Verisk Analytics' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Verisk Analytics Inc (VRSK)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 2, 2012 08:30 am ET

Executives

Eva F. Huston – Treasurer, Vice President of Corporate Finance, and Head of Investor Relations

Frank J. Coyne – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Scott G. Stephenson – President and Chief Operating Officer

Mark V. Anquillare – Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Analysts

Eric Boyer – Wells Fargo, LLC

David Togut - Evercore Partners Inc

William Warmington – Raymond James

Kevin Mcveigh – Macquarie Research Equities

Robert Riggs – William Blair & Company, L.L.C.

Suzanne Stein – Morgan Stanley

Jennifer Huang – UBS

James Friedman – Susquehanna International Group

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is [Tequila], and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Verisk Analytics’ First Quarter’s Earnings Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speaker’s remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Thank you. Ms. Eva Huston, you may begin.

Eva F. Huston

Great, thank you, [Tequila], and good morning to everyone. We appreciate you joining us today for a discussion of our first quarter 2012 financial results.

With me on the call this morning are Frank Coyne, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Scott Stephenson, President and Chief Operating Officer, and Mark Anquillare, our CFO. Following some comments by Frank, Scott, and Mark, highlighting the key points about our strategic priorities and financial performance, we’ll open the call up for your questions.

The earnings release referenced on this call as well as the associated 10-Q can be found in the Investor section of our website verisk.com. The earnings release has also been attached to an 8-K that we have furnished to the SEC. A replay of this call will be posted on our website and available by dial-in as well for 30 days until June 2, 2012.

And finally, as set forth in more detail in today’s earnings release, I will remind everyone that today’s call may include forward-looking statements about Verisk’s future performance. Actual performance could differ materially from what is suggested by our comments today. Information about the factors that could affect future performance is summarized at the end of our press release as well as contained in our recent SEC filings.

And with that, I will now turn the call over to Frank Coyne.

Frank J. Coyne

Thank you, Eva, and good morning. In first quarter 2012, we delivered good performance of almost 11% revenue growth, 17.5% diluted adjusted EPS growth, and strong free cash flow growth. We continued strong performance in our businesses, and we are seeing benefits from our 2012 invoices and the improving performance of our P&C insurance customers.

In 2011, P&C industry premiums grew 3.6% versus 1.5% percent in 2010. While the 2011 industry premiums don’t figure into our invoices until 2013, we are happy our customers are doing better because that does represent new opportunities for us.

In the first quarter, our risk assessment revenue grew 5.2%, after adjusting for the impact of a transfer of some revenue to Decision Analytics, reflecting the continued value we are delivering to our customers. In Decision Analytics, we grew revenue almost 17%.

And our Insurance Solutions and Decision Analytics grew about 11%. Our healthcare solutions continued on the growth trajectory we saw in the last half of 2011, growing revenue over 30% organically in the quarter. And we also were pleased to have the MediConnect team join and look forward to their contributions in the future.

In mortgage, we continue to see challenges in the market and our revenue declined apples-to-apples. But I would note that we grew our underwriting solutions at a faster pace than the origination market grew.

Overall, our consolidated organic revenue growth was 7.7%, consistent with the expectations we discussed with you last year, as mortgage continues to weigh on growth. Excluding our historical mortgage business, organic revenue growth was 9%. We continue to have conviction around our margin and overall profitability.

Our EBITDA margin was 45.9% in the quarter, and diluted adjusted EPS growth of 17.5% was along very strong. We remain disciplined about our use of capital and focused on delivering shareholder returns. We were pleased to acquire MediConnect this quarter and put about $350 million of that capital to work to generate returns.

We also bought $39 million of shares in the quarter as we manage our buyback as part of our broader capital allocation plan, including acquisitions. We remain consistent in our approach to balancing uses of capital. As I look towards the remainder of 2012, I am excited about all the verticals we face and the teams we have in place to deliver growth from our markets.

Now I’ll turn it over to Scott to talk about our progress against some of our operational goals.

Scott G. Stephenson

Thank you, Frank. We have a number of things on our plate that we believe set us up for future growth, both from a sales and technology perspective.

First on sales, we continue to ensure that we have the best teams facing our customers, and we have made some new hires in that area. We are also ensuring that our holistic solution sets are being sold to decision makers. One of the powerful elements of our organization is solutions that can interoperate. Our competitors typically do not have this advantage. For example, our Verisk Insurance Solutions underwriting team has been in operation for a full quarter now, and we are getting good feedback from customers on this approach.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com

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