Carpenter Technology's CEO Discusses F3Q 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Carpenter Technology Corporation (CRS)

F3Q 2012 Earnings Call

April 25, 2012 9:30 AM ET

Executives

Mike Hajost – Treasurer and VP, IR

Bill Wulfsohn – President and CEO

Doug Ralph – SVP and CFO

Mark Kamon – SVP, Specialty Alloys Operations

Sanjay Guglani – VP, Performance Engineered Products

Dave Strobel – SVP, Global Operations

Analysts

Steve Levenson – Stifel Nicolaus

Gautam Khanna – Cowen & Company

Chris Olin – Cleveland Research

Josh Sullivan – Sterne Agee

Dan Whalen – Auriga USA

Phil Gibbs – KeyBanc Capital Markets

Doug Thomas – JET Investment Research

Mark Parr – KeyBanc

Alex Cook – Voyant Advisors

Tim Hayes – Davenport & Company

Presentation

Operator

Good morning and welcome to Carpenter Technology’s Third Quarter Earnings Conference call. My name is Chris and I will be your conference moderator for today. At this time, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. After the speakers’ remarks, you will be invited to participate in a question-and-answer session towards the end of this call. (Operator Instructions)

At this time I would now like to turn the call over to your host for today, Mr. Mike Hajost, Vice President of Investor Relations and Treasurer. Sir, you may proceed.

Mike Hajost

Thank you, Chris. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Carpenter’s earnings conference call for the third quarter ended March 31, 2012. This call is also being broadcast over the Internet.

With us today are Bill Wulfsohn, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Doug Ralph, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Also participating on the call are Dave Strobel, Senior Vice President of Global Operations; Mark Kamon, Senior Vice President of Specialty Alloys Operations; Andy Ziolkowsk, Senior Vice President of Latrobe Operations; and Sanjay Guglani, Vice President of Performance Engineered Products, as well as other members of the management team.

Statements made by management during this conference call that are forward-looking statements are based on current expectations. Risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements can be found in Carpenter’s most recent SEC filings, including the company’s June 30, 2011 10-K, September 30, and December 31, 2011 10-Q and the exhibits attached to those filings.

I will now turn the call over to Bill.

Bill Wulfsohn

Thank you, Mike and good morning, everyone. This is a very exciting time here at Carpenter. And I am very proud of what the team has accomplished this quarter. In summary, we’ve posted another quarter of strong results. We also closed on the Latrobe transaction and we took steps to increase production capacity which will enable near and long-term growth.

Before Doug gives you details about our operating results, I would like to take a few moments to comment on each of these three areas. Let me start with the results of our legacy Carpenter business. In summary, our end-market demands remain strong. Within Aerospace, we are experiencing continued strong demand for super alloys used in aerospace engines, significantly increased demand for our titanium, nickel, and stainless materials used for fasteners and we are seeing increased participation in aerospace structural applications.

More specifically we are seeing higher adoption of our proprietary customs series of stainless materials for flap track, engine mounts, landing-gear components on new platforms such as the A380, A350, 747-8, 787 and the future 737 MAX. In addition Latrobe’s portfolio broadens our participation in complementary aerospace applications such as commercial landing-gear and bearing steel.

Within Energy, there remains strong demand for our materials used in oil and gas explorations as directional drill rig activities remained high. And it is now shifting from natural gas to oil exploration. We also see increased demand in materials for industrial gas turbines. And finally, as we’ve discussed in past calls, we are diversifying our product offerings within the energy markets.

Note, we are also seeing good growth and movement for higher value product opportunities in other strategic areas such as transportation, plus in the act to get the demand for our premium product has enabled us to sustain a very strong backlog. In addition to our strong end-market demand, we are continuing to see positive impact from our pricing and mix management actions. These actions have resulted in higher average profit per pound, greater overall profitability and we’ve seen revenue growth in the quarter has once again outpaced volume growth.

In summary, we are progressing rapidly to meet our commitment to return to our prior peak level of EBITDA excluding any literal contribution. Switching gears, February 29 was a very exciting day in the history of Carpenter, as we closed on the Latrobe transaction. While the antitrust approval process was long, it gave us time to prepare for an aberration which enabled us to hit the ground running after close.

I am pleased to report that the integration process is going well. Latrobe’s operating results are already accretive to earnings excluding acquisition related costs and we are even more encouraged by the synergies potential of the combination. Finally, during the quarter we took significant action to expand our capacities to support both our near-term and long-term growth objectives.

As previously discussed, we have seen rapid demand growth for our premium products. This is good news but has also taxed our available supply. To address this opportunity in the near-term, we have taken actions to add remelt capacity and address constrains in our Reading operations. And immediately after closing on Latrobe, we move forward with an investment to add three additional VAR furnaces at that location.

Impacts of these investments should result in an incremental 4,000 tons of premium capacity over each of the next two years. We are also well under way to doubling our capacity to produce titanium wire used in aerospace fasteners and expand our powder metal production capacity. Every market indicator combined with our customer discussion solidifies our belief that we are in the early stages of a strong growth cycle in the aerospace and energy markets.

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