Greif, Inc. (NYSE:GEF.B) Q3 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Sep 01, 2016 • 10:00 am ET

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Greif, Inc. (NYSE:GEF.B) Q3 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Operator
operator

Good morning. My name is Julie, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Greif Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions)

I would now like to turn the call over to Matt Eichmann. You may begin.

Executive
Matt Eichmann

Thank you, Julie. Good morning everyone and welcome to the question-and-answer portion of Greif's 2016 third quarter earnings conference call. Yesterday after market closed, we posted a slide presentation and recorded remarks regarding our 2016 third quarter results to our website.

I'm now on slide two. Responding to your questions this morning are Pete Watson, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Larry Hilsheimer, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Please turn to slide three. (Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

I'd now like to turn the call over to Pete Watson, Greif's President and Chief Executive Officer for a few brief remarks.

Executive
Pete Watson

Thank you, Matt. Good morning, everyone. We appreciate your interest in Greif.

I'm pleased with our most recent results as they come despite external challenges we faced during the quarter. I'd like to highlight a few key items in our quarter, which include sustained operational improvement, particularly in our Rigid Industrial Packaging segment. This is evidenced by our second consecutive quarter of achieving gross margins in excess of 20%. Free cash flow expansion, which is a result of improved operations, more disciplined capital spending and improved working capital efficiencies, continued improvement in our journey toward customer service excellence, and we've increased and narrowed our 2016 Class A earnings per share guidance range.

Our new guidance is $2.36 per share to $2.56 per share. We acknowledge that significant opportunities still exist in each of our strategic business segments and remain focused on unlocking additional value from our portfolio.

Before we start, I'd like to ask our CFO, Larry Hilsheimer to make a brief comment.

Executive
Larry Hilsheimer

Thank you, Pete. We have reposted this morning our appendix exhibit of the impact of price, volume and foreign currency impact to net sales. We have done so to better reflect actual performance, which was previously distorted by a shift in the classification of specialty products in EMEA through our LN implementation and the mechanics of the computation for this chart. This reflects the complexity of our product mix and difficult -- and different price levels. This has caused us to commit that we will modify how we report this on a go forward basis to provide more clarity into volume, price and FX components of our key products.

Julie, please, if you would open the call for questions?