Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. ( SCHN)

F4Q2011 (Qtr End 09/31/2010) Earnings Call

October 20, 2011 05:00 pm ET


Alexandra Deignan - IR

Tamara Lundgren - President and CEO

Richard Peach - SVP and CFO


Sal Tharani - Goldman Sachs

Luke Folta - Jefferies

Eric Glover - Canaccord

Torin Eastburn - CJS Securities

Tim Hayes - Davenport & Company

Brent Thielman - D. A. Davidson

Evan Kurtz - Morgan Stanley



Good day, ladies and gentlemen and thank you for standing by, and welcome to Schnitzer Steel’s Fourth Quarter 2011 earnings release conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time. (Operator Instructions)

As a reminder, this conference maybe recorded. And now, I will turn the call over to Alexandra Deignan. Please go ahead.

Alexandra Deignan

Thank you, Jerry. Good afternoon. I am Alexandra Deignan, the Company’s investor relations contact. I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to join us today. In addition to today’s audio comments, we have prepared set of slides, which were made available concurrently with our earnings press release. You can access slides through our website at or

Before we get started, let me call your attention to the detailed Safe Harbor statements on slide two, which are also included in our press release of today and in the company’s most recent Form 10-K. These statements and summary, say that in spite of management’s good faith, current opinions on various forward-looking matters, circumstances can change and not everything we think will happen always happens.

In addition, we have guidance regarding our outlook for the first quarter of 2012 in our press release and in this presentation. After this call, we will not be under any obligation to update our outlook.

Finally, please note that we will be discussing some non-GAAP measures during our presentation today. We have included a reconciliation of those metrics to GAAP in the appendix of our slide presentation.

Now, let me turn the call over to Tamara Lundgren, our Chief Executive Officer. She will host the call today with Richard Peach, our Chief Financial Officer.

Tamara Lundgren

Thanks, Aly, and welcome everyone to our fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011 earnings call. It was another great quarter and what has been a transformational year for our company.

So before I start, let me first thank all our sincere teammates for delivering such excellent performance, who are working smart and working safely. Operational excellences begin and end with a culture of safety first and our employees have done a tremendous job in keeping their eye on the ball where safety is concerned.

In fiscal ’11, we delivered improved safety performance against all of our key metrics year-over-year to all our colleagues except who are listening to this call. Congratulations on a year of outstanding performance.

So now let’s take a look at our financial performance. I will start this off with a review of our quarterly and fiscal year consolidated results and the operating highlights for each of our businesses. Then Richard will discuss the detailed results for our segments and review our cash flow and capital structure.

I will conclude with an outlook for our first quarter, and then we will open up the call for questions.

So let’s get started by turning to slide four. As you can see in the press release, I think we are having a little bit of lag on our slide turnings, though it will start in any event. But, as you can see in our press release we issued earlier today, we delivered very strong performance against each of our key metrics in fiscal ’11. You may recall that in 2010, we recovered faster than normal from the impacts of the global financial crisis.

In 2011, we’ve continued to separate ourselves from the pack, adding substantial growth and profitability to an already strong foundation despite a faltering U.S economy, disruptions in the Middle East and natural disasters in Asia.

Our 50% growth in revenues, operating income, EPS and operating cash flow reflect the healthy combination of higher market demand, organic market share expansion and investment growth. Our ability to achieve growth straight down at the bottom line demonstrates our disciplined approach to operational performance and investment return, and our robust cash flow generation enables us to make further investments. So let’s turn to slide five to review the highlights of our fiscal 2011.

Our revenues, operating income and volumes all reflect significant growth. Global demand for steel continues to increase as well as demand for our products. However as we all know the US economic environment is still fragile, and so our strategy to invest in technology and to make the acquisitions that we did past year counter that weakness and delivered very strong results.

We added ten new businesses which increased our supply flows in each of our key regions and extended our geographic reach into Western Canada, which adds a substantial new growth platform to our footprint. We brought online new non-ferrous extraction technologies which contributed to our increased margin per ton and allowed us to be a better buyer of ferrous materials.

And we generated significant operating cash flow which enabled us to maintain a strong balance sheet to fund our growth investments and opportunistically repurchase shares. And the company closed the acquisitions over the course of fiscal year ‘11 and because our technology investments came online throughout the year we expect fiscal year ‘12 to benefit from the full year effect of these investments through growth in revenues and in earnings.

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