John Bean Technologies Corporation (NYSE:JBT) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 02, 2018 • 10:00 am ET

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John Bean Technologies Corporation (NYSE:JBT) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Q & A
Executive
Thomas W. Giacomini

quarter of this year are very encouraging to us and our expected conversion of those projects. And as we've seen in the past, we're coming off a very strong comp of prior year activity, strong backlog and we were able to increase our backlog 11% for JBT, and then, we see the project activity with our customers in the pipeline. And then we put those two pieces together, it gives us strong conviction about our ability to deliver on the growth and I'm looking forward to that -- delivering that to our customers and making that happen this year, and we're feeling really good about it.

Analyst
George Godfrey

And then just one follow-up, I believe last quarter, perhaps, in Q1, you had to do some consultancy work on equipment that had already been installed at the customer, and that, obviously, raised the cost on labor there. Has the work on site been done such that the machines are now being shipped from the factory as they should be? Thanks.

Executive
Thomas W. Giacomini

Yes. As we talked about on the last call, that very much unfolded as we expected, and so from our perspective, although, we didn't like the way we -- we worked our way through that, we were able to close it out efficiently and make that happen, and not see any downside from that. And just generally speaking for JBT, fourth quarter, we ship a lot of equipment and we complete a lot of installations in the first quarter, and as we saw it, we had a couple of projects, specifically in liquid foods, on installations, where we had some challenges and we've completed those installations.

So from our perspective, those are behind us. There were some learnings that we took away to make sure that we don't repeat those challenges going forward and we've made sure we put corrective actions in place to do that. But the installations are complete now that we've referenced and we're moving forward into the second quarter and expect the margins to improve because we have those behind us.

Analyst
George Godfrey

Great. Thank you for taking my questions.

Operator
Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Larry De Maria of William Blair. Your line is open.

Analyst
Larry De Maria

Hey. Thanks. Good morning.

Executive
Thomas W. Giacomini

Good morning, Larry.

Analyst
Larry De Maria

Could you give some more color -- hi, guys. Some more color on these installation issues? I don't know if material costs were an issue and you can maybe discuss that a little bit more broadly. But it seemed like there's more than one issue. And what's going on here and how do we get comfortable that we don't have operational execution issues every quarter, given the last two quarters, we had some issues, and moving forward, you want to obviously capitalize on this growth? So how do investors get comfortable that these issues are behind us and what specifically is going on with the installations?

Executive
Thomas W. Giacomini

Sure. So, yeah, so on the installation front, we completed some projects in the first quarter in our liquid foods