Leggett & Platt, Incorporated's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Leggett & Platt, Incorporated (LEG)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 07, 2012 9:00 am ET


David M. DeSonier - Senior Vice President of Strategy & Investor Relations

David S. Haffner - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Member of Executive Committee

Karl G. Glassman - Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and Director

Susan R. McCoy - Director of Investor Relations

Matthew C. Flanigan - Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President, Director and Chairman of Enterprise Risk Management Committee


Budd Bugatch - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Keith B. Hughes - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division

Leah Villalobos - Longbow Research LLC

Herbert Hardt - Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co., Inc., Research Division

Joel K. Havard - Hilliard Lyons, Research Division

Robert J. Kelly - Sidoti & Company, LLC

Dillard Watt - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division



Greetings, and welcome to the Leggett & Platt Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, David DeSonier, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Investor Relations for Leggett & Platt. Thank you, Mr. DeSonier, you may begin.

David M. DeSonier

Good morning, and thank you for taking part in Leggett & Platt's Fourth Quarter Conference Call. I'm Dave DeSonier. And with me today are the following: Dave Haffner, our CEO and President; Karl Glassman, our Chief Operating Officer; Matt Flanagan, our CFO; and Susan McCoy, our Staff VP of Investor Relations. The agenda for the call this morning is as follows. Dave Haffner will start with a summary of the major statements we made in yesterday's press release. Karl will provide operating highlights. Dave will then address our outlook for 2012. And finally, the group will answer any questions you have. This conference is being recorded for Leggett & Platt and is copyrighted material. This call may not be transcribed, recorded or broadcast without our expressed permission. A replay is available from the IR portion of Leggett's website.

We posted to the IR portion of the website a set of PowerPoint slides that contain summary financial information. Those slides supplement the information we discuss on this call, including non-GAAP reconciliations. I need to remind you that remarks today concerning future expectations, events, objectives, strategies, trends or results constitute forward-looking statements. Actual results or events may differ materially due to a number of risks and uncertainties, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements. For a summary of these risk factors and additional information, please refer to yesterday's press release and the section in our 10-K entitled Forward-Looking Statements.

I'll now turn the call over to Dave Haffner.

David S. Haffner

Good morning, and thank you for participating in our call. Yesterday, we reported fourth quarter and full year 2011 earnings. For the quarter, earnings were $0.06 per share and included $0.16 per share of costs associated with the restructuring activities that we announced in late December. Earnings per share, excluding these costs, were $0.22 in the quarter. In the fourth quarter 2010, we earned $0.21 per share. Fourth quarter same location sales grew 6% versus the prior year largely from items that brought little incremental profit. Raw material-related price inflation and trade sales from our steel mill accounted for the bulk of the growth with unit volumes from our other businesses in total adding about 1% to sales. Earnings per share for the full year 2011 adjusted to exclude the fourth quarter restructuring related costs were $1.20 per share. In 2010, we earned $1.15 per share. The increase is primarily due to a lower share count, a lower effective tax rate and slightly higher sales partially offset by higher selling and administrative expense and other costs. Sales grew 8% in 2011 largely from inflation, currency rate changes and trade sales from our steel mill.

Across the company as a whole, unit volume increased slightly. Demand improved in certain of our markets during 2011 with automotive and office furniture leading the way. In contrast, stagnant demand negatively impacted our major residential markets. Many consumers continued to postpone spending on larger ticket items such as bedding and furniture in the phase of ongoing weak economy.

On the third quarter earnings call, we stated that our view of continuing demand weakness in certain of our markets and our plan to initiate actions that would yield improved ongoing profitability. In late December, we announced further restructuring which included the closure of 4 production facilities along with other cost reductions. These activities resulted in a $0.16 per share, predominantly noncash charge to earnings during the fourth quarter. The restructuring-related activities that we initiated during 2011 in total should benefit 2012 earnings per share by approximately $0.07 to $0.10.

We were very pleased to report in late December that we were acquiring Western Pneumatic Tube, a leading provider to the aerospace industry of integral components for critical aircraft systems. Our strategic long-term 4% to 5% annual growth objective envisions periodic acquisitions of companies exactly like Western. High-quality businesses with secure leading positions in growing, profitable, attractive markets and that makes sense to be part of Leggett & Platt. The acquisition was completed on January 12 and is expected to be slightly accretive to EPS in 2012.

Operating cash for the fourth quarter was $127 million, bringing the full year 2011 operating cash to $329 million. With concerns about weak markets, our operating folks continue to closely monitor the working capital levels. We ended the year with working capital at 11.8% of annualized sales. Now current liabilities include approximately $30 million associated with an interest rate swap that we entered in 2010.

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