AptarGroup, Inc. (ATR)

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AptarGroup, Inc. (ATR)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

February 8, 2013 9:00 a.m. ET


Matthew DellaMaria - Vice President, Investor Relations

Stephen Hagge - President and Chief Executive Officer

Robert Kuhn - Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary


Ghansham Panjabi - Robert W. Baird

Phil Gresh - JPMorgan

Adam Josephson - KeyBanc Capital Markets

Chip Dillon - Vertical Research Partners

Chris Manuel - Wells Fargo Securities

Alex Ovshey - Goldman Sachs

Mark Wilde - Deutsche Bank

Todd Wenning - Morningstar

Brian Rafn - Morgan Dempsey

Greg Halter - Great Lakes Review



Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to AptarGroup's 2012 Fourth Quarter and Annual Results Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Introducing today's conference call is Mr. Matt DellaMaria, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Matthew DellaMaria

Thank you, Samia, and welcome everyone. Participating on the call today are Steve Hagge, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Bob Kuhn, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary. Steve will begin our call with an overview of our quarterly and annual performance. Bob will then discuss our financial results in greater detail after which we will open it up for questions.

Information that will be discussed on today's call includes some forward-looking comments. Actual results or outcomes could differ from those projected or contained in the forward-looking statements. Please refer to AptarGroup's SEC filings to review factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or contained in the forward-looking statements. We will post a replay of this conference call on our website. AptarGroup undertakes no obligation to update the forward-looking information contained therein. I would now like to turn the conference over to Steve.

Stephen Hagge

Thanks, Matt, and good morning everyone. Yesterday we reported results for the fourth quarter and for the full year. Those of you who are familiar with Aptar know that there is a certain balance to our company that support our growth even in uncertain times. When you look at our business we have three market focused segments that serve seven different end consumer markets. You combine that with the fact that we take a regional approach to each end market and offer the broadest spectrum of innovative dispensing systems, and you have a well diversified business model.

This model together with our dedicated people is the reason we once again recorded core growth in a challenging quarter. We knew coming into the quarter that the economic situation was causing some customers to remain cautious when it came to orders and we knew that customers in our U.S. generic allergy markets were going to work off inventory levels before resuming normal order levels. In spite of these factors, our diversity allowed us to post core sales growth of 2% in the quarter.

Now looking at our segments performances for the quarter. Our Beauty & Home segment saw growth in Latin America and Asia, which more than offset softness we saw in Europe and North America. The softness in Europe was mainly in the personal care and home care markets. But this was offset by the growth in the beauty market. In North America both beauty and personal care markets were soft. However, project activity remains at a good level for our beauty and home products and we participated in several new launches by customers this quarter. Some of which include, several new fragrance were equipped with our unique retro valve atomizer, including Zara’s women fragrance, Bottega's Veneta fragrance.

Shiseido also launched their Pure and Mild skin moisturizer with our cosmetic lotion pump. In our gift and promotion business, Zara released a new men’s fragrance sample packaging using flat mailable system know as Imagine. In personal care, Unilever launched a spray from of their flagship Vaseline product using our Bag-on-Valve and locking actuator. And finally, in the home care market, SC Johnson introduced a revolutionary customer dispenser on their Windex Touch-Up Cleaner product. This is really a very interesting product and it’s just now hitting the market shelves.

Now looking to our Pharma segment. As I mentioned, we knew the fourth quarter was going to be a difficult one for our legacy pharma business. Customers in the U.S. generic allergy market were working off inventory levels and it delayed some orders. This was partially offset by sales to the consumer healthcare market. In the quarter there were several interesting consumer healthcare launches, including an eyelid moisturizing product in Latin America using one our spray pumps. Two additional ophthalmic product introductions in Europe using our ophthalmic squeeze dispenser, and Church and Dwight launched a saline rinse called Simply Saline for babies in the U.S. using our Bag-on-Valve and (inaudible) actuator.

On the prescription side, MEDA’s Dymista allergy treatment that was approved in U.S. last summer using our nasal spray system was recently approved in Europe. Aptar Stelmi had another good quarter and elastomer component volumes were up double-digits over the previous year. I want to reiterate that we are extremely pleased with the progress of the Aptar Stelmi integration and look forward to the opportunity to leverage our business, to leverage our commercial network and customer relations to continue growing this terrific business.

Now turning to our Food and Beverage segment. This segment had a good quarter, primarily driven by strong growth in our beverage closure business. We saw an increase in sales to the food market in the quarter but that was primarily an increase in tooling sales year-over-year. Our market focus strategy continues to present opportunity to penetrate new food and beverage categories. We are very pleased to report that we have entered a new food category in the quarter, and that’s infant formula.

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