Rayonier's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Rayonier Inc. (RYN)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 24, 2012 2:00 p.m. ET


Hans E. Vanden Noort – Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Paul G. Boynton – President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer

Jack Kriesel – Senior Vice President, Performance Fibers

Lynn Wilson – Vice President, U.S. Forest Resources

Charles Margiotta - Senior Vice President, Real Estate President


Michael Roxland - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

George Staphos - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Chip Dillon - Vertical Research Partners

Mark Wilde - Deutsche Bank

Steve Chercover - D.A. Davidson

Josh Barber - Stifel Nicholaus

Paul Quinn - RBC Capital Markets

Mark Weintraub - Buckingham Research



Welcome and thank you for joining Rayonier's First Quarter 2011 Teleconference Call. {Operator instructions) Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.

Now I'll turn the meeting over to your host, Mr. Hans Vanden Noort, CFO. Sir, you may begin.

Hans Vanden Noort

Thank you and good afternoon. Welcome to Rayonier’s investor teleconference covering first quarter earnings. Our earnings statement and presentation materials were released this morning and are available on our website at rayonier.com.

I'd like to remind you that in these presentations we include forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Federal Securities laws. Our earnings release as well as our Form 10-K filed with the SEC lists some of the factors, which may cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements we may make. They are also referenced on Page 2 of our presentation material.

With that, let's start our teleconference with opening comments from Paul Boynton, President and CEO. Paul?

Paul Boynton

Thanks, Hans. I’m only going to make a few overall comments before turning it back over to Hans to review our financial results. Then we’re going to ask Lynn Wilson, Senior Vice President of our U.S. Forest Resources, to comment on our timber results. Following our review of Forest Resources, Charlie Margiotta, Senior Vice President of Real Estate, will discuss our land sales results and then Jack Kriesel, Senior Vice President of Performance Fibers, will take us through the cellulose fibers business.

We’re pleased to report earnings of share of $0.42 as results from each business unit exceeded our expectations for the quarter. Our operating cash flow continues to be strong with cash available for distribution of $0.71 per share, substantially above our $0.40 per share dividend.

Now, in addition to good financial performance this quarter, we also achieved operation milestones that lay the groundwork for improved performance over the course of the year. Our Forest Resources team quickly completed the operational integration of 320,000 acres of highly productive forest we acquired last year giving us additional flexibility to take advantage of attractive local markets throughout our footprint and to defer harvest in less robust areas.

We also completed major maintenance shutdowns at our two Performance Fibers mills, investing in a number of high return projects. For example, in Fernandina we completed tie-ins required for a new turban generator which will allow us to achieve 100% energy self sufficiency and allow us the sale of green power back to the grid later in the year. In Jessup, we successfully completed over 250 electrical and mechanical tie-ins and installed some of the key equipment required for the conversion of our absorbent materials line to cellulose specialties. This paves the way to a completion of this project during next year’s shutdown.

Our balance sheet and cash flows are strong as recognized by Moody’s in their recent upgrade to Baa1, as well as our successful issuance of $325 million of ten-year bonds at a very attractive coupon.

So, overall, we’re off to a very positive start for the year and with that, let’s turn it over to Hans and review the financials.

Hans Vanden Noort

Thanks, Paul. Let’s start on Page 3 with the overall financial highlights. As Paul noted we kicked off 2012 with a very solid first quarter. Sales totaled $356 million while operating income totaled $84 million and net income was $53 million or $0.42 per share. There were no special items this quarter. However in the fourth quarter of 2011 we had a $6.5 million non-cash charge for estimated future clean-up costs at our former Port Angeles mill site. This charge has been excluded to arrive at the pro forma amounts used for the comparisons throughout this call.

On the bottom of Page 3 we provide an outline of capital resources from liquidity. Our cash flow was strong with the EBITDA of $115 million and cash available for distribution of $87 million. During the quarter we issued $325 million of ten-year senior notes with a 3.75% coupon. $150 million of the proceeds were used to repay borrowings outstanding under our credit facility. We ended the quarter with approximately $1 billion of debt and $237 million in cash. So on a net debt basis we finished at $787 million. As Paul mentioned, Moody's raised our rating to Baa1 stable during the quarter so we feel very comfortable with our current balance sheet and liquidity.

Let's now run through the variance analyses. On Page 4 we prepare a typical sequential quarterly variance analysis. In forest resources, as expected operating income decreased. The negative variance primarily results from lower recreational license income which is largely recognized in the fourth quarter. We also had some price softness in the northwest, although our volumes there increased. In Real Estate, our income was comparable. Moving to Performance Fibers you can see significant price improvement in cellulose specialties reflecting our January 1 price increases. Volumes were unfavorable due to the timing of customer shipments. Input costs were also unfavorable led by higher energy and chemical costs.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com

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