IDEX's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

IDEX Corporation ( IEX)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 7, 2012, 10:30 a.m. ET


Michael J. Yates – Vice President, CAO

Andrew K. Silvernail – CEO

Heath A. Mitts – CFO, VP – Corporate Finance


Jim Lucas – Janney Montgomery Scott

Scott Graham – Jefferies & Co.

Matt Summerville – Keybanc Capital Markets

Robert Barry – UBS

Allison Poliniak – Wells Fargo Securities, Llc

Charles Brady – BMO Capital Markets



Good morning. My name is Kristen, and I’ll be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the IDEX Corporation Q4 2011 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions).

Thank you. At this time I would like to turn the call over to our host Mr. Michael Yates, Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer. Please go ahead.

Michael J. Yates

Thank you, Kristen. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us for our discussion of the IDEX 2011 financial highlights.

Last night we issued a press release outlining our company’s financial and operating performance for the 3 and 12-month periods ended December 31, 2011. The press release, along with the presentation slides to be used during today’s webcast, can be accessed on our company’s website at

Joining me today from IDEX management are Andy Silvernail, our Chairman and CEO; and Heath Mitts, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

The format for our call today is as follows, we will begin with a summary of the fourth quarter and full-year 2011. We will then disclose our redefined segmentation, followed by a walkthrough of our four legacy business segments. And finally, we will wrap up with a outlook for 2012. Following our prepared remarks, we will then open the call for your questions.

If you should need to exit the call for any reason, you may access a complete replay beginning approximately two hours after the call concludes by dialing the toll free number 855-859-2056 and entering the conference ID 40912918 or you may simply log on to our company’s webpage for the webcast replay.

As we begin, a brief reminder; this call may contain certain forward-looking statements that are subject to the Safe Harbor language in today’s press release and in IDEX’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

With that, I’ll now turn this call over to our Chairman, Andy Silvernail?

Andy Silvernail

Thanks, Mike. Good morning, everybody. I want to start here on Slide 5. By now you’ve all had a chance to review our press release and take notice of the strong finish to a very good year. We established record orders, sales, cash flow, and EPS. For the year, orders were up 18% and sales were up 22% exceeding $1.8 billion.

Organically, we achieved 9% sales growth in spite of volatile markets. We completed the largest transaction in IDEXs history, with the acquisition of CVI Melles Griot, which further enhances our OpEx and protonics capabilities. Our integration of CVI is on track, and we’re in the process of executing integration plan, including our commercial strategy and planned footprint consolidation.

Full-year EPS was $2.56, up 29% over 2010, and full-year adjusted operating margin of 18.1% was up 90 basis points from prior year.

On a apples-to-apples basis, that is excluding the impact of 2011 acquisitions, operating margins would have increased 200 basis points, so I’m pleased with our team’s focus and execution to drive strong profitable growth.

Now on to the fourth quarter. Sales grew 19%, 7% organically. Operating margins were up 40 basis points year-over-year, or up 160 basis points when we normalize for acquisitions. As we get in to the segment detail, you’ll see a broad based performance where we drove productivity throughout the organization.

Free cash flow was $74 million in the quarter, resulting in a cash conversion of 155% of net income. Again, our team executed well and this is reflected in our improved working capital.

In Q4, we completed the issuance of a $350 million ten-year public bond, which allowed us to secure long-term capital at an attractive low rate. Affectively, this frees up our bank revolver so that our strong free cash flow generation, and securing attractive long-term debt, the balance sheet is in great shape and we have plenty of dry powder to execute our short and long-term acquisition strategy.

I’m proud of the team’s achievements. As we enter 2012, we see healthy order rates and outlook for many of our end markets. The January order rates were solid, and although markets remain volatile, we’re encouraged by the start. We’re still driving selective restructuring actions, and we will benefit particularly in the back half of the year, as we begin to realize savings from our manufacturing footprint consolidation.

As I reflect on our outstanding year and the end markets driving our success, I tend to put our business in two general categories, high growth and high value. Our high growth platforms are those that will continue to acquire highly quality businesses and technologies that accelerate profitable growth and improve our competitive position.

Not only do we have a full M&A pipeline for these businesses, we believe these have attractive organic growth potential. These high growth businesses are those that are primarily in our HST and FMT segments.

High value businesses are those businesses that command premier margins due to the critical nature of their solutions and market and brand positions. While these businesses also have attractive organic growth potential, strategically we’ve chosen not to focus on M&A. These businesses fall in to our FSD and dispensing segments. Both high growth and high value businesses receive investment to innovate and continue to expand their market and geographic reach.

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