Spartan Motors' CEO Discusses 1Q 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Spartan Motors, Inc. (SPAR)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 1, 2012 10:00 a.m. ET


Greg Salchow - Director of Investor Relations and Treasury

John Sztykiel - President and Chief Executive Officer

Joe Nowicki – Chief Financial Officer


Walt Liptak - Barrington Research

Joe Maxa - Dougherty & Company

Rob Kosowsky – Sidoti & Company

Rhem Wood - BB&T Capital Markets



Good Morning and welcome to Spartan Motor's first quarter 2012 conference call. [Operator instructions] I would like to introduce Mr. Greg Salchow, Director of Investor Relations and Treasury for Spartan Motors. Mr Salchow, you may now proceed.

Greg Salchow

Thank you Amy. Good morning, everybody, and welcome to Spartan Motors first quarter 2012 earnings conference call. I'm Greg Salchow. and I'm joined today on the call by John Sztykiel, our President and CEO and Joe Nowicki, Chief Financial Officer of Spartan Motors.

I assume all of you saw the company's earnings release on the newswire and Internet this morning.

Before we start the call, I need to inform you that certain statements made today, during our conference call, which may include management's current outlook, viewpoint, predictions and projections, regarding Spartan motors and its operations, may be considered forward-looking statements under securities laws. I must caution you that, as with any prediction or projection, there are a number of factors that could cause Spartan's results to differ materially. All known risks, our management believes, that could materially affect the results, are identified in our forms 10-K and 10-Q, filed with the SEC. However, there may be other risks we face.

Please note that during the question and answer period, we will take one question and one follow-up, per analyst. That should allow everyone the opportunity to ask a question. After asking your question, you're welcome to rejoin the queue, for additional questions, as time permits.

Now, I'm pleased to turn the call over to John Sztykiel for his opening remarks.

John Sztykiel

All right. Thank you Greg. Good morning and thank you for joining us today. We have been busy at Spartan, working to diversify and grow our business and deliver consistent profitability.

We'll keep our prepared remarks fairly short today so we can discuss the quarter, our growth strategy, and how we are defining emergency response. Joe Nowicki will then provide a review of our first-quarter financial results. Following that, we will have time to answer your questions.

But, as we look at the first quarter, there were four major points to note in the first quarter. First, Spartan's operating income was $2 million, compared to an operating loss of $1.3 million, a year ago. Spartan earned an adjusted net income of $0.04 per share in the first quarter of '12, versus a loss of $0.03 per share in the first quarter of 2011.

Note that our first-quarter 2012 results excluded $5.4 million in restructuring charges

Second, the first quarter of 2012 marks the third quarter in a row that Spartan has posted an adjusted operating profit.

Third, we diversified our revenue base. In the first quarter of 2012, 65%, nearly two-thirds of our revenue, came from consumers or businesses rather than government buyers.

Fourth, we posted revenue growth of 25% in the first quarter of '12 versus first-quarter 2011. This rate of growth shows the strength of our brand and the benefits of our diversified globe strategy.

Now, I want to update you on some of the steps we took during the first quarter. First, we continue to move ahead with our plan to relocate Utilimaster operations to a more efficient plant in Bristol, Indiana, as we execute our strategy for Utilimaster. We expect to begin transferring production of the Bristol facility in the late Q3/Q4 time frame. As you will recall, we forecasted annual cost reductions of at least $4 million by moving our Utilimaster operations to Bristol, Indiana. This remains our target. We continue to make progress towards relocating our operations in realizing these savings.

Next, the outlook for delivery and service. That market is good [ph], and we're on track to post revenue growth in 2012 compared to 2011. We need to execute the move to Bristol, continue to bring the Reach to market, and to improve the Reaches' financial performance. As you know, the launch of the Reach occurred one quarter later than we planned. This delayed initial shipments, and it's pushed out most of our volume targets by about one quarter.

We're also working to reduce the materials and manufacturing costs of the Reach, as we work through the startup of this new and exciting product. Customer interest remains strong in the Reach, and we're confident in our volume targets. As the volume increases, and as we make some changes to the bill materials, we improve the bill processes, we should be on track to our profitability goals.

In closing, as we execute the plan of delivery and service, 2010 will build upon the progress we have made in 2012.

Now, let's talk about Emergency Response. By now you have probably heard or read about the actions we took to redefine "Global Emergency Response Leadership". Including the record number of new products we introduced at FDIC, the major trade show, a couple of weeks ago. Emergency response is our second largest market, and as such, is very important to our business.

FDIC, or the Fire Department Instructors Conference, is the largest conference in trade show in North America for emergency response. As such, it is an ideal venue to introduce new products and illustrate how Spartan is redefining emergency response.

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