Q4 2010 Earnings Call

January 26, 2011 11:00 am ET


Brian Moore - President and CEO

William Foote -

Richard Fleming - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

James Metcalf - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director


Daniel Oppenheim - Crédit Suisse AG

Jamie Baskin

James Barrett - CL King & Associates, Inc

Michael Rehaut - JP Morgan Chase & Co

Trey Grooms - Stephens Inc.

Robert Wetenhall - RBC Capital Markets, LLC

Todd Vencil - Davenport & Company, LLC

Dennis McGill - Zelman & Associates

Robert Goodman - CRT Capital Group LLC

John Kasprzak - BB&T Capital Markets

Garik Shmois - Longbow Research LLC

Seth Yeager - Jeffries & Company



Welcome to the USG Corp.'s Fourth Quarter 2010 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Christine and I will be your operator for today's conference. [Operator Instructions] I will now turn the call over to Brian Moore, Senior Director, Investor Relations. Mr. Moore, you may begin.

Brian Moore

Good morning, and welcome to USG Corp.'s Fourth Quarter 2010 Earnings Conference Call and live webcast. We will be using a slide presentation in conjunction with our call today. It is available by going to the Investor Information section of our website, and clicking on the link to the webcast.

Before we proceed, let me remind you that certain statements in this conference call may be forward-looking statements under securities laws. These statements are made on the basis of management's current views and assumptions about business, markets, and other conditions, and management undertakes no obligation to update these statements. The statements are also subject to a number of factors including those listed at the end of today's press release, and actual results may be different from our current expectations.

With me today to discuss our results and our outlook are Bill Foote, USG's Chairman of the Board; Jim Metcalf, President and CEO; and Rick Fleming, Executive Vice President and CFO. First, Bill will make a few opening comments. Jim will follow with comments on market conditions, how our operating units are performing and the outlook for our businesses. Rick will conclude by covering consolidated financial results. We will then open up the call for questions and conclude with a few comments from Jim. We would like to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to ask questions so when we get to the Q&A session, callers are asked to limit themselves to one question and one follow up.


William Foote

Thank you, Brian. Good morning to all of you. Thanks for joining us on the call. As always, we appreciate your interest in USG. My comments today will be brief. Jim and Rick will review the operations and the financials for the fourth quarter and the past year in just a few minutes.

What I would like to comment on are some of the leadership changes that we made late last year. We announced last October that I would move to the role of Chairman on January 1 and that Jim would take over as President and CEO. This transition was part of an ongoing executive succession plan that I developed working closely with the USG Board of Directors over the last few years. Transition is going just as planned and is proceeding smoothly.

I've had the opportunity in recent years to introduce many of you to Jim, and I want to thank you for your support of me, Jim and our company during this time of transition.

In addition to the CEO transition, there are other executive management transitions underway as well. Some of you have had the opportunity to meet Fareed Khan, who was appointed Executive Vice President of Finance and Strategy. Fareed is working closely with our CEO Rick Fleming on the company's financial strategy, as we manage through the remainder of the recession and prepare for the recovery. Fareed has been with the company for more than 10 years, most recently as head of building systems.

Chris Griffin is now the Executive Vice President of Operations. Chris is responsible for our worldwide operations. Most recently, he was responsible for our International business. Chris has also been with the company for more than 10 years and has a very strong background in operations.

Other members of the senior leadership team continue in the roles including Brendan Deely, he runs L&W Supply. And heads of our key staff units, namely Brian Cook in Human Resources and Stan Ferguson, our General Counsel.

This is an exceptionally strong and experienced team that will be implementing our near-term strategy to emerge from the recession, and in due course, to resume our long-term growth plan. As we enter 2011 in what we hope will be the final stages of this recession, I have great pride and confidence in USG's strong foundation. The company is leaner and more efficient, our customer relationships are as strong as ever, our spirit of innovation is vibrant and our balance sheet provides us with substantial liquidity. We have realistic and exciting plans to re-establish our growth agenda, both domestically and internationally as we work through the back end of the great recession.

Looking ahead, I remain optimistic that the demographics will again stimulate demand for our products and services. People will get married and start families, the U.S. housing stock continues to age and world economies will grow, all of which will stimulate meaningful demand for our products and services.

I look forward to working with Jim and his team, as they implement our strategy to emerge from the great recession and resume our growth agenda.

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