Dover Earnings Call Insights: Organic Sales Outlook and Comm Tech

Dover Corporation (NYSE:DOV) recently reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Organic Sales Outlook

Julian Mitchell – Credit Suisse: The first question is really on the outlook for organic sales growth. It was minus 1% in Q1, I think the organic bookings growth year-on-year in Q1 was around plus 1% or plus 2%, so assuming you get plus 1% or 2% core growth in Q2, to hit 3% to 5% for the full year you’ve got to be doing 6% to 10% in the second half and I just wondered what are the one or two things that have happened the last couple of months that gave you ongoing confidence in that acceleration or is it the case that your Q2 number, you have more of an acceleration than I think?

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Robert A. Livingston – President and CEO: I think your waterfall for the year on organic growth is pretty close to what we’re booking at, Julian. I guess my first comment in response would be a comment on the first quarter and our organic growth of a negative 1%. Actually I would look or point out three make three specific points on the first quarter. Europe for Dover was down 2% year-over-year. That was a little weaker than we expected coming into the quarter. Our target business at Hill PHOENIX was down year-over-year as expected, about $23 million, $24 million. That’s about a 1% negative decline for all of Dover. Our Drilling business in the first quarter was down 9%. As we exit the quarter, again, I have commented on this, a book to bill of 1.09, very solid, very strong, as we exited the quarter and I would also say here in the early part of the second quarter we see some improvement in Europe. The margin, April activity showed us. Our second and third quarter is shaping up to be a quite strong period for Hill PHOENIX and Anthony. Our Acoustics business will be up in the second quarter, not only up sequentially, Julian, but I think if we look at it year-over-year, the Acoustics business, our Handset business is going to be up year-over-year mid-teens to almost 20%. We expect some strong growth, organic growth in the second quarter from Fluids just based upon the backlog we have coming into the quarter. So we if I were to give you a specific response on the second quarter, the way I did for the year of organic growth of 3% to 5%, the second quarter should be right in that range and the balance of the growth obviously is in the second half of the year.

Julian Mitchell – Credit Suisse: Then just my follow-up question. In the Energy business, the margin performance was very, very good in Q1. I just wondered, if there was anything abnormal in terms of a mixed tailwind or something that helped you that may flip back again in Q2?

Robert A. Livingston – President and CEO: No. There wasn’t anything unusual in their first quarter, but when you say the flip in Q2 or for the balance of the year, I guess the variable that we are monitoring pretty closely is the rig count. We do expect the rig count to continue to improve through the balance of the year. That will have that direction of change does have a little bit of bearing on the margins on Energy, but we expect a fairly solid year from Energy for 2013.

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Brad M. Cerepak – SVP and CFO: Yes. I would just add the execution in Energy was really very, very strong in the first quarter, through productivity and cost initiatives, because as you know, the drilling business is some of our higher margin businesses. So the mix naturally wants the mix down on the margin a bit and the team really did a great job in the first quarter.


Comm Tech

Jamie Sullivan – RBC Capital Market: I wondered, if you could talk a little bit on Comm Tech, just the mix effect on margins. You mentioned some of the shifting around with OEMs and how that kind of progresses into margins throughout the year. Also what the you talked about some sequential improvement in 2Q. There’s been an Apple supplier last night talked about some noise around weakness into 2Q related to the supply chain, so just wondering if you could touch on those topics…

Robert A. Livingston – President and CEO: Okay, well your first question was about margins in the first quarter and the outlook for the year. We do expect margins to continue to improve at Comm Tech as the year unfolds, I would say that the second quarter activity within Comm Tech and especially within Consumer Electronics is very focused on solidifying our design wins, some new design activity and some a very, very strong focus on operational management to be prepared for a rather active second half of the year in Consumer Electronics with several new OEM product launches. Specific to the first quarter margins, Brad, you’re going to have to chime in here, but our restructuring and our legal costs, I think did way on our margins but I think if you back that out, they were either similar to or slightly above our operating margins of last year. I actually think we had a very strong execution quarter at Comm Tech in the first quarter.

Jamie Sullivan – RBC Capital Market: Sure, and then just quickly on Fluids, you mentioned some shipments pushed to 2Q. Just wondering if you could talk a little bit longer more about that and maybe some of the how maybe Magg is doing and how that business is growing right now.

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Robert A. Livingston – President and CEO: I think maybe all of the push outs we saw late in the quarter into the second quarter were related to Maag and some European customers. That happens I mean, it was unfortunate but we do see that on occasion in that business. They are pushed into the second quarter. We had very strong bookings within our Fluids business, especially within pumps in the first quarter and we are looking for a fairly solid performance from the group in the second quarter. I think the organic growth expectations in the second quarter year-over-year, are mid-single digits. Maag’s doing great. We’ve been very pleased with this acquisition. It does give us the opportunity to address some different customers and some new verticals. I have mentioned this in my preparatory comments, especially chemicals and plastics. But we’ve been quite pleased with this acquisition.

A Closer Look: Dover Earnings Cheat Sheet>>