Polypore International Management Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Polypore International (PPO)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 02, 2012 4:45 pm ET


Unknown Executive -

Robert B. Toth - Chairman of The Board, Chief Executive officer, President and Member of Executive Committee

Lynn K. Amos - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Secretary and Treasurer


Richard C. Eastman - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Brian Drab - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Kevin R. Maczka - BB&T Capital Markets, Research Division

Craig E. Irwin - Wedbush Securities Inc., Research Division

Jeff Osborne - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

JinMing Liu - Ardour Capital Investments, LLC, Research Division

Michael Lew - Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division

Carter W. Driscoll - Capstone Investments, Research Division

Jeffrey J. Zekauskas - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Avinash Kant - D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division



Good day. Welcome to the Polypore International First Quarter 2012 Conference Call. As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Ms. Kathy Brosco [ph]. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Unknown Executive

Thank you. Hello, and thank you, everyone, for joining us today, and welcome to our conference call to discuss our first quarter 2012 financial results. As always, the results we discuss can be found in our earnings announcement that we released earlier today and furnished on Form 8-K with the SEC. And a copy of the release is also available on our website at polypore.net in the Investor Relations section.

In conjunction with the release, we also issued supplemental financial information, which we filed as an 8-K and also posted on our Investor Relations website.

Adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income, and adjusted earnings per share are non-GAAP financial measures discussed in this call. We refer you to the reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measure included in the earnings release.

Before we begin today, I'd like to remind you of some important considerations. This conference call and webcast might contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. We intend these forward-looking statements to be covered by the Safe Harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions made by management about Polypore and the industry and environment in which we operate.

These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and may differ materially from actual events or results because they involve estimates, assumptions and uncertainties. You're cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made, which is Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Polypore undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You're also directed to consider the risks, uncertainties and other factors discussed in documents filed by us with the SEC, including those matters summarized under the caption Item 1A Risk Factors in our most recent 10-K filing with the SEC.

Today I'm joined by Bob Toth, President and Chief Executive Officer; Lynn Amos, Chief Financial Officer; and Rob Whitsett, Vice President of Finance. And at this point, I'll turn the call over to Bob for his opening remarks.

Robert B. Toth

Thank you, Kathy. First quarter results were consistent with the outlook we'd provided in February. There were specific items that impacted the quarter, and those transpired as we described. Based on updated customer forecasts and production schedules, we anticipate full year sales and earnings growth in 2012, with most of that occurring in the second half of the year. Before Lynn gets into the financial discussion, I'd like to take a step back and talk about where we are as a company.

If you've followed us over the past several years, you know that we have promptly, aggressively and successfully dealt with any major issues that have impacted the company, and you've seen us take methodical, strategic steps to position our company to capitalize on long-term global trends. We're at the front end of those trends, and with that, we're experiencing some near-term volatility, which is always possible in substantial, emerging applications.

Certainly, we appreciate the value of understanding what drives short-term results, and we also believe it's important to understand whether or not those factors, have any impact on the long-term prospects of our business. Though we are not satisfied with our near-term results, I want to emphasize that the short-term variables do not change the long-term outlook for the company nor do they change advantages of our global scale, our low-cost competitive position, our preferred technology, our relationships with the right customers, the growing demand for our products and the continued application development.

Polypore has a strong foundation with a portfolio of businesses that are well positioned to capture growth in the markets we serve, with a step change growth opportunity associated with Electric Drive Vehicles.

In our lead-acid separator business, Asia is the primary driver of growth. We're well positioned there as evidenced by our multiple expansions in China, India and Thailand and the majority-controlled joint venture with one of the largest lead-acid battery producers in China.

In health care, we see growth associated with increasing access to health care treatments in developing countries, especially in Asia. We're the world leader in membranes for blood oxygenation, and we have the clinically proven best-in-class hemodialysis membrane in PUREMA, where we'd expanded capacity to participate in global market growth.

In filtration and specialty, we have leading edge technology that allows us to participate at the highest end of filtration performance, and we continue to see a development of new applications. Growth here is expected to be in the high single to low double-digit range over the long-term.

And in the lithium business, our battery separators are well positioned to see ongoing market penetration. In the core applications of consumer electronics and power tools, industry growth projections range from 8% to 20% per year plus growth in new applications like lawn and garden.

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