Anixter International (AXE)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 25, 2011 10:30 am ET


Chris Kettmann - Senior Vice President

Theodore A. Dosch - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance

Robert J. Eck - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director, Chief Executive Officer of Anixter Inc. and President of Anixter Inc


Hamzah Mazari - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Edward W. Wheeler - Buckingham Research Group, Inc.

Anthony C. Kure - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division

Ryan Merkel - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Matthew S. McCall - BB&T Capital Markets, Research Division

David J. Manthey - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Shawn M. Harrison - Longbow Research LLC

Brent D. Rakers - Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., Research Division

Jeffrey L. Beach - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division



Good day, and welcome to Anixter International Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Chris Kettmann. Please go ahead.

Chris Kettmann

Thank you. Good morning, and thank you, all, for joining us today to discuss Anixter's third quarter 2011 results. By now everyone should have received a copy of the press release, which was sent out earlier this morning. If anyone still needs a copy, you can go to Anixter's website or call Chris Kettmann at (312) 553-6716, and I can resend the information.

On the line today from Anixter's management team are Bob Eck, President and CEO; and Ted Dosch, Executive Vice President, Finance. After management completes their opening remarks, we will open up the line for Q&A session.

Before we begin, I want to remind everyone that statements on this conference call, including words such as believe, expect, intend, anticipate, contemplate, estimate, plan, project, should, may, will or similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. They are subject to a number of factors that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from what is indicated here. These factors include general economic conditions, including the severity of current economic and financial market conditions; the level of customer demand, particularly for capital projects in the markets we serve; changes in supplier sales strategies or financial viability; political, economic or current currency customer viability; risks associated with accounts receivable; the impact of regulation and regulatory investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks; potential impairment of goodwill; and risks associated with the integration of acquired companies. These uncertainties may cause our actual results to be materially different than those expressed in any forward-looking statements. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements. Please see the company's SEC filings for more information.

At this point, I'll turn the call over to Ted.

Theodore A. Dosch

Thank you, Chris. Good morning, and thank you, everyone, for joining us. Before we discuss the current period operating results in detail, I think it would be beneficial to remind everyone of both the rationale and the impact of our recent divestiture of the Aerospace Hardware division. As you are aware, on August 16, we announced that we have reached a definitive agreement to sell this business, and the transaction was closed on August 26. The final sales price of $155 million resulted in net proceeds of $137.6 million after adjusting for amounts placed in escrow, working capital adjustments and legal and advisory fees. Although our historical performance in Aerospace Hardware had been strong, customer and supplier consolidation had resulted in a business model distinctly different than our preferred model. Despite the fact that this business delivered operating margins well in excess of our corporate average, the high level of working capital that it required resulted in a return on capital that was lower than our desirable levels. The conclusion of our detailed analysis was that selling this business and redeploying the proceeds in our core business was our best long-term option.

For the 8 months of this year that we owned the Aerospace Hardware business revenue was $123.2 million with an EBITDA of $17 million, of which $29.1 million of revenue and $4.9 million of EBITDA was realized in the third quarter. The results for the Aerospace business, including the loss on the sales, are included in discontinued operations for this quarter, with all prior periods adjusted to exclude Aerospace from continuing operations. For your reference, our third quarter 10-Q will include more detail regarding both P&L and balance sheet restatements. Also, this morning, we posted the revised historical performance by quarter on the Investors page of our website to assist in adjusting your models.

Moving on, let's now talk about our third quarter results from continuing operations. We are very pleased to report another strong performance, which resulted in a 100 basis point improvement in the year-on-year operating margin, as well as the sequential 40 basis point improvement. In addition, we delivered our sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit leverage, with a 12% incremental operating margin on increased sales. The third quarter of 2011 also marks our highest quarterly revenue in our history.

Now let's begin with a more detailed discussion of our third quarter sales results. In the third quarter, we reported a 20% increase in year-on-year sales. After adjusting for $30.7 million of sales from the acquisition of Clark Security Products in the fourth quarter 2010, an estimated $33 million of favorable effective copper prices and $35 million of favorable foreign exchange effects, organic sales still grew by 13% over the prior-year period.

All 3 of our end markets, as well as each of our 3 geographic segments, delivered strong year-on-year growth during the quarter. Similar to Q2, the 3% sequential quarter increase in reported sales more closely approximates longer-term historical seasonality trends. All geographic segments reported sequential growth from the second quarter of 2011. We believe our positive sales results, which are well in excess of broader GDP growth rates, reflect the combined impact of moderately improving macroeconomic factors and the success of our global strategic growth initiatives, which Bob will discuss in more detail later on in the call.

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