Whitewave Foods Company (The) (WWAV)

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The WhiteWave Foods Company (WWAV)

Q4 2012 Results Earnings Call

February 13, 2013 9:00 AM ET


Dave Oldani - Vice President, Treasurer and IR

Gregg Engles - Chairman and CEO

Kelly Haecker - Chief Financial Officer

Blaine McPeak - President, WhiteWave’s North America Segment


Bill Chappell - SunTrust

Ken Goldman - J.P. Morgan

Mike Luddy - Goldman Sachs

Ryan Oksenhendler - Bank of America

Farha Aslam - Stephens Incorporated

Chris Growe - Stifel

John Baumgartner - Wells Fargo

Alexia Howard - Sanford Bernstein

Matthew Grainger - Morgan Stanley

Michael Steib - Credit Suisse



Good morning. And welcome to The WhiteWave Foods Company Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Earnings Conference Call. Please note that today’s call is being recorded and is also being broadcast live over the Internet on The WhiteWave Foods’ corporate website.

This broadcast is the property of The WhiteWave Foods Company. Any redistribution, retransmission or rebroadcast of this call in any form without the express written consent of the company is strictly prohibited.

I would now like to turn the call over to Dave Oldani, Vice President, Treasurer and Investor Relations for The WhiteWave Foods Company. Go ahead Mr. Oldani.

Dave Oldani

Thank you, Jenny, and good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us on our fourth quarter and full year 2012 earnings conference call. This morning we issued our earnings press release, which is available on our website at thewhitewavefoodscompany.com and also as -- furnished as an exhibit to a Form 8-K, which is available on the Securities and Exchange Commissions website at sec.gov.

Also available during this call, on The WhiteWave Foods Company website is a slide presentation which accompanies today’s prepared remarks. A replay of today’s call, along with the slide presentation, will be available on our website beginning this afternoon.

We would also like to advise you that our forward looking statements made on today’s call are intended to fall with the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

These statements will include, among others, disclosure of our earnings targets, expectations regarding branding initiatives, innovation and research and development plans, growth plans, Dean Foods’ intention to spin-off a portion of its remaining interest in us and various other aspects of our business.

These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from the statements made on today’s conference call. Information concerning those risks is contained in the company’s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 30, 2012.

We also want to remind you that the information discussed on today’s call and in the accompanying slide presentation is presented on a pro forma adjusted basis as if the company had operated as an independent and standalone enterprise in all periods presented, which is the same basis as what’s presented in our third quarter earnings presentation.

These adjustments relate to commercial arrangements we entered into in connection with the separation of our business from Dean Foods businesses, the termination of an intellectual property license with Dean Foods subsidiary and estimated costs associated with operating as a standalone public company.

Our earnings release and a reconciliation posted on our website contains further details of these adjustments. Along with reconciliations between our GAAP results and the results we present on a pro forma adjusted basis.

Additionally, the release provides the reconciliation between the fourth quarter WhiteWave-Alpro segment result as reported by Dean Foods today and The WhiteWave Foods Company results prepared on a standalone basis.

Participating with me in the prepared section of today’s call are Gregg Engles, our Chairman and CEO; and Kelly Haecker, our Chief Financial Officer. Also available to participate in the Q&A portion of the call is Blaine McPeak, President of WhiteWave’s North America Segment.

Gregg will first provide a review of our results and overall business performance, following Gregg, Kelly will offer additional perspective on our operating results and comment on our forward outlook before turning the call back to Gregg for closing remarks. We will then open the call for your questions.

With that, I will turn the call over to Gregg. Gregg?

Gregg Engles

Thanks, Dave, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us on the call. 2012 was an exciting year for us at WhiteWave. We delivered strong financial results, enjoyed robust category growth driven by our leading brands, continued ramping up production at our new Dallas facility and completed our initial public offering in late October.

We have an exciting journey ahead of us and plan to build on our continued success in 2013 and beyond. We achieved strong top and bottom line growth in 2012 capped by solid Q4 results.

We enjoyed a good balance of growth in our core brands, complemented by innovation in new product development. We delivered volume growth in all of our product categories in Q4, driven by leading brands which are aligned with consumers growing preferences for products that are nutritious, flavorful, convenient and responsibly produced.

We entered 2013 with good momentum and clear strategic priorities focused on continued growth. In a moment, I will take you through our segment results and the trends that drove our performance in Q4 and the full year. But first, I would like to update you on the status of our pending separation from Dean Foods.

Dean Foods announced this morning that it has received a private letter ruling from the IRS providing subject to certain conditions that the planned spin-off of The WhiteWave Foods Company will be tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

As a result, Dean has advised us that after its lockup period expires on April 23rd, it intends to distribute at least $115.6 million of The WhiteWave shares that currently holds to its shareholders. Dean expects this spin-off to occur in late may.

Dean has stated that it will retain up to 34.4 million WhiteWave shares, which should intends to monetize or distribute in a tax-free manner in the future. We continue to develop the functions and capabilities necessary for us to operate as a standalone company and look forward to the planned separation from Dean Foods in May.

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