Tenaris' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Tenaris S.A. (TS)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 26, 2012 10:00 AM ET

Executives

Giovanni Sardagna – Director, IR

Paolo Rocca – Chairman and CEO

Ricardo Soler – CFO

Alejandro Lammertyn – Managing Director, Eastern Hemisphere Corporation

Analysts

William Sanchez – Howard Weil

Marcus Sequeira – Deutsche Bank

Ole Slorer – Morgan Stanley

Stephen Gengaro – Sterne Agee

Phillips Santos – JP Morgan

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Q1 2012 Tenaris SA Earnings Conference Call. My name is Karen and I’ll be your operator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode and we will conduct a question-and-answer session towards the end of this conference. (Operator Instructions) I would like to remind that this call is being recorded for replay purposes.

I’d like to turn the call over to Giovanni Sardagna, the Investor Relations Director. Please proceed sir.

Giovanni Sardagna

Thank you Karen and welcome to Tenaris 2012 first quarter conference call. Before we start, I would like to remind you as usual that we will be discussing forward-looking information in the call and that our actual results may vary from those expressed or implied here-in. Factors that could affect those results include those mentioned in the company’s 20-F and other documents filed with the SEC.

With me on the call today are Paolo Rocca, our Chairman and CEO; Guillermo Vogel, Vice President of Finance and Member of our Board of Directors. Ricardo Soler, our Chief Financial Officer; Alejandro Lammertyn, the Managing Director of our Eastern Hemisphere Corporation; and joining us from Huston, Germán Curá, the Managing Director of our North American Operation.

Before passing over the call to Paolo for his opening remarks, I would like to briefly comment our quarterly results. During first quarter of 2012, sales increased 13% to $2.6 billion compared to $2.3 billion recorded in the first quarter of last year. However as anticipated last quarter they decreased 5% sequentially as sales were impacted by lower pipe shipments or HPI and pipe line in addition to lower OCTG shipments in Columbia and Saudi Arabia. Our EBITDA for the quarter reached 700 million, which was 26% higher than the corresponding quarter of 2011 and 2% higher sequentially.

Our EBITDA margin continued to improve reaching 27% due to lower raw material cost and plant our location efficient. Average selling prices in our Tubes operating segments were up 8% compared to the corresponding quarter of last, but flat sequentially.

During the quarter, our sales of high-end seamless products remained stable at 54% of our total seamless volume, but are expected to be higher during the coming quarters of the year. During the quarter, cash provided by our operating activities was over 600 million allowing our net cash position to decrease by just 65 million to almost 160 million after investing more than 500 million in (inaudible) and almost 200 million in capital spend.

Now, I will ask Paolo to say a few words before we open the call to questions.

Paolo Rocca

Thank you, very much Giovanni, and good morning to all of you. This quarter also our sales in shipment came in lower sequentially. We were able to increase our operating income and margin. Thanks to a more efficient cost performance. In the coming quarter we are confident that we can maintain these levels of operating margin on a higher level of sales.

Our sales in North America rose 10% sequentially during the quarter and accounted for 56% of our two operating segments sales, and 52% of our total sales. We are being improving our performance in North America at all levels. This quarter our heat man Mill in Kansas produced a record level of heat treated product our McCarty premium facility in Houston spread a record level of premium joint. And our raw materials business in Canada produced a record level of seamless product. This production record was by substantial reduction in the injury frequency rate in our U.S. mills and reflected the investment we have made in the plants.

The increase in our North American sales also reflect product mix improvement. With the recovery in the Gulf of Mexico and the expansion of shale activity we are selling more premium product and most our welded OCTG product today are heat treated.

Our new (inaudible) 625 premium connection design specifically for complex sales application has had further success Eagle Ford. In Canada also we have expansion of thermal project sales of premium product has increased. This year the spring break up was earlier than last year. But our sales during this quarter were significantly higher than the corresponding quarter of last year.

In South America our sales were affected by the temporary renegotiation of rig construct by eco patrolling Colombia, demand in Colombia is grown rapidly in the – and we are confident that we favorable condition for investment and more than 80 company involve in operation activity, in production activity, the market we continue to grow.

In (inaudible) we announced a 200 million investment program to expand the capacity of our mill, to produce higher value product and better serve the Colombia market for welded and seamless product, and our sales this quarter were affected by a low level of shipment of line pipe for offshore and HPI project.

In addition, sales of ore strategy to Saudi Arabia were lower following (inaudible) stocking of premium product last year. However, in the coming quarter we are seeing a good level of activity in this time of year and we expect higher sale during the year.

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