ABM Industries Incorporated (NYSE:ABM) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Dec 14, 2017 • 08:30 am ET


ABM Industries Incorporated (NYSE:ABM) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to ABM's Fourth Quarter 2017 Conference Call. As a reminder, today's call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference call over to Ms. Susie A. Choi, please go ahead.

Susie A. Choi

Thank you, all, for joining us this morning. With us today are Scott Salmirs, our President and CEO; and Anthony Scaglione, EVP and CFO.

We issued our press release yesterday afternoon announcing our fourth quarter fiscal 2017 financial results. A copy of this release and an accompanying slide presentation can be found on our corporate website.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

During the course of this call, certain non-GAAP financial information will be presented. A reconciliation of those numbers to GAAP financial measures is available at the end of the presentation and on the Company's website under the Investor tab.

Now before I turn the call over to Scott, I would like to apologize in advance for any background noise due to construction on the floor above us. Scott?

Scott Salmirs

Thanks, Susie. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. By this point, I'm sure you had a chance to review our fourth quarter and full year earnings release.

Fiscal 2017 was a momentous year for ABM. I want to congratulate and thank all of our employees as we celebrate the conclusion of our first year as the new ABM. It was certainly a complex one, filled with a lot of hard work that yielded a substantial amount of progress over a relatively short period of time. We operated for the first time under our new vertical industry group organizational structure while consummating the largest acquisition in the Company's history. We navigated change and managed our business steadily, maintaining solid organic growth of approximately 3%.

2017 was also a year where we have the courage to make hard choices by being more discerning with our business. Our decision to exit a large contract in our Aviation business is just one example of this discipline. There were challenges as well with hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria displacing thousands of our employees and clients over the past several months. I believe our execution through the prolonged turmoil shows the character of our organization. We continue to rebuild after these natural disasters and our thoughts remain with all those who have been affected, particularly during the holiday season.

In the face of all this, we earned $1.34 per share or $1.75 on an adjusted basis and achieved an EBITDA margin of 4.3%. Our 2020 Vision ABM Way operating protocols continue to be on everyone's mind and our culture is beginning to shift towards operating in a standardized format. We capitalized on our Phase 1 momentum by accelerating our newly centralized procurement initiative. I'm pleased to report that we exceeded our in-year target in this area by delivering $10 million in savings, and we have a path to increase that in fiscal 2018.

Simultaneously, we pursued innovation to support the ABM Way through new technologies. We developed and deployed tools