Mettler-Toledo International, Inc. (MTD)

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Mettler Toledo International, Inc. (MTD)

Q3 FY08 Earnings Call

November 6, 2008, 5:00 PM ET


Mary T. Finnegan - Treasurer, IR

Robert F. Spoerry - Executive Chairman of the Board

William P. Donnelly - CFO

Olivier A. Filliol - CEO


Richard C. Eastman - Robert W. Baird

Derik de Bruin - UBS

Peter McDonald - Wall Street Access

Peter Lawson - Thomas Weisel

Michael Hamilton - RBC

Jon Wood - Banc of America

Gregory Halter - Great Lake Review

Christopher Arndt - Select Equity

Susan Ni Naam - JPMorgan

Charles Nuen - Neuberger



Good day ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to our Third Quarter 2008 Mettler-Toledo International Earnings Conference Call. My name is Abigail, and I will be your audio coordinator for today.

All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers remarks there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]. Thank you. Ms. Finnegan, you may begin your conference.

Mary T. Finnegan - Treasurer, Investor Relations

Thank you. I am Mary Finnegan, Treasurer and responsible for Investor Relations at Mettler-Toledo, and I am happy to welcome you to the call today.

I am joined by Robert Spoerry, Olivier Filliol and Bill Donnelly. I will start by covering some administrative matters and then turn the call to Robert.

Now for the administrative matters; first, this call is being webcast and is available for replay on our website at A copy of the press release we issued today is also available on our website.

You should be aware that statements on this call, which are not historical facts, may be considered forward-looking statements for the purposes of the Safe Harbor provision under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied.

For further information concerning issues that could materially affect performance related to forward-looking statements, please refer to our filings with the SEC. We undertake no responsibility to release any revisions to forward-looking statements, as a result of subsequent events or developments.

One other item, on today's call we may use non-GAAP financial measures. More detailed information with respect to the use of and the differences between the non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable GAAP measures is provided in the press release.

I'll now turn the call to Robert.

Robert F. Spoerry - Executive Chairman of the Board

Thank you, Mary and good evening everybody. As usual, I'll make some short introductory remarks, and then Bill will provide details on the financial results and our guidance for Q4 and also next year.

Olivier will then make the comments on the quarters and the outlook, and he will also cover with you on how we manage our business during times of uncertainty such as those we face currently. As always we will have time at the end for Q&A.

I will begin with highlights of the quarter. Local currency sales growth of 10% was very strong and we had good growth across the board. Most geographic regions and product lines did contribute to that growth. The strong sales growth led to a 15% increase in operating profit and a 25% increase in adjusted EPS. Cash flow was down from a year ago, and Bill will provide some insight into factors impacting cash flow.

Overall, we are very pleased with the strong third quarter and our solid year-to-date results. We saw better than expected results from the third quarter; we are now raising our guidance for this year for 2008.

At the same time, given the greater level of global economic uncertainty, we are planning lower revenue growth in the coming quarters. Despite building in this expected lower revenue growth, our guidance for 2009 assumed solid earnings growth or moderate growth.

Let me now turn the call now to Bill for details on the financial results.

William P. Donnelly - Chief Financial Officer

Thanks Robert and hello everyone. As you heard from Robert, we had a solid quarter and are pleased with our performance.

Let me begin with adjusted earnings per share which came in at $1.44, a 25% increase over the prior year amount of $1.15. For the quarter adjusted earnings per share excludes purchased intangible amortization expense and a discrete one-time tax gain.

On the last page of our press release, we have a table that details the calculation of adjusted earnings per share. Let me provide you more details on the results beginning with sales which were $509.1 million in the quarter, an increase of 10% in local currency.

On a U.S. dollar basis, sales increased 15% in the quarter, which includes a 5% currency benefit. Breaking down sales by geographic destination and all these percentages are in local currency, we are very pleased with 9% local currency growth in Europe. We had good growth in the quarter in almost all product lines.

For the nine months, sales increased by 8% in Europe. Sales growth in the Americas increased by 4%. We had good growth in lab and industrial, while food retailing was down modestly. Year-to-date on an organic basis; sales growth in the Americas increased by 4%, sales in Asia/ Rest of the world increased by 21% in the quartering, with all product lines showing very good growth. Year-to-date, sales also increased by 21% in Asia/Rest of the world.

Now looking at sales by product area. We had 9% growth in laboratory in the quarter, with good growth in almost all product lines. Year-to-date, laboratory sales increased by 10% on an organic basis. Industrial sales increased by 12% in the quarter, with very strong growth in core industrial products.

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