Q2 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/28/2013

Operator: Welcome to Pall Corporation's Conference Call and Webcast for the Second Quarter of Fiscal 2013. Today's call is being recorded and simultaneously webcast. Instructions for the question-and-answer session will be provided at the end of management's prepared remarks. Right now, all lines are in listen-only mode.

We would like to remind you that the Company's second quarter press release is available at Management's remarks this morning will include forward-looking statements. Please refer to Slide 2 or request a copy of the specific wording of this qualification of the Company's remarks. Management also uses certain non-GAAP measures to assess the Company's performance. Reconciliations of these measures to their GAAP counterparts are included in slides at the end of the presentation.

At this time, I will turn the call over to Mr. Larry Kingsley, Pall Corporation's President and CEO. Please go ahead, sir.

Lawrence D. Kingsley - President and CEO: Thank you, Christie. Good morning and thank you for joining us. I am here today with Lisa McDermott, our CFO; and Brent Jones, VP of Finance. Our remarks this morning will be on a continuing operations basis.

As you've seen in the release, we performed reasonably well given the environment. Many end markets are soft, however earnings were a little better than anticipated, driven primarily by improved operational execution. Just as importantly, our operational execution is also being recognized by our customers as they are beginning to see the benefits of our Pall Enterprise System.

Clear prioritization and cross-functional focus on our people, process and technology initiatives are enabling us to accelerate new product introduction plans, drive productivity in operations and improve our overall cost structure. We believe that we have a long way to go, but that we are making solid progress and we have improved confidence that we can both grow and deliver consistent bottom line performance. As you remember from our Q1 call, we characterize the macro environment as sloppy. We also discussed the relative strength of the end markets served by our Life Sciences segment as well as the demand challenges facing many of the end markets served by our Industrial segment.

Based on what we are seeing in the business and what we're hearing from our customers, not a lot have changed over the past quarter. Life Sciences and BioPharm especially continues to perform well. January in particular was a very strong month for both sales and orders. The macro trends underpinning the business remained very healthy. Importantly, our sales execution and market position continues to be strong. The Industrial business on the other hand is challenged with the difficult to medium term coupled with some mixed macro indicators for the remainder of our fiscal year. We serve a broad range of Industrial end-markets in OEM segments as you know.

It's rare that a majority of them are simultaneously soft. In particular, water, alternative energy, off-road equipment, and the semiconductor markets are all down. Most of the other process technology end markets are weak, if also not down a bit. In addition, our Industrial emerging country market demand is generally slow with particular pressure on larger projects that require capital commitments. Last quarter, we discussed the impact of destocking versus end market performance, contributing about a third of our demand weakness to destocking. I would stick with that proportion, if not more attributed to market demand. Our forecast reflects a similarly conservative demand pattern assumption. However, the combination of our segments continues to ensure reasonable total top line performance and the business model leverages our integrated operation structure.

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