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Nidec Corporation (NYSE:NJ)

Q1 2014 Earnings Conference Call

February 23, 2014 09:00 a.m. ET

Executives

Masuo Yoshimatsu – First Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Masahiro Nagayasu – General Manager of Investor Relations Department

Analysts

Hiroko Charles – TT International

Jim Zhou – American Century Investments

Mark Yim – Gamco Investors

Operator

Good day, everyone, and welcome to Nidec’s Conference Call hosted by Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. As a reminder, today's call is being recorded. At this time, I like to pass this conference to [Mr. Abe] at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities for opening remarks. [Mr. Abe], please go ahead, sir.

Unidentified Corporate Participant

Okay, thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for joining this conference call today. This is [Abe], General Manager, Institutional Sales Department of Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, Tokyo. Before the meeting starts, please make sure all materials have been distributed, and if not, please download the files on Nidec's homepage right now.

Now may I introduce Mr. Masuo Yoshimatsu, the First Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, who will be speaking to you very shortly. But first, Mr. Yoshimatsu will make a presentation. After his presentation, we will move to a Q&A session. Mr. Yoshimatsu will now discuss Nidec's first quarter fiscal 2014 results, future outlook and then management's strategy. Mr. Yoshimatsu, please go ahead.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

(inaudible) Good day ladies and gentlemen and welcome to today’s conference call for Nidec’s fiscal first quarter 2014 financial results. My name is Masuo Yoshimatsu, CFO of Nidec and I will be your main speaker for today. Joining me is Mr. Masahiro Nagayasu, General Manager of Nidec’s IR team. I will answer any questions as long as appropriate for this conference call from strategic matters to detailed financial figures together with our IR team.

I am determined to make this session effective and fruitful and your active participation and co-operation will be fully appreciated. For the forward-looking statements, please see page 2 of our presentation material for details. Now I will review the key figures from our results in the fiscal first quarter 2014.

Please turn to page 3 of our presentation. We achieved strong financial result for the June quarter with net sales of 240 billion yen, operating income of 25.6 billion yen, operating income ratio of 10.6%, and net income of 17.9 billion yen and earnings per share of 64.96 yen.

Our net sales was the highest quarterly figure that we have ever achieved. After the (inaudible), which was conducted in FY12, our operating income increased for the five quarters running, and we continued to maintain the (inaudible) recovery.

For operating income, automotive, appliance, commercial and industrial products, which are key growth areas for our mid-term strategic target we achieved equal to high figures for the five quarters running reaching 9 billion yen. Look at page five, based on the strong performance we have made an upward revision of our net sales projection for FY14 from 950 billion yen to 960 billion yen to the extent that past quarter net sales exceeded our original expectations.

Likewise we have also revised upward our FY14 operating income forecast from 100 billion yen to 105 billion yen. With regard to the dividend per share forecast we have revised them upward from 27.5 yen for the first and second half respectively to 30 yen leading to an annual 60 yen dividend per share, while the yen increased from original annual 55 yen.

Turning to the (inaudible) forecast, which is elaborated on page 7 of the presentation material. In April, we said that HDD (inaudible) for FY14 to 523 million units against 551 million in FY13, down 28 million as we saw the (inaudible) of the PC market shrinking and the SSD depressing HDD embedded in PCs. However since April we are seeing a surge in PC demand due to Windows XP support expiration and the very strong new gaming console demand. Thus we have raised the HDD count for FY14 to 549 million, up 26 million for approximately 5% against our April forecast. For each quarter numbers, please look at page 7.

Starting on the automotive, appliance, commercial and industrial products on page 8, the first quarter net sales was almost the same as our April forecast, and the operating income was slightly higher than expected. Now I am going to touch on the results of automotive and ACI in more detail. With regard to automotive sector we have seen a strong motor business helped by the higher than expected US auto sales.

For the appliance, commercial and the industry sector net sales and operating income increased quarter-on-quarter. Please note we have not revised our forecast for the second quarter and onward. From now – from here I would like to turn to our mid-term strategic goals as you see on page 9. We continued to aim to achieve net sales of 1.23 million and operating income ratio of 15% for FY15 bearing in mind (inaudible) laying the foundation for sustainable growth for the next 100 years.

We are currently going through a business transformation process of the former one pillar of small precision motors to the four pillars as illustrated on page 10. If you have a look at two pie charts on page 11, you will see the first quarter results was already coming closer to FY15 volume on the right that we are aiming at.

The biggest difference between the left and the right charts is portfolio transformation expected by the end of FY15 will almost be completed. For the mid-term strategic goals for the automotive sector on page 13 and 14, we continue to aim to achieve net sales of 300 billion yen and operating income ratio of 11% for FY15 as explained in April (inaudible) of Nidec, combined with (inaudible) which was acquired from Honda Motors at the end of this March.

In the automotive industry, (inaudible) and the environment for car making and the motors, motor controls and sensors that we provide are becoming more and more indispensable for future cars. We will provide the automotive industry with systems and modules, which are integrated with our number one motor technology together with advanced motor control unit and transfer technologies in broader areas and we will contribute to the development of safe, comfortable and environment friendly cars.

For the mid-term strategic goals or for the appliance, commercial and industrial sector on page 15 and 16, we continue to aim to achieve net sales of 300 billion yen and operating income ratio of 13% for FY15. The appliance, commercial and industry business sector is growing very rapidly over the recent years through overseas acquisitions. We have been conducting company based management immediately after acquisition, but in order to accelerate synergy based on the development of post-merger integration we have aligned overseas organizations of the appliance, commercial and industry business along markets customers and product.

With this organizational reform we will pursue further sales growth and cost synergies. For the mid-term strategic goals for the small precision motors on page 17 through 19, we continue to aim to achieve net sales of 400 billion yen and operating income ratio of 22% for FY15.

In the HDD area, we are seeing almost growth for FY14 and FY15. In the other small motor as elaborated on page 18, we believe to see a steady sales increase as new businesses are expected to flourish in broader areas including appliance, IT and communications, offsetting the anticipated decline for lower growth for the industry businesses such as optical disk drives.

This is against the backdrop of, for instance, energy savings movements in earlier periods and the change from engines to motors and from AC motors to brushless DC motors. We are proceeding with various new projects as elaborated on page 19 and we expect to see new products beginning to continuing in the second half of the fiscal 2014 and onward. Lastly, on behalf of the entire management team of Nidec I am glad to thank our customers, partners, suppliers for their support and the commitment as well as our shareholders.

At this time we would like to open up the call for questions. Thank you.

Masahiro Nagayasu

Thank you very much Mr. Yoshimatsu. We live to move into the Q&A session. Mr. Yoshimatsu will be pleased to answer your questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator instructions) We will take our first question from (inaudible).

Unidentified Analyst

Hello. Thank you very much for your presentation. I am (inaudible). This is the first time in my career that a Japanese company’s valuations can be compared with other international companies, which companies would you like to be seen to be compared with on a global basis, and how do you judge when you are at the top of your sort of current potential?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Hi, thank you for your question. We are already the largest and strongest motor company in the world. It is up to you to compare us to competitors or any manufacturers.

Unidentified Analyst

If you were to say that to sort of investors who might be looking at Japanese companies from a global perspective, who do you think you might be compared with on a global scale (inaudible)?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

You saw our business portfolio has been wilding expanding and now we started our business from IT focusing on HDD motors and optical disk drives, now ACI, appliance, commercial and industry also automotive products going forward. So in each segment we have (inaudible) from competitors, but we are growing very fast as you know. So, on the whole Nidec is growing so fast and wilding expanding. So it is – maybe it (inaudible) difficult to compare with one single manufacturer.

Unidentified Analyst

Yes, and if you – and yes, and if you are then the strongest motor company in the world, does that give you very strong advantage in R&D do you think?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Yes. So, regarding R&D, so we are spending about 4.5% of net sales organically. Also in order to acquire technologies and capabilities and expand our product we recognize a mandate (inaudible) to grow. So organic growth and a mandate to drive us high growth.

Unidentified Analyst

Yes, okay. Thank you very much.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

You are welcome. Thank you very much. Next question please.

Operator

(Operator instructions) We will go to (inaudible).

Unidentified Analyst

Hello, thank you very much for doing this call. I have two questions on ACI, I believe you are moving to a market-based approach from a legacy approach, I thought it is interesting, but how are you going to implement this move specifically, can you share with us some ideas you have in mind, are you going to move everyone involved in ACI business in each entity or I would appreciate if you could give us some examples. Can I go to my second question?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

So, yes, we will answer one by one if you –

Unidentified Analyst

Okay.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

So, thank you for your question (inaudible). So you are referring to our presentation material page 16.

Unidentified Analyst

Yes.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

So, we have been acquiring many foreign companies and immediately after the closings we have been focusing on integration of each dealer entity and after two years or four years, (inaudible) now we are confident we have completed the first phase of integration. Now we have come to the stage we accelerate the synergy, the speed of synergy. Therefore we organize into each market based or domain-based, or (inaudible).

Global appliance motors (inaudible) or market-based group and Global appliance motors includes (inaudible) motor, also appliance motor division of NMC, former Emerson, and regarding commercial, residential solutions NMC’s commercial motors such as air conditioning motors also a product of Kinetek.

Also Kinetek has a strong elevator solutions and drive systems. So we divided Kinetek’s business into our commercial residential solutions and also elevator solutions and drive systems. And for elevator solutions and drive systems we are aiming to become a solution provider as well, and industrial solutions includes three entities, (inaudible) also industrial motor division of NMC.

Obviously (inaudible) domains or group is responsible to drive the business globally, so exceeding legal entity. So this is a direction and actually we implemented this (inaudible) in April of this year and that is going quite well, thanks to the (inaudible) CEO of NMC, also (inaudible)

Unidentified Analyst

That’s okay. Thank you very much.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Welcome.

Unidentified Analyst

My second question is also SCI, I guess in these four new divisions, maybe it applies global alliance motors and the industrial solutions. Can you please give us some examples on recent development on the business side some orders or some enquires you received or any challenges you faced. Thank you.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Okay. Global clients includes Europe, United States also China. So, our head of global appliance motors is CEO, Nidec Sole in Italy and she is driving the business strongly with global alliance within that group. And now in Europe also implementing (inaudible) so we will start mass production very soon. that’s one of our progress and as for industrial solutions, we you may remember we received large size of contract for Canadian oil plant which was owned by three entity, Italian, El Salvador, American (inaudible) and NMC industrial motor division. So that is also another success example. So we are driving those initiatives as well as new initiatives.

Unidentified Analyst

Okay. Thank you very much.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

You are welcome.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Okay. Thank you very much. Next question please.

Operator

Next we will go to Hiroko Charles with TT International.

Hiroko Charles - TT International

Thank you for your call today. (inaudible) question about your new approach about market based approach and maybe this may be my (inaudible) company, are you still going to use the brand name or you are going to change to everything to Nidec?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Yes. Thank you very much for your question. So basically although we organize from entity based operation to market oriented groups but for the time being we will maintain the brand.

Hiroko Charles - TT International

Okay and second question this just maybe cut in a small question but just looking at the first quarter in number machinery sectors operating profit was down 14%, are you just concerned about this or is this something special factor?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Okay so you are asking quarter-to-quarter in machinery?

Hiroko Charles - TT International

Yes. This is on year on year, this is year on year comparison, the machinery sector operating profit is 2.8 billion yen, minus 14% year-on-year?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Okay. So the largest factor of that decline is lockout produced by Nidec Shigenobu, so there is fluctuation of demand and this is temporary decline we think.

Hiroko Charles - TT International

And for that are you going to do anything for the longer term? Are you – what kind of operating margin are you aiming at for this particular division, because last year looking at the data, the operating margin for this division was 14% but coming to 12% is that concerned?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

As I mentioned, this is impact from lower demand for our lockout HDD hand-drilling robot and we are – we already obtained contract of which we will start to see as late of Q3 for our December quarter. And for other machinery product like trade machine, we are growing all the businesses with higher profit. We are focusing on (inaudible) growth as always. So no major concerns.

Hiroko Charles - TT International

Okay. Thank you.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Welcome.

Operator

We will go with Jim Zhou with American Century Investments.

Jim Zhou - American Century Investments

Good morning. My question is on the small precision motor margin, there is sequential declined from 17.6% to 16.8% on the relatively flattish HDD shipment. Can you just talk about HDD margin and other small motor margins development sequentially and how should we think about this low progression year-over-year on March 15 and the large improvement expected for March 16 to get 22%?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Thank you very much for your question. Regarding profitability of small precision motor, during June quarter, the total number of the HDD unit was dropped however the product mix working slightly because high end product like (inaudible) declined during June quarter. So that is the major factor and we are expecting and also our customers are forecasting the demand for (inaudible) will come back and we will have better product mix that will contribute to improvement of HDD. Also we have been making constant cost reduction on the businesses not only AC-DC but also other small precision motor, DC motor and (inaudible) motors.

Jim Zhou - American Century Investments

My follow-up on that is, first could you break out HDD motor margin for the quarter and other small motor margin and secondly this on the cost saving benefit, is that very back-end loaded meaning we are not going to see improvement in this year. It looks like on the chart, it looks like the margin is going to be slightly up year-over-year and then we have a big improvement next year. So what’s coming through next year on the cost saving side?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Okay. So profitability to each product group we don't disclose, however, the profitability of HDD for June quarter was plugged quarter-to-quarter basis despite such (inaudible) product mix. Also, other small portion motor, from time to time because of new projects we are getting almost daily basis, sometimes we are required to invest for other new products like RMD and Shimpo to acquire new orders in order to grow profit. So like an temporary already effect we think.

Jim Zhou - American Century Investments

So just on the margin progression, March 15 versus 14 and March 15 versus 15, why are we seeing significant improvements in fiscal year 2015 rather than 2014? Is it lower investment spending or more cost saving coming through?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

So basically for HDD, our targeted OP margin rate is 25% our target is 1 percentage improvement quarter-to-quarter basis and 25% other half of this fiscal year and maintain 25%. However, better product meets given us opportunity to exceed that 25% also other more percent, other targeted 20% overall targeted approach to margin 22% so we are confident in making profitability improvement by reducing cost also improving productivity.

Jim Zhou - American Century Investments

Okay. Thanks.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Okay, thank you.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Thank you very much Masahiro next question please.

Operator

(Operator Instructions) We will next go to Mark Yim with Gamco Investors.

Mark Yim - Gamco Investors

Yes, hello. My question is on the automotive sector, if you want to become a global mega supplier and this area has, traditionally have much lower profit margins than small precision motors, I think for 10% in fiscal 2015. First do you think it's realistic that the profit margin can rise to sort of to 15% area that you target for the long-term and can you speculate as to why profit margins are quite a lot lower than the small precision motor area?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Yes. Thank you very much for your question. So as illustrated our presentation material on Page 14, so our strategy is total the prior of motor only but also ETU so we are providing modules. So as modules which includes both motor and ETU we can realize or we can increase but or we can data profitability and some of our products already did such targeted of the margin ratio of 15%. So our key area is safety comfort and the environment by acquiring this area we are now in a much stronger position and we believe we are adding 15% of the margin.

Mark Yim - Gamco Investors

Okay. That's very helpful. Thank you. And then I noticed that you do plan in the future to particular pursue M&A in this area in particular what kind of product areas do you find that you are sort of missing now and you want to get into long-term?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Yes. It presentation material to in order to meet 1.23 million yen, target net sale for next fiscal year, or 300 million yen for this automotive sector we need 80 billion yen sales contribution for but actually we have target which easily exceeds 80 billion yen. So there are a lot of opportunities not only Japanese domestic markets but also European, American, and Asian markets. So we have lot of target and in the range of products also and around the capability.

Mark Yim - Gamco Investors

Okay. Thank you. One final question has to do with a question I was asked earlier about the appliance automotive business and your global organization on this area. You mentioned that for maybe industrial solutions, new division, you combine basically chunks of three previous acquisitions into one system and the president of that group I believe you said comes from Nidec motor?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Yes, in this industrial motor, industrial business group?

Mark Yim - Gamco Investors

Yes like on Page 16 as you were describing?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Yes, so for this group we are trying to Japanese senior management Mr. for past four years and she moved to Milan, Italy and taking global leadership from Milan.

Mark Yim - Gamco Investors

Do you find that I imagine that this is a very, I guess, challenging to convince previous companies to combine and other and to be under a global type of structure. Can you just sort of describe how you convince these to combine themselves and how you find the leadership for the new division?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Yes. So you may remember our targeted 15% and some of head of entity which joined Nidec through sometimes doesn’t believe 15% operation also new motor division in the state. Also in Italy, we have the new leader for industrial motor. So how new leader, very ambitious and who have to believe to obtain 15% OP margin. We share the same target and share the same direction. So we get contributed for us to get you business production.

Mark Yim - Gamco Investors

Okay. That makes lot of sense. And do the new leaders tend to come mainly from Japan or were they also taken from the previous order companies?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Yes. So for global take over the Nidec motor of the Italian and this is now American and broad system also four months effective of so among these four business group, is the one for industrial production.

Mark Yim - Gamco Investors

Okay. Thank you very much. That's very helpful.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Welcome.

Unidentified Company Representative

Thank you very much. Next question please.

Operator

(Operator Instructions) We will take our next question from (inaudible).

Operator

(inaudible).

Mr. Reed your line is open. Please go ahead.

Unidentified Analyst

Thanks for the presentation in the first quarter you indicated that you would be looking to increase your dividend. Is it possible that in the first half and the third quarter earnings results, if earnings are better than expected you would further revise your expectation on the final year dividend?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Thank you, Duncan for your question. So I think it is pretty much at this stage any I believe that you guys are project but this time I have seen that the income per share per share and 60 yen per share are being targeted in the range of 23% to 24% ratio 24%. So that is my answer at this point.

Unidentified Analyst

Okay. Thanks very much. And I do appreciate that. Can I ask the second question, you have shown the hoping to do well and you protections for this year and has any earnings indications or sales indications been built into your forecast specifically from I think recent drive most of the expectations in the next three quarters or have you said that you will be shipping those motors and not included any earnings in that for the full year.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Hi this is speaking. So as you see is the right number seven of our four cap what we have done is on to this then if you look at the number for our single motor number, we have raised our number by around 6 million. So for the second half, that means the first quarter and the fourth quarter we are keeping our shipment forecast the same as we have not changed our forecast for the performance or Nidec group for the second half. So if you look at the Number 7, our shipment was better-than-expected for the first half, for the first quarter. Into the second quarter it should be better by around and that number is expected already for this upward revision that we made for the first half. It's okay. But for the second half, we have not changed our second half Op and also we have not changed our motor shipment forecast for the first quarter and fourth quarter from Slide Number 7.

Unidentified Analyst

Understood. Okay. Thanks very much.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Thank you very much. Next question please.

Operator

(inaudible).

Unidentified Analyst

Hi, yes Thank you very much for taking the call. First of all with the guidance section I think the company hasn’t any of your guidance for second half of the year. Now I see for the business can you help about that what is there and or more benefit that you are seeing in first half that's why the company second half change or another reason or are expecting to slow down a little bit compared to the first half? That's my first question.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Okay. So we divide up by also OP margin by for the amount which exceeded our original expectation for June quarter only. Likewise fiscal year, as you remember we made division three times during the last fiscal year. And each time we divided the person we exceeded our original expectation of the quarter indeed same progress.

Unidentified Analyst

Okay.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

So Q3, Q4 we haven’t changed our…

Unidentified Company Representative

But there is nothing there is nothing really inside that that you see that there could slow down business in second half. It's just the technique you are writing the quarterly guidance. There is nothing you see slow down the business.

Unidentified Analyst

So we haven’t taken any outside opportunity down side or to onwards. Only the portion we take credit to Q1.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Alright.

Unidentified Analyst

Alright. My second question is about the recent acquisition that you had that hung up all have been the going how effecting the company provides any synergy that into this year or next year?

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Yes. So question going we so as seen on page 14, so in particular needed giving that synergy for existing motor so it is perfectly in line with our target of 15 on the environment and in particular, unit, as you may know, they have been doing such for now we can recognize the synergy within our group. So like that we are realizing the synergy I will we are day by day getting, we are getting new-new inquiry and we are confident to grow this business.

Unidentified Analyst

Alright. And my last question is from your business. So your target yen in fiscal year 2015, can you give us some ideas of how big is that under like it seems like lot of product under the automotive motor and environment. So 300 billion yen on your target customer your target market it is very small portion of the target market even in fiscal year 2015 and how do you plan to reach that in the contribute 80 billion yen. Is there do you plan to increase most of your efficient products or do you think you can continue introduce more product to introduce market and then you can grow this business.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Okay. So again Page 2 of our presentation...

Unidentified Analyst

Thanks for the presentation material. So we 220 billion yen and for these we already have backlogs. So we are confident to obtain 220 billion yen or so and as for a person, 80 billion yen, as I mentioned we have target and also in order to materialize or both targets I believe to join Nidec group. So the negotiations to of our -- is very high at this point.

Unidentified Company Representative

Yes. So 300 billion yen when you reach 300 billion yen fiscal year 2015, would that be -- what kind of market share that you have in your market, is small player because you have other rooms to grow.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

So as you may know, automotive marketing but our main products in this single EPA and we have been maintaining highest share almost 20% although we have latest comers into this segment technology which was developed through our IT so we are maintaining the highest share beating our competitors of course Japanese and European.

Unidentified Analyst

Okay. Got it. Great. Thank you very much for your time.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Thank you.

Unidentified Company Representative

Thank you very much. Next question please.

Operator

(Operator Instructions) We will take the follow-up from (inaudible) Investors.

Unidentified Analyst

Thanks again. Just a quick question, on your planned M&A do you plan to finance that with internally and just related to that your current debt levels are you pretty much satisfied with the or do you see in the next several years if going up.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

So for subject 80 billion yen, we have lot of great drives so we can easily recall money to debt. Also you may know we have outstanding credit bonds 96 billion yen and 53,000 compared to current stock price. So the probability of conversion is pretty high our net person will be much more. Also we announced our target to be company by the end of March 2016. so if the full conversion of CB we believe we such target. So we are quite confident.

Unidentified Analyst

Okay. Thank you very much.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Welcome.

Unidentified Analyst

Thank you very much. Next question please.

Operator

And this time there is no further question so I would like to turn the conference back over to you for the additional or closing remarks.

Masuo Yoshimatsu

Thank you (inaudible) we expect to close this conference call for today. If you have any inquiries please don't hesitate to contact Nidec Corporation or our U.S. representatives at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities. Thank you very much and have a good day.

Operator

Thank you. That concludes today's conference. Thank you for your participation and you may now disconnect.

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