Miscellaneous Notes 5.19.16

LaSalle Hotel Properties (LHO) CEO Michael Barnello on Q1 2016 Results

Clearly we’re heading into a downturn

“Well, we’ve been through the cycles before, and there is no exact timing of when they turn up or turn down. The thing that we tried to outline in our prepared remarks is that we’ve seen the cycle’s lots of ways. Clearly, we’re heading into a downturn, and we’ve emerged from those downturns in the past with a stronger company. We have great assets with great asset managers and great operators, so it’s not a question of wondering if we’ll get through any kind of downturn. We know we will. And many times, it actually made us even stronger. But the priorities are to operate as best as we can in this environment despite the fact that we see the trends are slowing, but we’ve told the operators just to take more of a heads in beds mentality with how they’re booking the business. So, we’re looking out further.”

There wasn’t anything in 2008 to suggest that we would get 2008

“There is nothing to suggest that the downturn will look anything like what happened in 2009, but there wasn’t anything in 2008 to suggest that either. So, who the heck knows? It’s so hard to say, I mean, you have to pick your downturn because of the very big difference between 1991 and 2001 and 2009. Unfortunately, it hasn’t revealed itself as to what’s going to happen.”

LafargeHolcim’s (HCMLY) CEO Eric Olsen on Q1 2016 Results

The price environment is strengthening

“Let me start by making a few points about our performance. First, the price environment is strengthening. We have driven a clear directional shift in pricing in Q1 2016. Although prices remain much lower than at the same quarter last year, two-thirds of our country has raised prices from Q4 to Q1, driving an average price increase of 2.1% quarter-on-quarter, excluding India.”

Turnarounds are under way in China, Indonesia and India

“Third, China, Indonesia and India turnarounds are underway, and we are starting to reap the benefits of the decisive cost initiatives we have put in place. China and Indonesia results stabilized in the first quarter and in India, we saw visible results of cost-cutting, notably coming from our fuel strategy.”

Ron Wirahadiraksa

We’ve seen price increases in the brunt of our markets especially the US

No, no. It’s okay. Yeah. We did see price increases in the brunt of our countries with couple of specific callouts in the U.S., very strong market. We’ve seen price increases in Canada, both East and West. In Mexico, where we altered our strategy of last year which was more volume-driven, we still got – we see, and as I’ve said, good price increases, 13%, and the volume uptick of 8%

Staples’ (SPLS) CEO Ronald Sargent on Q1 2016 Results

FTC did not take the threat of Amazon into account in Staples Office Depot merger

“I think everybody on the call knows that last week the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia granted the FTCs request to block our acquisition of Office Depot. We were disappointed that the FTCs request was granted despite the fact that in our view it failed to define the relevant market correctly and fell short of proving its case. The FTC excluded ink and toner from the market definition of consumable office supplies. They only focused on Fortune 100 customers and acknowledged that there were no concerns about any harm to consumers or small or medium businesses. The FTC ignored the competitive threat from Amazon business and a host of other competitors and also encouraged witnesses to say things that weren’t true to bolster their case.”