Alexander & Baldwin's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. (ALEX)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 9, 2012 5:00 pm ET


Suzy Hollinger - IR

Stan Kuriyama - President and CEO

Joel Wine - CFO

Matt Cox - President, Matson Navigation Company

Chris Benjamin - President, A&B Land Group

Paul Ito - Controller


Sheila McGrath - KBW

Jack Atkins - Stephens

Brendan Maiorana - Wells Fargo

Todd Brockett - Oppenheimer

Steve O'Hara - Sidoti & Company



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the first quarter 2012 Alexander & Baldwin earnings conference call. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to turn the call over to Ms. Suzy Hollinger.

Suzy Hollinger

Aloha and welcome to Alexander & Baldwin's first quarter 2012 earnings call. On the call with me today are Stan Kuriyama, A&B's President and CEO; Joel Wine, A&B's CFO; Matt Cox, President of Matson Navigation Company; and Chris Benjamin, President of A&B Land Group. Also in the room with us today is Paul Ito, A&B's Controller, who will become CFO of the new A&B upon separation.

Before we commence, please note that statements in this call and presentation that set forth expectations or predictions are based on facts and situations that are known to us as of today, May 9, 2012. Actual results may differ materially due to risks and uncertainties, such as those described on Pages 19 through 29 of our 2011 Form 10-K and our other subsequent filings with the SEC.

Statements in this call and presentation are not guarantees of future performance. And we do not undertake any obligation to update our forward-looking statements.

Management will be referring to non-GAAP financial measures when discussing results for the first quarter. In particular, we will be referring to non-GAAP net income and diluted earnings per share that exclude the impact of losses from the discontinuation CLX2 and separation expenses. We will also be referring to cash net operating income. Included in the appendix of today's slide presentation are reconciliation of the GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures, a statement regarding our use of these measures and additional SEC required information. Slides from this presentation are available for your download at our website

This slide provides you an agenda for our presentation, after which we will take your questions. We'll start with Stan, who will comment on the quarter.

Stan Kuriyama

Thank you everyone for joining our call today. The company results were a mix for the quarter. Both our Leasing and Agribusiness segment continued their strong performance and we experienced an improvement in Ocean Transportation operating profit, due to the continued carriage of the entire Guam trade. And improvements in Transpacific volumes and yields, which will offset, however, by lower continued volumes in Hawaii.

The overall year-over-year decline and consolidated earnings was attributable to the timing of real estate sales and to a lesser degree separation cost that we began incurring in the quarter. Excluding results from our discontinued CLX2 operations and separation expenses, adjusted net income for the quarter was $7.2 million or $0.17 a share.

We remain on track to complete our separation into two publicly traded companies early in the third quarter. As indicated on this slide, we have completed our S-4 registration and have submitted our Form 10 to the SEC and our tax-free ruling request to the IRS. The final separation date will be determined by the timing of our receipt of these SEC and IRS approval.

In addition to the regulatory filings, we have increased the amount of financial and non-financial disclosures on our transportation and land businesses, to help investors assess the value and prospects for each of our businesses.

On April 11, in New York City, the A&B and Matson management teams made in depth presentations on their businesses, and we issued an expanded real estate supplement. The presentation materials are available on our website and I encourage you to review them, if you haven't already done so.

Part of the investment thesis for both companies is that Hawaii is at a positive inflection point in the economic cycle. And each company is well-positioned to benefit from an uplift in Hawaii's economy. Recent economic data continues to be positive.

Tourism performed extremely well in the first quarter with arrivals up 9% and expenditures up 14% over last year. Tourism from Japan experienced a strong rebound with March arrivals being the best March in the last five years, and visitors from Korea and China grew by 38% and 24% respectively. The tourism officials now expect that Hawaii will post the best year in the state's history for both visitor arrivals and expenditures.

State unemployment continues to be relatively low at 6.4% and bankruptcy filings declined 21% in the quarter. The Hawaii economy is projected to grow by 2.3% this year and in the mid-to-high 3% range for the next several years.

The Oahu residential real estate market is also performing, with steadily rising home prices and low inventory levels. Based on information released yesterday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors, through April, median home prices on Oahu, have now posted sixth consecutive month of year-over-year increases and the months of inventory declined by 23% from the beginning of the year to 3.7 months.

I'm pleased to report that at our 340-unit Waihonua highrise condominium project near the Ala Moana shopping center, we have to date secured 192 binding sales contract with 10% deposits which should enable us to move forward with construction sometime in the fall.

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