Market Overview

Energizer Conference Call Highlights

Share:

Energizer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ENR) reported its third quarter earnings on Wednesday. Shares of the company are fairly neutral.

Performance:

• We met a number of challenges head on and we're able to achieve adjusted earnings of $7.32 per diluted share delivering a 12% three-year compounded annual growth rate.
• We reached our adjusted earnings per share goals while increasing our A&P investments behind our brands by $53 million or 130 basis points as a percent of sales.
• We also continue to execute our 2013 restructuring project to deliver cost savings in both the Household Products and Personal Care businesses.
• We made great progress in our working capital reduction initiative.
• At the same time, we strengthened our Personal Care portfolio with strategic acquisition of Johnson & Johnson Feminine care businesses.
• Which were quickly integrated and which exceeded our expectations adding $0.45 to our adjusted earnings per share in fiscal 2014.
• And finally, we also set in motion, plans to create additional shareholder value by spinning our Household products and thereby creating two strong and successful standalone companies.
• We're moving forward on a number of strategic fronts related to the spin off and we continue to believe this will position both businesses for growth and enhance the opportunity for increased shareholder value.
• For the quarter, earnings came in above expectations primarily due to an improved margin rate driven by restructuring savings, better than expected accretion from the Feminine Care acquisition, and a favorable tax rate.

Segments:

• In Personal Care, U.S. category trends improved, but still remained below prior year levels.
• The Feminine Care and Sun Care categories grew while the Wet Shave and in Fem Care categories continued to decline though at a slower rate. Our combined share within these categories is down slightly less than one point.
• Within Wet Shave, the global category was down as declines in Men's Systems and Women's Systems were only partially offset by growth in disposables.
• Our global share declined slightly less than a point partially driven by share losses in Venezuela and Argentina as we reduced commercial activities in these macro economically-challenged areas.
• In the U.S., our Hydro franchise showed continued strength with consumption up more than 15% versus a year ago driven by higher AMP strength and successful new product launches.
• In the U.S. Men's Systems, Hydro consumption growth at nearly 8% was offset by declines in legacy brands resulted in overall slight decline in total Men's Systems market share.
• The Men's Hydro growth was driven by the new Hydro Sensitive skin, Hydro Groomer along the robust marketing support.
• Hydro Silk continued to drive share growth in the women's system segment, the share of a half point driven by strong advertising in our new sensitive skin offering.
• Disposable, the category declined nearly 2% value due to the lack of significant promotional activity in the prior year fourth quarter.
• Our share of the disposable segment declined, as our promotional support was down year-over-year, while our competitors had significantly higher levels of promotion in the current year.
• In Shave Prep, the category was down approximately 1%, while our share was up 1.5 share points due the edge distributions games mentioned in the last quarter.
• In the fourth quarter, our brand support was higher than what it had been for the first three quarters combined. We expect this elevated level of support to continue into the new fiscal year, as we focus on driving long-term brand equity and trial.
• Turning to Household Products, for the quarter, our organic top line performance grew 4% and we've regained global battery category leadership.

Financial Metrics:

• Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter were $1.87, an increase of over 35% versus the prior year.
• These results reflect organic top line growth of 1.5%, continued margin improvement as a result of our restructuring program with incremental savings of $32 million in the quarter.
• We continue to see strong margin expansion of 350 basis points or 50.5% as we continue to make excellent progress with our restructuring initiatives. During the quarter, we realized $32 million in incremental savings brining the project-to-date savings to $255 million.
• Restructuring savings which surpassed the $250 million mark in fiscal 2014 are expected to reach $300 million by the third quarter of fiscal year 2015, ahead of our original schedule.
• Fiscal 2015 is a transition year as we move towards separation as we've told you before the separation is the most complex and work intensive transaction we have undertaken as a public company.

 

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