Miscellaneous Earnings Call Notes 9.24.15

So many different factors affecting gross margins


“There are so many different factors affecting our gross margins as we have been talking — it’s like 20, 25 different factors affecting the gross margin. And we don’t want to elaborate and go into each of these. We give you some major factors behind it those four, five macro factors that we have been talking about. But otherwise, we don’t want to elaborate what the gross margin is built up. And we understand that you’re keen to know but we respect we don’t want to give it away to our competitors. We don’t have any patterns. So we really want to speak that and have that information for us, only for us. Sorry.”

Children’s book market surpassed adult market for the first time ever

Scholastic CEO

“According to a study released this June by the Association of American Publishers, the children’s books segment exhibited the strongest growth among any segment in the trade category in 2014. The study also showed that the size of the children and young adult market surpassed the adult market for the first time, with children’s and YA selling at 843 million units to 746 million units for adults; although, adult books usually fetch a higher price per unit. This data supports the trends that we’re seeing ourselves in our engagements with schools and families; our belief that the strong market dynamics and focus on independent reading will continue to support company-wide growth.”

Book publisher monetizing NYC real estate

Scholastic CFO

“While the Company has no immediate need for cash, we understand that there’s substantial investor interest in our plans to monetize our real estate holdings in New York City. The Soho real estate market is vibrant and interest in our property from real estate investors, retail partners and traditional commercial mortgage lenders remain high. We expect to announce a plan by our second quarter earnings call in December. We’re beginning construction on the new retail site this November.”

Obviously benefit of strong dollar is lower costs elsewhere

Scholastic CEO

” We have a major effort within the Company to do global sourcing of our print product. Obviously, the positive side of the strong U.S. dollar is the lower costs elsewhere. So we’re shifting our printing to lower cost areas, particularly looking at India and other areas in Asia.”

Dry bulk fleet growing at 0-1% could balance supply/demand

Seanergy CEO

” a very high demolition rate is further reflecting ship supply. More specially, in 2015, the Capesize scrapping activity has exceeded 2013 and 2014 combined, which is almost 13 million deadweight tons year-to-date. The substantial reduction of the order book as well as the accelerated scrapping activity has finally led to negative fleet growth year-to-date in 2015. It is, therefore, expected that the net dry bulk fleet growth will be approximately zero to 1% in 2015, after growing only 4.4% in 2014. This is a record low as compared to the historical 10-year compounded fleet growth of 9% and more importantly, a historical seaborne trade growth on a compounded basis of 5.6% from 2004 until 2014. Based on these factors we believe that in the next three years, the market will likely lead to tonnage shortfall and a tightening utilization environment. As a result, we expect an upward trend in saturates and asset values.”

All about execution

Autozone CEO

“To execute at a high level, we have to consistently adhere to living the pledge. We cannot and will not take our eye of off execution. While we study the external environment and react where appropriate, we must stay committed to executing day-in and day-out on our game plan. Success will be achieved with an attention to detail and exceptional execution.”

Haven’t seen weakness in China, US on track

Steelcase: Jim Keane – President, Chief Executive Officer

“So far, we have seen no signs of weakness in our Chinese order patterns from our pipeline. The US market is on track to meet our initial growth expectations for the year because of both traditional drivers of demand and the continuing need for companies to update their spaces.”

Manufacturing listed as strong sector, Info tech listed as weak

Steelcase: Dave Sylvester – Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President

“Across vertical markets in the Americas, order growth rates were highest in the manufacturing, financial services, and healthcare sectors, while order declines were most significant in the state and local government and energy sectors. Information technology, federal government and insurance also declined, but by modest percentages.”