Methode Electronics Management Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Methode Electronics (MEI)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

June 28, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Donald W. Duda - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Douglas A. Koman - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Vice President of Corporate Finance

Analysts

David Leiker - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Jeremy Hellman - Divine Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

Gregory M. Macosko - Lord, Abbett & Co. LLC

Presentation

Operator

Welcome to the Methode Electronics Fiscal 2012 Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. This conference call does contain certain forward-looking statements, which reflects management's expectations regarding future events and operating performances and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements are subject to the Safe Harbor protection provided under the securities laws. Methode undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements to conform the statements to actual results or changes in Methode's expectations on a quarterly basis or otherwise. The forward-looking statements in this conference call involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations are detailed in Methode's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as our annual and quarterly report. Such factors may include without limitations, the following: dependence on a small number of large customers, including 2 large automotive customers; dependence on the automotive, appliance, computer and communications industries; further downturns in the automotive industry or the bankruptcy of certain automotive customers; ability to compete effectively; customary risks related to conducting global operations; dependence on the availability and price of raw materials; dependence on our supply chain; ability to keep pace with rapid technological changes; ability to avoid design or manufacturing defects; ability to protect our intellectual property; ability to withstand price pressure; the usage of a significant amount of our cash and resources to launch new North American automotive programs; location of a significant amount of cash outside of the U.S.; currency fluctuations; ability to successfully benefit from acquisitions and divestitures; ability to withstand business interruptions; unfavorable tax laws; ability to implement and profit from newly acquired technology; and the future trading price of our stock.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Don Duda, President and Chief Executive Officer of Methode Electronics.

Donald W. Duda

Thank you, Manny, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us today for our fiscal 2012 fourth quarter financial results conference call. I am joined today by Doug Koman, Chief Financial Officer; and Ron Tsoumas, Controller. Both Doug and I have comments, and afterwards, we will be pleased to take your questions.

For fiscal 2012, sales of $465 million and earnings per share of $0.22 met our financial guidance. We are pleased with our year-over-year consolidated sales growth of 8.6% driven primarily by our Automotive segment, which was offset by declines in our Interconnect segment, a direct result of continued softness in the appliance market and the sale of our optical business in the fourth quarter of last fiscal year.

In the quarter-over-quarter comparison, consolidated sales grew 5.9%. Again, strength in our Automotive segment offset challenges in our Interconnect and Power segments. We posted full year net income of $8.4 million or $0.22 per share compared to $19.5 million or $0.52 per share in fiscal 2011.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, net income was $5.8 million or $0.15 per share compared to $10.2 million or $0.27 per share in the same period, fiscal 2011. For both periods of fiscal 2012, net income was negatively impacted by higher foreign income taxes. For the full year of fiscal 2012, income taxes decreased net income by approximately $0.09 per share compared to fiscal 2011, where the tax benefit contributed $0.11 per share, which resulted in a $0.20 EPS swing year-over-year.

Additionally, there were other events which skewed the year-over-year net income comparison in the full-year period which are detailed in our release this morning. As we have discussed over the last several quarters, design, development and launch costs in both our Automotive and Power Products segments continue to impact net income and gross margins.

Additionally, vendor production and delivery issues and increased sales of products with a higher prime cost further affected our North American Automotive income.

In total, the development and launch costs and vendor charges lowered our fourth quarter net income by approximately $1.7 million or $0.05 per share and lowered our gross margin by 1.3 percentage points. In the full year, these costs and charges lowered net income by $7.9 million or $0.21 per share and lowered our gross margins by 1.7 percentage points.

While vendor production and delivery issues for the Ford center console program impacted fiscal 2012 by $3.3 million, we made significant progress throughout the year to vertically integrate Advanced Molding and Decoration or AMD. The integration of the GM intricate paint process for automotive center consoles is successfully producing decorative components for approximately 40% of the Ford products we supply, with the balance expected to produced by the second quarter of this fiscal year.

The team is now focused on the Ford paint line to be used for the General Motors center console components. Once the integration is complete, the charges associated with the vendor production and delivery issues should be eliminated and gross margins should improve.

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