Hillenbrand, Inc. (NYSE:HI) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Nov 16, 2017 • 08:00 am ET

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Hillenbrand, Inc. (NYSE:HI) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning everyone and welcome to Hillenbrand's Earnings Teleconference for the Fourth Quarter of Fiscal 2017. A replay of this call will be available until midnight, Eastern time, November 30, 2017, by dialing 1(800) 585-8367 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1(416) 621-4642 internationally and using the conference ID number 99430170.

This webcast will be archived on the company's website at http://ir.hillenbrand.com through December 15, 2017. If you ask a question during today's call, it will be included in any future use of this recording. Also, note that any recording, transcript or other transmission of the text or audio is not permitted without Hillenbrand's written consent.

At this time, it's my pleasure to turn the conference over to Joe Raver, President and CEO of Hillenbrand. Mr. Raver, please go ahead.

Executive
Joe Raver

Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone and thanks for joining us on the call this morning to discuss our fourth quarter fiscal year 2017 results. With me today is Kristina Cerniglia, our CFO.

I'll begin with some highlights from the quarter and the full year and briefly discuss what we are currently seeing in our markets. Kristina will go through our results and 2018 guidance in more detail later in the call.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

With that, let's turn to the business. As you may have seen in our press release, we reported strong results for our fiscal fourth quarter to finish a very good year for Hillenbrand. I will give more details on the quarter in a moment, but first, I'd like to look back on 2017. We're working to develop Hillenbrand into a world-class, diversified industrial company, and the strides that we were making in that transformation are evident in our results.

The team executed throughout the year to capitalize on an improving global macroeconomic environment and strengthening demand in several end markets. We delivered strong results in most of our key metrics, highlighted by solid organic revenue growth, continued margin expansion and our highest level of order backlog in more than 3 years. We also delivered record cash flow and record earnings per share that exceeded our guidance for the year. That performance continues to fuel our ability to reinvest both organically and in strategic acquisitions to build leadership positions in our core markets and near adjacencies. We used the Hillenbrand Operating Model as a competitive differentiator and a framework to drive our strategy, and it gained traction in a number of areas in our business.

We expanded EBITDA margins another 60 basis points in the Process Equipment Group, driven by continued productivity improvements and 80-20 thinking, and we continued to grow aftermarket parts and service as we have segmented our businesses to bring added focus to recurring revenue growth. Looking specifically at the fourth quarter, we had revenue growth of 3% year-over-year, including 7% growth in the Process Equipment Group. We also grew the bottom line with GAAP earnings per share of $0.60 and adjusted earnings per share of $0.62, up 7% from the prior