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CNH Global NV (CNH)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

January 31, 2013, 8:00 a.m. ET


Manfred Markevitch – Head, IR

Richard Tobin – President and CEO

Pablo Di Si – CFO

Andrea Paulis - Treasurer


David Raso – ISI

Ann Dykeman – JPMorgan

Jerry Revich – Goldman Sachs

Michael Tyndall – Barclays

Brian [Inaudible] – Capelli

Manfred Markevitch – Media Banker

Alexander Virgo – Berenberg Bank

Ashish Gupta – CLSA




Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to today's CNH 2012 fourth quarter and full year conference call. For your information, today's conference is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Manfred Markevitch, head of CNH Investor Relations. Mr. Markevitch, please go ahead Sir.

Manfred Markevitch

Thank you, Sami. Good morning and good afternoon, everyone. We would like to welcome you to the CNH 2012 fourth quarter and full year conference call. Let me make a brief introduction.

I would like to remind everybody they can refer to page three of our presentation, which were distributed earlier today and posted on the internet regarding certain forward-looking statements. Also all information that will be used in the conference call today is available on our website at

Today, we will have the presentation followed by a short Q&A session. We are pleased to have our president and CEO, Rich Tobin, our CFO, Pablo Di Si, and our treasurer, Andrea Paulis with us on the call today.

We would like to begin with a brief presentation. With that, I will hand the call over to Rich.

Rich Tobin

Thank you, Manfred and good morning everybody. I'll start on page four of the presentation that you should be able to upload from the web.

Overall, a good quarter capping a good year for CNH. As you can see from the headline figures, net sales up 8% on a full year basis to $19.4 billion, which is a reflection of the strength of the agricultural market, which has offset some overall weakness in the construction equipment segment. Equipment operating profit for the year of $1.7 billion, which is a 14% on a full year basis at an operating margin of 8.6%, all of which are records for CNH.

Net income before restructure and exceptional items for the full year at $4.83 a share. Pablo will go through a lot of the details further in the presentation.

Next slide please. This is just really the numerical version of what I just reviewed. So I think that we can go to slide six and I'll hand it off to Pablo. And then we'll deal with the market conditions later in the presentation.

Pablo Di Si

Thanks, Rich. Good morning, good afternoon everybody. So we're flipping over to page six.

CNH posted strong net sales growth across all regions at constant currency. The North American sales growth was driven primarily by strong price realization and increase in specialty product volumes, specialty products, hay and forage, and crop production. Year-over-year tractor industry growth of approximately 10%. And over 25% industry growth in both heavy and light segments of the construction equipment.

Additionally, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East areas growth was primarily driven by the AG sector volume, better mix and price realization and an approximate 9% growth in the combine industry.

Finally, the Latin American region and Asia-Pacific were driven by strong AG sectors volume, mix, and pricing.

Turning over to page seven, it shows the impact of the foreign exchange on our net sales due to the weakening of the euro and the Brazilian real, which had a 4% negative impact on our net sales. Excluding this exchange impact, CNH realized strong double-digit growth of 12.1% due to volume drivers I discussed on the previous page.

On page eight, you can see the full year 2012 distribution of our net sales by currency. As we have discussed, the two major currencies impacting our net sales are the euro and Brazilian real. On a year-to-year, the average of the year weakens the dollar by 8% and the real weakened by 17%. We have also provided you with the sensitivity of a change of plus or minus 10% from the 2012 average rates.

Moving onto page nine, the equipment operating profit increased by $209 million or 14% due to the increased volume in both AG and CE. But a mix and pricing in both sectors, purchasing efficiencies, partially offset by higher R&D spending and negative currency impact. Our net pricing was positive for both AG and CE. And SG&A increases support the business growth. While on a percentage basis, the net sales remain stable.

Moving onto page ten, cash flow. The cash increased by $289 million in 2012. Primarily due to higher operating profit from operations and cash flow generation of $113 million from accounts receivable. In Q4, we generated over $400 million in cash through inventory reductions primarily due to under-production versus retail of 19% in the AG sector and 21% in the constructor sector as we're going to see on the next page.

As expected, our accounts payable worsened due the slowdown of production during last quarter of 2012. Our capital spending increased by $144 million, which includes spending on some special projects, which I will be discussing on slide 12.

Going to page 11, as I had just discussed, we had strong inventory reductions in Q4. Of last year, they were managed by reduction at year end in both the AG and construction equipment segments. As we start 2013, we have an adequate level of inventory at both dealer and in company.

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