Genuine Parts' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Genuine Parts (GPC)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 19, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Carol B. Yancey - Senior Vice President of Finance and Corporate Secretary

Thomas C. Gallagher - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Executive Committee

Paul D. Donahue - President and President of The U S Automotive Parts Group

Jerry W. Nix - Vice Chairman, Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Executive Vice President of Finance, Director and Member of Executive Committee

Analysts

Elizabeth Lane - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Patrick Palfrey - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Matthew J. Fassler - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Michael Montani - ISI Group Inc., Research Division

Brian Sponheimer - Gabelli & Company, Inc.

Judy Merrick

Mario Joseph Gabelli - GAMCO Investors, Inc.

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Jodie, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Genuine Parts Company First Quarter 2012 Earnings Release Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to introduce Ms. Carol Yancey, Senior Vice President of Finance. Please go ahead.

Carol B. Yancey

Thank you. Good morning, and thank you for joining us today for the Genuine Parts First Quarter Conference Call, where we'll discuss our earnings results and the outlook for the remainder of 2012.

Before we begin this morning, please be advised that this call may involve forward-looking statements regarding the company and its businesses. The company's actual results could differ materially from any forward-looking statements due to several important factors described in the company's latest SEC filings. The company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made during this call. We will begin this morning with comments from Tom Gallagher, our Chairman and CEO. Tom?

Thomas C. Gallagher

Thank you, Carol, and I would like to add my welcome to each of you on the call today and to say that we appreciate you taking the time be with us this morning. As we customarily do, Jerry Nix, our Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, and I will each handle a portion of the call. And we're especially pleased to have Paul Donahue, our recently elected Genuine Parts Company President, with us as well. And once Paul, Jerry and I have concluded our remarks, we will look forward to answering any questions that you may have.

Now earlier this morning, we released our first quarter 2012 results, and hopefully you've had an opportunity to review them. But for those who may not have seen the numbers as yet, a quick recap shows sales for the quarter were $3,181,000,000, which was up 7%. Net income was $146.3 million, which was up 16%. And earnings per share were $0.93 this year, compared to $0.80 in the first quarter of 2011, and the EPS increase was also 16%.

So we are pleased that the sales and earnings momentum that we saw throughout 2010 and 2011 continued on into the first quarter of this year.

As a result, we feel that we're off to a good start to the year, and we look forward to another solid performance from the Genuine Parts team in 2012.

A review of the results by business segment shows that our industrial operations continue to produce the largest increases. Motion Industries, our industrial distribution business, was up 12% in the quarter. This is on top of their 24% increase in the first quarter of last year, so it was a tough comparison. But they handled it well, and we continue to feel good about the progress being made by our Industrial operations.

As we look at their numbers in a bit more detail, it shows that 11 of their top 12 product categories are running double-digit increases year-to-date. And as a group, these 12 categories are up 15% through the first 3 months. And Motion had strong results from their top 10 industry segments, as well. As a group, these top 10 segments are up 12% through March, and this is on top of a combined 30% increase in the first quarter of last year.

The top 20 individual customers have a collective year-to-date increase of 14%, and additionally, the solid results are consistent across all geographic areas as well.

So from a number of different viewpoints, the Industrial business remains strong currently, and with the industrial production and capacity utilization indices each continuing to remain at healthy levels and with good execution of their internal growth initiatives, we're optimistic about our prospects in the Industrial segment over the next several quarters.

Moving onto the electrical/electronic segment. EIS was up 5% in the quarter. This is down from the 10% increase that we reported in the fourth quarter and well off of the full-year 2011 increase of 24%, but it's important to note that our first quarter 2011 increase of 39% was our strongest quarter of the year by far. So it was a tough comparison.

But with that said, there has been a moderation in demand for our Electrical/Electronic business over the past 2 quarters. On the electrical side, this is primarily attributable to a slowdown in the Renewable Energy segment. And on the electronic side, it is largely due to a slowdown in the Contract Manufacturing segment.

Our expectation is that these 2 segments of our business will lag the overall business through the first half of the year, but they will then start to show a gradual recovery over the remainder of the year.

Importantly, the core segments of our Rlectrical business, such as Motor Repair and OEM manufacturing are, performing well as is the Wire and Cable business.

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