Arconic Inc. (NYSE:ARNC) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Apr 30, 2018 • 10:00 am ET


Arconic Inc. (NYSE:ARNC) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good morning and welcome to the first quarter earnings call. I would now like to turn the call to Patricia Figueroa, Vice President, Investor Relations.

Patricia Figueroa

Thank you. Good morning, and welcome to Arconic's first quarter 2018 earnings conference call. I'm joined by Chip Blankenship, Chief Executive Officer; and Ken Giacobbe, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. After comments by Chip and Ken, we will take your questions.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

With that, I would like to turn the call over to Chip.

Chip Blankenship

Thanks, Patricia. Good morning, and thank you for joining the call. I will begin with an overview, then Ken will take you through our financial results in more detail, after which I will provide an update to our 2018 annual guidance. We will then take your questions.

In the first quarter, revenue grew by 8% year-over-year, driven by volume gains in all segments. Our revenue was strong and our key markets remained healthy. Organic revenue growth was 4%. Operating income was lower than anticipated. On a year-over-year basis, we delivered net cost savings along with volume growth, but this was more than offset by headwinds from higher aluminum prices and performance shortfalls in our rings, disks and global rolled products operations.

Our progress since the acquisition of the Rings and Disks assets from Firth Rixson is unacceptable. Although revenue was inline with prior year, increased costs associated with outsourced operations and lower yields impacted our margins. Turning around these operations will require additional resources and time.

GRP operating income was below our expectations, driven by higher aluminum prices and unfavorable aerospace widebody production mix. We also experienced higher outside processing costs and lower material yield than planned, both issues that we know how to fix. We have a sense of urgency in our operational cadence and CapEx solutions to address both issues. TCS operating income was down slightly as strong operational performance was offset by higher aluminum prices.

Free cash flow was in line with expectations. In 1Q, we made incremental pension contributions of $124 million and had a favorable change in working capital of $112 million year-over-year. Our cash position is $1.2 billion, and we have liquidity of $5 billion. Moreover, we continue to drive down our pension liability. In the first quarter, we decreased our pension liability by $315 million through cash contributions and the recently announced pension freeze. We completed the $500 million early debt paydown announced at the beginning of the year.

Now, I'd like to share some observations from my first 100 days. First on customers, I met with 12 of our largest customers, and their feedback was mixed regarding our delivery performance. On some of our aerospace component programs, we are producing above our share to support customers. But on others, we are behind customer demand. We have been prioritizing delivery to serve customers at incremental cost.

The engine ramp-up in demand for narrow-body aircraft is substantial, and the team is focused on creeping our capacity upwards through lean improvements in the