Deluxe Corporation (DLX) Q1 2012 Earnings Call April 26, 2012, 11:00 a.m. ET Executives Jeff Johnson – Treasurer and P of IR Lee J. Schram – CEO Terry D. Peterson – CFO Analysts Charles Strauzer – CJS Securities John Kraft – D. A. Davidson & Co. James Clement – Sidoti & Company, LLC Ben Glaze – Apollo Presentation Operator
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Lee SchramThank you Jeff and good morning everyone. To use a baseball analogy, which is timely as the season is just underway, we hit a home run in the quarter and are off to a fantastic start to the year despite a continued sluggish economic environment. We reported revenue and adjusted earnings per share well above our expected ranges. Revenue grew 8% over the prior year, driven by small business services revenue growth of 15%, of which 4% came from the PsPrint acquisition. This quarterly growth rate was the strongest we have reported since we acquired NEBS in 2004. Financial services revenue grew 3% over the prior year. Checks and forms both performed well against our expectations, and marketing solutions and other revenues grew 35% over the prior year and solidly in the mid-teens on an organic basis. Adjusted diluted EPS grew 17% over a strong prior year. We generated solid operating cash flow and we were not drawn on our credit facility during the quarter, actually improving our balance sheet cash position $30 million from last December. We continued to invest in brand awareness, to help better position our marketing solutions and other services offerings, and drive future revenue growth. We also extended our process improvement and cost reduction initiatives (inaudible) operating cash flow, as we continued to transform Deluxe. In a few minutes, I will discuss more details around our recent progress and next steps, but first Terry will cover our financial performance. Terry Peterson Thank you Lee. Earlier today we reported diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of $.86, which included restructuring costs of $.02 per share. Excluding these costs, adjusted EPS from continuing operations of $.88 was well above the upper end of our previous outlook, and 17% higher than the $.55 reported in the first quarter of 2011. Strong revenues and favorable product mix drove better (inaudible). The restructuring charges are primarily for employee severance and infrastructure consolidations. Revenue for the quarter came in at $378 million, which is well above the range of our previous outlook. Revenue was up 8% from 2011, and up 3% on a sequential quarterly basis. All three of our business segments performed well and benefited from one extra business day in the quarter. (inaudible) revenue of $230 million grew at 15% versus last year on a reported basis, of which 4% came from the PsPrint acquisition.
While we continue to operate in a weak operating environment, we delivered growth in marketing solutions and other services, our safeguard distributor and dealer channels, and in checks and forms. Our core business also benefited from a routine price increase. Financial services revenue of $91 million grew 3% versus the first quarter of last year, and reflected a lower than expected secular check decline rate of just over 5%. The impact of lower check orders was more than offset by (inaudible) order, higher non-check services revenue and the migration of Citizens Financial Group. Direct checks revenue of $58 was down 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. Gross margin for the quarter was 66.3% of revenue, up 0.7 percentage points from 2011. (inaudible) benefit from price increases, improvements in manufacturing productivity, delivery initiatives and product mix were partly offset by increased delivery and material costs. SG&A expense increased $11.2 million in the quarter, and was 45.5% of revenue, compared to 45.9% of revenue in the same period last year. Increased SG&A associated with commissions on increased revenue, 2011 acquisitions, investments in revenue-generating initiatives and higher performance-based compensation expense was partially offset by benefits from continuing to execute against our cost-reduction initiatives and lower amortization related to previous acquisitions.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com