CGI Group Inc. (NYSE:GIB) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 11, 2015 • 09:00 am ET


CGI Group Inc. (NYSE:GIB) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Michael Roach

short-term portion of our debt is essentially paid down. CAD333 million towards repurchasing 6.9 million shares at an average price of CAD48. Share buyback will continue to be a priority, given our valuation and the low cost of capital.

And in fiscal 2016, we have allocated and have access to sufficient financial resources to continue to reinvest in our business, repurchase our shares, and complete an acquisition or a series of accretive acquisitions. We enter the new fiscal year well positioned from a strategic, operational and financial viewpoint. Our strategy of returning to positive growth is based on utilizing both the build and the buy pillars of our profitable growth strategy.

On the buy side, I would like to begin by reinforcing our commitment to continue being an active, aggressive, yet disciplined consolidator within our sector. We have the capacity necessary to execute large transformational deals or a series of small niche acquisitions. And our funnel of potential targets is healthy, being constantly refreshed with additional opportunities.

With respect to our initial list of 85 targets, we continue to review and qualify each of them for the next step in our acquisition process. For example, we are currently engaging with a number of management teams to determine their interest and willingness to sell and our ability to create incremental value by successfully integrating them into our operation model.

We remain confident that 2016 is the right time to find the right target at the right price. On the build side, the four operational investments I previously highlight will assist our clients in becoming customer-centric digital organizations and will drive towards a return to growth in 2016. As we reflect on the markets and economic sectors in which we operate, certain previous headwinds are now being mitigated and in some cases turning to tailwinds.

For example, FX trends are now lifting revenue and adding to the attractiveness of our Canadian near-shore offering; stability in our US government business, recovering and trending towards profitable growth; consolidation activity across sectors and geographies providing growth opportunities for our consulting, systems integration and outsourcing offering.

And finally, all industries are facing a dual-track challenge to run their operations and change their operations for growth. On the run side, there are significant opportunities to drive down technology costs and to take those savings and reinvest it in change. On the change side, our investment in high-end consulting and IP enables us to assist our clients in their digital strategies.

These pressures are most acute in the financial services sector where regulatory requirements are overwhelming the run capacity budgets. At the same time, there's an increased demand from end customers for a total digital experience, both of which are increasing demand for our services. In the United States, we continue to be confident in our ability to grow revenue while incrementally improving profitability.

On the commercial side, revenue was up 3% year-over-year, as clients continued to invest in IT modernization, digital transformation and IP within the banking,