Furniture Brands International's CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Furniture Brands International, Inc. ( FBN)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

November 3, 2011 8:30 am ET

Executives

Steven G. Rolls – Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Ralph P. Scozzafava – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Analysts

Todd Schwartzman – Sidoti & Company

Budd Bugatch – Raymond James

Barry Vogel – Barry Vogel & Associates

Brad Thomas – Keybanc Capital Markets

Frank Stewart – Fastening Solutions, Inc.

John Baugh – Stifel Nicolaus

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Q3, 2011 Furniture Brands International, Inc. Earnings Conference Call. My name is Sandra, and I will be your operator today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will conduct a question-and-answer session towards the end of the conference. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this call is being recorded for replay purposes.

And I’d now like to turn the call over to your Steve Rolls, Chief Financial Officer. Please go ahead, sir.

Steven G. Rolls

Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us today. I’ll take a moment to read the Safe Harbor statement before I go over the financial results for our third quarter. Ralph Scozzafava, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer will then follow with a discussion of the highlights of the quarter.

I need to remind you that certain comments made during this call may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Our actual results and future financial condition may differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements as a result of many factors that may be outside of our control. Please refer to our SEC filings, including our Annual Report filed on Form 10-K for discussion of the major risks and uncertainties that may affect our business. The forward-looking statements made today are as of the date of this call, and we do not undertake any obligation to update our forward-looking statements.

If you have a copy of yesterday’s press release, you may obtain one, if you do not have a copy, you may obtain one along with copies of prior press releases and past SEC filings by linking through to the Investor Relations page of our website, furniturebrands.com.

Now, on to our financial results. As reported in last evening’s financial results press release, total sales were $258 million for the third, a decrease of 5.1% over the same period last year. Gross margin for the quarter was 22.3%, down compared to the 24.8% reported last year.

Cost of goods sold of $200.5 million for the quarter included $2.8 million in charges associated with our cost reduction actions. A decrease in gross margin on a year-over-year basis excluding the $2.8 million in charges was driven largely by a timing difference between raw material cost increases, and the initiatives put in place to mitigate their impact.

SG&A expenses totaled $75 million for the third quarter, and included $4.7 million in charges associated with the cost reduction actions. Excluding the charges, this was relatively flat to the $70.7 million in SG&A reported in the third quarter of 2010. About 70% of the approximately $30 million in future annual cost savings we announced will be realized in the SG&A line. We will only realize a partial benefit from these savings in the fourth quarter reflecting the timing of the impact of these actions.

Beginning next year, we expect a quarterly base SG&A run rate of approximately $73 million to $77 million that fully reflects the impact of these cost savings. The base SG&A run rate will flex depending on items like brand support activities and increases or decreases in incentive compensation.

On the retail side of our business, the 45 Thomasville stores that we have operated for more than 15 months showed a same-store sales increase of 5% this quarter as compared to 22% same-store sales increase in the third quarter of 2010.

We ended the third quarter with 67 total company-owned retail stores and showrooms as compared to 70 stores and showrooms at the end of the third quarter of 2010.

Inventory at quarter end was $249 million versus $276 million in the third quarter of 2010. We continue to expect the end of the year with inventory levels down approximately $10 million to $20 billion from the current level. Cash at quarter end totaled $21.2 million, and long-term debt totaled $77 million.

At the end of the quarter, the excess availability to borrow under our asset base loan agreement was approximately $39.3 million above the $35 million fixed charge coverage threshold for total liquidity of $60.5 million. The decrease in our cash balance compared to the end of the second quarter largely reflects the investments being made in Indonesia and Mexico and an extra week of payroll in the third quarter of 2011, compared to the second quarter.

Year-to-date capital spend came in at $24 million, we expect our capital expenditure for the full year to be within our previously issued $25 million to $29 million guidance range, and this depreciation expense for 2011 to be approximately $22 million.

Our required 2011 pension contribution is $3.1 million, we made a $600,000 cash contribution during the third quarter and we made the final $2.5 million cash contribution to our plan after the quarter ended in October to fulfill our 2011 funding requirements.

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