Vail FY 4Q17 Earnings Call Notes

Rob Katz – Chief Executive Officer

Absolutely seeing continued momentum in the upper end of the economy

“I think we are absolutely seeing that continued momentum, particularly in the upper end of the economy, which is where most of our resorts are focused and certainly the real estate projects are focused.”

Vail 4Q16 Earnings Call Notes

Vail Resorts’ (MTN) CEO Rob Katz on Q4 2016 Results

Season pass sales up 24% in units

“Turning now to our 2016-2017 season pass sales for our US resorts; we are extremely pleased with our season pass sales to date. Through September 18, 2016, US ski season pass sales increased approximately 24% in units and 29% in sales dollars, compared to the prior year period ended September 20, 2015.”

Growth driven by “increasingly sophisticated marketing”

“Our growth continues to be driven by our increasingly sophisticated and targeted marketing efforts to move destination guests in to our season pass products, with this segment representing over half of this year’s growth. As always, we do expect our season pass growth rates to decline through the end of our selling season, given that some of the increase is driven by our efforts to encourage guests to purchase their passes earlier in the year.”

Goal is to get people to buy season passes and increase renewal rate

“And so for us our goal is really to move people from buying daily (inaudible) to buying season passes because we know that the renewal rate or the return rate on a season pass is much higher than if they are just buying a (inaudible). And then our goal once they are in the season pass program is to get them to renew that first year and second year, and one of our top priorities for this year has been to increase that first year renewal rate because obviously we are adding so many people to the program and we’ve been very successful with that.”

Renewal rate goes way up in second or third year

“The key obviously is, once you see a second year or a third year, all of a sudden the renewal rate goes way up. So one of the things that is driving our growth is increasing that renewal rate and a big part of that is us being smarter and more sophisticate in terms of how we talk to people, the message we send and how we get them to come back in to the program.”

Stable dollar should help international sales but will be tough to get to where it was 2 or 3 years ago

“I think as we go in to this year, we are seeing a better stability, one the currency having (inaudible) to the US dollar remained strong, but if you think about a year ago it was really in the middle of especially we think about a year ago last summer or spring, the US dollar was strengthening dramatically causing some instability there. I think now with the currency having stabilized we feel like that positions us pretty well going in to this year in terms of really for those countries where we did see some decline to really kind of moderate those declines if not eliminate them in some cases. We are also quite hopeful to be able to continue to drive growth from Australia. That said, with the strong US dollar, I don’t think we can necessarily get back to where we were 2.5, 3 years ago without seeing some shift in currency. ”

We have not seen a slowdown in the high end consumer

” I think we – what I’d say is that we have not seen a slowdown in the high end consumer. I don’t know that our confidence is any higher today than it was a year ago in the high end guest and their discretionary spending. Obviously there have been some wild wolves or whatever in high end consumer spending seen in some parts of travel, some parts of retail in particular. But what we are seeing is, it feels like vacation spending in particular has so far been strong and certainly over the summer we didn’t see any signs of some kind of slow down. I think people are still booking trips and may be this trend towards buying experiences, spending money on experiences versus buying luxury goods. Obviously that would help us.”

Vail Resorts FY 3Q16 Earnings Call Notes

Vail Resorts’ (MTN) CEO Rob Katz on Q3 2016 Results

Pass sales units up 29%

Pass sales through May 31, 2016 for the upcoming 2016/2017 U.S. ski season increased approximately 29% in units and approximately 34% in sales dollars as compared to the prior year period through June 2, 2015.

We get more intelligent every year

we are continuing to improve the way we target and segment and communicate to our guests and that gets more sophisticated, more — we’re just more intelligent every year as we learn more from the previous year and I think you’re seeing the combination of all that drive significant growth.

International sales solid but still impacted by dollar

International pass sales are totally solid, they are fine. We aren’t seeing anything concerning there. But, I would say we’re still very early to really understand the visitation dynamics for next year. I do think if you look backwards a year, the currency had really been — the U.S. dollar had been strengthening quite a bit in the whole run up to that season and it has appears to have stabilized a bit if not come down a little bit from where those ratios kind of bottomed out or peaked out or however you want to look at it. But, I do think that some of this will depend upon how the currencies move over the next couple of months. I think we may have a better sense of it in September certainly than in December but at this point, we aren’t seeing too many concerns. I think if anything, we think certainly we have some upside potential because we’ll be comping more challenging results from last year, but obviously there is external factors that will play into exactly how much upside we can actually generate.

We want to acquire where it makes an impact to the network overall

we don’t just want to acquire to acquire, we want to acquire resorts certainly where we think we can improve them, but much more importantly than that where we think that resort is very impactful had to our overall network.

Indications that summer travel will be robust

feel very, very positive in terms of overall summer visitation certainly, I think there’s a lot of indications that summer travel particularly car travel is going to be robust. We’re seeing a very strong visitation in the national park. I would imagine that will be true certainly for us in Grant Teton; I think that will be true in Rocky Mountain national park in Colorado as well. I have no doubt that will be true in Lake Tahoe. So, I think certainly summer visitation and summer tourism travel I think is in a good spot which bodes well for us.

Recruiting and retaining people is key

would say we think that given the strength of the economy and the strength of the economy and markets in our particular resorts, we think that retaining and recruiting talent and people in general all across our entire all of our properties is one of our most important priorities. I think labor costs this past year absolutely grew and were higher than if you looked at the previous year because we took on a number of initiatives in so many different area of our company whether it was wage, changes or bonuses to help incent and ensure that we feel like we are competitively paying all of our employees. And we absolutely assume that will continue for next year and that’s factored into our business plans and something that is really top of mind for us to make sure that we can continue to deliver the experience that we need to for our guests.

Michael Barkin

Thanks, Rob and good morning, everyone.
For the third quarter, resort net revenue was $645.7 million up 13.9% from the prior year period and resort reported EBITDA was $306.6 million an increase of 14.7% over the prior year period. These increases were driven by strong visitation and robust guest spending on lift products as well as in our ancillary businesses across all of our western resorts.

Miscellaneous Earnings Call Notes 3.10.16

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Fireside Chat

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said he is being forced to raise money in order to compete with an irrational competitor

“We’re profitable in the USA, but we’re losing over $1 billion a year in China. We have a fierce competitor that’s unprofitable in every city they exist in, but they’re buying up market share. I wish the world wasn’t that way. I prefer building rather than fundraising. But if I don’t participate in the fundraising bonanza, I’ll get squeezed out by others buying market share.”


Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner Bloomberg Interview

Linkedin (LNKD) CEO Jeff Weiner said turnarounds are hard

“Turnarounds are arguably the most difficult thing you can do in business.”


Sprint’s (S) Management Presents at Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference

Sprint (S) CFO Tarek Robbiati said they are increasing focus on how their marketing dollars are spent

“I can find a lot of things at Sprint that were superfluous. One example is I never liked sponsoring race cars in telephone industry. That makes absolutely no sense. There is no car relations between the branding for the race car and our customers, so there’s no more sponsorships that don’t bring us any sort of result. We are also more targeted in the way we advertise.”

Sprint (S) CFO Tarek Robbiati said the 4G network is already past its prime and they are now focusing on building out the 5G network

“We are not building a network that is 4G, 4G is almost a thing of the past. We are building a 5G network for the future, and 5G networks are funded fundamentally different to 4G networks. They’re all around high capacity, and the more spectrum you have the more capacity you have. The more spectrum you deploy, the more you can connect customers and the more speed you can give customers across your network. And there is a simple engineering law that governs this, the higher frequency spectrum is more efficient to handle very large capacity of traffic and that’s the world we’re moving towards with 5G.”


American Express Investor Day

American Express (AXP) CEO Ken Chenault is confident they have the right business model going forward

“Is the American Express business model fundamentally broken? I can tell you with complete confidence, the answer is no.”


AT&T’s (T) Management Presents at Deutsche Bank 2016 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference

Saw a slowdown in the handset upgrade cycle

“I think you saw in the fourth quarter, it was a slowdown in the handset upgrade cycle or the total sales. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that continue”

The DirecTV assets were as advertised if not better

“The DIRECTV assets were as advertised if not better. Good quality products, good people, a good organization. Two, from a more mundane perspective, we are focused on systems integration, we are focused on everything from general ledger reporting and payrolls and vendor management and so forth. We are going through all of that heavy lifting.”


Enterprise Products Partners’ (EPD) CEO Jim Teague on 2016 Investor Day

Oil and gas markets are being forced to adjust to the staying power of US shale

“Because of U.S. shale and slowing economies much different than President Carter said, now we’ve got too much oil and global markets have another problem. They are being forced to adjust to the magnitude and staying power of U.S. shale. Over the last few years, the largest consumer of hydrocarbon now has enough to production to be a provider to international markets and different from sovereign producing countries, the U.S. producer is a pure capitalist.””

In a crisis you’re trying to survive

“Is this a crisis or is it a cycle? Well they are different. In a crisis you’re trying to survive”

Low prices are the cure for low prices

“So we see this as a challenging year but we see a sunrise with all of the demand growth that’s coming. And I think, Tony, you’re going to speak to that. Really the cure for low prices are low prices, just like price creates supply, guess what? Price creates demand. ”


Bancolombia S.A. (CIB) Q4 2015 Results

Risks to the economy are biased to the downside, but we don’t expect a sharp deceleration

“Risks to economic activity are biased to the downside. And in that sense with today’s information, I think that the likelihood of having the 1.8% growth scenario for this year is becoming more likely. But I would also say that basically what we think is that — I mean if you compare the situation to previous ones, what we think is that, I mean we are not in — I mean it’s not very likely to see a sharper deceleration but instead to have a long period of low growth, basically because first, the external shock that the economy has received has proved to be more prolonged than we expected before; and secondly, because we don’t see that there is a scope for countercyclical policies and/or monetary or fiscal side.”


Vail Resorts’ (MTN) CEO Robert Katz on Q2 2016 Results

People are skiing

“Our Colorado resorts continue to deliver very strong results, with solid growth above our record prior year. Our U.S. destination visitation has remained strong throughout the year at all of our mountain resorts, as we saw the benefited from the appeal of our resorts to high-end leisure travellers; we are reaching through our more sophisticated marketing efforts and the strong U.S. economy.”

International visits have declined, but drop has moderated

“While we have continued to see a decline in international visitation, it has moderated since the Christmas holiday, in large part due to the strength of Australian visitation which is up considerably over last year due to the success we’ve had in driving visitation to the U.S. among our Epic Australia Pass holders. Visits from Mexico have been stable relative to prior year which we view as a strong success given the currency headwinds and as expected we are seeing declines from our U.K. Canadian and Brazilian markets.”

Miscellaneous Earnings Call Notes 12.11.15

Universal Health Services (UHS) Presents at Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2015 Leveraged Finance Brokers Conference

Steve Filton

Behavioral health business is more recession resistant

“if you’re seeking — and you’re seeking acute care treatment, you need a hip implant or you need some sort of ENT surgery et cetera, you may think about the economics of that; you may choose to postpone that because you don’t want to come out of pocket for a co-pay or deductable or because you don’t want to be out of work frankly during a tough economic climate. But if you try to commit suicide or you overdose on drugs and alcohol, you are not going to be in a position to decide whether you should or shouldn’t be admitted to the hospital. That decision is really being made generally by somebody else who is effectively economically insensitive to what your economics of the situation or concerns might be. So, I think that’s another reason why the behavioral business has generally proved to be more, I’ll call it, recession resistant.”

Optimum occupancy in behavioral care is in the low to mid 70s

“occupancy rates and our behavioral facility peaks in the mid 80s, right around 84% in about 2005-2006. What we started to do at that point because we have a view probably the ideal occupancy rate in this business is somewhere in the low to mid 70s. And so, when we were at 85% in about 10 years ago, we’re turning away a lot of patients at that point because obviously if we’re averaging 85%, it means that there’s a lot of days when we’re at 90 and 95 and even a 100% occupancy. It also means that because of some of the constraints that we have, we have put male and female patients; we don’t put adults and children together, we don’t certain diagnoses together. So, as a consequence, it’s difficult for facilities to really run at something close to full occupancy.”


Silicon Laboratories Presents at Credit Suisse Technology, Media & Telecom Conference

Tyson Tuttle

Low power for IoT requires innovation

“if you look at the energy efficiency that’s required. If you’re handset only has 10% battery life left, and I know that when mind says 10% battery life, I’m like looking for a charger. But if you imagine that amount of power needs to power an IoT device for five years. So that’s essentially the amount of energy that’s in the little coin cell and they want that device to sense the environment. Let’s say every few minutes it needs to communicate that when something happens. This type of energy consumption requires a lot of innovation. And if so this is what we are focused on doing.”

From a macro perspective, wireless markets suffering but infrastructure business doing well

“I think a lot of people that we are selling into wireless were suffering, especially in China, we were not exposed to that at least on our infrastructure business, we had a little bit of exposure on the microcontroller side and some of the optical modules that did hold back our growth in IoT in the second half. But on infrastructure we see that it’s pretty solid globally. And this is more of a reflection of core network in data center roll outs.”


Barnes & Noble’s (BKS) CEO Ronald Boire on Q2 2016 Results

Have seen increased traffic so far in Q3

“the challenges were greater than anticipated and reduced traffic as well as conversion. During the second quarter, we implemented a significant number of website fixes to increase traffic, improve the overall user experience and stabilize the site. So far during Q3, we have seen increased traffic and have stabilized the site for the holiday season. We plan to implement additional improvements after the holiday season to further upgrade the overall user experience.”


The Cooper Companies’ (COO) CEO Bob Weiss on Q4 2015 Results

Had a bumpy ride from mid September through the end of November

“August was a good month and things dropped off in October a lot, particularly in the U.S. and some of the problems we ran into in Europe exacerbated the most. We thought we’re in pretty good shape in early September, found out we weren’t in as good shape as we thought by mid-September and had a bumpy ride with our integration if you will in Europe, from mid September until pretty much the end of November. Having said that, we had what we call a very respectable November”


Toronto-Dominion Bank’s (TD) CEO Bharat Masrani On Q4 2015 Results

Mark Chauvin

Are starting to see stress in consumer credit portfolios in energy-impacted provinces, but within expectations

“Next, with respect to our oil and gas exposure, we were not surprised by the level of impaired loan formations this quarter. Ongoing analysis indicates that the oil and gas nonretail credit portfolio continues to perform within expectations, given the current level in near-term outlook for commodity prices in this sector. We are beginning to see signs of deterioration in the oil impacted provinces consumer credit portfolios, which again are well within our earlier expectations. Based on ongoing stress tests conducted against the credit portfolios, I remain comfortable that the potential impact of low energy prices on the bank’s credit losses remains well within the range of a 5% to 10% increase over 2015 levels.”

Seeing a gradual increase in delinquency rates over last 4-5 months in oil impacted provinces

“we have been watching it very closely, especially the impacted provinces, which would be Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland. And what we are seeing in two categories, being the indirect auto but the non-prime segment primarily and then in the card segment, we have seen a gradual increase in delinquency rates over the last four or five months.”

Customers affected are early indicator, the type of customer that would be more challenged than the typical customer

“So in many respects we look at that as an early indicator because that would be the customer that maybe would be more challenged than the typical customer. Now, I would stress that these two categories are less than 1% of our total book and that we expected to see losses of this level.”


Sprint’s (S) Management Presents at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Leveraged Finance Brokers Conference

Tarek Robbiati — CFO

Wireless data is much cheaper in some other markets than the US

” I think the – look at the U.S. wireless market, it’s the biggest one in the world by value. And the reason why it is the biggest one in the world by value is because we have 300 million people and you have a very, very high ARPU…when you really look at some of their – the size of their bills, it’s quite extraordinary. I mean you compare this with Hong Kong which is a market that I am very familiar with. In Hong Kong you can get very, very decent data packages on 4G networks for less than $5 postpaid, which is quite extraordinary.”


Comcast’s (CMCSA) Management Presents at UBS Global Media and Communications Conference

Mike Cavanagh–CFO

No new comments on wireless plans. We believe the cheapest way to transmit data is to get it to the hardwire as soon as possible

“we have no news on this topic today. What we have decided is that it’s certainly worth at this point triggering the MVNOs that we can work on exploring what kind of offering we could bring and go deeper to learn and experiment. That’s the state of play on the MVNO. And that sits in the context of having been big believers in WiFi. So, you have seen us invest in and continue to invest in the WiFi as an extension of the value of the broadband pipe, which is still the kind of best and cheapest way to transmit data we believe is to get it to the hardwire as soon as possible. So, with the progress we have made on our WiFi product and broadband, we think it makes complete sense to be exploring on – what possibilities the MVNO offering has to add value to our customer relationships. That’s as much as we know. There is no – it will take time to draw any conclusions from what we are now going through.”


Vail Resorts’ (MTN) CEO Robert Katz on Q1 2016 Results

Our labor markets are tight

“think ensuring that we have enough, ensuring that we are providing the right employee experience, attracting enough of the right labor, retaining labor and then a part of that is obviously being able to have housing for everyone that works here, I think it is probably our number one concern right now in terms of ensuring that we can continue to drive success. And so, I mean that’s led us over the last couple of years to continue to invest to make sure that we can do that. I’d say where we feel right now is that our markets are tight. We think it is a challenge.’

Upper income US remained strong

“Colorado in particular is the strong market, continues to be a strong market given the economy here, Utah, the Bay Area and California so that obviously is the big help right there but then I would say we are seeing pretty broad based strength from all of our major destinations across the United States, I would say even places like Los Angeles, like Seattle which are not typically our strongest markets in terms of size, we’re seeing real strength there too”…

“I would say right now I think the domestic, the U.S. economy on the domestic side is very strong, the upper income portion of that remained strong ‘


AutoZone’s (AZO) CEO Bill Rhodes on Q1 2016 Results

DIY auto spending has benefitted from lower gas prices

“I think clearly we are seeing some industry strength currently. I think a part of that has to do with what’s going on with gas prices. And while gas prices initially went down, you didn’t see the initial correlation with miles driven increasing. But in more recent months, starting really strong in this summer, and continuing through September, the latest date that we have available, it’s showing nice strength. Over long periods of time we’ve seen that has a nice correlation with our DIY industry growth.”


Cisco Systems (CSCO) Presents at Barclays Global Technology Brokers Conference

Hilton Romanski

Customers are looking for a hybrid cloud

“what we’re hearing from customers fundamentally is that they want to see the benefits and the economics of public cloud in their private cloud environment. So that would suggest to us that ultimately there is a hybrid cloud solution out there for enterprises where some of those benefits across multiple types of workloads across their own environments that are private as well as those that are being hosted in a public cloud is going to co-exist.”


Dave & Buster’s (PLAY) CEO Steve King on Q3 2015 Results

Couldn’t be happier with how 2015 is shaping up

“we couldn’t be happier in terms of how 2015 is shaping up, while we’ve achieved so far as we look forward to a strong finish in the fourth quarter.”


Halliburton’s (HAL) Management Presents at Wells Fargo 2015 Energy Symposium Brokers Conference

Christian Garcia — Interim CFO

North America looks like it could be marginally better than expected, but international looks marginally worse

“North America does look like it’s going to be marginally better than what we said in the third quarter call and international looks like it’s marginally worse and in total, we’re in line with our expectations as we left the third quarter.”

2016 is clearly going to be another down year but we don’t know the magnitude yet

“2016 is still opaque. E&P the E&Ps have not announced their budgets, but clearly it’s going to be another down year. The question is the magnitude of the decline.”

Argentina had elections that could lead to positive economic reforms

“Argentina just had elections and we think that new president elect will usher in a new era of economic reforms achieved among that would be probably a potential depreciation of their over valid currency which will in the short term provide some little need to some dislocations but I think in the long term would be actually help that economy boot that economy and would invite for investors.'”


HCA’s Management Presents at Opperheimer 26th Annual Healthcare Broker Conference

Bill Rutherford, Chief Financial Officer

Seeing higher turnover of nurses as demand for nurses strong

“We think you know we are seeing higher turnover of recently than we’ve historically had. And we think there is a lot of other supply in the marketplace and demand for nurses. We’ve got a host of efforts around recruiting. We talked about on our call our efforts to hire nurse graduates and putting them in orientation and onboarding them a little bit differently so that they have — the retention is longer for those new nurses.”

See continued strong economies in the majority of our markets

“We see continued strong economies in the majority of our markets and I think that provides really fundamental momentum for the company and those trends don’t appear quickly, nor do they disappear quickly. So, we are optimistic that our market trends, we are seeing has some durability to it in the future.”


Comerica’s (CMA) CEO Ralph Babb on Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Brokers Conference

Energy reserves at 3% of total energy related loans

“if prices remain low for longer, we expect to see continued negative credit migration and losses to emerge yet we believe they will be manageable. We have increased our reserves for energy loans in each of the past four quarters, as a result of an increase in criticized loans and sustained low energy prices. Because investors have been particularly interested in the size of our energy reserve allocation note that at the end of the third quarter, we had reserves amounting to more than 3% of our total energy and energy related loans.”


U.S. Bancorp (USB) Presents at Goldman Sachs US Financial Services Brokers Conference

CFO, Kathy Rogers

Planning for three interest rate increases in the next 12 months including next week

“as we look out into 2016, I do think that we are seeing an economic environment that is somewhat similar to what we saw this year, may be slightly improved. As we think about the interest environment, we are projecting in our plan, a potential for two interest rate hikes next year, and then December 1 of this year; so a total of three if you look out over the course of the next 12 months.”

Not seeing any deterioration of credit outside of energy

“the simple answer is no. We’re really not. Outside of energy, it’s really relatively benign, no significant change.”

We’ve probably gotten to a point where reserves will start building again (but not necessarily because of credit deterioration)

“I think one of the things that you’re going to see is that we are getting to that point in the cycle where many banks, including ourselves, have enjoyed a nice outcome of reserve releases. And I do think we’re coming to the end of the cycle. And I think that you’ll start to see reserves starting to build as we move out into later quarters.”


Lululemon Athletica’s (LULU) Laurent Potdevin on Q3 2015 Results

Start of Q4 has been mixed

“In line with macroeconomic trends, the start of Q4 has been mixed. We saw lower traffic in the final weeks of Q3 and into the first couple of weeks of Q4, with steady improvement in Thanksgiving. Given the current environment, we’re taking a conservative stance with revenue in Q4, while taking the necessary actions to manage inventory and control expenses.”


Moody (MCO) Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference

Mark Almeida, who is the Head of the Moody’s Analytics Business

November was a good month from an issuance standpoint and December has gotten off to a strong start as well

“November was a good month from an issuance standpoint, and December has gotten off to a pretty good start as well. So I think things have firmed up a bit, since some of the weakness that we saw in the summer time.”


Korn-Ferry’s (KFY) CEO Gary Burnison on Q2 2016 Results

Even in a digital world, it still pays to have people housed in the same location

“I think that creating connectivity of people and clients in an environment of collaboration is incredibly important and although we live in a virtual world, I fundamentally believe that the people need, to the extent possible, need to be housed in the same location.”

Gregg Kvochak

“global demand for our Executive Recruitment services remained strong in the second quarter.”


McGraw-Hill Companies’ (MHFI) CEO Doug Peterson Presents at Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference

Issuance is down 30% year to date

“we’ve seen a choppier market, issuance is down during the quarter and year to date overall issuance is down globally about 28% and in the quarter its down again over 30%, 35%, 37%, depending on which element of the markets that you look at. So we’ve seen some volatility in the ratings business.”


Avnet (AVT) Presents at Raymond James Technology & Communications Investors Brokers Conference

Kevin Moriarty, CFO

Our product is service

“Avnet’s product is, our product is service, has been and always will be. Models change the way we get compensated for that service. We need to continue to be nimble and agile to be able to move with that”

We feel pretty good about the environment

“I would characterize the current lead times as stable, short. We haven’t really seen any significant changes in push outs, cancelation rates. So we feel pretty good. EM, we continue to experience growth within our European business. I would characterize the Americas as sluggish overall on the component side.”


ConocoPhillips’s (COP) CEO Ryan Lance on 2016 Capital Budget and Operating Plan

We see dividend as highest priority

“Despite the tough market, our dividend remains the highest priority use of our cash. We view the dividend level as a long-term decision. And we’ve been in the current low price cycle for relatively short period of time”

Capital budget down ~25% from last year, -54% from 2014

“We’re announcing a 2016 capital budget of $7.7 billion that’s $2.5 billion lower than 2015 capital guidance and more than $9 billion lower versus 2014. In setting our budget, we’re flexing capital down appropriately for the price environment without losing opportunities or sacrificing the safety or integrity of our operations.”

Vail Resorts FY 4Q15 Earnings Call Notes

Vail Resorts’ (MTN) CEO Rob Katz on FY Q4 2015 Results

Not seeing any softening in consumer

“I mean again at this point, we are not seeing any softening in consumer interest. I think we had a fairly strong summer season as well. I did not see that – we are not seeing that in our bookings or in our pass sales.”

We’re better positioned than the rest of the industry because they are dealing with demand and supply, we aren’t dealing with supply

I think one of the benefits that we have obviously is other parts of the travel industry one of the things they are struggling with is not just the demand side, but the supply side. And so as people build new rooms obviously that starts to bring down some of their metrics and one of the benefits we have right now is that there has not been any new supply added to the mountain resort industry”

Tahoe down, but less than expected. Bay Area economy there is still strong

“in Tahoe where I think obviously we had more modest expectations, because of the snowfall last year, I think even though we are seeing declines, they are less than what we would have expected, which I think reflects the commitment and the loyalty that people have there, I am sure reflects in part the fact that there is an expectation at this point that this season could be relatively strong. But I think skiers and riders out in that market Bay Area the economy there is still strong. I think they know that in a huge season they want to have that pass and they want to have that connection and I think we are seeing that play out right now.”

Interestingly, Mexico has been the most resilient market to currency shifts (perhaps used to it?)

“what I would say is obviously the U.S. dollar is strong versus almost every market. So I think it impacts every market. I think we – but how that translates into advanced bookings has been we have seen differences. So I think with Canada and the UK obviously little bit more price sensitive guests. And I would say that we are seeing more sluggish bookings from those two markets, more sluggish pass sales in those two markets. And yet we are seeing strength in the Mexican market. So I can’t really quantify that, because we don’t give specific details on individual markets. But I would say, it’s not that surprising to us. I think when we have talked about currency in the past, I think we have said that we felt broadly the Latin American market was more resilient, a little bit more protected I think from some of those gyrations where I think certainly Canada and the UK and even Australia is more impacted by them.”

Didn’t see much impact from economic weakness in Australia

” think the currency impact is probably the bigger one. Candidly, we are not seeing the – yet we are not seeing or can’t pick out I would say the impact of the Australian economy in the numbers that we are seeing. I would also say that obviously the economy over the winter in Australia, which was July and August we saw pretty strong results at Perisher and did not see any impact from any kind of economic sluggishness in Australia.”

Michael Barkin – Chief Financial Officer

The US economy remains robust, especially for upper income travelers

“The U.S. economy remains robust, particularly for domestic upper income vacation travelers who produce over 85% of our destination visitation. We have seen strong demand for the upcoming season with the successful season pass sales to-date and from lodging bookings, which have been strong across our resorts.”

Vail Resorts FY 3Q15 Earnings Call Notes

If anyone has a right to complain about weather I suppose it’s these guys

“Given the severe weather challenges this year, our expectation that we will deliver resort-reported EBITDA within the original guidance range issued last September is something we are quite proud of, and result of the experience we provide our high-end guests and the stability we have been able to create in our business model.”

EBITDA of 267m

“For the third quarter, resort net revenue was $566.9 million, up 7.6% from the prior year period. And resort reported EBITDA was $267.3 million, an increase of 10.9% over the prior year. ”

Close out ski season onto capital plan

“While we have closed out the 2014-2015 ski season, we are already looking ahead to next year. Our capital plan for 2015 is well underway. In Park City, our $50 million upgrade is one of the most transformational efforts ever taken on in the ski industry and will result in a combined resort for the upcoming season that will provide guests with the chance to ski at the largest mountain resort by acreage in the United States.”

Particularly strong for upper income vacation travel

“As we look ahead towards fiscal 2016, we remain incredibly optimistic with a great start on season pass sales, new upgrades to our resorts and an economic environment that remains particularly strong for upper income vacation travel.”

We do think we need to remain competitive on wages

“We do think in the current climate, we will need to remain competitive on wages and benefits for our employees, which while certainly putting pressure on costs is something we can accomplish and stay on track with our long-term growth objectives.”

Looking for more acquisitions OUS

“The ski industry outside of the U.S. is actually quite large and so there are many, many potential targets. I would say we’re very disciplined and very thoughtful about looking for the right opportunity. A lot of that comes down to the country that it’s in, the markets that it serves, its position plus how it impact overall all of our resorts here in the United States as well. I think obviously with the Perisher acquisition, it could make a little bit more interesting other opportunities in Asia.”

We’re big believers in not rushing

“That said, I think the ski business is one where it takes a long time to put any kind of transaction together and we’re big believers in not rushing. And so I would say that we – the Perisher acquisition if anything has made other opportunities more interesting, that said, again, we don’t see ourselves in a rush whatsoever. Our goal really is to just keep making the guest network that we have that much stronger and more powerful in terms of driving revenue increases.”

There are lots of resorts around the world. We’re willing to wait for years to be able to purchase the right ones

“I think there is 500 ski resorts in the United States, for instance, but – we are incredibly pinpoint. So in other words, there are truly hundreds and hundreds of ski resorts, thousands around the world and so that’s – what I’d say is this kind of larger number is not as relevant and not the way we approach it. We’re very focused on what I’d call a handful, right, in each country of potential opportunities and then even within that, right, a primary opportunity that we think is the best.

And our goal is to wait for even if it takes years truly to wait for that, because in the ski industry the good news is you can’t build any other resorts. It also takes a long time to reshape a resort. So waiting for the right one we think is what helped drive our success. And so yes, there’s – I won’t share a hard number because I don’t think that is relevant right now, but we are focused, as we said earlier, certainly in Asia, in North America and in Europe.’

On wage stuff, we’re just highlighting something that people know

“I think we just want to highlight something that I think everybody knows, which is that the market for jobs is obviously getting more competitive and our own success obviously means that within our resorts and in our company, it is more competitive to get talent. And talent is the most critical thing to help drive our company and that’s something that we have to stay in touch with as well.”