Tenaris S.A. ( TS)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

November 3, 2011 10:00 AM ET


Giovanni Sardagna – Director, IR

Paolo Rocca – Chairman and CEO

Ricardo Soler – CFO

German Cura – North American Area Manager

Guillermo Vogel – VP, Finance

Alejandro Lammertyn – Eastern Hemisphere Area Manager


Ole Slorer – Morgan Stanley

Blake Hutchinson – Howard Weil

Stephen Gengaro – Sterne Agee

Julien Laurent – Natixis

Amy Wong – UBS

Christian Audi – Santander



Good day, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Q3 2011 Tenaris SA Earnings Conference Call. My name is Stephania and I’ll be your operator for today. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host for today, Mr. Giovanni Sardagna, Investor Relations Director. Please proceed.

Giovanni Sardagna

Thank you and welcome to Tenaris’ 2011 third quarter results conference call. Before we start, I would like to remind you as usual that we will be discussing forward-looking information in the call and that our actual results may vary from those expressed or implied herein. Factors that could affect those results include those mentioned in the company 20-F and other documents filed with the SEC.

With me on the call today are Paolo Rocca, our Chairman and CEO; Guillermo Vogel, Vice President of Finance and member of our Board of Directors; Ricardo Soler, our CFO; Germán Curá, the Managing Director of our North American operation; and Alejandro Lammertyn, the Managing Director of our Eastern Hemisphere Operation.

Before passing over the call to Paolo for his opening remarks, I would like to briefly comment our results. Notwithstanding the seasonal effect of lower sales to European distributors, third quarter sales increased to almost 2.5 billion or 23% compared to the third quarter of last year and 4% sequentially as we benefited from higher sales in our Tubes segment, where we recorded strong growth in Canada, Mexico and in the Middle East.

Our EBITDA reached 620 million, which was up 13% sequentially and 17% compared to the third quarter of last year. Our EBITDA margin of 25% was up sequentially as the recovering margin in our Tubes operating segment more than offset a lower contribution from our project and other operating segments.

Average selling prices in our Tubes operating segment were up 9% compared to the corresponding quarter of last year and 3% sequentially. During the quarter, our sales of high-end seamless products kept increasing and were over 55% over our total seamless volumes.

As anticipated during our last conference call results, our project segment were lower sequentially due to lower volumes and lower component of high-value product in the mix. The Board of Directors approved the payment of an interim dividend of $0.13 per share or $0.26 per ADR to be paid at the end of this month in line with the interim dividend paid last year.

During the first nine months of the year, our capital expenditure increased to 674 million compared to 561 million recorded in the first nine months of last year as we are advancing with our investments in Mexico, Italy and the U. S.

Now I will ask Paolo to say a few words before opening the call to questions.

Paolo Rocca

Thank you, Giovanni, and good morning to all of you. In September, some of you had the opportunity to be with us in Veracruz. There, you were able to see our new rolling mill, our research and development center, our Tenaris University training facility and have good ideas of our company through talking to our managers and our employees. We discussed how we were seeing and we are seeing the market, our strategic positioning and the competitive environment. And we look at our competitive differentiation internal products and that’s a capability. The service we offer to our customer and the advantages of our global presence. But above all, I hope you came away with the impression of our execution capabilities, as this will be our main challenge for the coming quarter and in a demanding market.

Our third quarter results reflected a positive impact of the growing market demand for our oil and gas product and service and particularly for our premium product for complex application. This is reflected in the increasing sale in the product mix and in the operating margin improvement. Sales in the Middle East and Africa rose 18% sequentially led by higher sales in Saudi Arabia. The increase in Saudi drilling activity with the complex project they are developing among which Arabia, Red Sea and Manifa is now being reflected in our shipment. Our premium threading facility in Dammam will soon operate close to capacity.

For the (inaudible) project, we were awarded an important role for complex corrosion resistant alloy material to be threaded with blue and red connection at Dammam. Shipment of premium product to the rest of the Middle East are also increasing as project in Iraq, in United Arab Emirates and Kuwait move forward. In North America, our sales rose 9% led by higher shipment in Mexico and Canada.

Drilling activity has increased in Mexico as Pemex has resumed operation in Chicontepec. During the quarter, our sales in Mexico increased 40% sequentially. In Canada, the numbers of meter drilled in the third quarter was up 28% year-on-year. Also gas drilling has been affected by low North American gas prices, while drilling is up sharply and permanent shale projects are moving forward.

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