Energizer Holdings' CEO Discusses F2Q12 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Energizer Holdings, Inc (ENR)

F2Q12 Earnings Call

May 2, 2012 10:00 pm ET

Executives

Jackie Burwitz - VP, IR

Ward Klein - CEO

Dan Sescleifer - EVP & CFO

Analysts

Wendy Nicholson - Citi Research

Chris Ferrara - Bank of America

Bill Chappell - SunTrust

Nik Modi - UBS

Ali Dibadj - Bernstein

Alice Longley - Buckingham Research

Bill Schmitz - Deutsche Bank

Jason Gere - RBC Capital Markets

Connie Maneaty - BMO Capital Markets

John Faucher - JPMorgan

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, my name is Stacey and I will be your conference operator for today. I’d like to welcome everyone to the Energizer Holdings Incorporated Fiscal 2012 first quarter earnings results conference call. (Operator Instructions)

I’d now like to turn the conference call over to Jackie Burwitz, Vice President, Investor Relations. You may now begin your conference.

Jackie Burwitz

Thank you, Stacey and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us on Energizer’s second quarter fiscal 2012 earnings conference call. With me this morning are Ward Klein, Chief Executive Officer; and Dan Sescleifer, Chief Financial Officer. This call is being recorded and will be available for replay via our website energizerholdings.com.

During our prepared comments and the question-and-answer session that follows, we may make statements expressing the beliefs and expectations of management regarding our future plans and performance including future results or events, future earnings, investment or spending initiatives, future advertising and promotional spending, cost savings related to our restructurings and working capital projects, the impact of certain price increases, currency fluctuations, the impact of inflation, raw material and commodity costs; and category value and future volume and sales; future plans for return of capital to shareholders and future growth in our businesses.

Any such statements are forward-looking statements, which reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on assumptions, and therefore are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks, uncertainties, and other factors may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements.

These risks and uncertainties include, without limitations, those described under the caption Risk Factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed November 22, 2011. We do not undertake or plan to update these forward-looking statements even though our situation may change. Therefore, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to today.

During this call, we will be referring to non-GAAP financial measures. These non-GAAP measures are not prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measure is shown in the press release issued earlier today which is available in the Investor Relations section of our website, energizerholdings.com. Management believes these non-GAAP measures provide investors valuable information on the underlying growth trends of the business.

With that, I’d like to turn the call over to Ward.

Ward Klein

Good morning and welcome to Energizer's second quarter fiscal 2012 earnings call. As you may have noticed from our three press releases this morning we have a lot of news to report today. First Dan Heinrich has been named to our Board of Directors. Many of you may know the Mr. Heinrich, the retired Chief Financial Officer of Clorox. His extensive experience in the consumer products industry and broad-based financial expertise will provide additional insight and perspective to our board discussions.

We are very pleased to have someone with Dan's background and financial expertise on our board. In addition, we also announced that our Board of Directors has authorized the initiation of a dividend program, the first in Energizer's 12 year existence as a publicly held company.

Dividends under this program are subject to a declaration of a dividend by the Board of Directors. Subject to this declaration, a quarterly dividend of $0.40 per share would be paid in September 2012 and implies an annual dividend rate of $1.60 per share. On an annual basis, this represents a cash outflow of over $100 million dollars resulting in a payout ratio of approximately 25% of our expected fiscal 2012 net earnings. This level represents a payout ratio of over 40% of the roughly $250 million per year of US cash flow that we generate. And we believe this is a prudent level of which to initiate such a policy.

We believe that initiating a dividend at this level will be meaningful to our shareholders and provides sufficient financial possibility to continue making opportunistic share repurchases and bolt-on acquisitions. Accordingly our board has also approved a share repurchase authorization of 10 million shares. The decision to initiate a dividend and the payout level was given careful consideration. We listen to our shareholders in order to better understand their review of Energizer and how we can best deliver their value back to them.

As you know capital allocation policy is an important element in delivering value and historically we have relied solely on an opportunistic repurchases in this regard. We believe that now is the appropriate time to augment our share buyback program with a dividend in order to enhance the overall value delivered to our shareholders. This will provide an element of yield and certainty of return which is highly valued by our investors today. Now I will turn the call over to Dan.

Dan Sescleifer

Thanks Ward. Before reviewing the second quarter results I would like to first highlight an important internal initiative that is underway. Over the past year we conducted a study to evaluate our networking capital levels and identifying opportunities for improvement. Historically our working capital metrics have not compared favorably with many companies in our peer group. There are a number of structural reasons why our working capital is higher than other HPC companies.

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