BE Aerospace (BEAV)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 26, 2011 9:00 am ET


Greg Powell - Vice President of Investor Relations

T. P. McCaffrey - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Senior Vice President and Treausrer

W. Lieberherr - President and Chief Operating Officer

Amin J. Khoury - Co-Founder, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Unknown Executive -


Eric Hugel - Stephens Inc., Research Division

Noah Poponak - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Julie Yates - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Michael F. Ciarmoli - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division

Gautam Khanna - Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division

Troy J. Lahr - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

F. Carter Leake - BB&T Capital Markets, Research Division

J. B. Groh - D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division

Amit Mehrotra - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division



Good morning. My name is Jessica Morgan, and I'll be your conference facilitator today. At this time, I'd like to welcome everyone to the B/E Aerospace Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, ladies and gentlemen, this conference is being recorded this day, October 26, 2011. Thank you. I would now like to introduce B/E Aerospace's Vice President of Investor Relations, Greg Powell. Mr. Powell, you may begin your conference.

Greg Powell

Thank you, Jessica. Good morning, and thank you for joining us this morning. Today, we're here to discuss our financial results for the third quarter, ended September 30, 2011. By now, you should have received a copy of the news release we issued earlier today. If you haven't received it, you'll find a copy on our website. We will begin this morning with remarks from Amin Khoury, founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of B/E Aerospace, and then we will take your questions. For today's call, we prepared a few slides to help you follow our discussion. You can find our presentation on the Investor Relations page of the B/E Aerospace website at In addition, copies of the slides will be posted on the website for you to refer to after the call. Joining us on the call this morning are Werner Lieberherr, President and Chief Operating Officer; and Tom McCaffrey, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. As always, in our prepared remarks and in responses to your questions, we rely on the Safe Harbor exemptions under the various securities acts and our Safe Harbor statement in the company's filings with the SEC. We will address questions following our prepared remarks. At that time, Jessica will provide instructions. Please limit your questions to no more than 2 at a time. And now I'd like to turn the call over to Amin Khoury.

Amin J. Khoury

Thank you, Greg, and good morning, everyone. Demand for our products is increasing, consistent with the start of what is expected to be a very strong new aircraft delivery cycle. Our backlog, both in the ordered and unbooked reached another record during the third quarter and now stands at almost $7 billion, up 26% as compared to September 30 of last year. Book orders for the 9-month year-to-date period are up 38%, versus the same 9-month period of last year. Our solid 9-month year-to-date results include revenues up 28%, operating earnings up 36%, earnings per share up 51%, a free cash flow conversion ratio of 105% and as mentioned a moment ago, orders of 38%.

Our 9-month operating margin of 17.3%, a 110 basis point improvement, as compared with 2010, was driven by substantial margin expansion in both our Commercial Aircraft and Business Jet segments, which more than offset the margin drag, from the recent acquisitions in the consumer book segment, which have not yet been integrated.

As a result of our solid year-to-date results, we are increasing our full year 2011 guidance to approximately $2.20 per diluted share. Now let's briefly discuss the current commercial aerospace market environment. Although the outlook for global GDP growth is slower than previously expected, demand for our products is strong consistent with solid traffic growth, market capacity expansion, near record high load factors, the onset of a new strong wide-body delivery aircraft, delivery cycle, and a solidly profitable global airline industry. In addition to the foregoing, B/E Aerospace is benefiting from a very high-quality geographically diversified customer base. Asia-Pac and Middle Eastern carriers now represent approximately 43% of the aggregate Boeing and Airbus backlog. Capacity growth and fleet expansion are necessary to provide lift for the very large and growing middle classes in the developing countries where people are just beginning to travel. Much like we experienced in the United States in the 1960s. In fact, it is expected that Asia alone will become the largest traffic region by 2015, ahead of both North America and Europe.

Importantly, the B/E Aerospace backlog has very similar characteristics as those of Boeing and Airbus. Approximately 40% of our total backlog is with customers in the emerging markets. So in spite of what we hear and read daily about the slowing global economy, global passenger traffic continues to grow and airline load factors and yields are near all-time highs. Global airline passenger traffic was up approximately 4.5% in September, and year-to-date through September was up approximately 6.1%. While the growth of premium international travelers slowed somewhat in August, it was up 2.3% as compared to August 2010 and premium travel is up a very strong 7.5% year-to-date through August.

Global load factors are at historically high levels. For August, the global load factor was 81.4%. Traffic and capacity growth rates have now converged and are forecast to grow at roughly the same rate of approximately 5% in 2012. Manageable fuel prices, solid yields and tight capacity have helped the airline industry's operating performance. As a result, IATA has increased it's profit expectations and now expects for global airline industry to turn in a solidly profitable year with global airlines generating approximately $7 billion of profit.

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