Dun & Bradstreet Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Dun & Bradstreet (DNB)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 09, 2012 8:00 am ET


Kathy Guinnessey

Sara Mathew - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Richard H. Veldran - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

Byron C. Vielehr - President of North America Operations

Joshua L. Peirez - President of Global Product, Marketing and Innovation

Emanuele A. Conti - President of International


Andrew C. Steinerman - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Shlomo Rosenbaum - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Daniel R. Leben - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

William A. Warmington - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Peter P. Appert - Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division

Manav Patnaik - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Saba Hekna



Good morning, and welcome to the D&B's 2012 Second Quarter Teleconference. This conference is being recorded at the request of D&B. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the call over to Ms. Kathy Guinnessey, Leader, Treasury and Investor Relations. Ms. Guinnessey, you may begin.

Kathy Guinnessey

Thank you. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. With me on the call this morning are Sara Mathew, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Rich Veldran, our Chief Financial Officer; Byron Vielehr, our President of North America; and Manny Conti, our President of International. Also, on his first call with investors today is Josh Peirez. Josh leads Product Innovation Data and -- and Data and Marketing for D&B, as well as our critical infrastructure project, MaxCV.

Here is what you can expect on today's call. First, Sara will begin with a brief review of the second quarter and an update on MaxCV. Then Rich will follow with a detailed discussion of our results, with an emphasis on North America. After that, the team will be available to take your questions.

To help our analysts and investors understand how we view the business, our remarks this morning will include forward-looking statements. Our Form 10-K and 10-Q filings, as well as the earnings release we issued yesterday, highlight a number of important risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements. These documents are available on the Investor Relations section of our website, and we encourage you to review these materials. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

During our call today, we will be discussing a number of non-GAAP financial measures as that's how we manage the business. For example, when we discuss revenue growth, we'll be referring to the non-GAAP measure core revenue growth before the effect of foreign exchange, unless otherwise noted. When we discuss operating income, operating margin and EPS, these will all be on a non-GAAP basis before non-core gains and charges. A reconciliation between these and other non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable GAAP measures can be found in the schedules to our earnings release. They can also be found in the supplemental reconciliation schedule that we post on the Investor Relations section of our website. Later today, you will also find a transcript of this call on our Investor Relations site.

With that, I'll now turn the call over to Sara Mathew. Sara?

Sara Mathew

Thank you, Kathy, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us today. And before I share my perspective on the quarter and the outlook for the rest of the year, I would like to briefly comment on the volatility in D&B share price caused in part by speculative reporting in the press last week. It is and always has been a policy not to comment on market rumors, and we do not intend to break from our policy today. Therefore, I would greatly appreciate if you focus your questions on the current business situation.

Last night, we reported second quarter results. Core revenue of $384 million was flat to prior year. Operating income was up 5%, EPS was up 11%, and year-to-date free cash flow was $209 million. In North America, where results were in line with expectations, we're cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind us.

While the first half of the year was challenging on many fronts, we believe that our top line would gradually improve in the second half of the year due to 3 key factors: first, our new product pipeline is growing, and we expect revenue from our Data-as-a-Service, or DaaS, products to continue to ramp during the second half of the year; second, by the fourth quarter, we will be past the drag on our revenue growth from the accounting changes we discussed late last year; and third, we're making investments in new data sets to bring new values to market. Rich will cover the first 2 drivers, and I will touch on the third, as well as our expectation for the future.

So as a reminder, in 2010, we embarked on the technology transformation called MaxCV. While the project will take 1 year longer than we expected, 2 years into this effort, I am more convinced than ever that the opportunities before us are immense. There are several promising new products that are slated for introduction in the fourth quarter and early in 2013 that should drive significant growth in the business. Let me touch on a couple of them today.

One of the key benefits of the MaxCV program was the development of a web service layer to accelerate the innovation process. This service layer allows us to easily integrate brand new data sources to create new value proposition for our customers. This technology enabled us to create a completely new use case for our data, a new B2B online supplier portal. Interestingly, the product idea came to us directly from our global customers who were looking to validate their supplier base. We are taking the idea a step further to produce a scalable solution for both suppliers and customers. By leveraging our global database, our proprietary DUNSRight Process, and leveraging a totally new data source detailed product information, we are creating a view into the importers and exporters of specific products around the world.

As a result, we're establishing a database that goes beyond the traditional sources of commercial insight to cover the purchasing habits of specific exporters and importers in the B2B space. For example, we can now identify the specific company in the U.S. that imported, say, printers from a specific manufacturer in Asia. This is valuable information for the supplier looking for buyers for their products outside their home market, and also for a buyer looking to do business with a trusted supplier. By providing a compelling value proposition for each party, we believe we will ultimately better connect buyers and sellers around the globe.

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