The Calls Don't Lie: Overseas Sales Continue To Outpace U.S. Ones

Includes: ADSK, BEAS, EL, HPQ
by: William Trent, CFA

Stock market uber-blogger Charles Kirk said Wednesday that despite the current rally, the U.S. market is looking Like A Bad Stock:

The U.S. market continues to act like a bad stock in a really great sector of the market. In other words, with the global boom worldwide and the gains seen across the globe, the U.S. market is moving higher along with everything else whether deserved or not. That's also why we continue to see a huge migration toward companies that have international exposure. The more global the better and there's good reason for that.

I thought the analogy resonated, and decided to dig a little for evidence in support of the idea. For this task I turned to some recent conference call transcripts of companies with global operations.

At least twice the growth overseas as in America for Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK):

Revenue in America was $184 million, an increase of 8%. Revenue in the America was somewhat impacted by changes in backlog between years as well as the particularly tough compare in the first quarter of last year, which grew 39%.

EMEA revenues were $207 million, an increase of 26% as reported and 14% cost of currency. Asia Pacific increased 16% to $117 million. Revenues in Japan decreased slightly compared to last year, but increased significantly on a sequential basis consistent with historical trends.

(Excerpt from full ADSK conference call transcript)

Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ) also saw stronger growth overseas, but currency played a big role for them.

On a regional basis, revenue was up 11% in the Americas, up 14% in EMEA and up 16% in Asia Pacific. When adjusted for the effects of currency, revenue was up 11% in the Americas, 7% in EMEA and 13% in Asia Pacific.

(Excerpt from full HPQ conference call transcript)

BEA Systems (BEAS) is also seeing strength overseas:

As I mentioned, we saw a tough selling environment in the Americas. Our close rate in the first two months of the quarter was actually on track with plan, and then we were surprised when close rates weakened at the end of the quarter. Some large deals slipped out of the quarter. The slippage was generally due to poor execution on our part. A few of those deals have already closed in Q2.

Geographically, the Asia-Pacific region performed very well. We continue to see great performance out of China, Korea, and Asia. In Q1, China contributed more license revenue than any territory outside the United States, and we see no end to demand there. EMEA performed fairly well overall. We performed well in Italy, Northern EMEA and other places.

We're seeing improvement in the U.K., and our new team there is trying to drive better results and better pipeline.

(Excerpt from full BEAS conference call transcript)

Finally, lest you think the issue may be confined to tech, Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) chimes in:

Geographically, our international business again led our growth this quarter. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, despite coming off high single digit local currency growth last year, we grew net sales a solid 13% for the quarter. A few key businesses drove this performance, including travel retail and our largest market in the region, the United Kingdom, which posted healthy double-digit increases. Russia, one of our emerging markets, reported another outstanding quarter.

All countries in Asia-Pacific posted local currency sales increases, with the exception of Thailand. The increases generally reflect a strong economy in the region. Japan, our largest affiliate in the region, was up mid single digits in the quarter. New points of distribution in the region also added to sales growth.

In the Americas, net sales decreased.

(Excerpt from full EL conference call transcript.)

So all are in agreement: sales are better overseas. No wonder, then, that overseas markets have been stronger.

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Tagged: Earnings
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