Towers Watson's CEO Discusses F2Q12 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Towers Watson & Company ( TW)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

February 6, 2012 9:00 am ET


John Haley – Chief Executive Officer

Roger Millay – Chief Financial Officer


Paul Ginocchio – Deutsche Bank

Tobey Sommer – SunTrust

Tim McHugh – William Blair

Julio Quinteros – Goldman Sachs

Jeff Volshteyn – JP Morgan

Shlomo Rosenbaum – Stifel Nicolaus

Ashwin Shirvaikar – Citigroup

Mark Marcon – Robert W. Baird



Good day ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Second Quarter 2012 Towers Watson Earnings conference call. My name is Karissa and I’ll be your coordinator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will be facilitating a question and answer session towards the end of today’s conference. If at any time during the call you require assistance, please press star followed by zero and a coordinator will be happy to assist you. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.

I will now turn the presentation over to your host for today’s conference, Ms. Ida Suches (phon), Director of Investor Relations. Please proceed.

Ida Suches

Thank you, Karissa. Good morning. This is Ida Suches, Director of Investor Relations at Towers Watson. Welcome to the Towers Watson Earnings call. I’m here today with John Haley, Towers Watson’s Chief Executive Officer; and Roger Millay, our Chief Financial Officer. Please refer to our website for this morning’s press release. Today’s call is being recorded and will be available for replay via telephone for the next week by dialing 617-801-6888, confirmation number 60342397. The replay will also be available for the next three months on our website. Our website also contains a few slides that are complementary to today’s call. Those slides include certain reconciliation information required by SEC Regulation G.

This conference call may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, including statements among others regarding expected financial and operating performance. Any statements made during this call that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. You are cautioned that these statements may be affected by the important factors set forth in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in today’s press release, and that consequently actual operations and results may differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise except as required by federal securities laws. After our prepared remarks, we’ll open the conference call for your questions.

Now I’ll turn the call over to John Haley.

John Haley

Thanks, Ida. Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us. Today we’ll review our results for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 and our guidance for the remainder of the fiscal year.

We’re very pleased with our results this quarter as we continued to produce strong growth with increased margins. Reported revenues for the quarter were $880 million, an increase of 11% over prior year reported revenues and an increase of 10% on a constant currency basis. Our organic growth rate, which adjusts for changes in foreign currency exchange rates, acquisitions and divestitures was 6% for the quarter. Our adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $172 million, up 16% from last year, and our adjusted EBITDA margin for the quarter was 19.5%. Adjusted EBITDA excludes transaction and integration costs as well as non-cash stock-based compensation arising from the merger.

For the quarter, diluted earnings per share were $0.92 and adjusted diluted earnings per share were $1.35. Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 22% over the prior year. Adjusted diluted earnings per share included normalized income tax rate and exclude non-recurring other income transaction and integration costs, non-cash stock-based compensation costs from restricted shares issued in conjunction with the merger, and the amortization of merger accounting intangible assets.

These results underscore the excellent work of our associates and our focus on marketplace opportunities. All of our segments delivered revenue growth above our expectations for this quarter. Staying close to our clients, understanding the complexities of the business environment, and delivering practical solutions have driven our results. Our results also speak to the strong business acumen of our management team throughout the organization. They are delivering top-line growth while carefully leveraging investments, and that has driven our margin growth. I’m confident that the depth of our talent pool, adhering to our management principles, and living the client-first values positions and prepares us for long-term profitable growth.

Now let’s look at the performance of each of our segments. All of our segments grew organically this quarter. Benefits grew 5%, risk and financial services 4%, and talent and rewards grew 15%; and revenue growth reflects wins from both new and existing clients. For the quarter, the benefits segment has revenues of $476 million. Including the revenues from Aliquant which we acquired in late December 2010, benefits segment revenues were up 7% on a constant currency basis.

On an organic basis, revenues were up 5%. Retirement, technology, and administration solutions and health and group benefits all grew this quarter. Retirement revenues increased 3% on a constant currency basis led by growth in North America with growth in our pension administration work from new clients and demand for our strategic work. We expect retirement will continue to have low single-digit growth.

Technology and administration solutions had a very strong quarter with double-digit constant currency growth. The revenue increases were in large part due to the acquisition of Aliquant. Additional growth resulted from demand for system modifications and new call center clients.

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