CGI Group (GIB)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

November 10, 2011 9:00 am ET


R. David Anderson - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Member of Disclosure Policy Committee and Member of Management Committee

Michael E. Roach - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director, Member of Management Committee and Member of Disclosure Policy Committee

Colin Brown - Head of Roche Professional Diagnostics


Bryan Keane - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Paul Steep - Scotia Capital Inc., Research Division

Julio C. Quinteros - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Steven Li - Raymond James Ltd., Research Division

Kris Thompson - National Bank Financial, Inc., Research Division

Thanos Moschopoulos - BMO Capital Markets Canada

Stephanie Price - CIBC World Markets Inc., Research Division

Mike Abramsky - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Ralph Garcea - NCP Northland Capital Partners Inc., Research Division



Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the CGI Fourth Quarter 2011 Results Conference Call. I would now like to turn the meeting over to Mr. Colin Brown, Manager, Investor Relations. Please go ahead, Mr. Brown.

Colin Brown

Thank you, Nelda, and good morning. With me to discuss CGI's fourth quarter and fiscal 2011 results are Michael Roach, our President and CEO; and David Anderson, our Executive Vice President and CFO. The call is being broadcast on and recorded live at 9 a.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2011. Supplemental slides, as well as the press release we issued earlier this morning, are available for download, along with our MD&A, financial statements and accompanying notes, all of which are being filed with both SEDAR and EDGAR.

Please note that some statements made on this call may be forward looking. Actual events or results may differ materially from those expressed or implied, and CGI disclaims any intent or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The complete Safe Harbor statement is available in both our MD&A and press release, as well as on We encourage our investors to read it in its entirety. We report our financial results in accordance with Canadian GAAP, but we do discuss non-GAAP performance measures, which should be viewed as supplemental. The MD&A contains definitions of each of these non-GAAP performance indicators used in our reporting. All of the figures expressed on this call are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.

I'll turn the call over to David first to review the financial results for the fourth quarter, then he'll pass it over to Mike, who will briefly run through the full fiscal year results and add some color on the last quarter for each of our reporting segments.

With that, David?

R. David Anderson

Thank you, Colin, and good morning. I'm pleased to share the financial details of another good quarter.

In the fourth quarter, revenue was $1.03 billion, an increase of $24.5 million or 2.4% compared with Q4 2010. On a constant-currency basis, revenue grew by 5.3% after adjusting for foreign-exchange fluctuations that unfavorably impacted revenue in the quarter by $29.2 million or 2.9% compared with the same period last year. As our earnings -- I'm sorry, as for our earnings, we included a pretax charge of $45.4 million. Actions taken included $22.3 million, primarily related to the acceleration of real estate consolidation plans, as well as $11.4 million related to workforce adjustments. The remaining $11.7 million is a noncash impairment charge related to business solutions that were impacted by clients' delaying their investment decisions.

To give you a clear comparison of our operating performance year-over-year, I've excluded the $45.4 million charge in the most recent quarter and the $26 million related primarily to the Stanley acquisition and integration-related costs recorded in Q4 of fiscal 2010. Excluding these charges, net earnings were $104.8 million, and our net earnings margin was 10.2% versus 10% in the same period last year. Diluted earnings per share were up $0.39 compared to a $0.36 in the year-ago period and represents an improvement of 8.3%. On a GAAP basis, including the charges, we reported net earnings of $73.1 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.27 in the fourth quarter. This compares with $84.1 million or $0.30 per share in Q4 of fiscal 2010.

Turning to the balance sheet. Our DSO was 53 days in Q4, up 1 day from Q3 and higher than the 47 days reported in the year-ago period. This increase is primarily related to our growing government sector, where our higher proportion of that business is based on milestone billing. The size and duration of the milestones kept us from achieving our 45-day target in this period. As we continued managing our billings and collections closely, as well as our other working capital items, as a result, cash from continuing operating activities was very strong in the quarter. We generated $192.8 million in cash compared with $158.5 million in the same period last year. That's $0.71 per share in the 3 months period.

Net debt at the end of Q4 was $897.4 million, down $113.4 million compared to last year, representing a net debt to capitalization ratio of 26.8%. As we close the U.S. $475 million private placement with 6 large U.S. investors in Q4, the placement is comprised of 3 tranches that mature on average in 8.2 years and carries a fixed rate of 4.57%. In line with the terms of the placement, we will draw down the funds no later than December 15, 2011. And we'll execute interest rate swaps to reduce the financing costs to maximize our flexibility.

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