Seeking Alpha
We cover over 5K calls/quarter
Profile| Send Message| ()  

Executives

Blaise Derrico - Director of IR

Vince Volpe - President and CEO

Mark Baldwin - EVP and CFO

Analysts

James West - Barclays Capital

Kevin Pollard - JPMorgan

Robin Shoemaker - Citigroup

Jeff Spittel - Natixis Bleichroeder

Joe Gibney - Capital One Southcoast

Jeff Allen - Silvercrest

Dresser-Rand Group Inc. (DRC) Q3 2008 Earnings Call October 31, 2008 8:30 AM ET

Operator

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Dresser-Rand third quarter 2008 earnings conference call. My name is Tina and I will be your coordinator for today's call. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. We will be facilitating a question-and-answer session towards the end of this conference call. (Operator Instructions). As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded for replay purposes.

After Dresser-Rand's comments today, I will instruct you on procedures for asking your questions. I will now turn the conference over to Blaise Derrico, Director of Investor Relations. Please proceed, sir.

Blaise Derrico

Tina, thank you and good morning to everyone on the line. This call is open to the public and is being webcast simultaneously at www.dresser-rand.com and will be temporarily archived for replay. A copy of the news release we issued yesterday is available on our website as are the slides we will use today during our presentation. We will let you know when to advance the slides as we deliver our prepared remarks.

Please turn to slide number two. The statements made during this conference call that are not historical facts maybe forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements.

In addition, this conference call contains time-sensitive information that reflects management's best judgment only as of the date of the live call. Dresser-Rand does not undertake any ongoing obligation other than that imposed by law to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect future events information or circumstances that arise after this call. Further information concerning issues that could materially affect forward-looking statements including our financial performance can be found in Dresser-Rand's periodic filings with the SEC.

Now, I'll turn the call over to Vince Volpe, President and CEO.

Vince Volpe

Thank you, Blaise. And thank you for joining us today and welcome to Dresser-Rand's earnings conference call. With me today are Mark Baldwin, our Chief Financial Officer, and Blaise Derrico, Director of Investor Relations.

Today I'll start with a few opening comments and Mark will follow me with a detailed discussion of our third quarter results.

Please turn to slide three. We're very pleased with our strong third quarter performance. Net income for the third quarter was $46.8 million, or $0.57 per share. Sales of $544 million increased 40% compared to the corresponding period last year.

Bookings were 48% higher than last year's third quarter. Our backlog grew 36% compared to September 30, 2007, to a record level of approximately $2.4 billion. Operating income was $82.8 million, which was near the top of our guidance range.

We completed the $150 million share repurchase program and we made three acquisitions: Peter Brotherhood, Arrow Industries and Enginuity. We're also pleased to report on a couple of other positive developments that we announced earlier this month.

Next slide please. First, we received an order in September from Kanfa Aragon to supply compression equipment for the world's first floating liquefaction plant designed for operation offshore Nigeria. The award is for approximately $55 million.

The floating LNG unit will have a liquefaction capacity of approximately 1.7 million tons per year. The owner/operator is Flex LNG. Samsung Heavy Industries is the EPC contractor and Kanfa Aragon a Sevan Marine subsidiary is the Engineering & Procurement contractor for the topsides facilities.

Over the past three years, we've identified LNG liquefaction as a strategic growth opportunity for the coming five to 10-year period. While many of the land-based projects continue to experience delays in permitting and partner funding, it now appears that the offshore floating projects present a real and present opportunity.

Dresser-Rand was chosen on the basis of our compressor technology and our gas turbine compressor packaging concepts, which are drivers for minimizing total project risk as well as maximizing the production of LNG.

Floating liquefaction units provide an economic means to develop stranded gas reserves to help meet the world's growing demand for natural gas. While the conventional land-based LNG projects focus on an estimated 70 to 80 fields with gas reserves greater than 5 trillion cubic feet, there are more than 1,400 small to medium-sized fields with reserves less than 5 trillion cubic feet.

This provides a target market of approximately 150 trillion cubic feet, which can be developed using floating LNG technology.

Next slide please. Second, we booked an order in September of approximately $75 million for the power generation equipment to be supplied on an FPSO to be located offshore Angola. This will be the first of at least four identical contracts over the next four years as part of BP Angola's development program.

We believe, therefore, this represents a $300 million revenue opportunity. The order is further evidence of our leading role in the growing FPSO market. The significance of this order is that it will directly lead to add-on business opportunities in the following three identical projects over the next several years. Industry sources have estimated there over 100 FPSO projects planned over the next five years.

Many of those projects were earmarked for Asia, West Africa and Latin America, and we continue to believe that this will remain a strong segment of the upstream market over the short and mid-term.

Next slide please. Total bookings for the last 12 months were approximately $2.4 billion or 14% higher than the same period a year ago and 43% higher than two years ago. Approximately 41% of our bookings in the last year were for downstream applications including three refinery-related projects booked in the third quarter amounting to approximately $63 million.

The three orders were a $40 million order for reciprocating compressors and hot gas expanders for India's Essar Oil Refinery; a $15 million order for turbo compressors for clean fuels project located in Kansas and an $8 million order for reciprocating compressors for a refinery in Texas.

In October, we received an $18 million award from Hellenic Petroleum to supply hydrogen makeup gas reciprocating compressors for the Eleusis Refinery in Greece. These refinery orders are further evidence that this important end market is still active with most of the activity moving outside the U.S.

New Unit bookings totaled approximately $1.4 billion, which is an increase of 5% compared to the 12 months ended September 30th 2007. Aftermarket bookings were especially strong and totaled more than $1 billion or an increase of 27% compared to the 12 months ended September 30th 2007.

In 2007 as you'll recall Aftermarket bookings have been temporarily impacted by changes in the procurement process and a delay in budget appropriations for certain national oil company clients.

Turn to the next slide please. Our backlog at the end of September was at a record level of nearly $2.4 billion, which includes about $200 million of backlog added from our three third quarter acquisitions. The backlog is 36% higher than the year earlier period and 102% higher than two years ago. Breaking it down into the two business segments New Unit backlog of $2 billion is up 35% versus a year ago and Aftermarket backlog is up about 43% to $420 million.

Our strong backlog gives us very good momentum going into the fourth quarter and next year. I will have more to say about our outlook in a moment. But first I will turn the call over to Mark for some more details about our third quarter financial results.

Mark Baldwin

Thank you, Vince and good morning to everyone. Please turn to slide eight. Sales for the third quarter of 2008 of $544 million were about 40% higher than the third quarter of 2007. New Unit sales of $307 million were 58% higher in the third quarter of 2007 and Aftermarket sales of $237 million were 22% higher than the previous period.

Turn to the next slide please. As Vince mentioned we reported net income for the third quarter of $46.8 million or $0.57 per diluted common share. This compares to $21.3 million or $0.25 per diluted share for the corresponding period in 2007.

We are showing on this slide the impact of several unusual items from both periods. In this year's third quarter, there were two items which affected results, an accident involving a helium test at our Painted Post facility in New York State and the impacts from hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

The accident that occurred at the Painted Post facility resulted in injuries to two of our employees. One of the employees returned to work a week after the incident and the other is recovering well and is expected to be released from the hospital next week and return home.

The incident also resulted in damage to a portion of the cylinder test area of the plant. The Painted Post operation has resumed cylinder testing and has returned to pre-accident production levels.

Hurricanes Ike and Gustav adversely affected several of our service operations caused minor damage to the repair center in Houston and caused delays in our supply chain in the Gulf Coast region. As a result of these delays certain orders have been rescheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter.

After adjusting for these unusual items, adjusted non-GAAP net income was up approximately 49% to approximately $50.1 million or $0.61 per diluted share. This compares to $33.6 million for the corresponding period in 2007 and adjusted for the impact of the work stoppage at Painted Post.

Turn to slide to 10 please. Operating income for the third quarter 2008 was $82.8 million including the impacts of the accident at Painted Post and the Hurricanes, which we estimate reduced operating income by about $5 million.

As you can see on this slide, if you were to adjust our operating income for the impacts of the Painted Post accident and the Hurricanes, adjusted non-GAAP operating income would have been approximately $87.8 million compared to $56.4 million for the corresponding period in 2007, after adjusting for the impact of the work stoppage at Painted Post.

Turn to slide 11 please. Again if you were to adjust for the impacts of the Painted Post accident and Hurricanes, the adjusted non-GAAP operating margin of 16.1% compares to 14.5% for the corresponding period in 2007 adjusted for the Painted Post work stoppage.

This 160 basis point improvement was principally due to higher revenues despite lower margin New Units representing a higher portion of total revenues in 2008 compared to the corresponding period in 2007. New Unit revenues increased to slightly more than 56% of total revenues compared to 50% in 2007.

Next slide, please. Our New Unit operating margins increased nearly 610 points from 6.2% to 12.3%. The increase in operating margin was principally attributable to higher revenues and the resolution of the work stoppage at the Painted Post facility which we estimate would reduce 2007 margins by approximately 300 to 350 basis points.

Next slide please. Our aftermarket operating margins increased 480 basis points from 22.1% to 26.9%. The increase in the segment's operating margin was primarily attributable to higher revenues and the resolution of the work stoppage at the Painted Post facility which we estimate reduced 2007 margins by approximately 400 to 450 basis points.

Turn to slide 14 please. At the end of the third quarter, our liquidity was approximately $327 million and consisted of about $103 million of cash and $224 million of available borrowings under our bank credit arrangements.

Next slide please. Net cash provided by operating activities for the first nine months of the year was about $167 million. This compares to $188 million for the first nine months of 2007. The decrease of approximately $21 million was principally from changes in working capital, partially offset by higher operating earnings.

Working capital changes provided less cash in the first nine months of 2008, compared to the corresponding period in 2007. The difference of approximately $57 million resulted from these key working capital changes.

Accounts receivable provided cash of approximately $19 million in the first month of 2008 compared to $77 million in the first nine months of 2007. Inventories net of progress payments grew slightly more than $50 million in both periods reflecting continued growth in our business.

Customer advances increased approximately $44 million in the current nine-month period, compared to an increase of approximately $72 million in the first nine months of 2007.

Turn to slide 16 please. We continue to do a very good job of managing our working capital which on a net basis has been negative to slightly positive at the end of each of the past seven quarters. While we anticipate maintaining a relatively modest investment in net working capital, quarterly fluctuations in our business may at some point drive us back towards the 5% of sales threshold into future depending upon the growth and timing of new unit bookings and payment behavior of our clients.

Next slide please. In terms of investing activities, we used approximately $117 million of cash in the first nine months of 2008; $28 million for capital expenditures, and about $90 million for our three acquisitions; Peter Brotherhood, Arrow Industries, and Enginuity. This compares to investing activities which used cash of only $18 million in the first nine months of 2007.

As previously reported, we expect that the three recent acquisitions will be neutral to earnings in the first year and accretive thereafter. As to financing activities, we used $150 million to repurchase our common stock.

Turn to slide 18 please. We ended the third quarter with a relatively strong balance sheet. Net debt to capital ratio is approximately 24% and net debt to our last 12 months adjusted EBITDA was a very comfortable level of less than 1 times. For more information about our results for the third quarter, please refer to our 10-Q which we filed last night with the SEC.

With that, I will now turn the call back to Vince for some closing comments and to moderate our Q&A session.

Vince Volpe

Thank you, Mark. Turn to slide number 19 please. I will wrap-up our prepared remarks with a few comments about our business outlook. We presently reiterate guidance to a strong finish to 2008 with full year operating income in the range of $300 million to $315 million. This implies fourth quarter 2008 operating income is expected to be in the range of $95 million to $110 million. Additionally, we are currently estimating that interest expense in the quarter will be in the range of $7 million to $8 million and the effective tax rate will be approximately 35%.

Turn to the next slide please. Our view of 2009 is optimistic. We have conducted a review of a cross-section of key integrated oil company clients and have been advised that the present commodity prices and credit situation have not significantly affected the majority of planned CapEx budgets. On this basis and the fact that we have $1.2 billion of new unit orders already in backlog that are scheduled to ship in 2009, we expect continued strength in demand for our new units resulting in a 3% to 7% increase in revenues despite unfavorable translation from the strengthened dollar.

We also expect continued expansion in our margins similar to 2008 on a full year basis due to continued price expansion and our focus on material and labor productivity. As a point of reference, our new unit margin for the full year 2007 adjusted for the impact of the strike at Painted Post was approximately 9% and we have said that we expect new unit margin for 2008 to cross into low double digits.

Turn to the next slide please. As you are aware, most of the 2009 aftermarket revenues will come from orders booked and shipped next year due to the short cycle time and high number of transactions in this segment. On this basis and in the absence of any significant macroeconomic or geopolitical events, we modeled bookings and sales on a statistical basis over a multiyear continuum.

Given the extraordinary growth in aftermarket revenues of approximately 14% year-over-year from 2007 to 2008, we expect more modest growth between 3% and 7% from 2008 to 2009 with margins holding steady in the 26% to 28% range. This would represent approximately 10% compounded annual revenue growth from 2001, when we started to truly focus on growth in the segment.

Turn to the next slide please. In summary, we expect a strong 2009. On this chart, we've provided two views of next year. The first column assumes our current estimate of the average 2008 dollar/euro exchange rate continues.

While this is not likely the case, it serves us good reference and demonstrates the ongoing strength of our markets and the business performance with revenues up 10% to 15% and operating income up 15% to 25%.

Column two expresses the same actual volumes, but translates the non-U.S. based results at a dollar/euro exchange rate of 1.25 per euro, which was the exchange rate a few days ago. In this case, we show revenue growth in the range of 3% to 7% and operating income growth of 7% to 16%. This is also the exchange rate used when we provided our guidance by segment.

For modeling purposes, we also provide the following assumptions for next year. Interest expense is expected to be approximately $30 million. We're now estimating our effective tax rate for 2009 to be approximately 35%.

Diluted shares outstanding are expected to be approximately $83 million and we also provide a sensitivity analysis to quantify the translation impact of currency movements. While we conduct business in a multitude of currencies, we have chosen the dollar/euro rate as a reasonable proxy for our sensitivity analysis because the euro represents the largest single component of our international business.

For every 1% change in the dollar, we currently estimate our revenues in 2009 will change by about $12 million and operating income by about $1.8 million.

Thank you for your attention. At this point, we'll open the line for questions. Operator, please begin the Q&A session. Thank you.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator Instructions). We will now take our first question from James West with Barclays Capital.

James West - Barclays Capital

Good morning, guys.

Vince Volpe

Good morning, James.

James West - Barclays Capital

Vince, clearly, the order rate for the third quarter was strong. It sounds like talking with your customers that their '09 budgets are for the most part intact. But, I guess, my question would be in the last call, one to two months orders, I guess, has there been any kind of delays in orders? Are people pushing back programs a little bit to see how the economic situation shakes up, or are people generally going forward, I guess projects that would have gone forward in October did they go awarded?

Vince Volpe

Yeah, projects that were going to be awarded in October other than what should normally get changed in a period of high supply is you don't have enough people to get things done exactly when you want. So there is a normal process of orders just kind of slipping a month or two. And so that's about what we saw in the quarter now.

To be a little more direct in answering your question, we've talked to a lot of our customers. We have all of these alliance clients and one of the good things about that is, they will talk to you at a different level and kind of tell you what they're thinking.

So, what we got from the preponderance of the majors and some of the national oil company clients were basically they are going to proceed now. There are some areas where the economics were somewhat marginal. And by the way, I don't believe its economic crisis-driven okay? I think its commodity price-driven in their case.

They've all got pretty strong balance sheets, so they've got plenty of cash, okay? But I think that based on some of the commodity price shifts, we have got most of the majors saying they are still going to proceed.

Now, there is an oil refinery here or a tar sands project there that are going to be pushed back, but whole scale slowdown or stoppage, we just don't see at this juncture in time. And that's why we continue to predict. We know we are going to have a good strong revenue year because the new unit stuff is already in the backlog.

And then, as far as our ongoing order rate, while we don't forecast our bookings for next year I think we feel that the demand is going to continue to be strong.

James West - Barclays Capital

Okay. And do you see the shifts? The order rate, I guess, shifting more towards the upstream? Or do you think that the midstream downstream continues where it is?

Vince Volpe

Well, we saw a slowdown in the downstream this year a little bit, but there are still orders out there. We certainly saw a slowdown in the U.S. Refining, which is pretty much a proxy for the downstream in our parlance has moved offshore. So there is activity offshore. We reported on some of those bookings here.

We think there is some major projects that will continue to go forward offshore. Maybe a couple of them will slowdown, but I don't think that we think that this is going to present a significant shift in terms of the mix. The upstream, we believe will continue to be strong and particularly around oil production FPSO activity and so forth.

James West - Barclays Capital

Okay. Then just one follow-up for me on the FPSO side with the Block 31 award. Is it normal for the power generation package to be separate from the compression package? And then if that is the case with this award, do you also have a shot at the compression?

Vince Volpe

It varies, James. It really depends on the drivers a lot of times. They want, depending on the power rating, the driver. So it's about 50/50 that they get split or they all go together or something like that. There's no hard and fast rule.

In this case, compression and power generation, I think were let about the same time, so we did not succeed on the compressor side. I think we might have gotten the better end of this deal though in terms of the overall volume of the orders. But compression went to one of our competitors.

James West - Barclays Capital

Okay. Great. Thanks, Vince.

Vince Volpe

Thank you, James.

Operator

And we'll take our next question from Kevin Pollard with JPMorgan.

Kevin Pollard - JPMorgan

Thanks. Good morning.

Vince Volpe

Good morning, Kevin.

Kevin Pollard - JPMorgan

Vince, I wanted to follow-up on your answer to James' question about the outlook for bookings next year. I know revenue is largely backlog, but is it your expectation based on your recent conversations with your customers that bookings would actually be up in 2009? Or is there a chance they could start to drop off?

Vince Volpe

We think bookings are going to continue to be strong, Kevin. We haven't really given guidance about up, down, or flat, but I would say I don't think they're going to be down.

Kevin Pollard - JPMorgan

Okay. Fair enough. And just as kind of a quick housekeeping question, as I recall you guys were planning on shipping the large BP Skarv project in the fourth quarter, which I think was like $150 million of revenue. Is that still on track?

Vince Volpe

Yes, it is.

Kevin Pollard - JPMorgan

Okay. So we should see a pretty sizable pickup in revenue in the fourth quarter on the new unit side?

Vince Volpe

We're going to see good. That's right. And I think we've told you what we're expecting from an operating income side. So yeah, we are expecting a big fourth quarter.

Kevin Pollard - JPMorgan

Okay. And then if I could shift over to the balance sheet. You've completed the buyback that you put in pretty sizable. Balance sheet still in great shape and you're generating a lot of cash. So what are your thoughts on additional share repurchases versus building a cash hoard et cetera? If you could maybe talk about that for a second.

Mark Baldwin

Kevin, I'll take that one. You're right. We do generate very good cash flow and as you can see from the third quarter, we believe both bolt-on acquisitions and our shareholder buyback does provide good value for our shareholders.

We do have a short-term acquisition pipeline that we're looking at. And as we go forward, balance that short-term acquisition pipeline with looking at shareholder buybacks coupled with our need for letters of credit working capital for (inaudible) to support the growth we continue to see in our business.

So, we'll look at all of those and coupled with our cash flow and make those decisions as we go forward.

Kevin Pollard - JPMorgan

Has the appetite for share repurchases decreased any given obviously, turmoil in the credit markets and premium on liquidity?

Vince Volpe

Well, if we like the shares at $35 and a good outlook for '09 that we have presented here today we'd like our shares at $22 even better.

Kevin Pollard - JPMorgan

Sure. Okay, all right, thanks a lot guys.

Vince Volpe

Okay.

Operator

And we'll take our next question from Robin Shoemaker with Citigroup.

Robin Shoemaker - Citigroup

Thank you. Good morning.

Vince Volpe

Good morning, Robin.

Robin Shoemaker - Citigroup

Yeah. Vince in terms of the after-market projection or outlook for 2009, since this is a short cycle business, is that the area where you expect to see, where you clearly showed a little bit slower growth there, where the economic impact is most visible?

Vince Volpe

No Robin. First of all remember that the forecast that we provided recognizes a significantly stronger dollar in terms of those two segments. And so that has not an insignificant impact because more than half of our aftermarket revenues are destined for outside the United States, okay. So that's part of it.

The other part is we model this statistically. Here we sit in October and so what we are doing is modeling, we model statistically. We feel like we're still on a 10% compounded annual growth rate if you look over the continuum.

So if you think about for instance in 2007, we had a slowdown because some of these national oil companies had a process change and there was budget constraints, we saw a terrific pickup this year, which kind of made up for that and then some.

And so all we're doing at this juncture in time Robin is projecting forward the 10% compounded annual growth rate because we feel, we are still over the continuum on that track. If you do a point-to-point measurement between 2001 and 2009 not mysteriously you are going to find exactly a 10% CAGR okay because we believe that the strength of our markets has neither increased nor decreased, as we look at this over the continuum.

So, we are just playing the statistics game right now. Clearly we don't know what our revenues are going to be in 2009 because the cycle time is so short that we are going to have to book and ship most of that stuff next year.

So I think you just don't read anything in that one way or another other than continued strength in the aftermarket somewhat dampened by a stronger exchange rate. But again if you go back three or four years ago the dollar was in a different place. And so looking at this over the continuum pretty much factors in swings in the dollar/euro exchange. And so that's why we feel like that is really the right number to project at this point. But I wouldn't read too much into it. Everything is still strong in this business.

Robin Shoemaker - Citigroup

Okay thank you. Let me ask you, a few other companies just broadly in the oilfield equipment business have indicated, who have are presently manufacturing and their backlogs have indicated.

A few instances, where customers who have placed orders have come back to them and said maybe we don't need that or what would be the process by which we cancel that order, very modest sort of signs of that?

Have you had anything like that and could you just bring us up to date on how far ahead on the cash receipts are you on new unit orders, so that if something was canceled, are you ahead from a cash standpoint even or a little behind?

Vince Volpe

Well. Let me start with the first part of the question, first Robin. It is very rare that people cancel orders. They happen occasionally. But in my 28 years significant cancellations or anything I can even remember it probably count on two hands okay.

And the reason is because by the time they get to us they have got a firm approved project and they understand that when they make a commitment this is not something, when we start building this piece of kit for them we can't use it anywhere else everything we build is designed especially for that order.

So they are very careful about placing orders to begin with. That being said our policy is cash flow neutral at worst usually cash flow positive that's what we strive for. And so, in the event of cancellation, we would not be hanging out so to speak with a bunch of uncovered inventory costs.

Robin Shoemaker - Citigroup

Right, okay.

Vince Volpe

So we are protected.

Robin Shoemaker - Citigroup

Okay. All right. Thank you. Just one final thing in your forecast for '09 was there any assumption there about your compressed air energy storage opportunities that are reflected in that?

Vince Volpe

Well. Yeah. I'm glad you brought it up in fact. We continue to believe that this is a real opportunity. We don't think its years plural away which is what I said before. So something we think is going to happen.

But that would not impact the revenue line at all Robin because the cycle time to build that equipment is in some cases up to a couple of years depending on what kind of testing and everything else they want.

And we are on a completed contract method here. So in terms of recognizing revenues it will be a couple of years before you will see the revenue. You will see the bookings when we get it. We will certainly announce it. But it's not baked in at all to the '09 sales forecast.

Robin Shoemaker - Citigroup

Okay. Thank you.

Vince Volpe

Thank you.

Operator

And our next question will come from Jeff Spittel with Natixis Bleichroeder.

Jeff Spittel - Natixis Bleichroeder

Thanks. Good morning guys.

Vince Volpe

Good morning, Jeff.

Jeff Spittel - Natixis Bleichroeder

First question with regard to the aftermarket business you've got a nice $0.5 billion backlog roughly. Could you talk about the visibility in that business and I guess the economic sensitivity or lack thereof relative to new units?

Vince Volpe

Okay. Their economic sensitivity is lack thereof on units. There really is no relationship. So, that's a simple answer there. In terms of the backlog I think, we feel like we sort of turn it on average the whole thing three to four times a year, okay.

So when we look at 2009 and what we're going to actually have in backlog going into 2009, it's not a very big number. It's maybe a third of what we are going to do that full year kind of thing. So, most of it is still going to be book and ship once we get to the beginning of the year.

Jeff Spittel - Natixis Bleichroeder

Okay. Switching gears to raw materials can you talk a little bit about now that you have some cost abatement there how quickly that flows through and I guess whether you purchase things forward et cetera?

Vince Volpe

That's a great question. First of all on the direct materials Jeff, so the things that are going to be embedded in our products that we ship next year on the new unit side all the big stuff is already committed. That's the way we function right. We get a cost estimate from our supply chain. We make a bid. We get an order. Our bid is valid. Our supplier’s bid is valid and we go ahead and give them an order on that basis.

So that's sort of a hedge against movement in either direction in the direct cost space. So for '09 revenues, the die is fundamentally cast which is why we're able to give you projections on whether we think margins are going to go up or down on the new unit side of the business.

In the aftermarket on the parts side of the business there's a little bit of opportunity because you are buying commodities on a more frequent basis and not in batch supplies. But you're negotiating sort of day-to-day. And so, we have an opportunity there. And then we have an opportunity in the indirect side. But those are not really material. So for instance, if utility costs come down that would not be insignificant for us that would be helpful.

So, I think the bottom line is in terms of commodity price reduction or cost reduction if you will, that probably won't show up in any meaningful way until 2010 in 2010 invoices.

Jeff Spittel - Natixis Bleichroeder

Okay great. Thanks very much.

Vince Volpe

Thank you.

Operator

And our next question comes from Joe Gibney with Capital One Southcoast.

Joe Gibney - Capital One Southcoast

Good morning everybody.

Vince Volpe

Good morning, Joe.

Joe Gibney - Capital One Southcoast

I just wanted to follow-up on the hurricane impact relative to your 4Q. Obviously, you're looking for a strong quarter as we move into 4Q, but any lingering supply chain issues here in the Gulf Coast that you guys are foreseeing or essentially in the rearview mirror at this point?

Vince Volpe

No, it's in the rearview mirror. So, it's behind us.

Joe Gibney - Capital One Southcoast

Okay. And then just kind of recalibrating on fourth quarter here following up on BP Skarv coming through, you guys are expecting a good quarter. In your release here you detailed 64% of the backlog shipping in '09 and beyond. The implication 36% of it shipping in the fourth quarter, is that accurate?

Mark Baldwin

Yes.

Joe Gibney - Capital One Southcoast

Okay. That's helpful and just one update on Olean. I am just curious how the testing facility is progressing there.

Vince Volpe

It's progressing well. We actually started the testing. You're talking about the separator tests we are doing, right?

Joe Gibney - Capital One Southcoast

Yes.

Vince Volpe

Yeah. Everything is going fine I guess. We've started the testing program. It's a multi-stepped testing process. We need to mechanically test the compression side, performance test the compression side and then do the actual liquid test on the compressor/separator. And so we talked about that taking place in Q4 and that's still very much on target.

Joe Gibney - Capital One Southcoast

Okay, that's helpful. And Mark just one for you and I apologize if I missed it, but CapEx into next year, what kind of bandwidth are you looking at in terms of historical like percent of sales as you guys typically do it?

Mark Baldwin

We will give that guidance in February. We at this point in time have done a pretty thorough income statement plan and we will finalize our capital plans over the next two months. So, Joe, we will update that. But in terms of broad, broad brush terms 1.5% to 2% is a good proxy for right now.

Joe Gibney - Capital One Southcoast

Okay. Sounds good, I appreciate it guys. Good quarter. I'll turn it back.

Mark Baldwin

Thank you.

Operator

(Operator Instructions). Our next question comes from Jeff Allen with Silvercrest.

Jeff Allen - Silvercrest

Hi, good morning.

Vince Volpe

Good morning, Jeff.

Jeff Allen - Silvercrest

Just sort of a basic question. Could you please remind us on a typical new order if there is anything that can be called typical? How long does it spend in the backlog typically and then once it's shipped, how long from the point when it's put in service do you typically start getting a stream of aftermarket revenues? And then how does that stream of aftermarket revenues compared to the original purchase price?

Vince Volpe

Well, it's normally 14 to 16 months from the time that we get an order until the time that we ship and when we ship it is fundamentally when we recognize revenue; title transfers, our risk of loss transfers and so we recognize revenue at that time.

Normally, there is an initial set of spare parts that go with the unit which are commissioning spares. Sometimes your two-year spares are included also, sometimes they're not.

And so from the time it starts, it may then take a year before they turn the machine on, right? Because it's being integrated into something else; a platform, an FPSO, a refinery or whatever and then about a year after your shipping may start up and then normally depending on the process and the service within about three years is nominally when the first overhaul takes place and that's when you expect a significant lot of spare parts and field service opportunities to present themselves.

The last part of your question I'm not sure I covered it. I guess what I would say to you though is that it sounds from your question that you're thinking about a piece of new unit ships and then what's going to happen later on. But I think what I need to just say at this point Jeff is we have 95,000 or so units out there running.

We may ship 500 to 1000 a year depending on size and shape. And so the aftermarket revenue that comes from that incremental unit sale is fundamentally dwarfed by what we already have out there in the field because our company is really 13 or 14 different companies that are all operated independently between 70 and 120 years.

So, there's a huge amount of installed equipment out there, and so we do not look at, we dissociate new unit sales to follow on aftermarket. We're able to model it, okay? We understand every time we build a new unit what we think the net present value of the aftermarket will be for that specific sale. But when we talk about forecasting and trends, we really look at the two streams of revenue in a very dissociated fashion. We look at the new units and then we look at this huge 95,000 strong installed base and we don't try and figure out what the impacts of those latest shipments are because it's just white noise compared to the size of the rest of it.

Jeff Allen - Silvercrest

Right. If you are sort of anticipating my real question with your response there, so I guess what I'm getting at is that you've had a big pretty nice surge in orders over the past couple of years and so that will eventually lead to aftermarket revenues.

Vince Volpe

Definitely, definitely.

Jeff Allen - Silvercrest

So, a couple years down the road, should we expect a significant boost in aftermarket revenues or is it enough to move the needle?

Vince Volpe

Well, I think so many different things go on inside of that installed base. People move back overhauls. People have unscheduled breakdowns somewhere else so they decide to overhaul the equipment sooner rather than later. So, there's a lot of different things going on but we just can't, I think your base assumption is right. Over the next several years with the amount of equipment that we've been putting out here, it is going to start to add up.

On a year-over-year basis, as I said it may not make that big of a difference, but when you take a step back five to ten years from now, you're going to look at this thing and say, hey, we are going to see the needle move a little bit now. It's not going to move, this isn't going to move the needle in the aftermarket 10%. Okay?

It may move it a couple of percent. We are going to continue though with our new growth platform in the aftermarket, new product development, acquisitions that have a nice aftermarket component to them which is what we've been doing this year. So those are the types of things where we create demand and we build the aftermarket opportunity through acquisition and introduce new technology. Those are the types of things that we believe are going to keep us on that at least 10% compounded annual growth rate.

Jeff Allen - Silvercrest

Thank you.

Vince Volpe

Thank you.

Operator

At this time we have no more questions. This concludes our question and answer session. I would like to turn the conference back over to Blaise Derrico for any additional or closing comments.

Blaise Derrico

Thank you, Tina and thank you everyone that joined the call. If you have questions, please call me. My number can be found at the bottom of our earnings news release that we issued last evening. Have a great day.

Operator

This concludes today's conference. We thank you for your participation. Have a nice day.

Copyright policy: All transcripts on this site are the copyright of Seeking Alpha. However, we view them as an important resource for bloggers and journalists, and are excited to contribute to the democratization of financial information on the Internet. (Until now investors have had to pay thousands of dollars in subscription fees for transcripts.) So our reproduction policy is as follows: You may quote up to 400 words of any transcript on the condition that you attribute the transcript to Seeking Alpha and either link to the original transcript or to www.SeekingAlpha.com. All other use is prohibited.

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HERE IS A TEXTUAL REPRESENTATION OF THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S CONFERENCE CALL, CONFERENCE PRESENTATION OR OTHER AUDIO PRESENTATION, AND WHILE EFFORTS ARE MADE TO PROVIDE AN ACCURATE TRANSCRIPTION, THERE MAY BE MATERIAL ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR INACCURACIES IN THE REPORTING OF THE SUBSTANCE OF THE AUDIO PRESENTATIONS. IN NO WAY DOES SEEKING ALPHA ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY INVESTMENT OR OTHER DECISIONS MADE BASED UPON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEB SITE OR IN ANY TRANSCRIPT. USERS ARE ADVISED TO REVIEW THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S AUDIO PRESENTATION ITSELF AND THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S SEC FILINGS BEFORE MAKING ANY INVESTMENT OR OTHER DECISIONS.

If you have any additional questions about our online transcripts, please contact us at: transcripts@seekingalpha.com. Thank you!

Source: Dresser-Rand Group Inc. Q3 2008 Earnings Call Transcript
This Transcript
All Transcripts