Mettler-Toledo International, Inc. (MTD)

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Mettler-Toledo International (MTD)

Q3 2012 Earnings Call

November 01, 2012 5:00 pm ET


Mary T. Finnegan - Head of Investor Relations and Treasurer

Olivier A. Filliol - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

William P. Donnelly - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Group Vice President


Ross Muken - ISI Group Inc., Research Division

Daniel Arias - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Jonathan P. Groberg - Macquarie Research

Jon Davis Wood - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Rafael Tejada

Isaac Ro - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Sung Ji Nam - Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., Research Division

Richard C. Eastman - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Tycho W. Peterson - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Bryan Kipp



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to our Third Quarter 2012 Mettler-Toledo International Earnings Conference Call. My name is Mike, and I will be your audio coordinator for today. [Operator Instructions]. I would now like to turn our presentation over to your hostess for today's call, Ms. Mary Finnegan. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Mary T. Finnegan

Thank you, Mike, and good morning, everyone. I am Mary Finnegan, Treasurer and responsible for Investor Relations at Mettler-Toledo, and happy to welcome you to the call. I am joined by Olivier Filliol, our CEO; and Bill Donnelly, our Chief Financial Officer.

I want to cover just a couple of administrative matters. This call is being webcast and is available for replay on our website at A copy of the press release and the presentation that we refer to on today's call is also available on our website.

Let me summarize the Safe Harbor language, which we outlined on Page 1 of the presentation. Statements in this presentation, which are not historical facts, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements. For a discussion of these risks and uncertainties, please see our most recent Form 8-K. All of the forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the factors discussed under the captions Factors Affecting our Future Operating Results and in the Business and Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in our Form 10-K.

Just one last item. On today's call, we may use non-GAAP financial measures. More detailed information with respect to the use of and differences between the non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable GAAP measures is provided in our 8-K.

I will now turn the call over to Olivier.

Olivier A. Filliol

Thank you, Mary. Good evening, and I'm glad you could join us this evening. Before we start, I want to convey my thoughts and best wishes to all of you who may have been impacted by the storm and its aftermath. We hope that you and your families are safe and that you have not suffered too much damage or disruption.

I'm making this call from Tarrytown, New York, while Bill and Mary are in Columbus, Ohio, as the weather prevented us being in the same location as we typically are.

I will start with a summary of the quarter, and then Bill will provide details on our financial results and our updated guidance for 2012 and initial 2013 guidance. I will then provide an update on some of our growth initiatives, particularly those tailored to this more challenging market environment. As always, we will have time for Q&A at the end.

The highlights for the quarter are on Page 2 of the presentation. Local currency sales increased 1% in the quarter. We experienced slowing growth in customer demand throughout the world, particularly in Europe. As a reminder, we had excellent growth in Q3 2011, as local currency organic sales were up 14%. One of ours strongest organic sales growth quarters ever.

Although the macro environment is challenging, we had very good execution in our margin improvement and cost control initiatives, which drove a strong 19% increase in EPS in the quarter. I'm very pleased with the earnings growth we generated and the progress we have made on our strategic initiatives.

There's a great deal of uncertainty in the global economy today. We expect conditions to remain challenging for the rest of this year and into the first half of next year. This is particularly true for Europe. However, with the benefit of the cost control actions and our margin initiatives, we expect to have solid EPS growth in the fourth quarter and in 2013.

Bill will provide you with some additional details on guidance, so let me turn it over to him to cover our financial results first.

William P. Donnelly

Thanks, Olivier, and hello, everybody. Let me start with additional details on sales, which were $578.6 million in the quarter, an increase of 1% in local currency. On a U.S. dollar basis, sales declined 4% in the quarter, which included a negative 5% impact due to currency.

Turning to Page 3 of the presentation, we outline sales by geography. In the quarter, local currency sales increased 1% in the Americas, 7% in Asia/Rest of World. Sales declined by 5% in Europe.

The next slide provides year-to-date sales. On a year-to-date basis, sales increased 4% in the Americas, 12% in Asia/Rest of World, while sales declined 2% in Europe for the period. Acquisitions contributed approximately 1% to sales growth in Europe during the first 9 months.

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