UTi Worldwide Earnings Call Insights: Costs Outlook and Competitive Conditions

UTi Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:UTIW) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Costs Outlook

William Greene – Morgan Stanley: Eric, can I ask you just a comment a little bit on what you just – I may not have caught it all. And I just want to make sure I understand. What is the way we should be thinking about third and fourth quarters relative to what we have just seen. How much of the cost actually goes away, because I’m struggling a little bit to figure out how to think about your trends given how many one-time items are sort of moving through this that aren’t always exactly called out. So, any help you can give us sort of on sequential changes that we need to pay attention to would be helpful?

Eric Kirchner – CEO: As Rick mentioned, we have cost associated with the transformation that are running at about $7 million a quarter, and those would be expected to continue through the remainder of the year. However, the more volume that we get on this system, the more opportunities that we have to begin taking action that we talked about when we began the process. So, we are still targeted towards the ultimate savings of between $75 million and $95 million. And as I said, the more volume on the system, the more of those costs become accessible. Part of our challenge in this quarter, and it’s likely to continue into the third quarter is the fact that, as we mentioned, we were about six months behind where we expected to be at this time with the rollout of the system, and therefore that’s caused us to carry some duplicative costs that will start to come off as we get more countries on this system and get further through this deployment process. We also invested in local sales initiatives. We believe that there is much more opportunity for us to get back on the growth curve and that requires an investment that comes in advance of the net revenue growth. So, I don’t know if I’m answering your question specifically, but I don’t believe that we’re materially off with respect to where we want to be with in terms of the cost take-outs that will come towards the end of the third and into the fourth quarter and that should set us up on a lot better run rate going into next year.

William Greene – Morgan Stanley: So the sequential changes that we’ve historically used, what shouldn’t really apply to third and fourth quarter? Typically there is a step-up in earnings I think in third quarter, but that’s what I was basically getting at. I guess, what I’m taking away is these costs continue so the sequential changes maybe aren’t as useful…

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