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E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) (DD)

Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. Basic Materials Conference

December 10, 2013 11:45 a.m. ET


Nick Fanandakis – EVP & CFO



Welcome back everybody. We are pleased to welcome our next presenting company which is DuPont. DuPont comes to the conference at a very interesting juncture in the company’s history I think, planning to separate the performance chemicals business and I will make comment on it later. Our speaker is Nick Fanandakis who is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the company. Role that he is held for about four years since November 2009, importantly a Boston native. So some of you may not detect an accent at all. So Nick thank you for braving the weather here and joining us the conference for the fortune update.

Nick Fanandakis

Good morning. It's always good to come back here because I am quite coming back home when I come to Boston and when I do talk up here in front of all of you I don’t get any grief about where I put my R's or where I don’t put my R's. So it's always a pleasure. I do want to talk about the DuPont company, the strategy and direction that we are going right now and then I want to take a little bit of time to just give you our view and perspective of the macro trends as we are seeing them for 2014 as well.

I will be making forward looking statements and so as a result of that, as well as non-GAAP measurements references, so you can see here on page two, directs you to our website where you can see the reconciliation of those non-GAAP measurements. On slide 3, unlike the slide, which is very blurry our strategy is very clear. We have very clear direction in the company. As Kevin mentioned I came into the role in ‘09, Ellen got the CEO position in January of ‘09 and we with the leadership team have been executing against our plan since that time much stronger company today than it was in the ‘09 time period. I think you will see from the data that I am going to show you from some of the slides that the strategy is working based on the value creation that has occurred and we are in a strong position in some very attractive growth markets.

If you look at this chart, chart 4, you’ll see the three strategic priories that we have within the company. And they are in three very attractive spaces. We have Ag & Nutrition where we are extending our leadership position across this high value chain of Ag & Food. In there we are [Indiscernible] unique position and is not just around the Ag piece but we have that full value chain exposure and leverage through the Ag to food chain.

To the right side of the chart, on advanced materials, this is the historic strength of the DuPont company. And here we are looking to continue to extend our leadership in the space. In the middle, you have the Bio-based industrials part of the company and what we are looking at here is continuing to develop that world-leading position in industrial biotechnology and really to create transformation of Bio-based businesses whether that be bio-fuels or bio-based materials.

In doing so, leverage across the other areas, leverage the application development capabilities in the market access capabilities, in advanced materials as well as leverage the value chain relationship that we have in the Ag and Nutrition side of the house in the feedstock knowledge that we enjoy in that segment as well.

Now in order to deliver these three strategic priories we have three operational priories that we are driving in the company as well. One is around innovation and really what we are looking to do here is to continually improve and accelerate the return on our R&D dollars. The second is around our global reach in leveraging that global reach across the company, across all the businesses. And the third is around execution excellence. And here we are talking about things like our productivity gains and our preferential and differential management within the company around our resources.

So some of the proof points of how the strategy is working, you can see here on this chart the net income back in 2008 and that which we completed in 2012, a couple of things worth pointing out on this chart. First of all, the pharma income, the pharma value that was realized back in 2008 was a little over a billion dollars of pretax value were shown here at $700 million of net income. Outside of that, there was another $1.5 million [Ph] of value or net income generated in the year 2008 and you can see that between 2008 and 2012 we have more than doubled the net income ex pharma and even with the pharma drop off which is essentially going to zero in the 12 time we have enabled to grow earnings significantly.

Here we have on Slide 6, we have two components. We have Total Shareholder Return and you can see over the same time period, the period of as I said when Ellen came into the leadership position in ‘09 till current, we have grown TSR by 196% that’s almost double what our proxy peers have done and it's about 60% higher than the S&P 500. On the right side of the chart, you can see the total capital return to our shareholders and again, you can see that the company has outperformed all categories proxy peers, as well as S&P 500.

Throughout this time period we have been making portfolio changes along the way. In the 2011 period we acquired Danisco. It was a $7 billion acquisition. It brought with it a lot of technology channel access capabilities around bio products, bio-technology. [Audio Gap] shown on this chart, the inflow from Danisco had a growth of 7% to 9%, the outflow of coding had a growth rate of 3% to 5% so continuing to enhance the value and not just from numbers growth rate perspective, but from a science intensity and science leverage standpoint and much more science capabilities brought to the table through the Danisco than through the coating [Indiscernible]. And now we are looking at the net space of the transformation which is around the performance of chemical spin that we are putting in place. And here we are going to have two highly competitive companies when we are done with the spin; one very much focused on high growth driven by science and innovation, the other driven cash generation driven mission statement through the spin [Indiscernible].

Separation work is very much underway. We announced this. We said about 18 months was put just in that first quarter, second quarter of 2015 time period, a lot of cash and milestones have to met along the way and I will be glad to get into specifics on any of those that you might have questions on.

Not only have we made those large portfolio shifts, but we’ve also seen shifts beyond that. We have a continuous refinement if you will where we have smaller deals that are in and out. You can see some of those listed on left side of acquisitions and on the right side some of the divestitures and what I would say about these acquisitions is they all fit the same strategy and direction of where the company is going and we are making an acquisition we are viewing it for strategic reasons, we are doing it for technology access we are doing it for channel access, we have significant hurdles in place that we measure ourselves against before we move forward in that space and on the divestitures side, when you are looking at some of those, the most recent being GLS that was just announced fairly recently, we are looking at divestitures where we can't really leverage the science that much in the offering as we go forward and we feel there is greater value to be created through divest than it would be to continue to run the entity.

When I talk about science and the value that has in that decision making process, obviously we are building a higher growth, higher value company and science is the building block of that building. If you look historically in the company, innovation has created a lot of the next waves within the company throughout our history and what we are going to see is continuation of that as we move forward. On Slide 10, you can see on the left side a honeycomb of all the core technologies in the company right now and these core technologies have been developed, they have been acquired, some have been shed through divestitures, but this is where we sit today from a core technology standpoint.

When we talk about integrated science, it's taking one or more of these core technologies combining them to enhance the value of the offering in the market place and what makes DuPont unique in this regard is a lot of people practice in executing [Indiscernible] integrated science what makes DuPont unique here is the breadth of core technologies that we have that you can see shown here, significant breadth and significant opportunity for integration across chemistry engineering, material science and biological sciences and all of these when they are coupled and integrated, they are serving the end of meeting the market needs around some of these world scale challenges that exists, all really population driven around food energy and protection.

When I talk about integrated science and the value that it's creating this isn’t just a future opportunity, this is existing today in the company. This chart shows you on the left hand side that the listing of some of the items that generate greater than $4 billion of sales in 2012 and these items are going to continue to grow. As we advance into additional markets and additional applications plus the fact that we have a very strong pipeline. So you know you see products like [Indiscernible] here and say as appear now is coming on its own traction and you will see that continue to pick up as well. So strong pipeline of these products exists and you can see that cross over Ag and nutrition, bio-based, and advanced materials. All three of those strategic priories represented here in the R&D success stories.

And not only we are proud of this but you can see that we are getting industry recognition for this success as well with several awards that I showed you. I am not going to go through them all but several awards that I show you on the right hand side one of which describes specifically around our R&D pipeline.

We have generated, if you look at the R&D we have a metric that we talk about very publicly with you all and that is to get to 30% of our revenue from products introduced in the last four years and in 2012, we hit 29% of $10 billion of value and revenue from new products.

Shifting little bit to dividends. Dividends are big part, big priority in the company. We have had them since 1904, this is 437 dividends consecutive dividends, we continued them at the level through the separation of coding, through the pharma license expiration, through the global financial crisis, so I think we have shown and demonstrated the importance of it. For the last two years, we have increased dividends and our stated position is to continue to increase dividends commensurate with the earnings increase obviously subject to board approval but I think through the history we have shown the importance dividends have in the company in a way of returning value back to the shareholders.

It's not the only tool we use. You can see from Slide 13, total capital return to shareholders since I have been in the role of CFO is $10 billion, a little over $10 billion actually and that includes share buyback as well as cumulative dividends. So we have utilized all tools to provide that value back to the shareholders and we will continue to do so as we did with the performance coatings divestitures we took a billion dollar of proceeds and bought back shares with those proceeds.

So this all adds up to what you see shown on Slide 14. These are all long term growth targets. You can see them by reporting segment. We show the sales, CAGR growth in the first column. The margin targets that we have for those businesses and what the margins were in the 2012 time period. All of this adding up to a total of 7% top line, 12% bottom line.

So I just want to take last couple of minutes here before I go for questions and talk a little bit around 2014. The macro outlook for us what we are projecting right now is global growth GDP to be in the 3% range versus the 2% in 2013. This is driven by improvements in the U.S. and Europe. Europe is coming out of the recession. Latin America is growing but just slightly. If you look at some of the numbers North America's going from like 1.6% up to almost 3%, Western Europe from a flat to about 1%. So you can see the areas as I mentioned U.S. and Europe being the primary drivers there.

From an industrial production standpoint, we see it going up about 4% as Europe and Japan recovered from the recessions; both of those were in the negative growth from an IPI standpoint last year and we are talking about them going in Japan up to as much as 5%.

Energy prices, we see as stable. Commodity prices weakening and the dollar strengthening in 2014, we are anticipating about 2% strengthening of the dollar. We are in the process of setting our targets and reviewing the full business plans for 2014. We are going to be able to provide full guidance in this area anticipating doing that during the January fourth quarter, I mean the fourth quarter earnings call in January.

Some of the key market segments that we are involved in the Ag segment, we do see the fundamentals normalizing. Commodity prices retreating significantly from the peak with lower planet area but we do also anticipate modest pricing gains and increase penetration of our offering and our products though the innovation that we are bringing around whether it be AquaMax, whether it be AcreMax, or T-series soybeans. We are talking about achieving those long terms rates and we say for the Ag business of that 8 to 10 that I showed you in the margins that we are getting to the 22% to 24% range as our long term targets in those four areas.

For global vehicles, you can see expecting to rise about 4% which is after about 3% increase in 2013. Housing starts up about 20% and strong growth in electronics, both on the PV side, as well as the consumer electronic side. The area that I don’t normally talk a lot about at the sort of this sessions is around sustainability, we just recently issued our sustainability update last week. So I thought I just take a moment and address this. When you look at the numbers here, you can see that this is an area that we’ve been a leader for the last 20 years. So before picking popular to talk about it, we were talking about it and we set goals and targets, every five years, we are well in our way to meeting or exceeding our targets for 2015 time period that’s when our next milestone would be reached. These target setting and the achievements here certainly they have a positive environmental impact but they are also generating real value through the financial savings and the top line benefits as well. So specifically a lot of value being generated in this area not only environmentally but financially as well and DuPont is a leader in this category.

So in closing, what can you expect world leading positions in Ag and nutrition bio-based and advanced materials driving the operational priorities that I mentioned, innovation where we are increasing the value of our R&D dollars. In global reach we are leveraging and capitalizing on that infrastructure and global reach across the company and on execution, where we continue to focus and have execution be one of our key areas not only from the productivity gains but also from the chains that we have, we are making sure that we continue to produce the value year after year. All these adds up to the 7% top line, 12% CAGR and I think you can be certain that we will deliver as we have in the last five years continuing to create that significant shareholder value for all of [Indiscernible] shareholders. So with that let me open up for questions.

Question-and-Answer Session


Thank you Nick. If anyone has a question please raise your hand and we will bring the microphone right over. Maybe I will just kick things off, Nick if the macro environment does shape up as you forecast and outlined this morning, would you care to call out as an individual businesses that you think might have some win at the back in that scenario of accelerating growth stable energy and stronger dollar and at the end of the spectrum, are there any particular businesses within the portfolio where you think 2014 might be more challenging than this current year?

Nick Fanandakis

Well, couple of things. One is in the Ag side of the house Kevin, when you look at some of the mappers I have talked about there on the reduction in commodity pricing, initially that’s thought of as potential negative for the Ag business but it also has the other side of the coating there which is it’s a value in our production cost. So this actually enhances our margins in the Ag business as that unique cost comes down. Now the plain thing is obviously would have some impact on the top line but as I stated, we are still anticipating growth in that through the innovation that we are bringing into that segment, into the product offerings.

When you look at the automotive segment and the increases there we are going to go on there obviously that would impact positively our performance of the polymer business. So the part of the performance material segment would be favorably impacted by that but housing starts would potentially favorably impact the safety and protection business from a segment reporting basis. So some of the positive sides of the house. The currency is going to be a negative impact just across the board because we have 17% of our businesses is outside North America. So that strengthening of the dollar will impact us negatively across the company.


Any questions for Nick in the front? Nick, would you go back towards the beginning of the presentation on the portfolio changes that you have already made in place. What are the areas would you be considering either product line divestment or areas where you would like to [Indiscernible] portfolio?

Nick Fanandakis

Yes, thanks. So I showed you those two charts. One that showed you the major movements of the portfolio, the Danisco coming in and the coatings going out and now talking about performance chemicals. Those are the major shifts but the chart right after that I showed you a lot of the other movements sort of going on all the time what I will call the blueprints [Ph] in the way of acquisitions in the smaller divestitures. In that type of portfolio, proactive portfolio management, it's something that we will always continue in a company. We will continuously be looking at products, understanding where they stand in the market environment? What point are they in their life cycle? Where they can create the greatest value with that? Will it still be DuPont or would that potentially be through divestitures?

And one of the drivers on that decision is certainly the value as I just said but the other is around but the other is around which relates the value is around the ability to leverage the science. So GLS, the most recent divestiture we announced. There was an area where although strong business performing very well didn’t really have a lot of opportunity to leverage a lot of those core technologies that I showed you on that other chart, and so as a result of that, does it make sense to be a potential divestiture candidate in after analysis and testing the market we came to the conclusion that it did.

On the acquisition side, we are always looking at potential acquisitions, but we are pretty picky. We want it to be in very specific areas. It's got to have very clear financial hurdles that it meets. It's got to be strategic in nature so it really does have to have a channel access that we couldn’t get otherwise when you look at the pro-access or the Pannar acquisition that we made of the seed business in South Africa that provided us a channel access that we couldn’t get in the same period of time without that acquisition. It's got to bring clear technology to the table that we couldn’t develop on our own in a reasonable period of time. The acquisition of Danisco certainly did that. It brought that biotechnology around enzyme capability and fermentation capability to the table right away for the company and allows us now to leverage that across advanced materials in other areas. So we are looking at those opportunities all the time to see what maybe available and how that value might be created.

Unidentified Participant

Hi, since you and Monsanto -- since the company and Monsanto sort of project tools do you think that sort of help you both of you sort of focus more on your product development and so how is that going?

Nick Fanandakis

I missed the first part, I am sorry.

Unidentified Participant

You and Monsanto calling troops?

Nick Fanandakis

Calling troops? But Monsanto’s are good competitor of ours. They remain a competitor of ours. So unlike troops means, other than maybe the legal questions that you are talking about. Look we have shown the strength of our product line since the ‘08 time period. When you look at the end of ‘08 till now, what's happened from North American market share perspective on [Indiscernible], so if you look at [Indiscernible] Pioneer year has gained 7 plus percentage points of [Indiscernible] from the ‘08 and now time period. And if you look at [Indiscernible], it's over 10% points of share. So tremendous market share gained since that ’08 time period a strong pipeline of products I talked about two, three of them, you know the AquaMax, the drought tolerant, the AcreMax, the refuge in the bag products, our T-series, so I saw a lot of things in the pipeline coming out [Indiscernible] a major success story on the crop side of the house where we in a third, fourth year of introduction over $900 million of sales.

On the heels of that is coming now Cyazypyr, another product family offerings in that space. So I think we are showing the strength of our Ag business in the marketplace from the results that are going on from a share perspective. From an internal perspective, just looking at the size of it, I mean if you look at the way till now, we have doubled the topline and we have doubled earnings in that business, in that segment. So tremendous success going on in there and our relationship with Monsanto as well as other competitors is around trying to secure the optimum products for our customers. So this products that we develop internally, these products that we will potentially in license and it's taking those putting those together in way that it enhances the value to the farmer. We will look for ways to do that all the time.

Unidentified Participant

For the performance chemical business, 18 months is like kind of a long time for the spend, would you consider selling that business as an alternative?

Nick Fanandakis

Well we have considered selling the business. I mean we’ve been looking at this option and this space in evaluating performance chemicals for over 12 months. So part of that evaluation was to look at ventures, to look at sales, to look at spins, to look at RMPs, to look at all different potential ways in which we could separate from the chemicals if we decided that was the right thing to do. We’ve completed that evaluation it is the right thing for us to do from a timeline standpoint of 18 months, we did a lot of benchmarking through this time period of evaluation looking at like transactions, like size, they are somewhat all over the map. You have some that have taken 36 months. You have some that have [Indiscernible] 14 months, some that have taken 12, on average when we did this analysis we said about 14 months is what we see as the average of this type of effort and work. And you got to be careful with that too because when I talk to some of my peers in the industry, something that shows as 12 months, they really started working on before they went public with it so it might have taken more like a 14/15 months if they had really.

So you got to be careful when you look at the time period. We also just went through the coatings divestitures where we saw firsthand, the length of time it was going to take to do a lot of the work that’s necessary for this type of an opportunity, so the fact that you have to have the [Indiscernible] done, the fact that you have to have those [Indiscernible] you need to disengage and disentangle the business from the current operations within the company not only from manufacturing but also reporting standpoint, you got to have the IT systems in place to allow to be a standalone and then you have additional things that come with the spin that aren’t there with the sale meaning you got to put that whole infrastructure in place with the sale you might just have pieces of it go but you don’t necessary have to have a CEO or CFO ahead of HR all these other things, well for this you have to have all that bottom up build in place and ready when the separation occurs. All that taken into account, we believe our reasonable number based on the benchmarking and what we know the work load would be, 18 months we think is a reasonable place to be and we are trying that as fast as we can. If can get it done quicker, we sure will but we think that’s the reasonable time period.

Now on your point around the sale, I said we looked at it, one of the things you have to keep in mind on the sale is two things actually you should keep in mind, one is we are leader in this segment in many of the businesses, not only just TL2 but also in the DC and F side of the house. Being the leader in those segment, you are going to limit your spear potential buyers right out the gate. Second, and by limiting that spear, _ potentially the price. Secondly, we have a low tax basis. So that low tax basis creates a significant tax leakage that occurs that we have to overcome in our sales price. So you got to limit the buyers spear plus a needed higher pricing sales just wasn’t going to create the same value for the shareholders that the spin would.

Unidentified Participant

It is the follow up on the prior question. Would you update us on some what you are seeing in the major businesses within performance chemicals I think for example you have some price increases on the table, maybe you could comment on your outlook there as well as things like inventory levels operating rates and what you are seeing in the up street core markets in this business?

Nick Fanandakis

Yes. So the market in TL2 specifically which is what you are asking is playing out pretty much like we had anticipated and had forecasted which is it has stabilized. Volumes have increased the last several sequential quarters as well as year-over-year now. So we’are starting to see the volumes pick back up. The supply chains from a consumer standpoint, they had gotten their inventory levels in line for some time now. It was on the manufacturer side where they were still the TL2 manufacturer side where there was still an excess inventory levels. The last time we talked about this, we were talking about the industry being at about 65 days, and I think the normal was about 50 days, so it had about a 15-day kind of surplus. We continue to see that worked off.

The marketplace, I would say, is very stable right now, and it’s a just matter of how long is it going to bump along at that level before it takes to turn back up again. I don’t know exactly when that time period is, when it’s going to turn back up again. But we have our capacity expansion that we’re working on it Altamira [Ph]. We’ll have that complete and ready to go, the 2015 time period. We’ll make a determination from a market perspective of, does it make sense to start that up early 2015, later in 2015? We’ll be dictated by the market conditions.


We can have one or two more quick ones, if there are any from the audience.

Unidentified Participant

Traditionally, spin-offs can create value by transferring costs interest expense and unseen obligation to the surviving entity that would be lower valued and thereby increasing EBITDA, EPS whatever to the higher or to the surviving business that’s presumably going to be higher valued. The question really is to part, what can you tell us at this point about the amount of debt hand or pension obligation if you intend to transfer to chemical spin? Second, above and beyond that financial process, how does this transaction create value for the DuPont shareholder?

Nick Fanandakis

Let’s go over transaction piece first, the actual mechanics of how we’re going to do that and what we plan on doing. DuPont is a single A-rated company today. We look to maintain that single-A rating post-divestiture or post-spin. The new entity, performance Chemicals, we’re targeting it to be a low investment grade, triple-B minus sort of a rating. Now, the amount of debt load that we are able to put on that entity will depend on the question that Kevin just asked which is how quickly does that turn and where is that business for that segment come 2015 when the separation occurs? The more vibrant it is, the greater value that’s been recaptured back because of market upturns, the more debt would be able to put on that entity at separation. We’re also going to be moving dividend obligation over to that entity as well such that we would enable both entities, DuPont and [Indiscernible] entity together to have the same level of dividend as DuPont would have prior to that separation.

That level of debt that’s going over would be dependent upon the performance of the business at that time but for scoping purposes, think about it as a triple-B minus, what would be needed in the triple-B minus sort of rating and a lot of the sell side analysts have put in their reports, their numbers are in the $3 to $4 billion range of debt, and that’s probably not too bad of a place to be thinking, but as I say, it depends on the performance of the business at that time.

You talked about pension obligation too. That is certainly an option for us and maybe something that we do. I will tell you though that I believe this greater value to DuPont to retain that pension obligation and move additional debt over rather -- when the rating agencies look at it, they are looking at adjusted net debt. So they going to take the debt load plus the pension obligation that you have on that entity when they calculate that triple-B minus sort of rating. If I don’t put the pension obligation over, I can increase the debt load that I’m putting over. And so, by putting more debt load over there, I get the cash coming back into the parent company, and I can decide what I want to with that. I could retire pension obligation if I wanted to. I could do share buyback. I can do a lot of different things with the money coming back in from the debt load that I put on the entity.

The point of why I would probably do that versus move the pension over is the pension going over even on the 2015 time period is probably going to over to pretty load discount rate. And so, as the discount rates come back up, I’d be losing value into the [Indiscernible] because they would get that appreciation of the discount rates and arguably, I could have been put more obligation on this. So by doing it as a debt, I fix it and I don’t have to worry about what happens to those discount rates.

Your other question on the things beyond that’s creating value, there is a lot. I mean when you look at that honeycomb chart I showed you, the technology chart there, and I talk about the leverage of the science and the company and why we just sold GLS because it wasn’t able to, if you were to look at the places where Performance Chemicals is leveraging science out of that honeycomb, it’s very minimal. It’s like one, maybe two places. And so, what I’m telling you about that is it wasn’t science intense sort of business. It’s got a very strong position from technology that it has on manufacturing, so our manufacturing technology in that TL2 business, for example, is step change improvement from any competitor out there from a cost position, but it doesn’t draw a lot of science in its product offering. TL2 is TL2 is TL2. It doesn’t have that same opportunity for leveraging that science that our other areas and other products do within the company that are left and being a science-driven high growth that doesn’t fit in to that mold.

A couple of that was the fact when you look at the TL2 business or the segment as a whole, you have growth of GDP growth rates very cyclical and very volatile. And so, if you have a company that you’re trying to grow 7 and 12 and you got a volatility that in 2013, on an earnings per share basis, the segment decreased the overall company performance by $0.65 a share, that’s a significant volatility to perform against your 7 and 12 targets that we’ve set in the company around a consistent growth rates. This is going to allow for more certainty [Indiscernible] much toward the secular side which is where we are driving the company.


Great question and great answer. I’m afraid we’re at the end of our allotted time and recognizing. We’re standing between you all and lunch. I think we’ll cut it off there.

Nick, thank you very much.

Nick Fanandakis

Thank you.

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Source: E. I. du Pont de Nemours' (DuPont) Management Presents at Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. Basic Materials Conference (Transcript)
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