Greif, Inc. (NYSE:GEF.B) Q1 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Mar 02, 2017 • 10:00 am ET

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Greif, Inc. (NYSE:GEF.B) Q1 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning. My name is Susanne and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Greif 2017 First Quarter Earnings 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]

Thank you. Matt Eichmann, you may begin your conference.

Executive
Matt Eichmann

Thank you, Susanne. Good morning, everyone and welcome to the question-and-answer portion of Greif's first quarter 2017 earnings conference call. Please take a moment to refer to the Q&A slide presentation we posted to our website this morning. Yesterday, after market closed, we posted our earnings slide presentation and prerecorded remarks on our most recent results to our website.

I am now on slide 2. 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 3. This morning's question-and-answer session will contain forward-looking statements. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those that maybe expressed or implied. Please review our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for more information regarding the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these projections or expectations.

During this question-and-answer session, certain non-GAAP financial measures may be discussed, including those that exclude the impacts of acquisitions and divestitures, special items such as restructuring charges and impairment charges, and acquisition-related costs. Reconciliation tables are included in our earnings release and the presentation posted on www.investor.greif.com yesterday.

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

Executive
Peter Watson

Thank you Matt and good morning everyone. We appreciate your interest in Greif. Our company is committed to building teams to value delivery, delighting our customers through superior customer service excellence, and achieving transformational performance while we intend to deliver exceptional value to our customers and shareholders. We had a solid start to our fiscal 2017 and we would like to highlight several achievements from the quarter which include sales of $820.9 million to 6.4% improvement versus the prior year first quarter. The consolidated gross profit margins of 19.9%, a 30 basis point improvement year-over-year, and a result of continued execution discipline in our operations.

Our operating profit before special items is $66.7 million, a nearly 15% improvement versus the prior year first quarter and we were reaffirming our Class A earnings per share before special items guidance range of $2.78 to $3.08 per share. While I'm pleased with the progress being made there are still significant opportunities that remain in each of our strategic business segments. We remain focused on unlocking additional value for our shareholders. We look forward to your questions today. Susanne we're ready for the first question.