CEB Inc. (NYSE:CEB) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 04, 2016 • 09:00 am ET

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CEB Inc. (NYSE:CEB) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
operator

Good morning and welcome to CEB's Fourth Quarter 2015 Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded and will be available for replay, beginning today and through February 13, by dialing 719-457-0820. The replay passcode is 713-689-4. The replay will also be available beginning later today and through February 13 at the company's website.

To the extent, any non-GAAP financial measures discussed in today's call, you will also find a reconciliation of that measure to the most directly comparable financial measure calculated according to GAAP by going to the company's website and reviewing yesterday's news release.

You will also find a PDF of the supporting materials that the company will use in its prepared remarks this morning by going to the company's website at cebglobal.com and following the Investors link to the Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call. Please review the second page of these materials, which includes important information about any forward-looking information included in the presentation.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

At this time, for opening remarks, I would like to turn the conference over to the company's Chairman and CEO, Mr. Tom Monahan. Please go ahead, sir.

Executive
Tom Monahan

Thanks, Scott. Thanks, everyone, for calling and/or logging in. We appreciate the opportunity to bring you up to speed in the continued growth, impact and profitability of our business. I'll kick off the call with some summary comments about our performance in the fourth quarter and some thoughts on the year ahead. Rich will then provide more detailed discussion of our financial results, and outlook for the year. I'll then close with a look at our strategic priorities before we take your questions.

I'll begin my remarks on slide three. Overall, we turned in mixed performance in 2015, but entered 2016 well positioned to create impact for our shareholders and deliver on the CEB formula for shareholder value.

Let me start my remarks with a look back at 2015 and how this has shaped our go-forward plan. Obviously, capital markets volatility continued and intensified in Q4 and into early Q1, reflecting general concerns about world economic growth in key developing markets. And as in prior quarters, several corporate sectors, particularly in the energy and industrial goods sector, continue to face real challenges. Even as the economy gyrated a bit more in Q4, our performance in the quarter reflected the same themes that we had discussed for several quarters.

Let me call out six summary points from our 2015 performance. First, we generally saw solid renewal performance in most sectors and markets, and strong new product launches. However, the front-end of our new and cross-sell pipeline entering Q4 simply weren't deep enough to grow bookings at our target rate for the year. Also, we saw some of the same caution that we discussed previously dampened down our new sales and premium services growth in particularly, challenged sectors.

While we did confront caution in corporate budgets, it's worth noting two things. It's largely concentrated in the most challenged sectors, oil and gas, commodities, heavy industry and packaged