Mead Johnson Nutrition Company (NYSE:MJN) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 29, 2015 • 09:30 am ET

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Mead Johnson Nutrition Company (NYSE:MJN) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
operator

Good day and welcome to the Dow Chemical Company Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Call. Today's call is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Jack Broodo, VP of IR. Please go ahead, sir.

Executive
Jack Broodo

Good morning and welcome. I am Jack Broodo, Vice President of Investor Relations. As usual, we are making this call available to investors and the media via webcast. This call is the property of the Dow Chemical Company. Any redistribution, retransmission or rebroadcast of this call in any form without Dow's express written consent is strictly prohibited.

On the call with me today are Andrew Liveris, Dow's Chairman and CEO and Howard Ungerleider, EVP and CFO. Around 7:00 AM this morning, January 29, our earnings release went out on Business Wire and was posted on the internet on dow.com. We have prepared slides to supplement our comments in this conference call. These slides are posted on our website and through the link to our webcast.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

I will now hand the call over to Howard.

Executive
Howard Ungerleider

Thank you, Jack. Good morning, everyone and thank you for joining us. 2014 proved to be a great year for Dow. We ended with a very strong fourth quarter and even with currency and oil uncertainty are moving toward a solid start to 2015. We achieved record results, thanks to our decisive and disciplined approach to executing on our priorities. In the midst of a challenging operating environment Dow once again delivered.

The fourth quarter is our ninth consecutive quarter of year-over-year EPS, EBITDA and EBITDA margin growth. These results demonstrate our focus in driving targeted self-help, executing on our strategic actions, increasing return on capital and maximizing our returns. As a result, earnings per share rose to $0.85 on an adjusted basis, a $0.20 per share increase year-over-year. EBITDA increased to 2.4 billion on an adjusted basis, representing a new fourth quarter record with gains across all operating segments.

We delivered broad based EBITDA margin expansion, up nearly 220 basis points on an adjusted basis, thanks to our integration, our end market diversification and our global market access. And we continued our strong focus on working capital efficiency, cash flow from operations was up $500 million versus the prior period. All of these actions enabled us to finish 2014 with strength, which brings me to our full year results.

Earnings per share grew to $3.11 on an adjusted basis, a 25% increase versus 2013. EBITDA rose nearly $1 billion, achieving a full-year record of 9.3 billion on an adjusted basis. We expanded EBITDA margins and improved return on capital. We also accelerated our portfolio management actions and we made excellent progress on our key growth projects that are on track to start up this year. And we delivered a second consecutive year of record cash flow from operations. These results enabled us to continue to increasingly reward our shareholders, $4.5 billion in share buybacks completed with the launch of another $5 billion