Con-way's CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Con-way Inc. ( CNW)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

November 4, 2011 8:30 AM ET

Executives

Patrick Fossenier – VP, IR

Douglas Stotlar – President and CEO

Stephen Bruffett – EVP and CFO

Walter Lehmkuhl – EVP

Herbert Schmidt – President, Con-way Truckload and EVP

Robert Bianco – President, Menlo Worldwide Logistics and EVP

Analysts

Chris Wetherbee – Citi

Kenneth Hoexter – Merrill Lynch

Scott Group – Wolfe Trahan

Benjamin Hartford – Baird

David Ross – Stifel

Jeff Kauffman – Sterne, Agee

Jason Seidl – Dahlman Rose

Thomas Albrecht – BBT

Justin Yagerman – Deutsche Bank

Chris Ceraso – Credit Suisse

Bascome Majors – Susquehanna Financial

John Godyn – Morgan Stanley

Thomas Wadewitz – JPMorgan

Ryan Cieslak – KeyBanc

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Brandy, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to Con-way Inc.’s Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Review Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Thank you. I would now like to turn the call over to Patrick Fossenier, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Patrick Fossenier

Thank you, Brandy. Welcome to the Con-way Third Quarter 2011 Conference Call for shareholders and the investment community. In a minute, I’ll turn it over to Con-way President and CEO, Doug Stotlar. Before we get into the call, I’d like to offer a few reminders. First, certain statements in this conference, including statements regarding anticipated results of operation and financial condition, constitute forward-looking statements and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties and should not necessarily be relied upon as predictions of future events. Actual results of operations and financial conditions might differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements, and no assurance can be given as to future results of operations and financial condition.

Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results and other matters to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements and the inherent limitations of such forward-looking statements is contained in our Forms 10-K and 10-Q and other filings with the SEC. Second, today’s prepared remarks contain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations of GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures are found within the financial tables of our earnings release, which is available on our website at, conway.com. I would also like to note that we have a lot of people on the call today. So we’d appreciate if you limit yourself to a couple of questions and then return to the queue.

Now, without further ado, I’m pleased to turn it over to Doug Stotlar.

Douglas Stotlar

Thank you, Pat. Good morning, everyone. On the call today, I’m joined by members of our senior leadership team, including Con-way’s CFO, Steve Bruffett; Con-way Freight President, Greg Lehmkuhl; Menlo Logistics President, Bob Bianco; and Con-way Truckload President, Herb Schmidt. Steve will provide some commentary on our financial picture, and Greg, Bob, and Herb will participate in the Q&A portion of the call.

I would like to welcome Greg Lehmkuhl to his first earnings call as Con-Way Freight President. The response within the freight organization to his promotion has been exceedingly positive. His personality, experience and skills are the right-fit for freight. I’ve gotten to know Greg quite well over the past several years. His disciplined approach to process and respect for people have been a great asset to me, particularly in the last year. He’s earned the respect of the organization, stepping up to provide the leadership and teambuilding skills that were instrumental in helping Con-Way Freight get its balance back. I look forward to continuing to work with Greg to sustain our progress and build on the positive results we have achieved as a team.

Our results for the third quarter demonstrated improvement across the board as each Con-Way operating segment recorded increases in revenue and operating income compared to last year. The company’s performance in the quarter reflects the consistent execution of our strategy. For the third quarter of 2011, Con-Way reported consolidated revenues of $1.38 billion, up 8.4% over last year’s $1.27 billion.

On an operating income basis, we earned in $61.1 million in the 2011 third quarter compared to $12.5 million we reported last year. Diluted earnings per share were $0.52, this compares to a loss of $0.15 per share in the prior-year period. Last year, our third quarter results were negatively impacted by goodwill impairment and other charges totaling $21.9 million. Excluding these charges, on a non-GAAP basis, earnings in the 2010 third quarter would have been $0.22 per diluted share.

Moving now to a review of our business segments, I’ll start with Con-Way Freight, our LTL company and the largest revenue segment. Con-Way Freight posted third quarter operating income of $40.7 million compared to $13.1 million earned in the third quarter a year ago. Our continued focus on keeping our employees safe, rationalizing network volumes, managing cost and increasing yields delivery improved results. As we noted in our last earnings call, July was a little soft early on, which at the time made us cautious about business volumes for the quarter. That proved to be a temporary condition. Shipment volumes improved sequentially into August and through September.

On the top line, we posted revenue of $843.3 million, a 5.8% increased over last year’s revenue of $797.1 million. As we saw in the first and second quarters, the combination of improved pricing and higher fuel surcharge revenue contributed to increased revenues in the third quarter. Con-Way Freight’s operating ratio this period was 95.2% compared to 98.4% in last year’s third quarter.

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