Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies (WAB)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 24, 2012 10:00 am ET


Timothy R. Wesley - Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Albert J. Neupaver - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Alvaro Garcia-Tunon - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Secretary

Patrick D. Dugan - Vice President and Controller


Allison Poliniak-Cusic - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Arthur W. Hatfield - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Scott H. Group - Wolfe Trahan & Co.

Matthew S. Brooklier - Longbow Research LLC

Kristine Kubacki - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

Gregory W. Halter - LJR Great Lakes Review

Steve Barger - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division

Samuel H. Eisner - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Liam D. Burke - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Research Division



Good day, and welcome to the Wabtec Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Please note that this event is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Tim Wesley, Vice President of Investor Relations. Mr. Wesley, please go ahead.

Timothy R. Wesley

Thanks, Steve. Good morning, everybody. Welcome to our earnings call for the second quarter. Let me introduce the people from Wabtec who are here with me, the President and CEO, Al Neupaver; Alvaro Garcia-Tunon, our CFO; Chief Operating Officer, Ray Betler; and our Senior Vice President Finance and Corporate Controller, Pat Dugan. Al and Alvaro will make their prepared remarks as usual and then we'll be happy to take your questions.

We will, of course, make forward-looking statements during the call, so please make sure you review today's press release for the appropriate disclaimers. Al?

Albert J. Neupaver

Thanks, Tim. Good morning. As you saw from our announcement earlier today, Wabtec had another record quarter. Our sales came in at $610 million and our earnings per diluted share was at $1.33. The company is operating well. And its continued good performance, along with our outlook for the second half, led us to increase our guidance for the year. As we will discuss, our performance was driven by strong growth in our Freight Group. Overall, our business is performing very well, thanks to our diversified business model, our strategic growth initiatives and the power of our Wabtec Performance System. We are in compelling growth markets around the world and we remain excited by our future growth opportunities.

Based on our second quarter results and current outlook, we now expect the full year earnings per diluted share to be at -- between $5.10 and $5.15, with sales growth now expected to be about 20% for the year. This EPS guidance is about 40% higher than our adjusted EPS was last year.

Our guidance assumes the following: the global economy grows modestly; U.S. freight rail traffic is stable, with car delivery rates slightly down compared to the first half; the transit market remains stable with our transit revenues growing in the second half driven by our existing backlog of projects; no major changes in foreign exchange rates, and our recent acquisitions, Mors Smitt and Tec Tran, are included. As always, we will be disciplined when it comes to controlling costs. We'll be focused on generating cash to invest in growth opportunities and ready to respond decisively to any changes in market condition.

We'll first look at the freight rail market. In North America, rail traffic is mixed so far this year. Through mid-July, car loadings are down 1.4%. However, if you exclude coal, these car loadings are actually up 2.8 %. Intermodal by itself is up 4.5%. Of the 20 traffic categories that are tracked, 13 are up so far this year, with particular strength in autos, petroleum products and lumber.

In the OEM part of the freight rail market, both drivers are very positive. We expect more than 1,200 new locomotives to be delivered this year comparing to almost 1,100 in 2011. Forecasters are now expecting about a 60,000 or so new freight car to be delivered in 2012, new freight cars that is, compared to 48,000 in 2011. Nearly 18,000 cars were delivered in the second quarter. Orders were stronger than expected at about 16.4000, 32% higher than the first quarter. Backlog is at about 59,000 cars.

Globally, freight markets have remained fairly healthy. Brazil MRS had a 6 -- 4.6% increase in car loads in the most recent quarter. And in Australia, Tennessee and Wyoming saw a 3.5% increase. Other countries have announced large investments in their freight rail systems. In response to a 10% increase in traffic last year, Transnet of South Africa committed to a large multiyear capital program. China is talking about another stimulus program with a heavy rail component.

The transit market. We continue to see stable markets in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S., ridership was up 5% in the first quarter. In 2012, transit car deliveries will be about 1,000. That's slightly up from last year. Bus deliveries will be about 4,500. That's slightly down from last year. After 3 years of short-term extensions and uncertainty, we finally have a new multiyear Transportation Bill. That's a 2-year bill. It's called the MAP-21. The 2-year bill, which maintains money [ph] for transit program at about $10 billion per year. This is a funding that we have seen in the past over the last several years. MAP-21 may jump start some programs since transit agencies now have funding certainty.

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