Fortune Brands (FO)

Q2 2011 Earnings Call

August 04, 2011 10:00 am ET

Executives

Matthew Shattock - Chief Executive Officer of Beam Global Spirits & Wine Business

Bruce Carbonari - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Executive Committee

Christopher Klein - Chief Executive Officer of Fortune Brands Home & Security and President of Fortune Brands Home & Security

Craig Omtvedt - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

Analysts

Judy Hong - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Christine Farkas - BofA Merrill Lynch

Michael Rehaut - JP Morgan Chase & Co

Eric Bosshard - Cleveland Research Company

Peter Lisnic - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated

Matthew McGinley - ISI Group Inc.

Vivien Azer - Citigroup Inc

Timothy Ramey - D.A. Davidson & Co.

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Sean, and I'll be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Fortune Brands First Quarter (sic) [Second Quarter] Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Bruce Carbonari, Chairman and CEO of Fortune Brands. Sir, you may begin your call.

Bruce Carbonari

Thanks, Sean. Good morning. Welcome to our discussion of Fortune Brands 2011 second quarter results. Before we begin, please note that our presentation includes forward-looking statements. The statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including those listed in the cautionary language at the end of our news release and our actual results could differ materially from those targeted.

This presentation also includes certain non-GAAP measures that are reconciled to the most closely comparable GAAP measures in our news release or in the supplemental information linked to the Webcast page on our website.

I'm pleased to be joined today by Craig Omtvedt, CFO of Fortune Brands, as well as the executive leadership of our 2 brands independent companies; from Beam, CEO, Matt Shattock, and CFO Bob Probst; and from Fortune Brands Home & Security, CEO, Chris Klein and CFO, Lee Wyatt.

As we approach the planned separation of our 2 remaining businesses, both Beam and Home & Security are outperforming their markets and will be ready to hit the ground running on day one as independent companies.

As expected, earnings per share before charges and gains for the second quarter was modestly lower due to the challenging comparisons we highlighted 3 months ago. The guidance we highlighted included: first, the $0.10 to $0.15 per share benefit to the year-ago quarter, primarily from the mid-2010 expiration of the U.S. homebuyer tax credit; second, the diverse [ph] impact in year-over-year costs for raw materials and transportation; and third, the impact in the current-year period of our double-digit increase in strategic spend to more profitable long-term growth.

Looking at the businesses briefly. Beam achieved record second quarter sales, with gains across its 3 geographic regions. Notably, our investments in innovation and brand building are paying off in profitable share gains, and we're further stepping up our brand investment as a result. The Jim Beam brands accelerated its momentum in the quarter, Maker’s Mark continued its double-digit growth and our distribution muscle is fueling explosive growth for the Skinnygirl cocktails brand we acquired in March. In fact, Skinnygirl has already become the fastest-growing spirits brand in America, and we're planning to build on it success with innovations like the new Skinnygirl Sangria. Spirits operating income growth trailed top line growth as anticipated due to our strong double-digit increase in brand investment and startup costs associated with new product launches.

Taking a look at Home & Security. Our home products market was softer than we originally anticipated. Fortune Brands Home & Security continues to outperform on the success of new business wins and strategic investments and growth initiatives. Against challenging comparisons, we grew sales and gained market share. Solid growth for Moen, strong gains for our cabinetry programs at home centers and sustained global growth for Master Lock more than offset lower sales of advanced material windows and doors. While higher costs for strategic investments, raw materials and transportation impacted Home & Security operating income, each of the business segments was profitable in the quarter.

In a moment, Matt Shattock and Chris Klein will take you through the second quarter performance of their respective businesses in greater detail. But first, a quick update on our separation plan. We've made substantial progress since we spoke with you 3 months ago.

First, we announced we completed the sale of the Acushnet Golf business for $1.225 billion through a group led by Fila Korea and Mirae Asset Private Equity. The tender offers we announced last week are using up to $1 billion of the net proceeds from the cost sale to further strengthen our balance sheet, which support strong capital structures for both Beam and Home & Security assuming [ph] completion of the spend. [ph]

Second, the tax-free spin-off of our Home & Security business is on track to completion in the early -- early in the fourth quarter. We've received the private letter ruling from the IRS supporting the tax-free nature to Fortune Brands and its U.S. shareholders from the spin-off Home & Security. We filed a draft Form 10 with SEC, a necessary step towards lifting Home & Security stocks. We've also enhanced the high performance in the management team at Beam and Home & Security.For example, in the quarter, Home & Security added Lee Wyatt as CFO. Lee has joined us from HanesBrands. Lee helped guide the company through its spin-off from Sara Lee.

Third, we've announced the Board of Directors for the 2 companies. As we announced last week, David Mackay, a current Fortune Brands director and former CEO of Kellogg, will serve as non-executive chair of Beam Inc. [ph] And David Thomas, currently our lead independent director and former chairman and CEO of IMS Health, will be the non-executive chair of Home & Security. The CEOs of the 2 businesses, Matt Shattock and Chris Klein, will serve on their respective company boards [indiscernible] directors.

And we've announced ticker symbols for the 2 companies when they begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The remaining company, or remainco, if you will, Beam will trade under its name Beam, B-E-A-M. And Home & Security will trade as FBHS, Fortune Brands Home & Security. We'll announce further details of the spinoff in the coming week. Actually, the completion of the separation remain subject to customary regulatory approvals and filed for approval. [ph] Separation payment [ph] has gone as smoothly as we could have expected, and we feel very good about the progress we've made and about the prospects of these 2 businesses to maximize value for our shareholders.

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