Lindsay's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Lindsay (LNN)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

March 28, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Richard W. Parod - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

James C. Raabe - Chief Financial Officer and Vice President

Analysts

Aaron M. Reeves - BB&T Capital Markets, Research Division

Ryan M. Connors - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Research Division

Brian Drab - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Unknown Analyst

Carter B. Shoop - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division

Jeffrey L. Beach - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Joseph Mondillo - Sidoti & Company, LLC

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Christie, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Lindsay Corporation Q2 2012 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

During this call, management may make forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties and which reflect management’s current beliefs and estimates of future economic circumstances, industry conditions, company performance and financial results. Forward-looking statements include the information concerning possible or assumed future results of operations of the company and those statements preceded by, followed by or including the words expectation, outlook, could, may, should or similar expressions. For these statements, we claim the protection of the Safe Harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Rick Parod, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Richard W. Parod

Good morning, and thank you for joining us today. Joining me on today's call are Jim Raabe, Lindsay Corporation's Chief Financial Officer; and Lori Zarkowski, our Chief Accounting Officer.

Revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 were $132.1 million, increasing 10% over the same quarter last year. During the quarter, we continue to achieve global growth in irrigation equipment revenues over the same period last year. However, some of that growth was offset by significantly lower infrastructure revenues primarily due to lower QMB project sales. Net earnings were $12.8 million or $1 per diluted share in the quarter compared with $11.3 million or $0.89 per diluted share in the prior year second quarter. Operating margins increased slightly to 14.3% from 14.2% last year.

Total revenues for the first 6 months of fiscal 2012 were $251.3 million, increasing 20% from the same period last year. Net earnings for the first 6 months were $15.7 million or $1.23 per diluted share, approximately equal to the first half of fiscal 2011. However, the first half of fiscal 2012 includes a $7.2 million accrual for environmental remediation at our Lindsay, Nebraska facility recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Excluding the environmental accrual, operating margin improved to 12.4% for the first half of the fiscal year compared to 11.6% in the previous year. And net earnings increased to $1.60 compared to $1.27 per diluted share for the same period last year.

In U.S. irrigation market, revenues were $82.9 million for the second quarter, increasing 25% over the same period last year. In the international irrigation market, revenues increased 36% to $34.1 million. Revenues increased in nearly all of U.S. and international regions with the most notable international growth in the Middle East, Canada, Europe and Latin America. For the first 6 months of fiscal 2012, U.S. irrigation revenues were $143.5 million, increasing 39% over the first half of last year. We are now in the midst of our primary irrigation selling season in the Northern Hemisphere, and quote and order activities are significantly more robust than the same time last year. In the international markets, revenues were $74.2 million for the first 6 months of fiscal 2012, increasing 53% over the first half of last year.

Commodity prices continue to support improved irrigation equipment demand. The USDA projects the U.S. 2012 net farm income to be the second-highest on record, only slightly less than 2011 and 28% higher than the 10-year average, continuing to create positive economic conditions for U.S. farmers. The global long-term market drivers of improving diets and a growing population, combined with water use efficiencies available for mechanized irrigation systems, continue to be positive drivers for irrigation equipment demand.

Infrastructure segment revenues decreased 47% to $15.1 million in the quarter due primarily to lower QMB system sales. Infrastructure revenues excluding QMB system sales decreased 4% from the second quarter of last year, reflecting flat revenue from the road safety products and lower revenues in railroad signaling structures. QMB system sales were more than 85% lower in the quarter than the same quarter last year due to a sizable project in the comparable period last year and delays in anticipated projects this fiscal year.

The project delays are due to funding and nonfunding-related issues, but the delays have not significantly changed our perspective on the likelihood of specific projects or the future demand for QMB systems. Long-term global interest remained strong in QMB as a superior solution to worldwide traffic congestion and improvement in driver and highway worker safety. QMB sales are likely to continue to be volatile due to the project nature of the business.

Year-to-date at the end of the second quarter, infrastructure revenues were $33.6 million, 42% lower than the first half of last year. Excluding the lower QMB system sales, infrastructure revenues increased slightly over the first half of last year. As we discussed in previous calls, our infrastructure management team remains focused on improving the growth and profitability of the business through expanded sales and marketing actions, product cost reductions and converting fixed expenses to variable where possible. While progress has been made, there is still more improvement planned.

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