VRSK

Verisk Analytics, Inc. (VRSK)

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Verisk Analytics, Inc. (VRSK)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 29, 2012 08:30 am ET

Executives

Eva Huston – Treasurer and Head, IR

Frank Coyne – Chairman and CEO

Scott Stephenson – President and COO

Mark Anquillare – President and CFO

Analysts

David Togut - Evercore Partners Inc

Eric Boyer – Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

William Warmington - Raymond James

Andrew Jeffrey – SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc

Michael Meltz – JPMorgan

Suzanne Stein - Morgan Stanley

Kelly Flynn - Credit Suisse Group

Robert Riggs - William Blair & Company, LLC

Kevin McVeigh – Macquarie Research Equities

William Clark - Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is [Kaneesha], and I’ll be your conference operator today. At this time, I’d like to welcome everyone to the Verisk Analytics’ Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speaker’s remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Thank you.

Ms. Eva Huston, you may begin your conference.

Eva Huston

Thank you Kaneesha, and good morning to everyone. We appreciate you joining us today for the discussion of our fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011 financial results.

With me on the call this morning are Frank Coyne, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Scott Stephenson, President and Chief Operating Officer, and Mark Anquillare, Chief Financial Officer.

Following some comments by Frank, Scott and Mark, highlighting the key points about our strategic priorities and financial performance, we will open the call up for your questions.

The earnings release referenced on this call as well as the associated 10-K can be found in the Investor section of our website at verisk.com. The earnings release has also been attached to an 8-K that we have furnished to the SEC. A replay of this call will be posted on our website and available by dial-in for 30 days until March 29, 2012.

And finally, as set forth in more detail in today’s earnings release, I will remind everyone that today’s call may include forward-looking statements about Verisk’s future performance. Actual performance could differ materially from what is suggested by our comments today. And information about the factors that could affect future performance is summarized at the end of the press release as well as contained in our recent SEC filings.

And with that, I’ll now turn the call over to Frank Coyne.

Frank Coyne

Thank you, Eva, and good morning. In the fourth quarter 2011, we delivered strong performance of almost 20% revenue growth and over 25% diluted adjusted EPS growth. Our performance for the fiscal year was also strong with 17% revenue growth and 25% diluted adjusted EPS growth. These results are evidence of our discipline in execution.

We are pleased that the market has recognized this through the strong performance of our stock price in 2011. We performed well in many of our businesses and our recent acquisitions also contributed. Risk assessments grew 3.9% for the quarter and the full-year, as our continued value to customers is reflected in our revenue growth.

We also saw improvement in property specific revenue growth in the quarter. In the quarter Decision Analytics revenue grew almost 35% and our insurance solutions in Decision Analytics grew almost 15% organically. For the full-year Decision Analytics grew almost 30% with similar growth from our insurance solution.

Our healthcare solutions revenue grew almost about 37% organically in the quarter as we continued on the double-digit growth trajectory we started to see in the third quarter. Overall, our organic revenue growth was 7.6% in the quarter and for the full-year.

Decision Analytics organic growth in Q4 was 11%, driven by both strong growth from insurance-facing solutions as well as the accelerated growth in healthcare. The mortgage market remained challenging with the macroeconomic conditions continuing to work against us. We continue to have conviction around our margin and overall profitability. We are pleased to deliver 25% growth in diluted adjusted EPS for 2011 and over 16% growth in EBITDA, while expanding margins to over 46% excluding the recent acquisitions.

As always, we remained focused on delivering shareholder returns. We remained determined to find attractive M&A opportunities to take advantage of our substantial balance sheet flexibility. We bought $41 million of shares in the quarter, a lower amount than in previous quarters as we managed our buyback as part of our broader capital allocation plan including acquisitions.

We remained interested in using our capital as appropriate for buybacks is evidenced by our $300 million new authorization announced in January 2012. As I look forward to 2012, I see a consistency in our business plan, but also new opportunities on the horizon.

I have confidence, we can continue to execute on that plan and realize attractive growth from the insurance base. We have set our healthcare business on a positive path to continue to grow and expand its footprint. I also think 2012 will bring more opportunity in our supply chain business as we work to leave our solutions in analytics together and also continued to pursue acquisitions in the space.

Mortgage is likely to remain a soft spot for 2012, but we are also ensuring that we use our skill sets in ways that meet the evolving needs of the mortgage market as well as across the broader financial services sector.

Now I’ll turn it over to Scott to talk about the progress we are making in a number of our business areas.

Scott Stephenson

Thank you, Frank. I talked about innovation and it remains a key focus of our execution plan. Innovation means a lot of things to a lot of people, but to us it is about both staying ahead of the market as well as meeting your customers where they want you to be. We continue to invest in new products and we’re committed to this as a constant insight of our plan. While our margins continue to expand and we must also ensure that margin expansion does not come at the expense of future growth.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com