Laboratory Of America Holdings' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Laboratory of America Holdings (LH)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 10, 2012 9:00 am ET


David P. King - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Stephen Anderson -

William B. Hayes - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Executive Vice President and Treasurer


Adam T. Feinstein - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Bill Bonello - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Robert M. Willoughby - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Gary Lieberman - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Amanda Murphy - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Ralph Giacobbe - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Darren Lehrich - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Thomas Gallucci - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

Gary P. Taylor - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Alexander Y. Draper - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Lisa C. Gill - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Kevin K. Ellich - Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division

Ricky Goldwasser - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Dane Leone - Macquarie Research

Ashim Anand - Natixis Bleichroeder LLC, Research Division

Anthony V. Vendetti - Maxim Group LLC, Research Division



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2011 Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings Earnings Conference Call. My name is Jeff, and I'll be your coordinator for today. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host for today, Mr. David King, Chairman and CEO of LabCorp. And you have the floor, sir.

David P. King

Thank you, Jeff. Good morning, and welcome to LabCorp's Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Conference Call. Joining me today from LabCorp are Brad Hayes, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Ed Dodson, Senior Vice President of Chief Accounting Officer; and Steve Anderson, Vice President, Investor Relations.

This morning, we will discuss our fourth quarter and full year 2011 financial results, provide 2012 guidance, update you on our Genzyme Genetics integration, highlight our progress on our 5-pillar strategy and provide answers to several frequently asked questions.

I'd now like to turn the call over to Steve Anderson, who has a few comments before we begin

Stephen Anderson

Before we get started, I would like to point out that there will be a replay of this conference call available via the telephone and Internet. Please refer to today's press release for replay information.

This morning, the company filed a Form 8-K that included additional information on our business and operations. This information is also available on our website. Analysts and investors are directed to this 8-K and our website to review this supplemental information. Additionally, we refer you to today's press release, which is available on our website for a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures discussed during today's call to GAAP. These non-GAAP measures include adjusted EPS excluding amortization, free cash flow and adjusted operating income.

I would also like to point out that we are making forward-looking statements during this conference call. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements about our expected financial results, the implementation of our business strategy and the ongoing benefits of the Genzyme Genetics and other acquisitions. These statements are based upon current expectations and are subject to change based upon various factors that could affect the company's financial results. Some of these factors are set forth in detail in our 2010 10-K and subsequent filings. The company has no obligation to provide any updates to these forward-looking statements, even if our expectations change.

Now, Brad Hayes will review our financial results.

William B. Hayes

Thank you, Steve. On today's call, I will review 4 key measures of our financial performance: cash flow, revenue growth, margin and liquidity. I'll also review our 2012 guidance.

First, cash flow. Our cash flow remains strong. Excluding the Hunter Lab settlement of $49.5 million, free cash flow for the year ended December 31, 2011, was $759.4 million. Cash flow has been negatively impacted by approximately $17 million, due to delays in the Genzyme Genetics enrollment process, which we expected and have previously discussed. The impact from these delays has improved by $11 million since the third quarter of 2011, and we expect to continue to make progress in resolving these issues. We remain pleased with our cash collections. DSO was 46 days at the end of December, unchanged year-over-year and sequentially. Our bad debt remained 4.5%.

Second, revenue growth. Revenue increased 5.5% year-over-year in the fourth quarter. Genzyme Genetics accounted for approximately 4.8% of this growth. During the quarter, revenue per requisition increased 4.2% year-over-year. Genzyme Genetics accounted for approximately 4.1% of the growth in revenue per requisition. Total company volume increased 1.2% year-over-year during the fourth quarter. Genzyme Genetics accounted for approximately 0.6% of this volume growth. Esoteric volume increased approximately 3.5% in the quarter.

Third, margin. For the fourth quarter our adjusted operating income margin was 18.9% compared to 19.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010. Year-over-year margin decline was due entirely to recent acquisitions that we have not fully integrated. Excluding these acquisitions, margins would have remained stable year-over-year. Margins will improve as we integrate these businesses and our guidance for next year implies margin expansion.

Fourth, liquidity. We remain well-capitalized. At the end of December, we had cash of $159.3 million and approximately $400 million available under our revolving line of credit. During the fourth quarter, we replaced existing credit facilities with a new $1 billion revolver. We borrowed $560 million under the new facility and repaid all amounts outstanding under our previous term loan and revolving credit facility. In addition to the cash generated by operations, we believe the new $1 billion revolver will provide us with ready liquidity to carry out strategic initiatives. At the end December, total debt was $2.2 billion.

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