 billion this year. We saw operating income decreased by 5.1%, going from $371 million last year to $352 million this year. And we saw margins decreased year-on-year, going from 27% last year to 24.3% this year. All of this generated an EPS of $1.65 versus last year of $1.71. If I look at the key drivers, and beginning with sales versus last year, we did see good improvement in our OEM aerospace sales, mainly in our castings and our Wyman-Gordon forgings operation. These two businesses were kind of the leaders as the market turned down. So again, we'd expect these to be kind of the leaders as the market recovers, and they were. We also saw good general industrial sales versus last year, where they're up by roughly 50%. But there are kind of two significant items that are putting pressure on those two items. If I look at the first, certainly, there was continued weakness. In our core Fastener Products, we saw a 15% reduction versus last year. And again, when I talk about core Fasteners, it's high complexity, high value. We would have seen a more significant downturn in Fasteners, but I think they have been very good at expanding their market in the more non-core products. And then again, you kind of see the start of the presentation in a second, the most significant decline that occurred was our seamless pipe down by 50% versus last year as that temporary realignment from the Chinese inventories.

If I look sequentially, in aerospace, we saw again that closure of our base businesses to the build rates, we saw growing by 2% versus last year. And you'll see later on that the castings saw a much stronger gross rate than that. Industrial products, sequentially, saw a good growing demand by increasing 10% versus last quarter, and then remain flat in our aerospace aftermarket, the distribution side of our core Fastener Products and IGT [industrial gas turbine]. But again, sequentially, the most significant part that we had overcome versus last quarter was that 50% decrease and yes, that is sequentially versus Q4 in our seamless extruded pipe. We added basically a choice to make, we could have spread some of that over a couple of quarters. We decide to take the hit all in one quarter, get it behind us and move on and we kind of go back. As we get through this, you'll see that our order book is starting to recover extremely strong and rapidly. Certainly, we had to drive very aggressively on all fronts to take over that headwind from that pipe. But we were successful in that, we did it in a much different product mix. If I look operationally, and what that impact was, you're going to see we had good leverage on our casting volume across our current cost structure. We saw solid improvement in Wyman-Gordon operations, again, from the volume, but providing the significant headwind from the temporary loss of seamless pipe volume, and we were able to offset that. We offset it with the growth in general and industrial. These are two very distinctly different product lines. General industrial is a product line we want, we've grown it and it's key to us moving forward. But they are two different, so replacing the dollar sales for general and industrial to dollar sales of pipe is a significant difference. If I put a number on it or the value of what we had overcome, you're looking at a range of probably roughly $15 million to $20 million counted to the bottom line of comparable sales dollars. So again, it's something we had to work our tails off to overcome the effects of that.

So when I look at Q1, to play it all basically, what we had expect to sitting on our 13 weeks ago, if I look at Q2, I think we're looking at similar trajectories on kind of the castings in the Wyman-Gordon forgings, but we still have that normal Q2 events of the forging outages and this mainly impacts throughput. Again, we put inventory in the ground to make sure we support our customers, same with European holidays, so we're really looking somewhere in that leverage impact. And again, as I look to the second half, we're moving up through this by segment, we do see strengthening solid schedules moving to the second half of the year, and we'll get it into those and other segments. If I take a quick look at our sales by segment, aerospace grew from 55% last year to 58% this year. It's kind of driven by two fronts, I think the first one is certain we're continually to see that closure of those build rates and that destocking going away. But equally was the reduction of power going from 29% to 21% last year, kind of grew that market segment too. And then, we did see, again, that solid growth in our general industrial, growing from 16% last year to 21% this year.

If I move on to the segments, beginning with Investment Cast product sales, sales year-over-year were basically flat versus last year, going from $485.6 million last year to $486.7 million this year. But we saw a solid leverage across our current cost structure, with the operating income up by 10% versus last year. Probably from just under $142 million of last year to $155 million-ish. We saw margins expand from 29.2% last year to just on its 32% this year. If I look at the key drivers, on the sales year-on-year, certainly, as you expect, the key positive drive was the 20% increase in our OEM aerospace demand. And again, we're seeing that closure of the destocking and matching better to the bill rates of the OEM airframe build rates. And we did begin to see some early stages of the aftermarket growth. I think it's a lot more of that to come, but we did start to see some traction in that. Countering that, year-on-year, we saw IGT down by 20%. And as I've talked in the past, we probably would've seen a significantly more larger reduction than the 20%. But the fact that we did expand our customer base and did gain shares kind of help to weather that, but that was what the year-on-year was. If I look sequentially, we saw solid aerospace growth versus Q4, with our OEM sales increasing by roughly 10%, and this is again driven by the fact that we're kind of working our way back to align with the OEM bill rates. And weighing on that are kind of diluting that 10% in the aerospace was again the continuously flat sales versus Q4 in both the aftermarket and the IGT.

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