Sherritt Intl Corp Restr Vtg (SHERF.PK)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

July 28, 2010 2:00 pm ET

Executives

Paula Myson – Director, IR

Ian Delaney – Chairman, President and CEO

Dean Chambers – SVP, Finance and CFO

Analysts

Onno Rutten – UBS Securities

Robin Kozar – RBC Capital Markets

Lawrence Smith – Scotia Capital

Tony Robson – BMO Capital Markets

Anoop Prihar – GMP Securities

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Sherritt International Corporation second quarter results conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Following the presentation we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Instructions will be provided at that time for you to queue up for questions. (Operator instructions)

I’d like to remind everyone that this conference call is being recorded today, Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 2 PM Eastern Time. I’ll now turn the conference over to Paula Myson. Please go ahead.

Paula Myson

Thank you and good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to Sherritt second quarter 2010 earnings conference call. Our press release was issued this morning and a copy of the release, the MD&A and the financial statements are available on our website. In additional to the investor and analysts on the call the media will participate on a listen-only basis and a replay of this call will be available on our website.

I'd like to remind everyone that certain of the comments in both the press release and the call include forward-looking statements. Please refer to the cautionary language in the press release and the risk factors that we outlined in the CEDAR filings.

On the call today are Ian Delaney, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Dean Chambers, our Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. We'll open with a few brief comments on the quarter and then take some questions. So let's begin.

I'll now turn the call over to Ian Delaney.

Ian Delaney

Thank you, Paula, and good afternoon. Thank you for taking time out to listen to us this afternoon. I will be fairly brief and then, I will ask Dean to walk through the key points in our quarterly financial and at the conclusion of Dean’s remarks, we’ll be happy to entertain any questions that people on the phone might have.

So our quarter from operational point of view was satisfactory, the operations all in good shape, all having their numbers from the production point of view, costs performing quite well, our capital projects now pretty – we’re very comfortable with our big project in Madagascar, the Ambatovy Project, we’re very comfortable with the capital number there, we don’t think there’s much possibility of any leakages there. We’re very comfortable with the time schedule and I’m hopeful that year-to-date we will actually be producing metal.

The solid spot in the quarter was some non-cash charges at the Sherritt level, which, I’ll let Dean to speak to and in mainly non-cash and for the most part non-recurring [ph] and so why don’t I just ask Dean to step in at this point and walk us through financials for the quarter.

Dean Chambers

Okay. Thanks, Ian, and afternoon to everyone on the call. I guess, our financial reporting point of view is somewhat of an interesting quarter. We had operating earnings approximately $87 million, EBITDA of about $150 million and both of those measures significantly higher than the second quarter of 2009, and we know that first half of last year was significantly impacted by the global economic crisis.

But these results are even better than our first quarter of this year, first quarter of 2010. But earnings – net earnings of $15.7 million, or $0.05 a share, compared to $0.08 a share in the second quarter of last year and $0.20 a share in the first quarter of this year.

So as Ian said, obviously, there are some accounting charges running through accounts that are having a significant impact on net results and today we have – and due to the three significant items, non-cash charges of about 37 million, or $0.13 per share.

What I’d like to do is maybe give you some color on those three major components. The first component was an unrealized foreign exchange loss of about $18.1 million or $0.06 per share. This results from the translation of foreign denominated financial instruments.

We have more liabilities in this category than assets and so as the Canadian dollar weaken about $0.045 [ph] during the period, this resulted in a loss. This is a major component of the $35.5 million net financial expense that you’ll see on our statement of operations.

So what’s happening here is, is what we’re seeing is that, actually the assets are declining a bit and some loans have been repaid and the biggest new item that’s occurring is the growth of our additional partner loans from Ambatovy department.

So essentially as we continue to increase that balance continue borrow on those loans, this exposure if you will is increasing. And as a result, this is sort of a growing exposure that could have an impact on net earnings for the next few periods, first, depending on what happens to the Canadian dollar exchange rate. Ultimately, this is associated with Ambatovy, and we begin operations in January, U.S. dollar cash flow and some of this exposure will go away.

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