Bemis Co Earnings Call Insights: Competitive Pricing Environment and Brazil Trends

Bemis Co Inc (NYSE:BMS) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Competitive Pricing Environment

Mehul Dalia – Robert W. Baird & Company: It’s actually (Mehul Dalia) sitting in for Ghansham. Can you comment on the competitive pricing environment in North America? Has there been any change in trends there?

Henry J. Theisen – President and CEO: I don’t really believe there’s been any change in trends. This is a competitive marketplace. The more you can add in technology, the more value-add you have in your product. The less competition in price, the more it is more of a commodity type product the more competitive the situation. But I don’t see any change in the pricing environment and the competition environment in North America or in any of our businesses.

Mehul Dalia – Robert W. Baird & Company: As a follow-on, for PSM in Europe, are there any plans in place to offset the weaker volumes you’re seeing there?

Henry J. Theisen – President and CEO: There are plans in place. We’re now in the seventh quarter of decline in Europe and our graphics materials business is under continuing pressure because advertising weakened more in the second quarter. So, while our technical and other products are holding stable, graphics products are really the core of our profit engine in Europe. So when that business underperforms, it has an exaggerated impact on the performance overall. We’ve taken another round of aggressive cost-cutting actions and we’ve instituted mandatory furloughs at all levels of our Pressure Sensitive business in Europe. So we’re doing everything we can to prevent things from getting worse, but I don’t expect performance to improve meaningfully in the short term.

Brazil Trends

Unidentified Analyst – Jefferies: It’s actually (Cotter) on for Phil. I was just wondering if you could comment on trends in Brazil going into July thus far and whether you’re seeing the demand there.

Henry J. Theisen – President and CEO: Brazil used to be 6%, 7% growth vehicle and that really changed in the second part of last year. I think Brazil, right now for the short-term as we look at our business finishing the rest of the year, is going to stay in the same level as it is today and we’ll try to put some new products and try to gain some market share. But I don’t see a big change in the economy in Brazil, relating to our packaging customers and our packaging sales.

Unidentified Analyst – Jefferies: Then just a follow-up on U.S. Packaging and turning to volume growth. I was curious what your customers are telling you, if they’re upbeat, whether you’re seeing some step-up in volume or any kind of promotions or anything like that?

Henry J. Theisen – President and CEO: I think our customers are more upbeat than they have been in the past. They’re looking for modest growth. It’s not a big change. But instead of talking negatively or worrying about it being flat, our customers are talking about very modest growth.

A Closer Look: Bemis Co Earnings Cheat Sheet>>