AmerisourceBergen's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

AmerisourceBergen (ABC)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

April 26, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Barbara A. Brungess - Vice President of Corporate & Investor Relations

Steven H. Collis - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Chairman of Executive Committee

Tim G. Guttman - Acting Chief Financial Officer, Vice President and Controller

Analysts

Glen J. Santangelo - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Lawrence C. Marsh - Barclays Capital, Research Division

David Larsen - Leerink Swann LLC, Research Division

Robert C. Jones - Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P.

Thomas Gallucci - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

Robert M. Willoughby - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Ricky Goldwasser - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Eric W. Coldwell - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Lisa C. Gill - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Steven Valiquette - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the ABC Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Ms. Barbara Brungess. Please go ahead.

Barbara A. Brungess

Thank you. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to AmerisourceBergen's earnings conference call covering our fiscal 2012 second quarter results. I am Barbara Brungess, Vice President of Corporate and Investor Relations, and joining me today are Steve Collis, AmerisourceBergen's President and CEO; and Tim Guttman, Vice President, Controller and acting CFO.

During the call today, we will make some forward-looking statements about our business prospects and financial expectations. We remind you that there are many risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our current expectations. For a discussion of some key risk factors, we refer you to our SEC filings, including our 10-K report for fiscal 2011.

Also, AmerisourceBergen assumes no obligation to update the matters discussed in this conference call, and this call cannot be rebroadcast without the expressed permission of the company. As always, those connected by telephone will have an opportunity to ask questions after our opening remarks.

Now here is Steve Collis to begin our comments.

Steven H. Collis

Thank you, and good morning, everyone. I am pleased to report that AmerisourceBergen once again delivered solid quarterly results and our performance for the first half of our fiscal year 2012 positions us well to meet our objectives for the full year. In the March quarter, our revenues were up 2% to $20.1 billion. Earnings per share were up 5% to $0.81, and that's on top of a 22% increase in the prior year.

We generated $236 million in operating cash flow and we repurchased $200 million of our shares. I'm especially proud that we overcame a challenging comp to this quarter, last year, and exceeded our internal profit goals for each business unit.

During the quarter, we also made excellent progress integrating recent acquisitions and working towards the closing of our World Courier acquisition. Our strong cash generation and high-quality balance sheet continue to provide us with outstanding financial flexibility and give us the ability to fund our strategic initiatives, grow our business and return funds to shareholders.

AmerisourceBergen is fortunate to be an important part of a growing industry. Demographics and initiatives aimed at expanding access to health care and coverage -- and healthcare coverage, should continue to drive organic growth in our industry over the next several years. In addition, launches of new pharmaceuticals, as well as new indications for existing drugs should also drive sales growth over the next several years. Whether the new therapies are traditional oral medications or complex biotech pharmaceuticals, AmerisourceBergen is well-positioned to not only benefit from the distribution of new products, but also to offer pre-launch and commercialization services to manufacturers and to support patient access and reimbursement programs to help ensure that patients have access to life-saving therapies, and that the products achieve their full potential in the marketplace.

At our verse [ph] revenue base positions us well to benefit from organic growth driven by demographics, and our customer mix puts us in a favorable position to continue to benefit from the historic influx of generics. As you know, generics mitigate the topline dollar growth in our industry but drive tremendous value for wholesalers, health care providers and patients alike. In addition, close scrutiny of health care expenses and cost-containment efforts underway by the federal government and other payers also drives demand for our services, most notably in our Consulting Services group.

Over the last several years, we have significantly strengthened our relationship with pharmaceutical manufacturers and we continue to look for meaningful ways to provide additional services across the supply channel to help them ensure they meet the challenges of today's changing health care landscape. As our provider customers face similar challenges regarding cost -containment and reimbursement for services provided to patients, they increasingly turn to AmerisourceBergen. We help in making their health care practices run as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Our provider customers work hard everyday to provide world-class patient care, and we believe they deserve fair reimbursement for the professional services they provide. AmerisourceBergen is an active participant participating in policy discussions in Washington, D.C. with the objective of helping legislators understand our industry and our importance to the health care systems.

Our associates are focused on meeting our objectives for the year, both in terms of providing outstanding service to customers and in our financial performance. They continue to seek creative ways to meet the challenges in the diverse markets we serve and identify new opportunities to add value through collaborative innovation and by maximizing efficiency. I take great pride in their enthusiasm and dedication, and it is my honor to work beside them.

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