Perrigo Company Earnings Call Nuggets: Consumer Business and Cash Priorities

Perrigo Company (NASDAQ:PRGO) recently reported its third quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Consumer Business

Randall Stanicky – Canaccord Genuity: Just a question Joe on the consumer business. In the quarter did it track and is the result in line with what you were thinking or looking for, and I’m just trying to get a sense if there were any timing issues. It sounded like allergy was a moving piece, cough and cold obviously had some impact, and then Mucinex. Is there any anyway that you could give us some color and perhaps quantify that, that would be helpful?

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Joseph C. Papa – CEO and Chairman: Well, I’d say Randall, on balance, we’re very pleased with the quarter. There are obviously as always some ups and down to any quarter you have just in terms of normal distribution. On the positive January and February were very strong cough, cold, flu season. It moderated in in March to be clear, so that was one part. January, February very strong, up 15% to 20% versus last year’s season. On the second part of it, the guaifenesin launch was an very important launch to us. We’re glad to have it behind us. Admittedly as I stated, would I have liked to have gotten it out there a little earlier than March 18th. The answer to that is absolutely clear. That would’ve been preferred. However, importantly, we went through all the appropriate due diligence that we needed to do to ensure that the product was well validated. We were confident of that and we now have the produce out in the marketplace and we’re delighted with what we’re seeing so far in terms of response by the retailers. The only other comment I would make on the quarter along the lines what you said, it was clear that this year’s allergy seasons is starting later than last year, albeit last year was a very early start to the allergy season. So, I think I balance that, we are absolutely where we want to be with the overall consumer healthcare sales growing very significantly both organically and through the acquisition side.

Randall Stanicky – Canaccord Genuity: And if we look at the mid-point, Judy, if I’ve done my math right, $616 million or so for next quarter, the mid-point of the consumer guidance, the implied 4Q – fiscal 4Q number. Would you say that your visibility in stat, that range or that mid-point given that we know several of these moving parts with respect to allergy and cough and cold. Do you see your visibility there as high right now? Or is there other new launches that are dependent upon hitting that number?

Judy L. Brown – EVP and CFO: They are not big launches depending on hitting that number in the fourth quarter, there are variety of smaller products that are slowing through in Q4. We talked about allergy season and just how dynamic it is or is not in a quarter, but of course as we are in the last several weeks now of the fiscal year. The confident level is better at this stage in the game. Do not forget though that the other moving piece in Q4 of course is the flea and tick season, because now we have a new seasonality to deal with. And if you look at our expectations on Q3 to Q4, a part of that is the expected uptick no pun intended of the animal health business in Q4. And we are seeing that starting right now.

Cash Priorities

Florence Tsang – RBC Capital Markets: This is (Florence) for Shibani. You guys improved and business on the business development front over the last several months. Can you talk about your priorities for use of cash going forward and what we should expect for both the piece and the focus for your potential future business development activity?

Joseph C. Papa – CEO and Chairman: I’ll start and then I’ll turn it to Judy for more comments on this, but I would say that really there is – our focus on what – use of the cash is really continuing more of the same. As we stated in the call, we’ve done now four different M&A transactions over the last – this fiscal year. We continue to look for other ways to extend our portfolio. Obviously, the first thing for us always is to look at the organic growth of our business. We feel very fortunate that we’ve got good organic growth, but where we can find additional ROIC accretive opportunities to extend the portfolio, we want to do that and continue to leverage our leading position in the area of quality, affordable healthcare products. So we’ll continue to look at new categories. So for example, and I think we’ve stated this publicly before, the areas of major interest on the M&A side are ophthalmics, adult nutrition, diabetes and looking to expand in international markets to bring our concept of quality affordable healthcare internationally. So those are really the primary M&A comment. Judy you may want to say more about other uses of cash.

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Judy L. Brown – EVP and CFO: It’s general uses of cash. I made the comment, just wanted to highlight it for everyone. You’ve noticed that our CapEx spending has been higher in the last two years as we have been making more investments in our future with planning for future new product launches, getting our owned sites up and ready, long-term investments and technology, hence the increase in spending in CapEx even though we’re going to be probably about $10 million lower than our original expectation at the beginning of the year as I commented earlier. So continuing to make important investments this year into fiscal ’14 and probably into the beginning of fiscal ’15 is also an important use of cash, but clearly well below the amount that we’re generating in operating cash flow, and we continue with our dividend policy, although as you can see, the dividend yield is a smaller number than a large consumer products company but one where we want to continue to return some value to shareholders at a rate equal to the bottom-line growth of the P&L annually.

A Closer Look: Perrigo Company Earnings Cheat Sheet>>