Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Darling Ingredients Inc. conference call to discuss the Company's first quarter 2018 financial results. With us today are Mr. Randall Stuewe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Darling Ingredients, and Mr. Brad Phillips, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. After the speakers' opening remarks, there will be a question-and-answer period, and instructions to ask a question will be given at that time. Today's call is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the call over to Melissa Gaither, Vice President, Investor Relations and Global Communications for Darling Ingredients. Ms. Gaither, please go ahead.
Melissa A. Gaither
Thank you, Alison. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us to discuss Darling Ingredients' earning results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018. To augment management's formal presentation, please refer to the Presentations section of our IR website for the earnings slide presentation.
Randy Stuewe, our Chairman and CEO, will begin today's call with an overview of our first-quarter operational and financial performances, focusing on year-over-year comparisons, and will discuss some of the trends impacting our business. Brad Phillips, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will then provide additional details about our financial results. Finally, Randy will conclude the prepared portion of the call with some general remarks about the business and the year ahead, after which we'll be happy to answer your questions. Please see the full disclosure of our non-U.S. GAAP measures in both our earnings release and earnings slide presentation.
Now, for the safe harbor statement, this conference call will contain forward-looking statements regarding Darling Ingredients' business opportunities and anticipated results of operations. Please bear in mind that forward-looking information is subject to many risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from what is projected. Many of these risks and uncertainties are described in Darling's annual report on the Form 10-K for the year ending December 30, 2017, our recent press release announced yesterday and our filings with the SEC. Forward-looking statements in this conference call are based on our current expectations and beliefs, and we do not undertake any duty to update any of the forward-looking statements made in this conference call or otherwise.
With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Randy.
Randall C. Stuewe
Hey. Thanks, Melissa. Good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us today. As we discussed on our 10-K call in February, we anticipated the reinstatement of the 2017 blenders tax credit during the first quarter for both our North American biodiesel operations and our joint venture with Valero. For discussion purposes today, we'll provide color about the business segments net of the blenders tax credit. Overall, we remain highly constructive on 2018 and see growing momentum for another good year.
Now, let's start. First quarter 2018 is pretty much off to a predictable start. Influencing our first quarter performance was, one, highly historical slaughter rates and raw material supplies; declining global fat prices; improving demand and pricing for our specialty proteins for both wet and dry,
Melissa A. Gaither
Vice President, Investor Relations and Global Communications
Randall C. Stuewe
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Executive Vice Precident
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