Alere Inc. (ALR)

ALR 
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Industry: Health Care
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Alere (ALR)

Q1 2013 Earnings Call

May 09, 2013 8:30 am ET

Executives

Doug Guarino - Director of Corporate Communications & Corporate Relations

Ron Zwanziger - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

David A. Teitel - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Vice President and Treasurer

Namal Nawana - Chief Operating Officer

Analysts

Jonathan P. Groberg - Macquarie Research

Gregory J. Simpson - Wunderlich Securities Inc., Research Division

Jeffrey Frelick - Canaccord Genuity, Research Division

Zarak Khurshid - Wedbush Securities Inc., Research Division

Anthony Petrone - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Isaac Ro - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Eric Criscuolo - Mizuho Securities USA Inc., Research Division

Nicholas Jansen - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, and welcome to the Alere Inc. conference call to discuss the first quarter 2013 results. [Operator Instructions] Please note this event is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Doug Guarino. Please go ahead, sir.

Doug Guarino

Thanks, and good morning, and welcome to the Alere conference call to discuss our results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. We are joined today by Ron Zwanziger, Chairman and CEO; Dave Teitel, CFO; and Namal Nawana, COO.

Before we get to that discussion, though, I would first like to draw your attention to the fact that certain matters discussed in this conference call will constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of U.S. securities laws. These statements reflect our current views with respect to future events or financial performance and are based on management's current assumptions and information currently available. Actual results and the timing of certain events could differ materially from those projected or contemplated by the forward-looking statements due to numerous factors, including without limitation, our ability to successfully acquire and integrate our acquisitions and to recognize the expected benefits of restructuring and new business activities, including the benefits of our recent acquisitions of Epocal and certain assets of Liberty; our exposure to changes in interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates; our ability to successfully develop and commercialize products and services; our ability to develop enhanced health information solutions through the integrated use of innovative diagnostic and monitoring devices and to recognize the expected benefits of this strategy; the impact of health care reform legislation; the content and timing of regulatory decisions and actions, including the impact of the FDA warning letter and the OIG subpoena, as well as the impact of changes in reimbursement policy and budgetary constraints, both in the United States and abroad; and the risks and uncertainties described in our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, as well as in our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. Our company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.

Additionally, please note that during this call, we may discuss non-GAAP financial measures. For each non-GAAP financial measure discussed, a presentation of the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure and a reconciliation of the differences between the non-GAAP financial measure discussed and the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure is available on the company's website at alere.com.

With that, let me turn the call over to Alere Chairman and CEO, Ron Zwanziger. Ron?

Ron Zwanziger

Thanks, Doug, and good morning, everyone. We have a lot to cover today. But before we begin our discussion of Alere's first quarter results, I'd like to take a minute to address the Coppersmith's and the members of its Section 13(d) group's recent actions and their interest in the company. I'm sure many of you saw the letter that was issued yesterday, stating an intention to nominate a slate of 3 director candidates to stand for election at Alere's upcoming 2013 annual meeting. Alere's board and management team are committed to creating value for all our shareholders. We've had conversations with the group and we're open to hearing their input. We're focused on delivering the highest quality products and services, completing the integration and rationalization of our businesses and ensuring continued operational excellence throughout the organization. Alere's board and its management team will continue to take action that is in the best interest of all of the company and all its shareholders. We will conduct our regular process in reviewing these director nominees.

As I said, there's much to cover this morning and we're eager to discuss our quarterly results. With that said, the focus of today's conference call is to focus on earnings, and I'm pleased to report another quarter of progress across the organization, both from an operational standpoint as well as in regard to the financial objectives we laid out over the past several quarters.

During the first quarter, we continued to concentrate on improving cardiac Triage yields, and we were very pleased to see consistent improvement beginning to emerge in the second half of March on the cardiac products. This improvement has continued through to the present time and additional progress is expected. It's been approximately 1 year since Triage panel supply began to be constrained and I'd like to thank our customers and employees for persevering through this challenging period. With the improved supply, we expect to resume building the Triage business in the second half of the year not only in the U.S., but also in those regions around the world in which expansion had been curtailed.

To accelerate our previously announced debt reduction plan to an initial target of 4x EBITDA by the end of 2015, during the past few months, we've been engaged in discussions with multiple parties concerning the divestiture of several of our non-core businesses and these multiple discussions are active and ongoing.

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