Miscellaneous Earnings Call Notes

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PepsiCo (PEP) Indra K. Nooyi on Q1 2016 Results

It’s a difficult environment indeed

“Most of the developed world outside the United States is grappling with slow growth. GDP growth in developing and emerging markets is also challenged with many D&E markets experiencing significant political unrest and high unemployment. Key energy-producing countries are dealing with significant budgetary gaps; and high levels of local inflation in many of these markets are eroding disposable income and dampening consumer spending. It’s a difficult environment indeed.”

Hugh F. Johnston – Vice Chairman, Chief Financial Officer & EVP

Incrementally less optimistic in South America and Eastern Europe

“I think the two places where we’re probably incrementally less optimistic, number one is South America, not Mexico. Mexico, I think, we’re quite positive on, but the balance of South America obviously is a challenge. And then number two is Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe is obviously continuing to be challenged from a GDP perspective and that flows through to disposable income and therefore to consumer spending on our products. The balance I think were probably roughly in line with where we’ve been.””


Hasbro’s (HAS) CEO Brian Goldner on Q1 2016 Results

Seeing impact from ongoing economic challenges

“While consumer demand remains robust, we are beginning to see an impact on some retailers from the ongoing economic challenges.”

Retailers are excited about toy category

“I would say this is the second year of strong growth year-to-date; we are seeing high single digit growth rates, both in developed economies like U.S. and also throughout Europe. Retailers are very excited about the category, as we continue to have more story driven brands, more integrated play brands and more innovation in the category. Overall, POS was very strong, as I said, but as we’ve noted before, online POS was even stronger, and many additional retailers that have been historically brick retailers are doing a very good job in omni-channel.”


Morgan Stanley (MS) James Patrick Gorman on Q1 2016 Results

Seeing a better turn in markets now

“where are we now? Though it’s impossible to predict the future, we’re seeing a slightly better turn in markets, certainly, in comparison to what was evident at the start of the first quarter, leading into the early days of February. The M&A pipeline is strong and some green shoots suggest the equity underwriting calendar may open up. The S&P level at the end of the first quarter will help with asset pricing in our Wealth Management business, where we continue to grow our lending book and see flows into managed accounts. ”


Brinker International’s (EAT) CEO Wyman Roberts on Q3 2016 Results

QSR is taking share with promotions

“I mean there’s just such a strong value proposition being played out there. And we don’t think that that’s sustainable or it’s a long term issue, I think it’s more of those are limited time offers, but they also are interesting that the QSR category is kind of showing us that they’re rethinking how they deliver value and their value propositions ”


The Coca-Cola (KO) Ahmet Muhtar Kent on Q1 2016 Results

James Quincey – President & Chief Operating Officer

The degree to which our industry was affected by the slowdown in China was worse than expected

“In China, we are adjusting our plans to reflect these realities. China’s macro environment was challenging in 2015, and that continued to be so in the first quarter. While the economic slowdown is not new, the degree to which the NARTD industry was impacted this past quarter was worse than expected.”


Chicago Bridge & Iron NV (CBI) Philip K. Asherman on Q1 2016

Customers aren’t canceling work, just delaying

“I would have to say if there’s customer impact in today’s environment, it has to do with just again a delay in making financial commitments and we’ve seen that. However, we haven’t seen any cancellations in current backlog or in prospective work. So, that’s good. It just seems to be pushing out a little further.”


Knight Transportation (KNX) CEO Dave Jackson on Q1 2016 Results

April has been better y/y

“if I were to look into April thus far, we would say what we have seen so far in April has been more of the same where we’re seen our trucks run a little bit better in terms of miles’ year-over-year and we’re seeing — so therefore we’re seeing decent volumes on a year-over-year basis.”


PulteGroup (PHM) Richard J. Dugas, Jr. on Q1 2016 Results

No V-shaped rebound

“We have believed since the outset of this housing recovery that it would be more gradual than the V-shaped rebound, typical of most housing cycles. Our thesis is unchanged as we expect an extended recovery will continue to unfold for the next several years supported by improving economy, favorable demographics, years of relative under-building and a supportive mortgage rate environment.”

Inventory of available homes remains tight

“The inventory of homes available for sale remains tight in most of our markets; and at least on the new home side it will likely remain that way for a while given the limited supply of finished lots available. ”


Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) Gregory D. Carmichael

Would grow investment portfolio at slightly higher rates

“So, frankly, if rates were to stay at these pretty low levels, you could expect from us just to reinvest cash flows because the entry points don’t look real good. But if rates were to have a little bit of a sell-up here and present more opportunity, then you would expect our investment portfolio to grow in line with earning assets. But I don’t think you’ll see a lot of movement in the book one way or the other throughout 2016.”


Cohen & Steers’ (CNS) CEO Bob Steers on Q1 2016 Results

The asset management industry is no longer a growth industry

“The simplest takeaway from the letter is that the asset management industry in its current form is no longer a growth industry for a majority of traditional active asset managers. Overcapacity, chronically poor investment performance, high fees, competition from passive strategies, growing barriers to entry for access to distribution and the rapidly growing cost of regulatory compliance, taken together will challenge future growth and profitability for most legacy investment managers. However, we’re convinced that asset managers who are focused on a limited number of historically inefficient markets, with strong brands and track records of consistent outperformance, will be among the relatively small number of big winners.”

Real estate is under-allocated in retirement plans but not among institutional investors

“I would say that large institutions are not under-allocated to real assets. The largest endowments in sovereign wealth funds have had a 10% to 30% allocation to real-assets for some time. However, most of those allocations have been executed to private equity strategies. Where the under-allocation is more pronounced is both in the wealth and what I would call the retirement channel, the fine contribution channel which as you know we’ve been adding to our DCIO team because there’s virtually no representation in the 401(k) market in real assets.”


Reliance Steel & Aluminum (RS) Gregg Mollins on Q1 2016

Rising steel prices for the first time in over a year thanks to positive trade case filings

“for the first time in well over a year, we’ve begun to experience rising metal pricing for carbon steel products as well as stainless steel flat-rolled products. This pricing improvement, which accelerated towards the end of first quarter, was mainly result of the recent trade case filings by U.S. steel producers. We continued to support these trade actions which seem to be having a positive impact on reducing the overall level of imports in the United States marketplace and on metal prices.”

Not seeing anyone build inventory in anticipation of higher prices

“You have to realize that our average order size is about $1,600, so we are dealing with a lot of small to mid-size job shops. That’s probably the vast majority of our businesses is not with large OEMs, and so therefore they are really not buying in advance. We have not seen or heard from our guys in the field that anybody is building inventory in anticipation of higher prices. So I’d have to say basically its business as usual with our customer base and we don’t see anybody really trying to build inventories ahead of price increases.”