FTI Consulting's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

FTI Consulting (FCN)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 09, 2012 9:00 am ET


Daniel J. Slottje - Senior Managing Director

Jack B. Dunn - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Roger D. Carlile - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Dennis J. Shaughnessy - Executive Chairman

David G. Bannister - Executive Vice President and Chairman of the North American Region


David Gold - Sidoti & Company, LLC

Timothy McHugh - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Daniel R. Leben - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Tobey Sommer - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division

Kevin D. McVeigh - Macquarie Research

James J. Janesky - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

Jeffrey Rossetti - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Research Division

Ato Garrett - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division



Good day, and welcome to the FTI Consulting First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded. Now for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Daniel Slottje of FTI Consulting. Please go ahead, sir.

Daniel J. Slottje

Good morning. Welcome to the FTI Consulting Conference Call to discuss the company's first quarter 2012 results as reported this morning. Management will begin with formal remarks, after which, we will take your questions.

Before we begin, I would like to remind everyone that this conference call may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that involve uncertainties and risks. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events, future revenues, future results and performance expectations, plans or intentions relating to acquisitions or other matters, business trends and other information that is not historical, including statements regarding estimates of our future financial results.

For a discussion of risks and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ from those contemplated by forward-looking results, investors should review the Safe Harbor statement in the earnings press release issued this morning, a copy of which is available on our website at www.fticonsulting.com, as well as other disclosures under the heading of Risk, Factors and Forward-Looking Information in our most recent Form 10-K and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this earnings call.

During the call, we will discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures such as adjusted EBITDA, adjusted segment EBITDA and adjusted earnings per share. For a discussion of these non-GAAP financial measures, as well as our reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most recently comparable GAAP measures, investors should review the press release we issued this morning.

With these formalities out of the way, I would like to turn the call over to Jack Dunn, President and Chief Executive Officer. Jack, please go ahead.

Jack B. Dunn

Thank you very much. Good morning and thank you to everyone for joining us today. With me are Dennis Shaughnessy, our Chairman; Roger Carlile, our Chief Financial Officer; and David Bannister, our Chairman of North America.

First, we'd like to give you a brief overview of the quarter and then get to your questions.

Our first quarter results are as diverse as the economic environment that gave rise to them. On the cost side, as usual, in the first quarter, we had a burden of approximately 150 to 200 basis points of expense related to benefits and payroll taxes that will not recur in the remaining quarters. In addition, this year, as well as in years going forward, we will have an additional first quarter non-cash expense of around 100 basis points relating to certain equity bonus compensation to be recognized in the first quarter when paid as opposed to amortized over the remaining life of the related employment obligations.

Finally, in the quarter, we incurred approximately 65 basis points of expenses and investments that not only do we believe will not recur but should actually enhance performance in many cases during the rest of the year. As I said, in a moment, I'll turn it over to Roger to drill down further on these items.

On the revenue side, the analysis is very compelling and reflects an interesting picture of the world. From a geographical perspective, the results appear well-correlated to headlines from today's papers. Activities in Latin America, by all accounts, a cauldron of investment industry and intrigue, grew by 100% year-over-year. All of our services are represented there, and all had good quarters reflective of the nature of the economic activity in this vibrant part of the world. Asia Pacific slipped from the housing and growth rates it enjoyed most of last year, again, reflective of its economy and perhaps a growing concern about China. EMEA, which for us is Europe, the Middle East and Africa was particularly strong with growth of 42%. While perhaps in Congress, with the headlines of double-dip recession, credit crisis and political upheaval, on further analysis, our restructuring, tax, arbitration and economic practices all have excellent presence there. So these results, I believe, appear to represent the strength of our company in the phase of the economy that Europe is going through and perhaps a precursor of what will happen in other parts of the world as the credit crisis worsens.

From a practice perspective, again, there are diverse results reflecting the diverse nature of the services we provide. The excellent quarter in corporate finance restructuring and the somewhat sluggish performances in Technology, Strategic Communications and Forensic/Litigation Consulting seemed to follow somewhat intuitively from a world in which credit is tight, discretionary spending a suspect, capital market transactions are rare and the governmental enforcement malaise that accompanies every U.S. presidential election appears to possibly beginning to set in.

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