Ingersoll-Rand's CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

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Ingersoll-Rand Plc. (NYSE:IR)

Q4 2012 Earnings Conference Call

February 1, 2013; 10:00 a.m. ET


Mike Lamach - Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Steve Shawley - Senior Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer

Joe Fimbianti - Director of Investor Relations

Janet Pfeffer - Vice President, Business Development & Investor Relations


Jeff Sprague - Vertical Research Partners

Shannon O’Callaghan - Nomura

Jamie Sullivan - RBC Capital Markets

Stephen Volkmann - Jefferies

Josh Pokrzywinski - MKM Partners

Jeff Hammond - KeyBanc Capital Markets

Julian Mitchell - Credit Suisse

Deane Dray - Citi Research

Steven Winoker - Sanford Bernstein

Steve Tusa - JPMorgan


Good day ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Ingersoll-Rand, fourth quarter 2012 earnings conference call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we’ll have a question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time. (Operator Instructions).

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host for today, Ms. Janet Pfeffer, Vice President, Business Development and Investor Relations. Ma’am, you may begin.

Janet Pfeffer

Thank you Mary. Good morning everyone. We released earnings at 7:00 a.m. this morning and the release is posted on our website. We’ll be broadcasting in addition to this phone call through our website at, where you will find the slide presentation that we’ll be using. This call will be recorded and archived on our website.

If you’d please go to slide two, our forward-looking statements made on today’s call that are not historical facts are considered forward-looking and are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of Federal Securities law. Please see our SEC filings for a description of some of the factors that may cause actual results to vary from anticipated results.

This release also contains non-GAAP measures, which are explained in the financial tables attached to this morning’s release.

Now, I’d like to introduce the participants in today’s call. We have Mike Lamach, Chairman and CEO; Steve Shawley, Senior Vice-President and CFO; and Joe Fimbianti, Director of Investor Relations.

With that, please go to slide three, and I’ll turn it over to Mike.

Mike Lamach

Thanks Janet. Good morning and thanks for joining us on today’s call. Today we’ll cover three broad areas. First, we’ll take a look back on the full year 2012. Second, we’ll look at of course fourth quarter 2012 results; and finally we’ll conclude by looking at 2013’s outlook and guidance.

Given the impending security spend, we’ll be delaying the analyst meeting that we traditionally have hosted in March until later in the year, closer to the effective date of the spend. The analyst meeting is usually where we would step back a little from quarterly results and look at our progress over time and plans for the future, and since that won’t occur for several months, I’ll spend a few extra minutes this morning recapping our full-year 2012 and our progress on the transformation that we began in the company a few years ago.

Steve will then take you through fourth-quarter results and I’ll end with our outlook we have for 2013. So again, we’ll spend just a few more minutes this morning than we normally do. I don’t want anybody to get nervous. We’ll obviously have a lot of time for questions towards the end.

Let me start with full year 2012. In a macro environment of low revenue growth, our revenues for the year were up 1%. We increased adjusted earnings per share 23%, and grew operating margins 30 basis points in the face of some very challenging mix.

Our pricing excellence program delivered price realization, significantly over direct material inflation. Our lien focus continued to show significant results in the implemented value streams, and we continue to invest in the future of the business, funding significant new product developments and building our services footprint further.

Revenues from products launched in the last three years were about a quarter of our total revenue. We also invested in common systems, and we will have the first go-lives this year. As you recall, the program will continue through 2016.

Our capital allocation strategy has been consistent and shareholder focused. We continue to increase our dividends with the announcement of additional 31% of an increase in December. The 2013 dividend will exceed now the 2008 peak by 17%.

In 2011 and ‘12 we repurchased 55 million shares for $2 billion. In 2012 we repurchased 840 million in shares, and in December announced a new $2 billion repurchase authorization that will be used by the first quarter of 2014. Finally, we concluded a significant strategic review with our board, and in December announced the plan to spin off of our security business, which will occur late this year.

Please go to slide four. As I’ve talked about before, we started on a journey in 2010 to increase the operating capability of the company. We focused these efforts in two broad areas, innovation and operational excellence. In the area of innovation we’ve almost doubled the proportion of our revenues from new products, which we measure as a percentage of total revenues delivered by new products introduced in the last three years.

The new offerings have been in every sector of the business, from air compressors to unitary HVAC, to electronic locks, to new service offerings. Through new processes, talents and investments, we have increased our capability and results in areas like intellectual property development and protection, speed to market, margin improvement, and market share growth.

In 2012, intellectual property disclosures were up 270% and patent filings were up 75% over the prior year. We are by no means done. We’ll continue to invest in innovation and are focusing on multiple growth platforms identified during our planning process.

To highlight a couple of examples of recent market introductions, in the lower left of the chart you’ll see the Trane IntelliPak I. IntelliPak I systems are part of the Trane line of unitary rooftop systems, designed to be the most efficient and cost effective air conditioning units on the market.

Available from 20 tons to 130 tons of cooling, IntelliPak systems deliver the highest energy efficiency rating in the industry for a standard product, and are up to 20% more efficient than traditional forward curved fans. Utilizing variable speed compressor technology, IntelliPak I systems provide a simple turnkey solution for system set-up and configuration, with lower lifecycle costs, and through efficient operation and reduced maintenance demand, the new systems provide superior reliability.

They’re ideal for large office buildings, restaurants, retail centers, industrial facilities and institutional buildings used for healthcare and education. In addition to reduced energy consumption and lower lifecycle costs, it provides very quiet operation in critical environments.

The lower right corner, you see the ThermoKing Precedent. The Precedent features a completely new platform for the trailer market, designed to be fully compliant with the new EPA tier 4 final regulations. The Precedent platform features a new diesel direct electric architecture to deliver optimum efficiencies. Testing demonstrates that the electronic throttling valve saves 30% in fuel, reaches cooling set point up to 50% faster, translating to significant operational and environmental savings for fleets throughout the life of the unit.

Please go to slide five. Another area of intense focus for us, and for me personally has been improving our level of operational execution, which we call operational excellence. We categorize it into four main elements; strategic sourcing, implementing lien through our value streams and in our functional processes and finally the pricing.

We centralized sourcing during 2012 and organized around common commodities in order to increase our strategic sourcing capability through targeted training, standard work and the addition of external talent when needed. We also strengthened capability in emerging markets to better support supplier qualifications, supplier development and strategic sourcing in those regions.

In one example, our maintenance and repair operations or MRO commodity team, implemented the new standard sourcing process for North America, which represents an annual spend in this case of about $70 million. They achieved 7% productivity, and also developed a roadmap to maintain productivity at 5% for the next two years. They improved days payable by five days. They reduced North American suppliers from over 3,000 to a select few, and increased their internal customer satisfaction score to four on a five-point scale.

We have 24 value streams under transformation, which happens to also represent 24% of our cost base. The value streams continue to deliver superior results and show separation in performance versus the remainder of the company.

In 2012 the value streams reduced past due days by 66%, reduced cycle time by over 40%, increased cost leverage, which is the plant’s version of operating leverage and it’s based on cost throughput by over six points, and had a 5 point increase in employee engagement scores while they were doing all of this. We will continue to roll out more value streams with a plan to add eight additional streams in 2013, which would then bring the cost base coverage to 40%.

On functional costs, we have a target to reduce our costs by two points of revenue over the next three years. Implementation of common systems is a key enabler to that reduction. We’ll have our first go-lives in the first half of 2013, and the implementations continue in six phases through 2016.

As you can see on the bottom of the chart, these initiatives along with innovation have increased our margins almost 400 basis points over the last three years on very little revenue growth, while still making significant incremental investments in the business. Operating leverage has been 38%, 31%, and 73% respectively for the last three years.

We started on pricing in early 2010 and have reaped benefit from better price realization and price management for the past two years. We looked back several years in history and couldn’t find a year when we had done this. So it was a testament to the results we can produce when we focus on building a long-term, sustainable capability.

This isn’t just managing price lists; it’s actually a fairly small component of what we’ve built. It’s centered on capabilities like pricing elasticity analysis, value pricing of offerings and discount management.

As I’ll discuss more when I come back to review guidance, we see a continuation of challenging markets in 2013. We plan to proactively address that backdrop, as well as prepare ourselves for our new cost structure, post spend, by taking restructuring actions during 2013, beginning in the first quarter. So I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, and I’m certainly encouraged by the opportunities that lie ahead.

And with that, Steve will now take you through the fourth quarter results.

Steve Shawley

Thanks Mike. Please go to slide number six. Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations for the fourth quarter, which exclude impairment were $0.76. That is $0.09 better than the midpoint of our guidance range. $0.03 came from better performance in operations. There was about $0.001 of cost incurred related to the spend that was not in the guidance, and the remainder was from a lower tax rate.

We were pleased with our ability to navigate challenging market environments and to deliver above our earnings commitment. With solid operational execution in all of our businesses, margin increased 100 basis points despite flat revenues. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, operating margins were up in each of the sectors, with residential delivering an 800 basis point improvement, despite slightly lower revenues.

Revenues were flat, both on a reported basis and excluding foreign exchange. Excluding FX, we saw a slight decline in the climate, and lower single digit growth in revenues and industrial. Residential revenues were down 5% year-over-year. Security Technologies revenues was up 7%, with Americas up high single digits. Excluding Hussmann, orders were up 1% and up 2% and excluding currency.

Operating margin for the quarter was 10.6%, up 100 basis points versus prior year. Margins improved from pricing and productivity, partially offset by unfavorable mix and investment spending year-over-year.

All of the businesses continued to realize positive pricing. In the fourth quarter, our price realization outpaced direct material inflation for the seventh consecutive quarter. We repurchased 10 million shares in the fourth quarter, bringing the total repurchased in the year to 18.4 million shares. To sum, our focus on operational excellence and innovation delivered excellent results in the quarter.

Please go to slide number seven. Orders for the fourth quarter of 2012 were up 1% overall and up 2% excluding currency. Global commercial HVAC bookings were up mid-single digits. Transport orders were down low teens, with a double-digit decrease in truck trailer orders and significantly lower marine demand.

Industrial orders, excluding currency were up 3%, with order growth in all regions and at Club Car. Residential bookings were down 5%. Commercial security orders in the quarter were up 16%, mainly impacted by the timing of large project orders in Asia.

Please go to slide number eight. Here is a look at the revenue trends by segment and region. Note that the information on this slide excludes Hussmann from the comparisons. The top half of the chart shows the revenue change for each sector. For the total company, fourth quarter revenues excluding Hussmann were flat versus last year on a reported basis and excluding currency.

Focusing on organic revenues, which exclude the impact of foreign exchange, climate revenues decreased 1%, with HVAC revenues flat and transport revenues down mid single digits. Industrial had moderating growth at 4%. Residential was down 5%. Commercial security revenues were up 7%. I’ll give more color on each sector in a few slides.

As you can see in the bottom chart, on a geographic basis organic revenues were up 1% in the Americas, while Europe was down mid-single digits, excluding currency. Asia was up 7%, led by double-digit increases in Industrial and Security.

Please go to slide number nine. This chart walks through the change in operating margin from fourth quarter 2011 of 9.6% to fourth quarter 2012, which was 10.6%. This data excludes Hussmann for comparison purposes.

Volume, negative mix and foreign exchange collectively created an 80 basis point headwind to margins. Our pricing programs continued to outpace material inflation, adding 110 basis points to margins. Productivity offset by other inflation was 140 basis points accretive to margins. Year-over-year investments and other items were higher by 70 basis points.

In the gray box at the top of the page, you can see that revenue leverage was excellent in the quarter, with operating income increasing despite flat revenues. As the box in the middle of the page, the details, we delivered margin improvement at every sector, even with revenue declines in Climate and Residential.

Please go to slide number 10. The Climate Solutions segment includes Trane commercial HVAC and ThermoKing transport refrigeration. Total revenues for the fourth quarter were $1.8 billion. Excluding Hussmann that is down 2% as reported, and down 1% excluding foreign exchange.

Global commercial HVAC orders were up mid-single digits. Orders were up low single digits in the Americas. Orders were down slightly in Europe on a reported basis, and up slightly excluding foreign exchange. HVAC orders in Asia were up in mid teens, with China up over 20%.

Trane’s commercial HVAC fourth quarter revenues were flat. HVAC revenues in the Americas were up low single digits on a reported basis and excluding foreign exchange. Revenues in Europe and the Middle East were down mid single digits on both a reported basis and on excluding currency. Revenues in Asia were down low single digits. China HVAC revenues were down mid single digits in the quarter.

Commercial HVAC equipment revenues were down low single digits. HVAC parts, services and solutions revenue was up low single digits versus prior year. ThermoKing orders were down in the low teens versus 2011’s fourth quarter. ThermoKing revenues were down mid single digits, both on a reported basis and when excluding currency.

Worldwide-refrigerated truck and trailer revenues were up low single digits. The operating margin for Climate Solutions was 10.3% in the quarter, a 10 basis point improvement versus fourth quarter of 2011, excluding Hussmann.

Pricing and productivity more than offset inflation and higher spending on investment initiatives. We saw particularly strong operating leverage in North America HVAC, where new products and cost reduction efforts fueled margin expansion on very little volume growth.

Please go to slide number 11. Industrial Technologies’ fourth quarter revenues were $765 million, up 3% on a reported basis and up 4% excluding FX. Air and productivity revenues were up low single digits versus last year on a reported basis and excluding currency.

Air compressor revenues were up mid single digits. Revenues in the Americas were up mid single digits. Growth in Asia was offset by declines in Europe. Air and productivity orders were up mid single digits on a reported basis and excluding FX. Orders were up in all regions. Club Car revenues in the quarter were up high single digits and orders were up low single digits versus the prior year.

Industrial operating margin of 16.1% was up 80 basis points compared with last year, as higher revenues, pricing and productivity were partially offset by inflation and higher investment spending. Air and productivity margins exceeded 17%.

Please go to slide number 12. In the residential business, fourth quarter revenues of $422 million were down 5% compared with last year on a reported basis and excluding foreign exchange. Residential HVAC revenues were down low single digits versus last year.

Our HVAC unit shipments in the fourth quarter were flat versus the prior year. Last year in the fourth quarter, recall that we had significantly reduced our inventory levels. Adjusting last year’s shipments for the impact of that inventory reduction, unit shipments were up high single digits.

We were also the only major competitor that did not have a significant pricing increase effective in the fourth quarter of 2012, which tends to pull in shipments as distributors are trying to stock in advance of the increase.

Since we had implemented a mid year increase in 2012, our latest increase was more targeted and went into effect during the first quarter of 2013 rather than the fourth quarter of 2012. Consistent with the trend of the first three quarters of the year for 2012, the ‘13 to ‘14 share of the market was higher than the prior year, as mix shifted to the low end of the efficiency range.

Revenues for the Residential Security portion of the sector were down low teens, with increases in the new builder channel. South American volumes increases were more than offset by lower big box revenues. In the fourth quarter of 2011, we had a significant increase in big box from the load in of new security products.

Sector operating margin of 6.9% was up 810 basis points compared with 2011, as pricing and productivity more than offset inflation and adverse mix.

Please go to slide number 13. Revenues for Security Technologies were $445 million, up 7% on a reported basis and excluding currency. Americas revenues were up high single digits. Overseas revenues were up mid single digits, as higher revenues from projects in Asia more than offset volume declines in Europe.

Global bookings were up 16% on a reported basis and excluding currency, buoyed by share gains in the U.S. and the timing of large projects in Asia. Bookings excluding currency in Europe were down slightly. Operating margin for the quarter was 20.6%, up 150 basis points from last year, as productivity and price realization offset inflation and higher investment spending.

Please go to slide number 14. We continue to maintain our focus on working capital. We finished the fourth quarter with working capital at 2.8% of revenues, which is a one-point improvement from the end of the third quarter. We ended the year with a little more inventory than last year as we intentionally increased stocking levels in targeted areas. For example, we were stocking more engines for TK as they transition through the new tier 4 engine standards.

With that, I will turn it back to Mike to take you through the guidance for 2013.

Mike Lamach

Okay, thanks Steve, and let’s go to slide 15. For purposes of setting guidance for 2013, it’s on an as-is basis. It assumes that the current Ingersoll-Rand with the four current operating sectors is in place for the full 12 months of 2013. As we announced in December, we expect the Security spin to take place in the fourth quarter, but to be clear, the guidance does not reflect the spin, given we do not yet have carve-out financials and the specific date of the spin won’t be known for several more months.

Also, when we announced the spin in December we indicated one time deal costs and restructuring of $150 million to $250 million. We’ve broken out that amount from the EPS guidance in order to give the best representation of the company, without the impact of the impending spin, and hopefully that’s all clear.

And to save you all a question, there is no change or update to the information we gave you in December on the spin. It’s proceeding according to our timeline. We won’t have pro forma financials for a few more months when we file the Form 10’s.

Finally, contrasting to 2012, when we had significant currency headwind for most of the year, based on current exchange rates, there’s not much impact expected in 2013. The numbers I’ll reference as revenue growth are the same with or without currency.

With all that out of the way, our revenue outlook for 2013 is $14.2 billion to $14.6 billion, which equates to 1% to 4% growth versus 2012. I’m going to talk through what we’re seeing by geography, and then we’ll sum it up again by sector.

Our outlook reflects activity in North American commercial HVAC, continuing at moderate growth rates. Industrial markets are growing, but at a slower place than what we’ve seen over the past couple of years. We see continuing moderate growth in residential markets, albeit with choppy month-to-month trends continuing.

We have seen some positive movement in replacement systems and in new home construction. For our Commercial Security, we expect to see a continuation of the challenging conditions in the U.S. non-residential new construction market for the next year, particularly in our key institutional markets.

Given that the non-residential construction market impacts both our commercial HVAC and security businesses, I thought I’d spend some time giving some more color on the outlook there and how it impacts our businesses. We typically look at a group of indicators, the main one being put in place in starts data, which we get quarterly from Dodge. Put-in-place, it’s measured in dollars and starts data is measured in square footage.

To understand the impact of our business, you need to look at the trends by key vertical markets. Although total put-in-place is forecasted to be flat for 2013, institutional, which is over half of the put-in-place dollars is forecasted to be down 5%, while commercial industrial activity is forecasted to be up 8%.

Within institutional, our key end markets of education and medical are forecasted to be down high single digits, and while commercial industrial overall is expected to be up, the largest growth sectors are warehouses and parking garages, neither of which will use much security or HVAC.

Starts data is similar in trend to the put-in-place data. The Architectural Billing Index or the ABI, can be a general leading indicator for us, and that’s continued to be choppy, although the trend over the last several months is generally somewhat positive.

A couple of other points to set the context. Recall that HVAC has a higher element of replacement than the security business. Security also tends to lag the trends more, given the timing of when it goes into the building construction, which is near the end of building sit out.

For example, HVAC generally lags ABI by about six months, while security lags it by about 12 months. The mix of all that leads us to a market outlook for a low single digit growth in North American commercial HVAC, and flat to a low single digit decline in North American commercial security.

Transitioning to refrigerated transport, we expect North American truck trailer markets to be fairly flat in 2013. Asian HVAC equipment markets are expected to be flat in 2013. China though is expected to be up low single digits overall. Industrial Technologies also expects low single digit growth in Asia in 2013, and that security business there in Asia, which is more influenced by the timing of large infrastructure projects, should be up mid to high single digits for the year.

Revenues in Europe are expected to show some recovery in the majority of our markets, albeit from very low levels in 2013. The exception for that is ThermoKing. We expect truck, trailer and marine to decline low single digits in 2013. Overall, we expect revenues from Europe, Middle East and Africa, when taken together to be up slightly. So in summary we see fairly slow growth from most of the end markets.

So translating that to our outlook by sector, we expect Climate Solutions revenues to be up 1% to 3%; industrial forecast to show more moderate growth than in the past couple years, but growth there will be about 2% to 4%; and residential is expected to be up 4% to 6%. Climate security technologies should be up in the range of 2% to 4%.

Let’s go to slide 16. On the basis I discussed earlier, our guidance for full-year EPS from continuing operations is $3.45 to $3.65. This excludes one time deal costs and restructuring of $0.40 to $0.60, and this bridge reconciles that guidance to 2012.

Operations drive the majority of the earnings growth of $0.35 to $0.55, and includes a headwinds in pension and benefit costs. We benefit from a lower share count in 2013, given our capital deployment and share repurchase. Our forecast for the average share count for the year is 300 million shares, which reflects a buyback in the range of 900 million in the back half of 2013.

The full-year tax rate forecast for 2013 is expected to be 23%, versus an 18% rate in 2012, which causes a $0.22 drag on earnings. Incremental investments are $0.20 for the full year. The largest investments are for product development, the majority of which is in climate, and for the implementation of common systems.

And finally to get it back to an apples-to-apples basis for treatment of restructuring and one time costs, need to add back $0.11 restructuring that we had in 2012, and that would bring you to the range of $3.45 to $3.65.

Please go to slide 17. I’ve already taken you through the full year, so to focus on first-quarter guidance, refer to the right hand column of this chart. First quarter 2013 revenues are forecast to be $3.1 billion to $3.2 billion, and that translates to a range of down 2% to up 2% versus the first quarter of last year. This reflects our view that based on backlog and order outlook, growth will start out sluggish and improve throughout the year. That’s particularly the case in Europe and in ThermoKing, which both starts the year down year-over-year.

Adjusted first quarter earnings per share are forecasted to be $0.35 to $0.40. Security spin-off and restructure costs and potential non-U.S. discreet tax charges are expected to be about $0.20 in the quarter. We’re assuming a share count of 302 million shares and an ongoing tax rate of 25%, which excludes the potential discreet that I just mentioned.

There’s the first quarter EPS bridge in the appendix to help you for reference. For the full year 2013 we expect to generate available cash flow of about $1.1 billion, excluding one time in restructuring costs.

Please go to slide 18. We’re pleased to have delivered a solid fourth quarter. We had tremendous, in fact infinite operational leverage in the quarter and margin gains in all sectors. We continue to feel good about our company, our focus on positioning the company to continue to grow earnings and cash flow, with very little help from markets.

We have a multi-year record of delivering high operating leverage and margin improvement, and we’ve implemented a consistent shareholder focus to capital allocation program. We proactively work to reduce costs and improve productivity, while still making prudent investments for the future.

Our investments are yielding a strong pipeline of new product and service offerings, as was evident at this week’s AHR Expo, which several of you attended. We are accelerating restructuring activity to prepare the cost structure for two, strong, stand alone companies.

2013 will represent another step forward in the progression of the company’s innovation and operating capabilities, as we improve margins, execute the security spin and continue to advance our core growth initiatives, and I want to assure you that we’re up for all those challenges.

I am proud of the progress we’ve made, results we’ve delivered and the opportunities that lie ahead for us.

And with that, Steve and I will be happy to take your questions.

Question-and-Answer Session


(Operator Instructions). Our first question comes from Jeff Sprague from Vertical Research Partners. Your line is open.

Jeff Sprague - Vertical Research Partners

Thank you. Good morning everyone.

Steve Shawley

Hey Jeff.

Jeff Sprague - Vertical Research Partners

Could you give a little more color on the cash side? You said available cash $1.1 billion. Do you have an early idea of what the cash requirements are on the restructuring and spin costs in 2013 and any other one-offs that may actually tap into available cash?

Steve Shawley

Yes Jeff, we talked about this in December. We talked about a refinancing we’re planning in the middle of the year. We’re planning on refinancing the Z-tranche that’s due, I think it’s in August, and probably another $300 million on top of that to take care of the cash associated with the spin costs, restructuring, etcetera. So what that will do is that will free up most of the $1.1 billion to go towards the share repurchase throughout the year.

Jeff Sprague - Vertical Research Partners

Right, and just totally shifting gears. On Europe the notion that it gets better over the course of 2013 if only modestly, is that predicated on some early indication on orders somewhere? Is it more just kind of the low operating level that you’re seeing across Europe and some expectation that there’s just some underlying bounce that ought to occur?

Steve Shawley

Yes, for us Jeff, you’ve got to look at Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. So when we look at that collectively, we’re really saying the Middle East will be up again mid-single digits, maybe a little bit better. Eastern Europe, Europe up maybe a little bit less than that and still a fairly weak Western Europe.

So net-net we’re not expecting great things out of Europe, but we do think coming off the lows that we saw, we should see just a little bit of latter year growth, and that’s supported with what we’re hearing from long term customers.


Thank you. Our next question comes from Shannon O’Callaghan from Nomura. Your line is open.

Shannon O’Callaghan – Nomura

Good morning guys.

Steve Shawley

Hey Shannon.

Shannon O’Callaghan - Nomura

Hey, can you just talk about corporate cost a little bit; one, in terms of just the ‘13 costs of the ongoing entity. And then in terms of this accelerated restructuring you’re doing, are you going to be able to keep it at that level post spin? Is that some of the aim here, instead of absorbing kind of incremental public company costs for the two companies?

Steve Shawley

Let me just address the numbers question first Shannon. In 2013 we expect the corporate unallocated costs to be somewhere in the $180 million range, about $45 million a quarter, and don’t forget, we’re making heavy investments in common systems throughout all of this. If we really ramp that up this year – in fact, some of the story about corporate costs in Q4 was common systems related, so that’s a big piece of the increase in 2013.

We also are seeing an up-tick in pension and benefit costs, and we have some technology costs falling out, associated with the technology centers that are managed by Paul Camuti here in the corporate center. That’s what really seized up the increase in 2013, and like Mike said, we’ve pulled all the deal costs out of 2013. So that increase is not really deal cost related.

I think if you look at the glide path of corporate costs going into the future, some of the restructuring obviously is going to have the impact corporate overheads. Also, you look at the common system spend sort of tapering down through 2015 and ‘16, I would say we’d hit likely the peak of the spend for systems in late ‘14, early ‘15. So you’ll see that start to come down with the abatement of the systems projects unit.

Shannon O’Callaghan - Nomura

Okay, so I guess with that kind of peaking out and some of the restructuring savings, I mean, do you think the combined corporate costs of the two future entities can equate to this $180 million you’re talking about for ‘13 or you think it goes higher because of additional public company costs for two companies?

Steve Shawley

Well, we’re working on the stranded costs here. This is part of what we’re doing with restructuring that we’re talking about for quarter one and going forward. So we are dealing with that now, but clearly there’s going to be additional public company costs for new securities out in the marketplace.

So I mean just for right now the placeholder is $180 million for the year, and we’ll update you going forward as to how much of the stranded costs will be addressed and with the standalone cost with security, once we filed the Form 10’s.

Mike Lamach

Longer-term Shannon, we would target $180 million to be the summation of the two standalone companies, but that’s going to go through a little bit of a peaking here in ‘14 and ‘15, because of the systems projects, and probably ramp back down to that normalized level after we get through that.


Thank you. Our next question comes from Jamie Sullivan from RBC Capital Markets. Your line is open.

Jamie Sullivan - RBC Capital Markets

Hi, good morning.

Mike Lamach

Hi Jamie.

Jamie Sullivan - RBC Capital Markets

Wondered if you could talk about, you mentioned the end markets within non-res construction that were important, that was helpful. I wonder if you could talk about kind of the exposure in climate and security by those key commercial industrial and institutional end markets, if you have those figures?

Mike Lamach

I can. I mean I’ve got the data here for the put-in-place, institutional versus industrial. You’re asking specifically how do we factor into play into those things.

This gets a little bit back into my comment about being selective around growth markets and platforms, and going where the business is growing, as opposed to sort of maybe what the historical mix has been. So the investments that we’ve made in the unitary product have been really targeted toward the growth we’ll see in the commercial and office space, as an example.

So we got on that faster, looking at this data from a longer-term perspective, understanding there would be an opportunity in that market, as opposed to addressing markets that just weren’t going to grow, and so these pockets of growth are a lot more important to us than where the exposure has been historically. We see still great growth in data centers, which is another market that we are looking to address with more and more content as we approach those markets specifically.

So not to evade your question. We have historically been a bit more institutional tipped than commercially tipped, but we are working that really to where the markets are growing and security is a great example of that. They put in place a very, very effective program to get after a particular market niche where we weren’t really penetrating, put a very specific set of programs together to address a channel need, and drove tremendous success in North America in the security business in the fourth quarter.

So it is possible in over a two, three quarter period of time to move ourselves into these pockets and address them a little bit differently.

Jamie Sullivan - RBC Capital Markets

That’s helpful color. And then just maybe on the margin front, if you could walk sort of us through by segment how you’re viewing some of the trends in ‘13 versus ‘12 by segment.

Mike Lamach

Yes. I think to do that, to have it be apples and apples, we would pull restructuring out of both sides, right? So we pulled restructuring out of 2013, we pulled it out of 2012. So I’d kind of give you those numbers ex-restructuring, both just to help you apples to apples.

But climate, in spite of the TK softness, we’ll probably see 40 to 60 basis points of margin improvements there; industrial, I may see 50 to 70 there; res, we’re looking for more like 125 to 175. We think there’s still great opportunity there to do something more dramatic.

In security, they’re just going to do a great job executing where they are at. They’re going to be fairly flattish, depending on the mix, which could go more towards Asian markets or a slight recovery in Europe. You might see it down as much as 40 basis points, but it will continue to be just an exceptional margin earner for the company.


Thank you. Our next question comes from Stephen Volkmann from Jefferies. Your line is open.

Stephen Volkmann – Jefferies

Hey. Good morning. Mike, since you mentioned the HR show, it seemed like the tone down there was quite a bit more positive than the numbers you’re giving us, and granted sales guys on an expense account are always positive, but I’m just wondering if you’re being somewhat more conservative there? If you see maybe some other mix we should think about or pricing issues or anything that would add to that?

Mike Lamach

No, I think you hit it on the head. You put the sales and salespeople together at an event and it’s pretty exuberant. So it’s not going to be a horrible market, no doubt about that, but we just go back to the data, look at the put-in-place numbers, look at it by segment of the institutional, by segment of commercial industrial and then compare that to where we’ve got specification activity, where we’ve got quotes outstanding; what the ABI are saying, and then lag that and you just end up where we’re at.

So I think we were pretty close this past year. I think we’ve got a good methodology in that business for doing fairly accurate forecasts there. So I just see it overall as being sort of a low moderate growth market for us.

Stephen Volkmann - Jefferies


Mike Lamach

Service will probably grow twice as fast, but that’s been history, and we’ll continue to grow service and invest in that footprint to help offset some of that cyclicality.

Stephen Volkmann - Jefferies

Great, that’s helpful. And any color you want to give on January in that or any of the other businesses? I mean, the thesis that it’s safe now that the fiscal cliff is gone, are you seeing any of those types of trends?

Mike Lamach

I have to say I want to give no guidance on January, okay? So to answer your question, no, I’d want to just talk about the month. So glad we’re through the fiscal cliff and we’ll see what happens with round two in Congress, and I think our forecast reflects a bit more of the status quo.


Thank you. Our next question comes from Josh Pokrzywinski from MKM Partners. Your line is open.

Josh Pokrzywinski - MKM Partners

Hi, good morning guys.

Mike Lamach

Hi Josh.

Josh Pokrzywinski - MKM Partners

Just to dig in here on res D, I know you said you had the inventory liquidation last year, but it still seems like the comp was fairly easy. You under performed the market in 4Q ‘11 by, call it 600 basis points. Did you feel like going into next year? That you’re on pace to meet or exceed where the market falls out, and that maybe some of those mix issues are well and truly behind you versus peers?

Mike Lamach

Yes, Josh. We had a very good 2012 collectively. So quarter-to-quarter you get these aberrations, but 2012 res, shares, volumes, margin improvements, just health of the product portfolio, talent in the business, it’s been a very good year for us.

Let me talk to you about the quarter specifically, because there’s a lot of nuance here that went on in the quarter. So on the call, I mentioned we were down low-single digits versus last year. Now shipments would have been flat, obviously because the mix changed for us.

When you add back sort of the change in inventory levels, and the fact that we were really pushing $90 million of inventory out through last year, and mostly 410-A, you end up with a high single digit market for us.

I think Steve mentioned we were the only guys that didn’t have a fourth quarter price increase in pulling shipments in, and we know of one large OEM that had that effect that you had to actually ship before November, over concerns of a factory closure are one of the larger factories closing. So there was a lot there, but between pricing, competitively pulling it into the year, and then our own reconciliation, you have to do between ‘11 and ‘12.

What I will tell you, and that’s probably the way to keep sanity in this, is that we’re about 50-50 owned versus independent distribution. So our shipments in revenue reflects final sell through on the owned side versus a couple of other OEMs who are 100% independent going through wholesale.

When you compare that to the Hardy Data, the sell-through for quarter four by month was up 11.6% in October. It moderated to 6% in November. It was actually down, it was negative 1.8% in December, and all that gave you a 5.7% sell-through for the quarter, right? So if I look at the 5.7% sell-through for the quarter, and look at us apples-to-apples being up single digits, and the fact that Hardy’s indicator level for inventories was up, okay in the quarter, I feel pretty good about that and think we are really well-positioned coming into 2013.

So Josh, I feel good about it and unfortunately I got to give you a little bit of bridge here to explain it, but I think it’s something that clearly you can piece together on your own.

Josh Pokrzywinski - MKM Partners

That’s very helpful, thank you. And just one last one on price. You walked through it a little bit in the prepared comments, but clearly you guys have done a great job on the pricing side, you know in excess of inflation.

How should we think about that into 2013, kind of versus any thoughts you have on the material inflation side and then obviously some of these commercial markets start to pick up. I would imagine your pricing power moves with that. What kind of tailwind are you thinking for 2013 in your leasing guidance?

Mike Lamach

Yes, the material inflation environment has been fairly sedate, and we’ve lapped most of our large price increases, so we think pricing this year will be under 1%. Probably a good number, something more like 75, 80 basis points for ‘13, and we’ll still have a positive gap to material inflation, but I think it would be close to the probably 30 or 40 basis points for the year.


Thank you. Our next question comes from Jeff Hammond from KeyBanc Capital Markets. Your line is open.

Jeff Hammond - KeyBanc Capital Markets

Hey, good morning guys. Just on the -- within your 1% to 4% growth, I think you said ThermoKing down low single digits. Can you parse out how you’re thinking about growth in commercial quad versus commercial unitary versus parts and service?

Mike Lamach

Yes, some of that…

Jeff Hammond - KeyBanc Capital Markets

Or at least directionally.

Mike Lamach

Yes. Applied in unitary, there is some shifts going on with applied in unitary in the marketplace. We’re seeing in some cases more unitary being used in some of the data center applications, which is a good thing for us, because it’s large unitary and that’s very profitable for us.

So we generally see applied being a little bit weaker in 2013. I would say slightly negative, because it would still lean more toward the institutional larger customers, and I would say unitary is still more following the commercial industrial Dodge data of being more positive. So with slight shifts going on within vertical markets, you’re seeing more unitary than applied.

And then specifically in the HVAC business in North America, we’re dealing with low equipment growth. You probably see service growth 5% to 1% kind of pulling the mix up there, and that’s something that has been a function of putting feet on the street, putting technicians out, doing training and really working the whole part service agreement and retrofit market, and we were able to do that last year even in spite of the flatter market. So I hope that’s helpful.

Jeff Hammond - KeyBanc Capital Markets

Okay, and then just on Security, I think we’re seen 14, 15 quarters of flat to down. So it was a surprise to see it inflect up, and I’m just wondering, I know you mentioned some of the large orders are in Asia, but any kind of aberrations in that growth number or any kind of inflections you’re seeing that would suggest some growth there?

Mike Lamach

Well, the one that we had talked to you about for probably a couple of quarters was the large infrastructure projects that we were waiting on in Asia, kind of getting through the political changing of the guard in China, and then finally the awards of those projects, and what we saw clearly in China in the quarter was very, very positive in that regard. I think revenue was up nearly 40% in China for the quarter, so that was helpful.

But you know the other positive story for us was just what happened with the security business in the Americas, and it got back to the earlier question of teams doing a good job finding pockets of growth, I mean growth platforms in flat markets. We needed to do more of that, but that’s a great example and one I’m proud to tell you about.


Thank you. Our next question comes from Julian Mitchell from Credit Suisse. Your line is open.

Julian Mitchell - Credit Suisse

Thanks a lot. Just on the productivity, other inflation line in your EBIT margin bridge, that’s been running now for three quarters in a row at sort of 100 bips plus in terms of the year-on-year margin effect. Is that a run rate you think that you can continue through ‘13 as you bring on these extra value streams?

Mike Lamach

Yes Julian, look, clearly we set the targets out there. We think that we’re going to see mild material inflation. We’re going to see other inflation continue to rise at sort of an unhealthy rate. So you’re looking at overall inflation running somewhere in the mid-3’s and you’re looking at our productivity plans somewhere in the mid-4’s.

I told you the four levers that we’re pulling here are sourcing, functional, lien and lien the value streams and all of that really kind of coming together is our plan to address it. So we continue to sort of chip away at it, build a pipeline and work the pipelines here.

So I would have no reason to believe we couldn’t continue to see productivity at the same level. As long as we see inflation stay where it’s at, I think we’re going to be fine. If we see higher inflation, that’s going to test our pricing capability and see how agile we are there. So net-net, there’s no reason to believe we shouldn’t be able to do that.

Steve Shawley

And Julian, the ‘13 guidance includes a positive gap between productivity and other inflation. It’s not quite as big as what we achieved in 2012, simply because the pricing is a little heavier, things like employee benefit costs, healthcare costs affecting that line, so a little bit of a contraction, but still a very positive gap.

Julian Mitchell - Credit Suisse

Got it, thanks. And then on this resi HVAC issue, I mean are you effectively saying that in Q1 you’ll be able to deliver positive growth year-on-year in resi HVAC?

Steve Shawley

Yes. Yes.

Julian Mitchell - Credit Suisse

Okay, thanks.


Thank you. Our next question comes from Deane Dray from Citi Research. Your line is opened.

Deane Dray - Citi Research

Thank you and good morning everyone. Hey, just a quick question and clarification on the guidance. On just the idea, where might there be some discretionary spending, where if you needed to you could pull back or if you added to it? So maybe on the investment side, and is there anything that you could throttle either way?

Mike Lamach

Yes, Deane, in the quarter there was the locked and loaded with the exception of nailing down and communicating all the specifics around restructuring activity, but in terms of investments and plans for the quarter we’re in good shape.

For the year it’s running at about the same rate of increase it was last year for us and those programs have been paired to the point where these are the critical and essential programs going forward. So I don’t see that we would be pulling back on investments per se. I think if we were to run into additional headwinds, we would take a second or third look at the restructuring work we’re doing and go further there, but no pullback, really that I see as being good long term on the investment lines.

Deane Dray - Citi Research

Great. And then a follow-up question for Steve on tax rate in the quarter. It came in lighter than what we were looking for. Just kind of what are the dynamics there and are there any other dynamics on the 2013 tax guide?

Steve Shawley

Fourth quarter tax accounting is always an adventure Deane. If you look at last year, a huge positive adjustments or favorable adjustments in our NOLs got valued in Q4. That goes on every year-end.

So if I look at the fourth quarter tax rate, we were a little bit favorable on the ongoing rate. The distribution of income was kind of in our favor. So if I look at the $0.06 or $0.07 delta there, it’s about half associated with a slightly favorable rate for the year, and the rest of it is the fact that we had the chance to value some NOLs around the world. Much less of a pickup than we got last year when we did that, but it’s just something that happens every quarter, and it adds potentially a lot of volatility to the tax rate.

All-in-all, I’m very pleased with how that fell out. It was definitely within our parameters or expectation of the ongoing rate and we just picked up a few favorable pinnings from the NOL valuations.

Mike Lamach

Yes, Deane, I mean the only thing that’s a little bit of a wild card and we tried to spike that out for you, is U.S. non-discrete tax charge in quarter one. Whether or not, we’ll owe that or not, its a bit of a legal debate and then two timing events, a bit of a timing debate. So we just spiked that out not to surprise anybody that the timing in the worst of all worlds could be in the first quarter, and that’s how we planned it.

Steve Shawley

So if you look at the rate going from ‘12 to ‘13 Deane, it’s really based on the earnings, the increase of earnings in the U.S. primarily, it’s going to cause a pickup in the rate. So that’s kind of the ins and outs of that.


Thank you. Our next question comes from Steven Winoker from Sanford Bernstein. Your line is open.

Steven Winoker - Sanford Bernstein

Thanks and good morning. Just trying to understand the bridge on page 21 for 1Q and the sort of seasonality on them. You gave us margin expansion for the year by segment. What’s the overall expectation for 1Q for margin expansion, and I guess the next follow-up on that is, does it differ materially from your annuals by segment?

Mike Lamach

Well look, first of all Steve, what’s underlying, all of this is going to be the weaker ThermoKing across the board picking up by the back of the year, but that’s going to be one issue we have from a business standpoint in the first quarter.

And then if you look at it sort of by geography, Europe happens to be very weak for us in the industrial segment, which creates a mix issue there. Because actually industrial is a profitable business for us in Europe, and so a combination of those two are putting some pressure on all that, so…

But that being said, we still see margin expansion of probably 20 to, call it 50 basis points in the quarter.

Steven Winoker - Sanford Bernstein

Okay, and then since we’re not getting a March analyst meeting, just one sort of longer-term question. On the value stream points though, I guess you took it up by about 16%, recovering your cost base by 16% now from 2012 to 2013. So you’re covering 40% of the cost base. And as you think about these value streams, I get a lot of investors asking, is it getting easier or getting harder as you pick up the new ones and as you look out into the ones to go from here.

Mike Lamach

Well, I’ll tell you, easy and hard is an interesting thing. If you talk about it getting more exciting, getting more momentum in the company, getting more people pulling on it, it’s phenomenal, okay.

So, I’m not sure about hard or easy, none of this is easy, okay, and particularly if you want to stick around longer than just a flash in the pan, but the impact has been dramatic, and every time we run the data, we call it separation of results. We take the value stream work and then compare that to the average of the company and we just get further and further apart. Thankfully, we’re also increasing the amount of costs under sort of management through the system.

So, its very exciting Steve. It’s something that looking back over three years, it’s been a long haul and anybody that’s in the lien world will tell you that that’s still the early innings. So it’s something that if I’m doing this 10 years from now, it certainly would be something we’re talking about.


Thank you. Our last question comes from Steve Tusa from JPMorgan. Your line is open.

Steve Tusa – JPMorgan

Hey, good morning. Thanks for squeezing me in.

Mike Lamach

Hey Steve.

Steve Tusa - JPMorgan

Just on the resi stuff, I’m not sure I quite understand, what’s the adjustment you’re making for the inventory reduction? I mean because your comp was still pretty negative from a sales perspective, whether that was just going through your wholesale, your own distribution or not. So I’m just down 5 on the down 20. I don’t quite understand the kind of inventory adjustment you’re making there.

Mike Lamach

The $90 million inventory Steve that we had last year in the fourth quarter of ‘11, when you think about sort of what we had to do there, we had to pull that back from distribution. In some cases where there was a sale, we worked the product, and then try to push it back out in the marketplace through any channel we could, often through our wholly owned channel.

So we fundamentally pushed the $90 million inventory out in the marketplace that wasn’t necessarily inventory the market wanted if you will. So, we look at it and say, if you adjust for sort of $90 million in revenue, that probably was something we forced. Meaning 2011 was probably worse than the revenue we reported. That’s where the adjustment comes in.

Steve Tusa – JPMorgan

Okay. So I mean, it just looked like that 2011 was. I thought 2011 was more dynamic around you just basically shut your plants down, because I mean it was still a pretty weak. Fundamentally that quarter was even, ‘11 was even weaker than that?

Mike Lamach

Absolutely Steve, and if you look at just harkening back to that, I think we ran our plants 21 days the entire quarter, okay. So we took it really on the chin from absorption and all that, but it was fundamentally pushing this $90 million through.

So absolutely, we were forcing product into the marketplace with record low pricing, getting into the market, which affected -- actually it lifted the revenue for 2011. However, it also had an average impact on absorption, because we weren’t making anything. So the productivity was a pretty easy beat too, right, this year.


Thank you. I’d like to turn the conference back to Ms. Janet Pfeffer for closing remarks.

Janet Pfeffer

Thank you Mary. Thank you everyone, and Joe and I will be available for any follow-ups today. Have a good day.


Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your participation in today’s conference. This does conclude the program and you may all disconnect at this time.

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