DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE:DWDP) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 01, 2018 • 08:00 am ET

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DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE:DWDP) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day, and welcome to the DowDuPont's Fourth-Quarter 2017 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] Also, today's call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Greg Friedman, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Executive
Greg Friedman

Thank you, Mitchell. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us for our fourth quarter and full-year 2017 earnings conference call. DowDuPont is making this call available to investors and media via webcast. We have prepared slides to support our comments. These slides are posted on the Investor Relations section of DowDuPont's website and through the link to our webcast.

Speaking on the call today are Ed Breen, Chief Executive Officer; Howard Ungerleider, Chief Financial Officer; and Andrew Liveris, Executive Chairman. Also, with us in the room today for our Q&A session are Jim Fitterling, Jim Collins, and Marc Doyle, Chief Operating Officers for DowDuPont's Material Science, Agriculture and Specialty Products Divisions, respectively; and Neal Sheorey, Vice President of Investor Relations.

Please read the forward-looking statement disclaimers contained in the news release and slides. In summary, it indicates that statements in the news release, presentation and conference call that states the company's or management's expectations or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements intended to be covered by the Safe Harbor provisions under Federal Securities laws. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties which may cause actual results to differ materially. A detailed discussion of principal risks and uncertainties which may cause actual results and events to differ materially from such forward-looking statements is included in the section titled Risk Factors in each of DuPont's, Dow's and DuPont's most recently quarterly report on Form 10-Q.

Last, we will also refer to non-GAAP measures, a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure and other associated disclosures are contained in our earnings release and on our website.

I'll now turn the call over to Ed.

Executive
Ed Breen

Great. Thanks, Greg and thanks everyone for joining the DowDuPont fourth quarter earnings call. I'll start by covering the financial highlights, then provide an update on our three key strategic drivers; the merger, the synergies and the spins.

This past quarter marked the first full quarter of operations for DowDuPont. And as you saw, our teams delivered strong results.

Turning to Slide 4. The fourth quarter highlights were; sales increased 13%; volume rose 6%, well ahead of global GDP; operating EBITDA grew 24%; and adjusted EPS increased 41%. We benefited from strong underlying demand for our products and leading positions in growing markets. All eight operating segments recorded quarterly sales growth as did every geography.

We delivered excellent operating EBITDA leverage. Operating EBITDA rose in nearly every segment on increased volume and price, cost synergies, lower pension and OPEB cost, and higher equity earnings. For the full year, the trends were directionally similar. Pro forma sales, operating EBITDA and adjusted EPS, all grew by double-digits percentages.

Now, I will share an update on the merger, synergies