Miscellaneous Earnings Call Notes 4.28.16

General Electric (GE) Jeffrey R. Immelt on Q1 2016 Results

Saw improvements in our business in China

” We’re in the midst of a challenging Oil & Gas market. However, we are things sustained strength in Aviation and Power markets. Healthcare is rebounding. I was in China last week and saw improvements in our business. Most of the portfolios are strong and we’re delivering. There’s plenty of business out there to achieve our goals.”


McDonald’s (MCD) Stephen J. Easterbrook on Q1 2016

All Day Breakfast came out hard and then settled but is still exceeding expectations even at the settled stage

“we clearly came out of the tracks hard with All Day Breakfast. It exceeded our expectations through the launch phase, and then hit a more settled rate. Frankly, it’s still exceeding our expectations through the settled stage as well. So we’re incredibly encouraged.”


Honeywell International (HON) David M. Cote on Q1 2016 Results

I’m hopeful for a rebound but we’re not going to count on it. Europe did better than expected

“I’m hopeful that there is a global economic rebound, but we’re certainly not going to count on it. If there was any region that surprised me in this past quarter, it was Europe did a lot better than I expected. I don’t know if this is just a one-time bounce or something that’s going to stay consistent, but I was quite encouraged by seeing that. It was a nice surprise. I mean, we’ll see how much that turns into something. But right now, we’re going to stay with this whole idea that this is a slow growth global environment and it’s just the smart way to plan. And you see that reflected in how we are forecasting the second quarter and how we’re forecasting the total year. I just don’t think there’s any percentage right now on being bullish about it. If it happens, great. I think there’s a greater chance it happens than there is that it doesn’t. But that being said, I don’t see any percentage in being bullish about it.”

Flight hours is the most important driver of the aerospace cycle

“I’d say it comes back to flight hours again. They fly a lot. And that’s really – I’ve said many times the biggest Aerospace driver we have is flight hours. And it’s not tied to OEM schedules or airline profitability or any of that generally. The long-term trend is going to be driven by flight hours. If they’re flying, everything ends up working out. Whatever short-term disruptions or benefits, whatever you’re seeing, over time flight hours ends up being the driver. Flight hours continue to climb, and that’s a good phenomenon for us.”


LyondellBasell Industries’ (LYB) CEO Bob Patel on Q1 2016 Results

Olefin and polyolefin markets are tight

“Looking forward, we see olefins and polyolefins markets remaining tight during the near-term. There are heavy turnaround schedules in both the US and Asia. The recent rise in crude oil prices provides tailwinds for both pricing and demand, as customers no longer feel incentives to delay purchases, in hopes of future declines in product prices.”


Procter & Gamble’s (PG) Q3 2016 Results

Jon Moeller

It’s not enough just to gain market share

“The reason that we’ve talked a little bit about not following share out the window, we can be gaining shares in categories that are declining, and that’s not going to grow our top line. What we need to be doing as innovation leaders in our categories is getting the market growing through that innovation and gaining a share of that growth.”


Twitter’s (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey on Q1 2016 Results

Acquisitions have been critical in creating value for the internet sector for two decades

“The first point I would make is that acquisitions have been critical in creating value for the Internet sector, consumer Internet sector over the last two decades. Many of our competitive peers have bought assets at very early stages that have resulted in billions of dollars of value and Twitter has been the same”

Goal is to be one stop shop for advertising

” At end of the day, our goal is to be a one-stop shop for advertising. And having both owned and operated inventory, third party inventory and ad text stock that can serve both of those constituencies is really critical.”


United States Steel’s (X) CEO Mario Longhi on Q1 2016 Results

Favorable trade case results are boosting the domestic steel industry

“Last year, we successfully advocated for the passage of the Level Playing Field Act in the trade adjustment assistance bill. This represents the first time in decade that U.S. trade laws were revised and clarified to align with the original congressional intent. The interpretation and enforcement of these new laws has already been reflected in preliminary determinations in the three major trade cases we elected to pursue with other steel companies in 2015. Yesterday, we announced another step in our efforts to have the rule of law enforced. We filed a complaint with the U.S. international trade commission to initiate an investigation under section (337) of Tariff act of 1930 against the largest Chinese steel producers and their distributors. The 337 complaint alleges illegal unfair methods of competition and seeks the exclusion of all unfairly traded Chinese steel products from the U.S. market. I would like to emphasize that the remedy under section (337) is not a tariff, it is an exclusion of products from the U.S. market. Our complaint alleges three clauses of action, the illegal conspiracy to fix prices, the theft of trade secrets and the circumvention of trade duties by false labeling.”


Third Point 2Q16 Investor Letter Dan Loeb

One of the most catastrophic periods of hedge fund performance since this fund’s inception

“Unfortunately, many managers lost sight of the fact that low net does not mean low risk and so, when positioning reversed, market neutral became a hedge fund killing field. Finally, the Valeant debacle in mid-March decimated some hedge fund portfolios and the termination of the Pfizer-Allergan deal in early April dealt a further blow to many other investors. The result of all of this was one of the most catastrophic periods of hedge fund performance that we can remember since the inception of this fund”

Volatility is bringing excellent opportunities

“As most investors have been caught offsides at some or multiple points over the past eight months, the impulse to do little is understandable. We are of a contrary view that volatility is bringing excellent opportunities, some of which we discuss below. We believe that the past few months of increasing complexity are here to stay and now is a more important time than ever to employ active portfolio management to take advantage of this volatility. There is no doubt that we are in the first innings of a washout in hedge funds and certain strategies. ”

Texas Instruments’ (TXN) Management on Q1 2016 Results

Kevin March

Inventories were up because we expect higher shipments

“We expect that material is going to ship over the balance of the year. And between the increased shipments in 2Q and the shipments of that personal electronics material, we’ll see the days of inventory drift back down comfortably inside our model, very similar to what we saw last year. If you go back and take a look last year, we were also a little bit higher in the first quarter, anticipation of second quarter growth, and then days drifted down as we came through the year.”

Dave Pahl

Weakness came in as expected but broad based strength in other areas

” that portion of demand where we saw weakness came in about as we expected. The strength was more broad-based, and we continue to, obviously, to see strength in automotive and then the improvement in industrial and comms equipment. So, very, very broad-based strength that we saw. So the second part of your question was sequentially. What we saw from the trends there, no surprise that automotive remained very strong, and it was driven by infotainment as well as the hybrid electric and powertrain systems. Industrial, again we had growth across almost every sector inside of industrial. Personal electronics down, with most sectors declining”


Group 1 Automotive’s (GPI) CEO Earl Hesterberg on Q1 2016 Results

Vehicle inventory stood at 85 days vs 69 days in 1Q15

“The U.S. new vehicle inventories stood at 31,400 units which equates to an 85 day supply compared to a 69 day supply for the first quarter of 2015. Luxury brand inventories drove much of the year-over-year increase. We have adjusted orders and expect to bring inventory closer to our target level of 60 days by the end of the second quarter. ”

Oil companies still have a long way to go in restructuring their balance sheets for what’s happened to oil prices

“our new vehicle sales in Houston, we held a 1% decrease for the quarter, so we’re fighting it pretty well, but I attend a lot of meetings and I’m various Boards with these oil company executives and they still have quite a way to go in restructuring their balance sheet and that’s what happening now.”

Hasn’t been a big consumer confidence problem outside of energy impacted markets

“No, I don’t really see weakness outside of the energy belt. David I’d say people are reacting to the fact just not growing as significantly as it had been in recent years. So when it’s flat without it only grow 1% or 2% or 3%, I think it feels for a lot of people like it’s just very slow. But I wouldn’t say I have seen any big consumer confidence crisis anywhere outside of the energy impacted market.’


AGCO (AGCO) Martin H. Richenhagen on Q1 2016 Results

2016 farm income expected to remain below 2015 levels

“estimates call for 2016 farm income to remain below 2015 levels. In North America, relatively young machinery fleet and dealer efforts to reduce inventory levels have contributed to continued decline in industry sales through the first quarter. Weaker demand from the row crop sector resulted in significantly lower industry retail sales of high-horsepower tractors, combines and sprayers.”


Miscellaneous Earnings Call Notes

McDonald’s (MCD) CEO Steve Easterbrook on Q4 2015 Results

Our turnaround is starting to take hold

“I am confident in the actions we are taking and attraction is beginning to take hold. Most importantly, customers are noticing a difference. Our customer feedback systems are showing improvements in many important aspects of the customer visit, including food quality, order accuracy, speed and friendliness.”


Zions Bancorporation’s (ZION) CEO Harris Simmons on Q4 2015 Results

Paul Burdiss

Don’t expect credit deterioration in anything besides energy

Well I mean, I guess the short answer is until we see the non-energy economies start to really fray, but we’re not seeing that we — and I don’t think we’re going to venture a guess as to when the cycle really starts to et cetera, we’ll actually do that but I think suffice to say that at the moment we continue to see improvement and even in markets like, in a market like Texas the non-energy portfolio remains very healthy. We are looking at a lot of indicators in each of those portfolios to kind of watching for problems and so far it is not really showing up.”

Michael Morris

All domains continue to perform well and metrics are all solid

No, I can’t add anything to that, all domains consumer, retail, mortgage, small business, large commercial they all continue to perform well and metrics are all solid.


W.W. Grainger (GWW) Q3 2015 Results

Macroeconomic conditions are well understood

“The macroeconomic conditions faced by our industry in 2015 are well documented and largely understood.”


DuPont’s (DD) CEO Ed Breen on Q4 2015 Results

There is always cost saving

“Look, there is always cost savings. I mean I am a believer that they occur every year in a few percent range, as you keep streamlining your company, I would say. So, you are never done with it.”

Dow is already on IT systems that we were implementing

“we’re on a very fragmented IT system. One of the benefits it looks like we obviously get here with the Dow merger is Dow is on the IT platform that we were going through the global — actually latest revision of the SAP platform”

Fourth quarter was actually our best organic quarter of the year

“It’s interesting to note though that — and I don’t want to say there is a trend here, but our fourth quarter organic revenue was actually our best of the year. We had been running kind of minus 3% through the first nine months of the year and we are minus 1% in the fourth quarter. And if you kind of look at it around the geographies, it was kind of flat in Latin America, flat in North America, pretty flat in Asia and our one down market was Europe which was down about 2%. So, we’ll see how the trend goes here in the first half of the year but that was little bit encouraging that we saw that lift.”


Brown & Brown (BRO) Powell Brown on Q4 2015 Results

Small businesses still trying to understand ACA

“We define small employee benefits as employers with less than 100 employees. For this segment we are continue to see companies be very focused on managing their costs and trying to understand the implementation complexities of ACA, specifically how they manage costs via exchanges and/or private plan.”

Do expect rates to remain under pressure. A lot of activity in M&A but prices remain high

“We do expect rates in ’16 to remain under pressure and are watching the economy very closely for signs of further expansion or contraction. From an M&A perspective there’s a lot of activity out there. We’ve seen a number of announcements in 2015, maybe the most active year of acquisitions ever. We can tell you that prices remain high, some at levels that don’t make sense to us. However, we continue to look for partners that fit culturally and make sense financially”


AK Steel Holding’s (AKS) CEO Roger Newport on Q4 2015 Results

“the steel industry continues to face significant challenges as we enter 2016. These challenges include continued pressures in the global steel industry as the result of the massive oversupply steel primarily from China, that direct and indirectly impact others oversupply in all regions of the world and otherwise AK Steel is not a major player in the oil country tubular goods business, the significant downturn in that market is contributing to the excess capacity in those markets in which we do compete and to the overall steel market. As we have been stating for several quarters now, the steel market in the United States has been flooded with what we believe are unfairly traded imports. While the import levels have indeed began to decline for many of those countries where preliminary duties are being levied, we still face significant ongoing import pressures.”


Tupperware Brands (TUP) CEO Rick Goings on Q4 2015 Results

Turkey very weak

“Turkey, very disappointed. It was down 25% and much like France it’s been heavily impacted by externals, particularly the terrorist attacks, military activity, there is political instability which has just been almost bipolar from the President almost being voted out of office in June to getting a majority back again just over the last two months. So that’s we’ve seen weakened concurrency and there is a lot of change in consumer behavior in spending.”

I might be concerned if I were selling cars in China, but I think we’re ok

“Also I would say in China for all the news you really hear about that, I think if I was selling cars I might be concerned, but at the lower, we’re again a multi-local business, I think we’re in good shape there.”

It isn’t business as usual out there

“we don’t look at it as a crisis but isn’t business as usual out there”


Qualcomm’s (QCOM) CEO Steve Mollenkopf on Q1 2016 Results

Qualcomm talking about strong volumes

“QCT chipset shipments were near the high end of expectations, with low tier strength across OEMs particularly in China, offsetting some weakness in thin modem sales at a key customer. QTL revenues were higher than expectations on strong 3G/4G device volumes and ASPs and we continue to make progress in signing up Chinese licensees, although there is still more work to be done on that front.”

Lots of industries are looking to leverage mobile technology into their products

“At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, it was clear that many industries are looking to leverage mobile technology into their products and businesses are looking to the leaders in communications and computer systems, such as Qualcomm, to make the world more connected and smarter. Our many announcements at the show reflect our progress extending Qualcomm technology into adjacent and new areas, including automotive, IoT and networking.”


PulteGroup’s (PHM) CEO Richard Dugas on Q4 2015 Results

The volatility does change the way management teams think about their businesses at the margin

“All that being said we are well aware of the volatility in the world today. From concerns of our global economic conditions to the swoon in oil prices, to gyrations in the stock market, the day-to-day swings can be violent. The reality is however that we can’t control any of these factors, what we can do is focus on running our business, consistent with the goals we have established and disciplines we’ve demonstrated. This means acquiring well-located communities that we believe can deliver high returns on investment. It also means hedging our bets by using more land options, where possible and focusing in on smaller, shorter duration projects, where we can get our capital back quickly. It also means, not over leveraging the balance sheet and keeping one hand on the lever to slow investment if housing demand begins to change. And finally, it means having the discipline to systematically give excess funds back to shareholders, rather than trying to force investments in the system. ”


Ford Motor’s (F) CEO Mark Fields on Q4 2015 Results

We are a mobility company

“Well to answer your question Joe when you look at where we’re heading we said we were transforming into an auto and a mobility company because it’s really important that we don’t lose sight of our core business as I mentioned on our remarks upfront.”

China is going from an industry led economy to one that’s consumer led

“In China obviously as we mentioned, when you look at the stock market volatility, that’s endemic of the country that’s moving from an investment and industry led economy to one that’s consumer led. And actually when you look at the components of GDP growth there, the services in the consumer portions of that are actually growing while some of the industry ones are coming down and we view that as a good sign.”

Marion Harris

Not seeing any uptick in delinquencies in the US

“Colin, this is Marion. No, we’re really not. I know there is a lot of discussion about this, but with the exception of the trend in longer term financing we’re not seeing any weakness in the consumer alone. In fact delinquencies which are a leading indicator were at an all time record low for us.”


Las Vegas Sands’ (LVS) CEO Sheldon Adelson on Q4 2015 Results

Adelson thinks we’ve seen stabilization in Macau

“We do see stabilization in gaming revenue trends. In the mass gaming segment, our non-rolling drop was down just 1% over the prior quarter, despite new competition that has predominately focused on the mass market. Our VIP rolling volumes were actually up 5% over the prior quarter outperforming the 2% sequential increase in the Macau market.”…”I thought we had either hit bottom in the mass market or we are bottoming out. Ever since I said I’ve been reading the issues, I’m been reading from analyst reports and from other Sands China reports that I get daily, other clippings that people are starting to believe that and some of the numbers put out and experienced through December and January indicate to me that that’s the case.”


Steel Dynamics (STLD) Mark D. Millett on Q4 2015 Results

I think there’s positive momentum

“Well, I think there’s positive momentum, generally. I’m sure Dick can speak to some of it, but the inventory overhang, there’s continued destocking there and it’s becoming balanced. It’s still relatively high, particularly in hot band. But in coated products, in coated sheet, I think it’s getting into a good position. And you speak to a seasonal uptick. I think we’re seeing that as well.”

Theres tightness forming in cold roll sheet

“On cold roll sheet and coated, I sense a tightness forming in that arena. I think it’s a combination of – the automotive arena is strong. So, the integrated mills got a relatively good order book. Construction continues to come back. There’s some destocking going on. And we have some relief from the trade cases and erosion of import levels.”


United States Steel’s (X) CEO Mario Longhi on Q4 2015 Results

Automotive continues to be a good market, appliance and construction markets should also grow

“Now I would like to give a brief summary of what we are seeing in our markets and our guidance for 2016. The automotive market continues to be a very good market for us and we expect it to remain strong throughout the year. We also expect growth in demand in the appliance and construction markets compared with last year. Industrial equipment market is mixed with a slight improvement in demand for construction equipment, steady demand in the railcar markets and weakness in mining equipment. In the energy markets, low oil prices and rig counts remain a significant headwind. At this time, we do not see any catalysts other than increase in oil prices that would drive significant improvement in tubular demand and pricing with impacts to both our tubular and flat-rolled segments. We continue to expect slight growth in the automotive, appliance and construction markets in Europe as compared to last year but tin mill products may be facing increasing challenges from imports.”

US Steel 3Q15 Earnings Call Notes

United States Steel (X) Mario Longhi Filho on Q3 2015 Results

Extremely high level of imports unfairly traded are impacting order rates

“Extremely high levels of imports, much of which we believe are unfairly traded, continue to negatively impact order rates for domestic steel producers. ”

Using our reputation to advance structural changes to legal regimes to support the US steel industry

“We continually have felt the impact of imports from foreign countries in our business and continue to execute a broad global strategy to enhance the means and manner in which we compete in the U.S. market and internationally. We are leveraging our unique experience, knowledge and reputation to forge alliances and partnerships to advance innovative structural changes to commercial and legal regimes to better position and support the U.S. steel industry in the 21st century and beyond.”

Service center buying continues to be below where it was last year as inventories rebalance

“Service center buying continues to be below where it was at this time last year, as they continue to rebalance inventories to meet forward demand expectations.”

Prices have reversed direction and reached new lows for the year

“Markets have clearly not followed the trends we were observing in the late second and early third quarter timeframe. Spot prices reversed direction and have reached new lows for the year. Import levels have remained high and the OCTG market continues to deteriorate.’

We have structural issues in this industry that are not temporary but enduring

“We are in ongoing negotiations with the United Steelworkers for successor collective bargaining agreements, and we remain hopeful that we will get a fair agreement without a work stoppage that recognizes the structural challenges in our industry and strengthens our company compared with foreign and domestic competitors. We have structural issues in this industry that are not temporary but enduring, and that means we must work better, smarter and more effectively than our competition, and a competitive labor agreement can help preserve our employees’ jobs.”

Department of Commerce is working hard on our trade case. We’re fighting a well structured approach that has existed over decades for foreign importers

“It takes a long time for us to put the case together. And we filed in the middle of the year for the most part. And the Department of Commerce is really working very hard and they have an enormous amount of their investigators tied with these cases. And you have to realize that what we’re fighting here is a very well-structured approach that over decades has been improved on the part of the foreign importers into the U.S. And so, it’s nothing simple.”