Oil States International's CEO Presents at 2013 Credit Suisse Energy Summit Conference (Transcript)

| About: Oil States (OIS)

Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS)

2013 Credit Suisse Energy Summit Call

February 5, 2013 3:55 pm ET


Cindy B. Taylor – President and Chief Executive Officer

Bradley J. Dodson – Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President and Treasurer

Patricia Gill – Director, Investor Relations


Jim K. Wicklund – Credit Suisse Securities (NYSE:USA) LLC

Jim K. Wicklund – Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

Okay, we’ll get started. I’m Jim Wicklund. I’m the oil field Service Analyst at Credit Suisse. We initiated coverage last week on a tranche of stocks including Oil States, and Oil States was only one of only two buys. We have five buys on this sector out of 15 stocks and one of them is Oil States, so we are a fan.

We did advise investors that you probably want to wait until they announce earnings in a week before you actually go to a full position, because they haven’t announced earnings, obviously we’re not going to talk much about the fourth quarter, but we’ll talk about the business. Bradley Dodson is the Chief Financial Officer and Cindy Taylor, who is by far one of the best CEOs in the business, is the CEO. Cindy?

Cindy B. Taylor

We can all stop with that kind introduction. Thank you so much, Jim; I appreciate it. He let off with a great commentary. We will release our earnings in exactly two weeks from today and have our conference call, of course, the following day.

We did provide some updates in our presentations, however, to the extent that we felt like we could. Bradley and I are going to split this up and give you an overview of our company. There is a lot of familiar faces, but I also see some new ones. I’m going to start off with a company overview and then go through in depth in our Accommodations business and then Bradley will take you through the other business lines.

Oil States is a diversified oil field services company. We deliver our products and services through four business segments; those are Accommodations, Offshore Products, Well Site Services, and our Tubular Services business segments. A lot of the time we’re going to spend with you is talking about the drivers for our business and we really focus on three primary ones. Those are resource and infrastructure developments largely in Canada, specifically the Canadian Oil Sands, and also in Australia, but to a lesser extent the Accommodations business also has exposure in the U.S. shale play region.

As it relates to our Offshore Products segment, the real driver there is investments in global deepwater, but particularly production infrastructure and we’ll go through all of our product offerings for you. Lastly, drilling and completion activity in North America drives Well Site Services and our Tubular Services business segment.

As a company, we like to think about things that are differentiators for our business and for you as an investor. One thing that we do focus one is that 67% of our trailing 12 EBITDA is derived from segments that for us offer us very good revenue visibility, that is the participation we had in the Accommodations business through long-term contract coverage and also in Offshore Products based on the backlog position that we carry.

We kind of broke this down. Again, this is through September, because we have not yet released our fourth quarter results. Our trailing 12 EBITDA totaled $906 million, 52% came from Accommodations, 15% from Offshore Products. Those are the two that combine for the 67% that offer very good forward revenue visibility. Well Site Services came in at 25% and Tubular Services at 8%.

We like to give you this historical chart. There is several messages I leave you with here. Number one is, very strong consistent, steady growth over an extended period of time. Obviously, one blip in connection with the global financial crisis in 2009, but notably even in a weak period such as that, you can see that the blue bars, which is our Accommodations business, not only sustained the activity we grew in that year and in fact, had a record year and have consistently grown since that period of time.

In a similar fashion, again, the Offshore Products has a backlog position. We did very well, even in the harsh market environment of 2009 in that business line. The other takeaway is just the growing contribution that comes from those two segments as we deploy growth capital into those businesses lines. The more volatile piece of the business is a piece tied to the North American rig count, specifically more U.S. rig count oriented, and while it had a pretty harsh downturn in 2009 like everybody else in the industry, we’ve recovered very nicely and have demonstrated good growth in those business lines. But clearly we’re trying to, overuse term, but high grade our earnings mix into businesses that have long-term secular growth drivers that offer us very good returns on invested capital.

We often time use this chart. We manage our business based on returns on invested capital. This happens to come from Credit Suisse, so it is independently prepared and presented, but it shows the focus of our capital allocation, the focus of our managers and our businesses, and it demonstrates very strong levels of return on invested capital. And I think that is particularly important given our strong growth rate and the fact that we are consistently deploying new capital into capital into our business lines, not just enjoying returns on aged assets.

Just to give you a little bit of an update, we’ve rolled out our final room count adds for 2012, we had guided you somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 rooms. We came in just north of 2,400 lodge and village rooms. That’s combined, of course, in Canada and Australia. In the last half of the year more of the room count adds were deployed in Australia. So clearly they were added in the back half of the year due to seasonal factors in Australia in particularly the first quarter, but extending into the second quarter.

Most of you know that we are targeting some new areas of interest in Australia associated with LNG Development on the Eastern Coast and LNG Iron Ore prospects on the northwest shelf. We now have operating footholds that are Calliope and Karratha Village to take advantage of that. We are trying to penetrate the U.S. It’s a little more commoditized market. We’re going to do it slowly and carefully and only if we get the returns commensurate for the capital we deploy, but we do have a new facility now up and running in the Eagle Ford and we will look to deploy additional capital where it makes sense to do so.

Message in our Offshore Products segment, record backlog levels at September 30, absolute dollars are strong and the mix remains very good. Going forward the market demand drivers favor our proprietary high-end equipment. We’ve got a very broad based global operation. I would say, if we look at bidding and quoting activity, there is a concentration or a focus in Brazil, Southeast Asia, Australia and West Africa. We’re clearly present in the Gulf of Mexico. We just had a lot of awards over the last two years coming out of that market.

Lastly, completion and production activity in North America, you’ve heard this from everybody, but clearly rig count declined in Q4. I think our guidance that we gave coming out of Q3 relative to activity in Q4 has proved to be pretty sound and true. We’ve not projected much snap back in activity from the December levels although, of course, last week we started to see some rig count adds in recovery starting to come into the market.

We were more resilient through 2012 with a lot of shifting activity, relocations of equipment and personnel. And I attribute that to the fact that we truly do own and manage higher-end more proprietary equipment. It’s rental tools, but it’s very much service personnel as well at the rig sites that I think are differentiators for us. Even on the OCTG side of the business, we offer the higher strength, higher alloy product to the marketplace and again, I think that helps sustain our activity just because we didn’t get as much capacity encroachment as some of the service companies did last year.

We also have a very broad base of operations. Bradley’s got a chart that highlights that, and what that means is, we have a little more flexibility in relocating equipment and personnel amongst basin, because we’re not overly tied to any one basin. And then clearly, on the margin of recovery in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico has also helped these business lines as well.

Just to go through our Accommodations segment, I’m going to hit some high points here and leave you with some of the market outlook, but we are a fully integrated third-party remote site accommodations provider. What I mean by that, we have our own design teams; we come up with new village and lodge designs. We do the engineering work. We do our own in-source manufacturing, site preparation, room deployment and then the long-term catering and facilities management, as well that afford us, I think, a very good market presence for our customer base.

Hitting on the major assets we have, we have seven major lodges that are strategically located in the Canadian Oil Sand, nine villages in Australia that have a focus or a natural resource focus, if you will, largely around met coal, but we are expanding into regions from coal seam gas to LNG, longer-term into iron ore as well to diversify the commodity, of course, that drives the business.

We also have a large suite of more mobile assets that are geared towards the type of development, whether those are shale plays development, in situ type developments in the Canadian Oil Sands, pipeline construction where conceptually you know that our customers need to move from area to area to prosecute their programs.

Obviously, these are very high-end facilities. I think I’ll demonstrate that to you with pictures. We do highlight our Wapasu Creek lodge in the Canadian Oil Sands. It’s by far our largest facility. We house about 4,500 customers on a daily basis. The actual room count is about 5,100. Of course, given the extreme remote nature of this operation, we have to house our own people to support this very large operation. Again the population here on this small geographic footprint is about as large as many other smaller towns across the United States when you think about it.

We offer you a picture just to show you the location of our Oil Sands lodges that we highlighted. The open camps, again these are more geared towards our mobile camp equipment, and then just areas of interest where we have bidding, floating and contracting opportunities for the various assets that we have. We highlighted our largest, again facility, this case in Australia is our Coppabella facility. We ended the year with just under 3,000 rooms deployed in this facility. You see differences, but also a lot of commonality with the work that we do.

In Canada obviously, the weather is not as harsh as what you see. You see a lot of environmentally friendly, great landscaping, broader geographic footprint, but I can tell you this is absolutely in the middle of nowhere where there is no infrastructure and support for the workers. And so we provide a very high quality operation for them to live and work as they go through their rotations.

You see a lot of the pictures here that just show that it’s a very high quality place to live. We’ve got pools, workout facilities, tennis courts. Again, you are in the middle of nowhere. You need something to do in your off time to keep your sanity.

Again, a map of Australia shows the concentration that we have around the mining sector in the Bowen Basin, but new emerging areas of interest on the northwest shelf and the Gladstone and Curtis Island region tied to LNG development, coal seam development. Again, we think this country offers us a lot of prospects. We exited, or into Q4 I should say, we went into it with a lot of uncertainty around met coal pricing. We hit spot pricing around $150 a ton. The quarterly reset for our customers in Q4 was a $170 a ton, a lot of uncertainty around the global macroeconomic environment generally speaking, specifically to Australia, because we are commodity exporter into China.

And I just say the last 90 days that we’ve seen improving outlook in terms of the global macro and improving data points coming out of China. So I just anecdotally say I feel a little bit better about our growth potential in Australia for 2013 today than I probably did 90 days ago.

Again, this is a recap for a lot of you who model. We update this quarterly. You can see that seven major oil sands lodges, the projects that really do support the activity, the total room count and a mirror of that is provided in Australia. Again, a couple of takeaways, quarterly information for your modeling purposes; the blue is our legacy, largely Canadian Oil Sands rooms, very high growth rate growing at a compound annual growth rate of about 30% over the last five years. The red are the rooms that we added in Australia with the MAC acquisition at the end of 2010.

As I recall, when we closed that acquisition we had 5,210 rooms and you can see where we are today. We’ve been able to very significantly organically grow that acquisition, which was obviously in our plans and intentions when we bought it. If I can just talk about the big picture around our Accommodations business line, in addition to the high growth that I mentioned, the strong returns on invested capital. It gives us great visibility because of the contract nature of our operations.

Those contracts are generally ranging from two to five years in durations when they are re-contracted. They provide for inflationary cost pass-throughs to the customer base and they will have contract minimums in place that really do help us manage our operations, manage our head count, our food services and therefore, obviously maintain very strong margins and returns on invested capital over the course of our history there.

I think that’s really the high points, the other mix, sometimes people forget that we do have the mobile camp fleet. But I think the major message here, as we give you the quarter-by-quarter room rollout, know that those lodge and village rooms account for 70% of our revenues and greater than 70% of our EBITDA. So if you follow those metrics you have a pretty good indicator of the revenue generating and earnings power of the assets. Bradley is going to take over and take you through the last segment and I guess if we have time we’ll pick up with Q&A.

Bradley J. Dodson

Thank you, Cindy. In our Offshore Products segment, we provide capital equipment that goes on deepwater infrastructure, specifically here we’ve divided up into three infrastructure categories, whether that’s floating production facilities, so FPSOs, spars, TLPs, subsea pipelines and then we have a small suite of products that go on floating drilling rigs and vessels.

In our Offshore Products business usually about 50% of the revenues comes from that first category. That’s where we have our most proprietary equipment, things like our FlexJoint, our Merlin connector. In the marketplace we’re very well known for these products. We get a very high hit ratio when projects are sanctioned and do quite well obviously. They carry our best margins. We also provide the tendons that go on TLPs, as well as provide some welding technology that we acquired back in 2010.

Our second major category is the subsea pipelines side. Here we provide the interconnections on subsea pipelines systems, so these are the collet connectors, jumpers, manifolds, tie-in sleds and in some cases the repair equipment that’s necessary. This usually is about 30% of the segment’s revenues. We saw some very good order inflow late in 2011 and going into 2012 in this segment.

And then lastly, we have a small suite of products for floating drilling rigs and vessels, most notably the drilling rights are FlexJoint, which is on virtually every single floating drilling rig in the world, as well as some valve products that we acquired with the Piper deal in July; and then lastly, some conductor casing products that we’re very well known for on conductor casing.

Our business has global scope. We manufacture primarily in the U.S., Texas, Louisiana, and in Aberdeen, Scotland. But then a growing presence in terms of manufacturing in places like Singapore, we build on a new facility there in the last 18 months. We’ll be doing the same thing in Brazil in the forward 18 months. But have the ability to sell globally around the world.

In terms of outlook, it’s quite robust. This is from third-party data, but basically it’s saying that the major driver for us, which again is floating production facilities, the forward five years looks to be twice as good as the last five years, a lot of that’s going be focused on Latin America, specifically Brazil, but generally we’re going to have a very strong outlook here as we tend to get a lot of work out of the FPSOs and TLPs.

Specifically, the FPSOs we’ve tried to help investors understand what our revenue opportunity is per FPSO. What we feel very confident in pointing to is the right side of this slide on slide 23 and that is that on the Steel Catenary Riser, we have a market share that is very high.

We’re almost assured of getting that work. Again, this is our proprietary business. It’s our FlexJoints and our receptacles and our Merlin connectors. That can be $20 million to $30 million worth of revenues per FPSO. If we were to win everything on this page it might be another $30 million worth of revenue.

As Cindy mentioned, our Offshore Products segment is a backlog driven business. At the end of the third quarter we were at record backlog levels. We’ve seen a very steady strong level of what we’d call routine orders and then you’ll see on the order intake we’ll have big shots in the arm for major projects.

I think the other thing to take away from this chart, as you can see as we went through the last downturn; we went in with very strong backlog levels that obviously sustained the revenue base, which you see in the green line here. Obviously, we didn’t have any major projects sanctioned during the recession, but as soon as we started to come out of the recession you have to see the order inflow pick up and backlog start to increase.

Specific to major projects, you can see what’s driven that backlog increase here on slide 25. It’s like projects like Mars B, Papa Terra, Jack St. Malo, Big Foot. Again, those are some of the major production platforms where we’re getting that Merlin connector work, the FlexJoint work et cetera. Then again we started to see the pipeline work star to come in at the end of 2011. Those are noted at the top of the page.

Lastly going into our North American services business, I think if you take some time and look at what our performance has been in the Tubular Services and the Well Site Services segment in 2012, it really proves out that our strategy has been correct.

We focus that on the completion end of the well. Our Tubular business benefits from the longer laterals. They require heavier wall pipe. As a result, we’ve seen actually our shipments in 2012 will be a record, despite the fact that the rig count went down in the U.S.

Likewise in our completion services business the number of zones that are completed, that is the major driver of our revenues there so as the ladders become longer, as they start going from completing 14 zones to 30 zones, in some cases 50 zones. Again that just creates a greater revenue opportunity for us.

In addition, as we’ve seen a huge shift this year between natural gas drilling to oil drilling throughout 2012, you’ll see that our footprint has allowed us to pretty seamlessly move between our equipment and our personnel to new markets and still capture additional work.

In terms of our completion services offering, it’s a fairly busy slide, but focus in on a couple of proprietary pieces. On the middle left is our wellhead isolation tool that our frac stack wellhead isolation tool allows for the efficient movement between perforating and fracturing the well.

So when you’re talking about saving 30 minute to two hours between zones and you’re talking about 30 zones, when you use our stage frac tool this could be a huge time saving for the customer in terms of if they’ve got to complete 30 zones, saving an hour per zone greatly reduce the of time, the frac crew is out there and reduce the overall cost of completing well.

As I mentioned earlier, we have a great footprint across all the major oil service and shale basins in the U.S. That allowed us, as activity went down in the gas markets like the Marcellus, the Haynesville, the Fayetteville, we were able to pull equipment and personnel and move them into other areas like the Eagle Ford, the Bakken, and the Permian. And you actually see very little movement in terms of our ticket counts and our tubular shipments.

To that point, we did see our tickets, which is the number of jobs we did on the rental tool business, our completion services business in the top right. They stayed up from most of the year, despite a falling rig count in the U.S. You also see that we’re doing more work per active rig and that goes to the fact that the rig count is not a good barometer for completion activity. The completion intensity has continued to increase and we’re doing 31% more work per active rigs a day and we were back in 2008.

Likewise on the tubular side, you’ll see our shipments were up year-over-year. Last year, we did little under 700,000 tons shipped and we’ll exceed that this year in tubulars. And again, the number of tons being used or consumed per active rig in the U.S. is up 32% year-over-year versus the last peak in 2008.

Lastly, in terms of the key drivers for profitability, it’s obviously occupancy and the accommodations business, which will remain fairly healthy. We do have organic growth opportunities in both markets, in Canada and Australia, to expand with customer contracts in hand. And as Cindy mentioned, we’ll address the mobile camp business. We’ll see how the U.S. market develops and see how Three Rivers does and judiciously move forward on that.

In terms of deepwater, again we have record backlog as of the end of the third quarter, continue the internationally expansion with the new facility in Brazil, and there is a strong outlook for new orders despite having a very strong start place in terms of backlog.

In terms of the North American businesses, the service intensity continues to increase. I hope we have demonstrated that that’s benefited both the Tubular business and well side services business. Again we continue to focus on proprietary tools, ones that we can garner market share with patterns and IP, and it has helped this year to have an improving Gulf of Mexico market both for well – more for tubulars than for completion services, but that may come here in 2013.

And with that, Jim, John, if you have any questions, we’d be happy to take them.

Question-and-Answer Session

Unidentified Analyst

[Question Inaudible]

Cindy B. Taylor

Well, it’s not that you’ve necessarily missed anything, but we have ongoing dialogue with our customer base and coming into the second half of the year. We had specific negotiations, specific kind of mine expansions, contract discussions under the way that as we entered into the fourth quarter, just basically kind of win on hold and everybody is throwing up their hands saying I’ve got to figure out where met coal price is going, where the global macro is headed.

Obviously I think if you look in the U.S., China, the data points that have come out in the last 60 to 90 days show an improving trend, not necessarily a straight up to the right, but an improving trend. Met coal pricing locked in, in Q4 at 170 of ton even when spot prices hit a lot of around 147 a metric ton, not perfect, but better obviously than the spot pricing and I think as we move into 2013, we’re going to continue to see some improvements there.

So the combination of just data coming out around the globe number one, and then two conversations with customers in terms of what our potential is. Also, coming into Q4, I think we kind of guided [jeez], we’re a little worried about RevPAR because utilizations, it did soften in a couple of facilities. We told you that. You kind of don’t know until you get through the holidays, what you’re going to recover back at, but going into January the trend line things improving.

Jim K. Wicklund – Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

I would like to apologize first of all, Patricia Gil, who is sitting right up here in the front row. She is in charge of Investor Relations. I apologize for not introducing her earlier, go ahead.

Patricia Gil

Thank you.

Unidentified Analyst

[Question Inaudible]

Cindy B. Taylor

I could say I wish, but I can tell you that put me under their thumb in terms of pricing if I had anything like that. But I think a lot of what we do is just the fact that it’s harsh. It’s extraordinarily remote if not one of these areas of operations that probably most of you in this room have even been to. So therefore a lot of that U.S. developers’, you always get this well, jeez.

Unemployment is low in the U.S. Why didn’t everybody just go to the Canada oil sands? I’ll tell you first of all, I got to find it. And two you’ve got to figure out how to work there and the picture that show everything, but this is a heavily forested tundra environment, middle of nowhere. There is road. There is no power pole. There are not city services to hit into. And so they create barriers to entry.

Another one that you may not think about is just the fact that our customer base, when you talk of Syncrude, Suncor, Shell, Albian, Imperial, I had to talk to Imperial for over nine months to get them to trust me and trust my capability. So my question is, if we’re giving you great service in a very reasonable cost per rim, why would you want to start up manufacture in the U.S. This never set foot into your area of operations. Why would you let them into the market?

And so I think it’s the combination of all of those things. A lot of the dynamics again the landscape is different, when you go to Australia, but there is some interesting statistics, 19% of the population in Australia live coastline. Who can blame them? I’d rather go to the Great Barrier Reef than go in the middle of nowhere inland. I mean it’s desolate.

We didn’t see a cow for three hours on the drive. You see what I’m saying, it’s just not one of those things that everybody is going to say I want to throw all my net worth into that business. I think we’ve developed a significant expertise that is a differentiator in those markets. There is also that Bradley is dying to say, talk about land banking and permitting. I’m guessing that – come on, come on.

Bradley J. Dodson

Well, no and I mean the one thing about Wapasu, the second largest hotel in North America period behind the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. So we’ve been running that for seven straight years with no high line power, no running water and no sewage.

Cindy B. Taylor

Natural gas that jells in the winter and…

Bradley J. Dodson

And in conditions that are minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So I think that while, yeah, when you silo all the things that we do and someone design a facility, sure. And someone build the facility, sure. And someone run a facility, sure. But when you brought altogether in the areas we run it, there is a little expertise to be able to operate these areas. And to Cindy’s point, the land banking is that the key is to know where the customers are going and have the permits in hands, so we can be the mover when the demand actually comes to fruition.

Jim K. Wicklund – Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

And I’ve just lived and worked in the remote places of Australia. At one point, I was living in Darwin and we decided to go to the next largest town of 1,000 people, it was not 198 miles, yeah. Question…

Cindy B. Taylor


Jim K. Wicklund – Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

The combinations business and MLPs, nobody has asked you about MLPs yet. That’s the only thing nobody wants to talk about. When do we put the accommodations business into a MLPs 10 times?

Bradley J. Dodson

Well, I think we’ve been pretty upfront about it. We have been growing the accommodations business pretty successfully over the last three or four years. And have been redeploying the strong cash flow to generate from an operating perspective back into growing the room count.

We believe that for the next two to three years, we’re going to have a continued opportunities to do that. Once the operations I think mature to a level where in almost any market environment, any growth environment, we’re still very cash flow positive. I think that fits more into a distribution type model.

That being said, where we’re operating in the U.S. and Canada and Australia, there is not from what we have found a very easy straight forward, yep that absolutely works pathway or structure. And so given the fact that we think operationally its several years down the road, we always are looking to do the right thing for our operations and for our shareholders. But we’ve not seen a ready made vehicle with which to do it.

Unidentified Analyst

[Question Inaudible]

Bradley J. Dodson

There is logistics – yeah the tax logistics of moving cash around are always a consideration.

Unidentified Analyst

[Question Inaudible]

Jim K. Wicklund – Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

Any other questions?

Bradley J. Dodson

What’s that?

Unidentified Analyst

[Question Inaudible]

Bradley J. Dodson

Yeah, I’m not a tax expert.

Unidentified Analyst

[Question Inaudible]

Cindy B. Taylor

Yeah, and realize we’ve worked in a lot of these. We’ve worked in Argentina in the past. We’ve worked in Kurdistan in the past. We’ve supported Canadian peace keeping troops in Bosnia and Afghanistan. So clearly we can do that. We supported the Olympics when the Olympics were in Vancouver.

Those are projects, and we’ll do projects. We’re looking for platforms. And it’s hard to market across the globe for individual projects. If they come to us great, we’re going to give you great service. We’ll make it reasonable return and it maybe gone in two or three years.

Platforms, a lot of that leads us to a mining thought process. So South America comes to mine. Clearly, our customer base in the region, we look that acquisition candidates to build off and we’ve not found a perfect entry point. That will continue to look. There are other expansions that are obvious, think mining, think infrastructure development, LNG is an example.

So I think you’ll see us continued to growth this business and expand geographically. We need the right opportunity set to do it. These highly commoditized offerings, whether that is in the Eagle Ford or the Permian Basin or if it’s in Brazil, in the mining sector aren’t what we want to do. We really want to replicate to get the returns on invested capital that we deploy and therefore we’re going to be very focused on that expansion.

Unidentified Analyst

I love the comments on returns. Thank you.

Jim K. Wicklund – Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

Any questions? Yeah, thank you very much.

Cindy B. Taylor

Thank you.

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