Cabot's Management Presents At Credit Suisse Chemical & Agricultural Science Conference (Transcript)

Cabot Corporation (CBT)

Credit Suisse Chemical & Agricultural Science Conference Call

September 12, 2012 11:30 am ET


Eduardo E. Cordeiro – Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer


John McNulty – Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC


John McNulty – Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

Okay. For our next presentation, we’re very happy to have Cabot Corp. Cabot as I think a lot of you know, it's a specialty chemical or materials company with a platform in carbon black, ink colorants, metal oxides, and host of other products, so pretty diversified company.

From Cabot, we’re very happy to have the Executive VP and CFO, Eddie Cordeiro. For those of you who don't know Eddie well, he joined Cabot back in 1998. He held a host of various positions, including Head of Strategy and General Manager of the Supermetals and Superior MicroPowders business, or at least on the development side of that. With Eddie, we’re also happy to have Erica McLaughlin, she is the Director of their Investor Relations program.

So with that, let me turn it over to Eddie, so you can hear more about the Cabot platform.

Eduardo E. Cordeiro

Great. Great, John, thanks a lot for that introduction, I appreciate it. And I appreciate all of your attention, and to John for inviting us to the conference again this year. Yeah, here we go, perfect.

So I’ll just start by reminding you that today our conversation will include some forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks and uncertainties and Cabot’s actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. List of factors that could affect Cabot’s actual results can be found in our Form 10-K, which is filed with the SEC.

So as many of you may know, our company has been organized into four segments, based on the different business models of each segment. The Core segment sells rubber blacks for use in tires and other industrial rubber applications. In this business, we’re really more focused on competitive dynamics, cost position and industry structure.

The Performance segment on the other hand sells specialty carbon blacks and specialty fumed silicas for use in a wide array of applications such as adhesives, sealants, coatings, plastics, toners, and polishing slurries. These specialty applications are focused more on the customer, applications development, new products, and in understanding and capturing the value and use for our materials.

Our Specialty Fluids Segment sells cesium formate drilling fluids for oil and gas wells. We developed this unique ultra-niche product where we serve our customers primarily through a rental model as opposed to a sales model. And finally the New Business Segment has a variety of businesses with unique products that are sold into various high-growth industries. In this segment, we are focused on profitable growth through the commercialization of newer technologies.

Our vision is to deliver earnings growth through leadership and performance materials. To support this vision, we are focused on four key strategic levers. They are first, margin improvement, which includes things like yield improvement, value pricing, portfolio optimization and new energy efficiency technologies. The second key lever is capacity expansion, where we are well underway on a number of announced expansions across our segments around the world.

The introduction of new products is the third key element to this specialty chemicals business, and we have a focus on technology, innovation and application development across all our segments. And finally, portfolio management, where we are really focused on projects that will ensure the portfolio of our businesses, we operate fit with our core competencies, and have leading technologies and market positions.

Now we rollout this strategy in 2008. At the time, we were earning approximately $1.50 to $2 per share and had been roughly flat for the prior three to four years. In our first few years, we were really focusing internally on strengthening our existing portfolio. In 2009, we substantially restructured the company, and by 2011, we had achieved our initial goal to grow earnings to a new level of $3 per share. Having completed this, we set new targets last year to achieve $4.50 per share in 2014.

As we focus on growth, and with the acquisition of Norit earlier this year, we have upped our target to range of $4.90 to $5 in 2014. A piece of this growth will come from our acquisition of Norit, which was completed on July 31 of this year. With Norit, we’ve added a high growth, high margin business to our company. Norit is the global leader in activated carbon for the purification of water, air, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, as well as other applications.

The addition of Norit supports the ongoing transformation of Cabot to a higher margin less cyclical specialty chemicals company. We chose Norit, because we saw the opportunity to combine with a successful, highly profitable company in growing markets with products and processes similar to ours, and with whom we could share our technical and business expertise.

This acquisition increases our current EBITDA by approximately 20%, and adds a stable earning stream and end market diversification, providing a new growth platform for Cabot. Norit enables our participation in environmental and purification solutions. It will also provide us with further growth opportunities in emerging markets, and new customer tailored applications.

Like Cabot’s products, the uses for activated carbon are really non-discretionary, and the end markets are really non-cyclical. The business surrounds attractive EBITDA margins in excess of 25% for its specialty products that enable customer’s performance. Norit is a great complement to Cabot's core strength, and existing global footprint. Both companies have built reputations for being innovative and customer-focused suppliers. In serving our markets, we create products that are essential to modern day living.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on