Commercial Metals Management Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Commercial Metals (CMC)

Q3 2012 Earnings Call

June 27, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Joseph Alvarado - Chief Executive Officer, President and Member of The Board of Directors

Barbara R. Smith - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

Analysts

Evan L. Kurtz - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Luke Folta - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Sohail Tharani - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Arun S. Viswanathan - Longbow Research LLC

Brent Thielman - D.A. Davidson & Co., Research Division

Jonathan Sullivan - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Mark L. Parr - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division

Nick Farwell

Philip Gibbs - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division

Charles A. Bradford - Bradford Research, Inc.

Luke McFarlane - Macquarie Research

Michelle Applebaum - Steel Market Intelligence Inc

Presentation

Operator

Hello, everyone, and welcome to today's Commercial Metals Company Third Quarter Fiscal 2012 Earnings Conference Call. As always, today's call is being recorded. [Operator Instructions] I would like to remind all participants that during the course of this conference call, the company will make statements that provide information other than historical information and will include expectations regarding the company's future prospects, revenues, expenses or profits. These statements are considered forward-looking statements and may involve speculation and are subject to risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expectations. These statements reflect the company's beliefs based on current conditions but are subject to certain risk and uncertainties that are listed in the company's press release and described in the company's latest 10-K and 10-Qs. Although CMC believes these statements are made based on management's expectations and assumptions, CMC offers no assurance that events or facts will happen as expected. All statements are made only as of this date, CMC does not assume any obligation to update them in connection with future events, new information or otherwise.

Some numbers presented will be non-GAAP financial measures and reconciliations can be found in the company's press release and on the company's website. And now for opening remarks introductions, I will turn the call over to the President and CEO of Commercial Metals Company, Mr. Joe Alvarado.

Joseph Alvarado

Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us to discuss CMC's third quarter fiscal 2012 results.

I will begin with highlights for the third quarter and an update on our strategic initiatives. Barbara will then provide further financial details relative to the quarter and the first 9 months of our fiscal year, and I will close out with comments on our outlook for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, after which we will open the call to questions.

As described in our earnings release this morning, we reported net sales of $2 billion for our fiscal 2012 third quarter ended May 31, 2012, 3% higher than fiscal second quarter 2012. We also reported net earnings of $40.7 million or $0.35 per diluted share in this year's third quarter, marking 3 consecutive quarters of solid profitability improvement. Our adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $104.3 million, and Barbara will walk you through all the details in a moment including the impact of discontinued operations.

I'm also pleased to report that our board approved our quarterly dividend of $0.12 per share, demonstrating our commitment to delivering shareholder value.

This quarter's financial results represent the first time since early fiscal 2008 that all of our operating segments are profitable. Our Americas Fabrication segment broke even, ending a string of 10 consecutive quarters of losses. Domestically, shipments increased over the prior-year quarter for our Recycling Mills and Fabrication segments. Selling prices increased in most of our domestic units, most notably in our downstream fabrication unit. Our domestic order books remain solid. Our International Mills segment was negatively impacted by the continued crisis in the Euro zone as both shipments and selling prices were lower than the prior-year quarter. Conversely, our International Marketing and Distribution segment reported a strong quarter, primarily on the strength of our raw material sourcing and distribution operations.

Focusing on the Americas, our Americas Recycling Segment was profitable for the ninth consecutive quarter, with an adjusted operating profit of $3.9 million. Volumes shipped were higher than last year's third quarter, but declining scrap prices during the back half of the quarter were reflected in lower adjusted operating profits when compared to a year ago. For our domestic steel mills, we recorded increases in volume of products shipped and average sales prices compared to the same quarter a year ago. In May, we took an outage at our Alabama mill to replace and upgrade the equipment for the finished goods stacker. Our state-of-the-art Arizona mill achieved yet another quarter of profitability. Our steel mills operated with 79% of capacity the first -- for the first 9 months of the fiscal year as compared to 73% for the same period last year.

Overall, the adjusted operating profit for the segment was impacted by margin compression at our copper tube mill, as the average copper sales price was 12% lower than a year ago.

Looking at our Americas Fabrication segment, operating results improved to $14.9 million over last year's third quarter, resulting in a modest adjusted operating profit of $200,000. Solid shipment volume, higher selling prices, coupled with stable raw material pricing and a significant reduction in fixed costs were the primary drivers of the improved performance. This segment's backlog continued to reflect steadily improving prices. We continue to be encouraged by improving market conditions and we continue to experience growth in the private sector projects.

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