Hanesbrands Inc (HBI) Q2 2012 Earnings Call July 26, 2012 4:30 p.m. ET Executives Charlie Stack – Head-Investors Relations Richard Noll – Chairman, Chief Executive Officer Gerald Evans – Co-Chief Operating Officer Richard Moss – Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer Analysts Omar Saad – ISI Group Eric Tracy – Janney Capital Markets Susan Anderson – Citigroup David Glick – Buckingham Research Joan Payson – Barclays Scott Krasik – BB&T Capital Steven Marotta – CL King & Associates Eric Alexander – Stifel Nicolaus Danielle McCoy – Brean, Murray Andrew Burns – DA Davidson Presentation Operator
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Please also note, Hanesbrands recently announced exiting certain international and domestic imagewear businesses that are now classified as discontinued operations and as noted in today’s press release, additional information will be in our 10-Q and has been provided in the Investors section of our Hanesbrands.com website. Unless otherwise noted, today’s speakers will be discussing our performance from our continuing operations.With me on the call today are Rich Noll, our Chief Executive Officer; Gerald Evans, one of our two Co-Chief Operating Officers; and Rick Moss, our Chief Financial Officer. For today’s call, Rich will highlight a few of our accomplishments through the first half of the year, Gerald will provide a sense of what is happening in a few of our businesses, and Rick will emphasize some of the financial aspects of our results. I will now turn the call over to Rich. Rich Noll Thank you, Charlie. When we started the year we outlined two goals, to successfully manage through the cotton bubble and to derisk our business. When you look at this quarter’s solid results, you will see we’re making good progress towards both. We’ve accomplished much over the past six months and remain pleased with sales, profit and cash flow, all running at or better than our plans. And in fact from an EPS basis, we’re running a little over a dime ahead of where we thought would be at mid-year and I am sure somebody will ask me about that in the Q&A section. So let’s start with an update on our efforts to derisk our business and then follow with how our core business is navigating the cotton bubble. First let me speak to the major actions we’ve undertaken to reduce risk and volatility in the imagewear category. In May, we announced our plans to sell the European imagewear operations and to exit private label and Outer Banks in the U.S. These moves allow us to devote our energy and resources to our branded businesses while removing volatility inherent in the sectors we exited.
The result of these actions is our newly named branded printwear, which should be a smaller, but more profitable and less volatile, where we remain committed to growing both the Hanes and Champion brands. We believe this is the right strategy for the category going forward and in hindsight only regret not taking these actions sooner.Our other major derisking strategy is strengthening our balance sheet by focusing on cash generation and debt reduction. Through the first half of 2012, inventory is falling, free cash flow is strong, we continue to pay down debt, and we remain committed to further reducing bond debt to $1 billion by the end of 2013. These actions by themselves should not only significantly reduce volatility, but also power EPS growth, especially in 2014. Turning to our core business, we have successfully managed through a significant cotton bubble. In 2011, cotton inflation impacted us by about $200 million and 2012 has seen a similar headwind through the first half. With that now behind us, we are pleased to see our margins returning to historical levels. The best evidence of how we have navigated through the cotton bubble is innerwear. We saw at least mid-single-digit sales growth with our top three customers and our substantial profit turnaround as first-half operating margins were only 70 basis points below last year’s first half, when cotton was over 50% lower. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com