Genuine Parts (GPC)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 18, 2011 11:00 am ET

Executives

Jerry W. Nix - Vice Chairman, Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance

Thomas Gallagher - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President and Member of Executive Committee

Carol B. Yancey - Senior Vice President of Finance and Corporate Secretary

Analysts

Michael Montani - ISI Group Inc., Research Division

Michael P. Ward - Ticonderoga Securities LLC, Research Division

Richard J. Hilgert - Morningstar Inc., Research Division

Brian Sponheimer - Gabelli & Company, Inc.

Patrick Palfrey - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Ryan Brinkman - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

John Murphy - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Mark A. Becks - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Anthony F. Cristello - BB&T Capital Markets, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Brooke, and I'll be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Genuine Parts Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I will now turn the conference call over to Carol Yancey, Senior Vice President, Finance and Corporate Secretary. Thank you. Ms. Yancey, you may begin your conference.

Carol B. Yancey

Thank you. Good morning, and thank you for joining us today for the Genuine Parts third quarter conference call to discuss our earnings results and our outlook for the remainder of 2011.

Before we begin this morning, please be advised that this call may involve forward-looking statements regarding the company and its businesses. The company's actual results could differ materially from any forward-looking statements due to several important factors described in the company's latest SEC filings.

The company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made during this call. We will begin this morning with comments from Tom Gallagher, our Chairman, President and CEO. Tom?

Thomas Gallagher

Thank you, Carol, and I would like to add my welcome to each of you on the call today and to say that we appreciate you taking the time to be with us this morning. As we customarily do, Jerry Nix, our Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, and I will split the duties on this call. And once we have concluded our remarks, we will look forward to answering any questions that you may have.

Earlier this morning, we released our third quarter 2011 results, and hopefully, you've had an opportunity to review them. But for those who may not have seen the numbers as yet, a quick recap shows sales for the quarter were $3,286,000, which was up 11%. Operating profit was $276.8 million, and that represents a 19% increase. Net income was $151.8 million, which was up 15%, and earnings per share were $0.97 this year compared to $0.83 in the third quarter of 2010, and the EPS increase was 17%.

These were all record results for us. So we feel we had another good quarter. It was solid contributions from all 4 of our business segments, and we're proud of the job that is being done by the GPC team. Through their continued efforts, we feel that we are positioned to have another good year in 2011.

A review of the third quarter results by business segment shows that our Industrial and Electrical operations continue to produce the largest sales increases. Motion Industries, our Industrial Distribution business, was up 18% in the quarter on top of the 29% increase in the third quarter of last year and then went over $1 billion in quarterly sales for the second consecutive quarter. So our Industrial operations continue to perform well.

Acquisitions added about 3% to the Industrial increase in the quarter, but importantly, the ongoing operations generated a very healthy 15% increase. So the underlying Industrial business continues to generate strong results.

And as we look a bit more closely at the sales detail, we continue to be encouraged by the solid performance that we see across a broad base of the Industrial business as evidenced by the fact that all 10 of the top product categories were up double digit in the quarter, and as a group, they were up over 20%. And then 9 of the top 10 industry segments had double-digit increases in the third quarter, and as a group, they were up over 20% also. A review of the top 20 customers shows a combined purchase increase of over 20% for this group, and one final point is that every geographic region was up double digits in the quarter.

These are consistent results and as you can see, the Industrial business remains quite strong and healthy, and they're running up just over 20% year-to-date. And with the Industrial production and capacity utilization indices each continuing to look favorable, we remain optimistic about the prospects for our Industrial business over the final quarter of the year and on into the early part of 2012.

Moving on to the Electrical segment. EIS had another strong performance with sales being up 22%, which is on top of a 31% increase in the third quarter of 2010. Acquisition revenue added 11 points to the quarterly increase and represents sales from Seacoast Electric acquired in August of 2010 and Cobra Wire & Cable, which we acquired on September 1 of this year. We expect Corporate to generate annual revenues of approximately $43 million, and we are pleased with this strategic addition to the EIS business.

In addition to the acquisition boost that we got on revenue, copper pricing had a positive sales impact of 3%, which means that the ongoing EIS operations were up 8% in the quarter, which we feel has a solid performance. As with our Industrial business, the increases across the EIS product categories and customer segments were broad-based and consistent, which is indicative of a healthy end market, as well as a good job being done by the EIS team. Through 3 quarters, they're up 30% and with the Institute for Supply Management Purchasing Managers Index remaining above 50 through September, we're encouraged about EIS' prospects in the months ahead.

Office Products was up 3% in the quarter. This follows a 5% increase in the first quarter and a 4% increase in the second quarter. So we have seen a modest deceleration in our growth rates as the year has progressed. As has been the case for a number of quarters now, our sales to the independent Office Products channel have outpaced our sales to the Mega Channel. The independent business was up 6% in the quarter, and they're up 7% year-to-date, so steady progress is being made with this customer segment. But then this is being offset by continued decreases with the Mega Channel, which was down 12% in the quarter and is down 11% for the year.

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