Canadian Pacific Railway Limited's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 20, 2012 11:00 am ET


Janet Weiss - Assistant Vice-President of Investor Relations

Frederic J. Green - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Member of Safety, Operations & Environment Committee

J. Michael Franczak - Chief Operations Officer and Executive Vice President of Operations

Jane A. O’Hagan - Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Kathryn B. McQuade - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President


Walter Spracklin - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Cherilyn Radbourne - TD Securities Equity Research

Michael Weinz - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Ken Hoexter - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Jason H. Seidl - Dahlman Rose & Company, LLC, Research Division

Scott H. Group - Wolfe Trahan & Co.

Christian Wetherbee - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

David Tyerman - Canaccord Genuity, Research Division

Brandon R. Oglenski - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Benoit Poirier - Desjardins Securities Inc., Research Division

Allison Landry - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Jeffrey A. Kauffman - Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., Research Division



Good morning. My name is Melissa, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to Canadian Pacific's First Quarter 2012 Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Thank you. Ms. Weiss, you may begin your conference.

Janet Weiss

Thank you, Melissa. Good morning, and thanks for joining us. The presenters today will be Fred Green, our President and CEO; Mike Franczak, our EVP and Chief Operations Officer; Jane O'Hagan, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer; Kathryn McQuade, our EVP and Chief Financial Officer. Also joining us on the call today is Brian Grassby, our Senior VP, Finance and Controller.

The slides accompanying today's teleconference are available on our website. Before we get started, let me remind you that this presentation contains forward-looking information. Actual results may differ materially. The risk, uncertainties and other factors that could influence actual results are described on Slide 2 and 3 in the press release and in the MD&A filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators. Please read carefully as these assumptions could change throughout the year. All dollars quoted in the presentation are Canadian unless otherwise stated.

This presentation also contains non-GAAP measures. Please read Slide 4. Finally, when we do go to Q&A, I'd like to remind you that the primary purpose of today's call is to discuss our financial results, market performance trends and progress towards our multiyear goals and not Pershing Square or proxy-related issues. [Operator Instructions]

In fairness to all participants, I'd again tell you that we're going to be running about 1 hour, 1.25 hours so be thoughtful, and we'll answer as many questions as we can in the time provided, and we'll circle back with any unanswered questions after the call. Here then is our President and CEO, Fred Green.

Frederic J. Green

Good morning, everyone. This morning, Canadian Pacific reported a strong start to 2012, with EPS of $0.82 and an operating ratio of 80.1%. This represents an operating ratio improvement of 1,050 basis points over last year and an improvement of 220 basis points over Q1 of 2010. We're executing on our plans and delivering record operating metrics.

Importantly, the records we're setting are not just for the first quarter. We're setting all-time operating records for any quarter, evidence that these are sustained improvements, not just easy comparisons. The programs we have underway are resulting in new, unparalleled level of performance. We have clear accountabilities to ensure the consistent execution of the integrated operating plan, we're realizing real market growth, we're delivering on our pricing targets and we're providing a superior service to our customers.

These results are being produced by the right team, executing safely and responsibly on the right plan. Our Multi-Year Plan is delivering sustainable improvements that can be directly linked to the improved financial results. Now let me discuss some of the highlights for CP's first quarter. Our velocity was a record 208.4 miles per car day, a 51% improvement over Q1 2011 and a 40% improvement over Q1 2010.

This is the first time in CP's history that we've reported a velocity figure in excess of 200 car miles per day. This places us in line with the industry leader, and we're seeing this trend continue in April. In fact, the 7-day average this morning is 215 car miles per day. We reported a Q1 record in terminal dwell of 17.3 hours, beating our previous Q1 record by 19%. It's a step function improvement off our record best and reflects the fundamental changes we've made.

We've also set new Q1 performance records in active cars online and network speed. We did this while running a very safe railroad, setting a new Q1 personal safety record. The specific plans driving these improvements were set in motion back in 2010, and with the continued execution of our Multi-Year Plan, there's still much more to come. The foundations for sustained performance are in place. The team is focused on running an efficient railroad, and our shareholders and customers are the key beneficiaries.

On the market side, we're winning in major growth markets, most notably energy. During the quarter, we announced significant agreements with U.S. Development for a major crude-by-rail transload facility and Unimin for a major new frac sand production facility. These 2 announcements, coupled with several other new market developments, will take us more than halfway to our 5-year goal of an incremental $400 million per year in energy-related growth.

Another example of how we're delivering on the detailed plan we set out in 2010 is coal. Through our investment in long sightings, by Q4 of this year, we plan to move up to 80% of Teck's volumes in long trains versus roughly 5% just 1 year ago. You'll recall that the long trains provide 18% efficiency, and the benefits accrue to the CP shareholders. So our confidence in top line growth is well-founded, and we are profitably growing the business.

Finally, our financial results. As I noted earlier, we're beginning to see our operational improvements translate into improved financial results. Our results are more than favorable weather conditions. Our strong Q1 was anchored on fundamental improvements in our operations, fuel efficiency, employee productivity, equipment rents and purchase services, all moved in the right direction.

We are accountable, and we are executing on our Multi-Year Plan, creating value for our shareholders. Kathryn will get into further detail shortly. I'm now going to turn it over to Mike, Jane and Kathryn, who will provide additional color on our successful first quarter. Mike, over to you.

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