Sonoco Products Co. (NYSE:SON) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 11, 2016 • 11:00 am ET

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Sonoco Products Co. (NYSE:SON) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Sonoco 2015 Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, today's conference may be recorded.

I would like to introduce your host for today's conference, Mr. Roger Schrum, Vice President of Investor Relations. Sir, please go ahead.

Executive
Roger Schrum

Thanks very much, Michelle. Good morning and welcome to Sonoco's conference call to discuss our financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2015. This call is being conducted on February 11, 2016. Joining me today are Jack Sanders, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Barry Saunders, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. A news release reporting our financial results was issued before the market opened today and is available on the Investor Relations section of our Web site at sonoco.com. In addition, we will reference a presentation on the quarter's results which was also posted on our Investor Relations site. Before we get started, let me remind you that 2014 consolidated financial results referenced in today's call, in our press release, and investor presentation have been restated.

Information on the restatement is available in the Company's 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-KA. In addition, today's call contains forward-looking statements that are based on current expectations, estimates and projections. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Therefore, actual results may differ materially. Additional information about factors that could cause different results and information about the use by the Company of non-GAAP financial measures is available in today's news release and on the Company's website.

Now with that brief introduction, I'll turn it over to Barry.

Executive
Barry Saunders

Thank you, Roger. I'll begin on Slide 3 where you see that this morning we reported 2015 fourth quarter earnings per share on a GAAP basis of $0.55 and base earnings of $0.64, which was at the top end of our guidance of $0.59 to $0.64 and compares to base earnings of $0.61 for the same period in 2014. The differences between GAAP and base earnings are discussed in our press release, but is primarily driven by an asset impairment charge related to our decision to sell a paper mill in France as well as restructuring charges associated with planned consolidation opportunities. These charges were partially offset by the benefit of the release of certain tax valuation allowances in three countries. On Slide 4, you'll find our base income statement where you see sales were $1.267 billion, down $49.7 million from the prior year and I'll explain all the moving pieces of the change on the sales bridge in just a moment.

But in summary, the negative impact of translation resulting from a stronger dollar more than offset the benefit of both organic growth and the impact of acquisitions. Gross profit was $239.3 million, $7 million below the same quarter of 2014