Chicago Bridge & Iron's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (CBI)

Q2 2012 Results Earnings Call

July 24, 2012 5:00 PM ET

Executives

Philip Asherman – President and CEO

Lasse Petterson – Chief Operating Officer

Dan McCarthy – President, Lummus Technology

Ron Ballschmiede – Chief Financial Officer

Analysts

Andy Kaplowitz – Barclays Capital

Jamie Cook – Credit Suisse

Steven Fisher – UBS

George O'Leary – Tudor, Pickering

Michael Dudas – Sterne Agee

Brian Konigsberg – Vertical Research

Scott Levine – JP Morgan

Joe Ritchie – Goldman Sachs

John Allison – BB&T Capital Markets

Matt Tucker – KeyBanc Capital

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon. My name is Holly, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Chicago Bridge and Iron Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions).

Before beginning today's call, the company would like you to caution you regarding forward-looking statements. Any statements made or discussed today that do not constitute or are not historical facts, particularly comments regarding the Company's future plans and expected performance, are forward-looking statements that are based on assumptions that company believes are reasonable, but are subject to a range of uncertainties and risks that are summarized in the company's press release and SEC filings, while forward-looking statements represent management's best current judgment as to what may occur in the future, the actual outcome or results may differ materially from what is expressed or implied in any such statements.

Now, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Philip Asherman, President and CEO of Chicago Bridge and Iron. Please go ahead, sir.

Philip Asherman

Good afternoon and thank you for joining us as we report Chicago Bridge and Iron's results for the second quarter 2012. With me today are CB&I's Chief Operating Officer, Lasse Petterson, who will report on our project engineering and construction, and Steel Plate Structure sectors. Dan McCarthy, President of Lummus Technology, reporting on the sector's result and outlook, and our Chief Financial Officer, Ron Ballschmiede, who will discuss our second quarter financial performance and outlook for the year. We will then open the call for your questions.

I am pleased to report that second quarter results were strong across the entire business, with backlog and net income reaching an all time high compared to any previous quarter since the company went public in 1997. Our new awards for the quarter were a mix of announced projects of over $500 million. Growth on existing projects of nearly $750 million, with another $600 million of smaller underpinning works spread across the three business sectors.

We also got off to a great start for the third quarter by a recent announcement of the $225 million (inaudible) project in New South Wales, Australia. The backlog, which now exceeds $10 billion is long term and durable. We have the opportunity in front of us to significantly grow the backlog, with potential awards to some very meaningful projects over the next year, as LNG development in Australia and the United States move forward, and new regions, particularly East Africa, started getting some traction.

The same thing could be said about the burgeoning gas process and petrochemical businesses in the U.S., and increasing engineering opportunities in offshore pipelines, and new opportunities for our global tank and storage business.

But in all the excitement around the mega projects and developing end markets, I want to highlight the outstanding performance of Lummus Technology. Driven by some very important new awards this quarter, totaling over $300 million and producing 25% on income from operations, this sector continues to underpin our income stream cash flows, while providing critical visibility into future energy CapEx and opportunities around the world. Dan will give you the detail in a minute.

I am also pleased to report that we continue to record outstanding safety performance around the world. Year-to-date, and on nearly $40 million man hours at work, CB&I remains in the top tier, of one of the safest companies in the industry, and as I have repeatedly said, we are firm in our belief that our relentless focus on safety as a primary core value, and our goal of 'Nobody Gets Hurt' at CB&I, is not only a tremendous competitive advantage, but drives recruiting, retention, and client confidence, and most importantly, it's just the right thing to do for our employees.

Now as we have done in previous years, we take the same quarter report as an opportunity to calibrate our guidance, given the increased visibility into our current backlog and potential new awards, and I am pleased to report that we see the year unfolding as we had projected in our original guidance last November. In addition to engineering and construction awards, we are experiencing tremendous results from technology, steel plate structures, engineering awards, and significant growth on existing projects, which when consolidated have a meaningful impact on the quarter and our outlook for the year.

So we are reaffirming our new awards guidance for the year, of $5.5 billion to $7 billion, and have narrowed the range for revenue to $5.4 billion to $5.6 billion, and earnings per share to $2.85 to $3.05.

So I will ask Lasse and Dan to walk you around the backlog and new awards, and then Ron will summarize the financial reports. Lasse?

Lasse Petterson

Thank you, Phil. Good afternoon. As in the last earnings call, I gave my comments on some trends in our key markets, including the new awards this quarter, and then provide a brief update on some of our larger ongoing projects.

Global market trends are positive, in all our seven primary end markets. As reported last quarter, the LNG trade is projected to continue growing at a rate twice as fast as natural gas production, but the LNG portion of gas supply forecasted to increase approximately 20% over the next two decades. This will provide us with good EPC product opportunities, and we have positioned CB&I well for this EPC contracts, by winning and executing six LNG liquefaction FEED studies the last year.

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