Zebra Technologies Corporation's CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Zebra Technologies Corporation ( ZBRA)

Q3 2011 Earnings Conference Call

November 8, 2011 11:00 ET


Anders Gustafsson – Chief Executive Officer

Mike Smiley – Chief Financial Officer

Mike Terzich – Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing

Doug Fox – Vice President, Investor Relations


Brian Drab – William Blair

Paul Coster – JPMorgan

Ajit Pai – Stifel Nicolaus

Tony Kure – KeyBanc

Andrew Abrams – Avian Securities

Jason Rodgers - Great Lakes Review

John Barta - Northcoast Research

Chris Quilty – Raymond James



Good morning, and welcome to the Zebra Technologies 2011 Third Quarter Earnings Release Conference Call.

Joining us from Zebra Technologies are Anders Gustafsson, CEO; Mike Smiley, CFO; Mike Terzich, Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, and Doug Fox, Vice President, Investor Relations.

All lines will be in a listen-only mode until after today’s presentation. Instructions will be given at that time in order to ask a question. At the request of Zebra Technologies, this conference call is being recorded. Should anyone have any objections, please disconnect at this time.

At this time, I would like to introduce Mr. Doug Fox of Zebra Technologies. Sir, you may begin.

Doug Fox – Vice President, Investor Relations

Good morning. Thank you for joining us today. Certain statements made on this call will relate to future events or circumstances, and therefore will be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as expect, believe, and anticipate are a few examples of words identifying forward-looking statements. Forward-looking information is subject to various risks and uncertainties, which could significantly affect expected results. Risk factors were noted in the news release issued this morning and are also described in Zebra’s 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 which is on file with the SEC.

Now, let me turn the call over to Anders Gustafsson for some brief opening remarks.

Anders Gustafsson – Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Doug, and good morning, everyone. Today, Zebra reported record third results with strong execution across the board. This performance represents our fifth consecutive quarter of sequential growth in earnings from continuing operations and our ninth quarter of sequential sales growth.

For the third quarter, we achieved earnings of $0.84 per share, including a record $0.64 per share from continuing operations and a gain of $0.20 per share on the sale of proveo. Our results for the quarter underscore the success of our investments to diversify our business by entering new high growth geographies and verticals, expanding our customer base, broadening and deepening our partner channel, and developing innovative products and solutions.

Zebra scaled multiple competitive advantages and growing industry leadership support these strategic investments. These investments have yielded solid results and have strengthened our long-term growth opportunities. Our revenues increased 10% year-over-year to a record $253 million. All regions performed at high levels. We penetrated more deeply into targeted verticals as a result of successful strategies to take share and further diversify our customer base.

Tabletop and desktop printers set new sales records and our card printers experienced improved traction as a direct result of our engineering efforts to strengthen and innovate in this important product line. In addition, new printer products targeted at opportunities in emerging markets gained momentum. We further strengthened operating leverage based on a solid gross margin and modest expense growth. We also took advantage of the beneficial stock price to accelerate repurchases by buying back 1.8 million shares.

I would now like to provide an overview of the highlights for the quarter by region. In North America, sales increased 2.4% year-over-year and 8.4% sequentially, an increase in large deal activity complemented an ongoing solid run-rate business through distribution. Larger sales included shipments of our recently introduced QLn wireless mobile printers to retail customers, which are used for price markdowns and other in-store applications. We also won new deals with a number of customers in manufacturing and small package delivery. Card shipments included sales of our innovative P330i RFID card printer to put a lot of ski resource for season passes which helps speed lift lines and provide valuable information to skiers.

North America also benefited from sales of location solutions, the customers in the automotive, retail, aerospace and postal industries. Our focus, attention and capacity to invest in strengthening our product offerings resulting in expanded sales opportunities. Our large deals in North America was spread across a range of retail and non-retail customers. This quarter’s performance reflect the success of our diversification efforts and take share activities across multiple dimensions.

In addition, channel partners had confirmed that Zebra products are winning a growing share of their business and the strength of our value proposition including the industries leading channel programs and broadest product line. System integrators and the dependent software vendors increasing the Zebra’s innovative product, that’s an important part of the solutions they put together for end users.

Asia-Pacific led our international regions with 21% growth. The third quarter was the six consecutive quarter of record revenues for that region. Contributions to this growth came from several sub regions and verticals. Shipments to retail customers, supported growth in Australia and Zebra high performance printers fulfilled strong demand for manufacturing customers in China and Korea.

We also had solid result in India, as we have focused increasing investments in this important emerging market. Throughout the Asia-Pacific region, our growing business with retail customers is fueled by the growing consumption of goods and services. Asia-Pacific region is also seeing greater interest in RFID and location solutions. Recent installations include a leading regional bank, which is relying on Zebra Solutions to track IT assets. In addition, the location of subway police in a major Chinese city is now being monitored with the help of Zebra High Precision Ultra-Wideband products.

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