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World Fuel Services Corporation (NYSE:INT)
Q1 2019 Earnings Call
April 25, 2019, 5:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the World Fuel Services 2019 first quarter earnings conference call. My name is Ash and I will be coordinating the call this evening. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode.

After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question and answer session. Instructions on how to ask a question will be given at the beginning of the Q&A session. At that time, if you have a question, please press the number 1 followed by the number 4 on your telephone keypad. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Thursday, April 25th, 2019.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Glenn Klevitz, World Fuel's Vice President, Treasury and Investor Relations. Mr. Klevitz, you may begin your conference.

Glenn Klevitz -- Vice President, Treasury and Investor Relations

Thank you, Ash. Good evening, everyone and welcome to the World Fuel Services first quarter 2019 earnings conference call. I'm Glenn Klevitz and I will be doing the introductions on this evening's call alongside our live slide presentation. This call is also available via webcast. To access this webcast or future webcasts, please visit the World Fuel Services website and click on the webcast icon.

With us on the call today are Michael Kasbar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Ira Birns, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. By now you should have all received a copy of our earnings release. If not, you can access the release on our website.

Before we get started, I would like to review World Fuel's harbor statement. Certain statements made today including comments about World Fuel's expectations regarding future plans and performance are forward-looking statements that are subject to a range of uncertainties and risks that could cause World Fuel's actual results to materially differ from the forward-looking information.

A description of the risk factors that could cause results to materially differ from these projections can be found in World Fuel's most recent form 10-K and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. World Fuel assumes no obligation to revise or publicly release the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events.

This presentation also includes certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined in Regulation G. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measures is included in World Fuel's press release and can be found on its website. We will begin with several minutes of prepared remarks, which will then be followed by a question and answer period.

As with prior calls, we ask that members of the media and individual private investors on the line participate in listen-only mode. At this time, I would like to introduce our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Kasbar.

Michael Kasbar -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Glenn. Good afternoon, everyone and thank you for joining us today. We had a solid start to the year and I'm proud to say our team continued to make steady progress on our value creation strategy defined by our three pillars on sharpening our portfolio, driving organic growth, and exercising cost discipline. I know you've heard me say this consistently over the last several quarters, but it is this mantra that has focused our execution, driven our results, improved the health, and provided confidence in the trajectory of our business.

Through the first quarter of 2019, we continued to focus our efforts and financial capital into businesses that are predictable, sustainable, and scalable. The diversity of our business model, which we have longed believed to be a strength enabled us to offset the warm weather in the UK and continue our earnings momentum.

Our solid financial performance this quarter evidences that our strategy of portfolio rationalization, organic growth, and cost management is bearing fruit. Furthermore, we have built a robust pipeline of both organic and strategic opportunities that we are actively evaluating and pursuing and for which we remain well-positioned to execute on during the balance of the year.

Our aviation segment performed well, supported by supply chain optimization efforts and a continuing expansion of our physical operations into more locations underpinned by strict adherence to our cost management discipline.

Our government business also delivered strong results, leveraging our supply capabilities and strategic carriers of interest and demonstrating our reliability and expertise and energy and logistics to support these complicated activities as a trusted partner. While volume in this quarter was only marginally higher than last year, we expect organic growth to continue within our aviation services business over the balance of the year.

Our marine segment delivered positive year over year results and made judicious choices about our portfolio while maintaining a focus on cost efficiency and prudent risk management. Gross profit margins remained strong in Q1 and our focus on returns on capital was designed to continue that trend. We are leveraging the supply and logistics competencies we already have in place across all of our businesses to capture internal synergies, which will further augment our efforts to address the industry challenges inherent within the IMO 2020 low-sulfur regulations.

This quarter, we saw the benefits of the geographic diversity of our land businesses as it overcame the negative impact of a warmer than expect winter in the UK by continuing to grow our North American commercial and industrial or C&I fuel business and accelerating momentum of our global connect gas power and sustainable business.

I remain bullish about my remarks during our last call that our land segment will continue to grow with double-digit rates this year by increasing our value share with existing customers and by bringing together our capabilities in gas power and sustainability to offer a compelling and comprehensive suite of energy solutions to our C&I customers around the world.

Our MSGS payment solutions business continued to grow both gross profit and EBITDA at a double-digit rate. Our team continues to execute well on ongoing business activities while identifying new customers seeking cost-effective business to business customer acquisition and payment solutions.

I am truly pleased to see how our team has locked arms across all businesses and functions to simplify processes, improve organizational alignment, and beginning to drive shared services efficiencies by employing best practices through centers of excellence.

Looking ahead, we are optimistic that our technology investments and operational streamlining will not only improve the ease with which our customers and supply partners transact with us but would also lead to more collaboration within our team of over 5,000 talented professionals that I believe to be the most creative and innovative in the energy and logistics space with whom I am truly very fortunate to work.

So, I want to say thank you to my 5,000 colleagues in 38 countries that deliver comprehensive energy solutions in over 200 countries and territories. I want to thank our shareholders who support our vision of a global energy management, fulfillment, and payments business supporting the commercial, industrial, and government sectors. I'd like to turn the call over to Ira at this moment to do a further review of our first quarter results in greater financial detail.

Ira M. Birns -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

You're welcome, Mike, by the way, and thank you. Good evening, everyone. I'm pleased to report that we continue the positive momentum from 2018 in the first quarter by starting off the year with solid results. Before I get into the details, some of the highlights are as follows -- adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter was $95 million. That's an increase of $14 million or 17% compared to last year.

We have now delivered year over year increases in adjusted EBITDA for eight consecutive quarters. We get improved operating leverage making progress toward our goal of the 250-basis point improvement in our operating expense ratio for the full year. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter was $0.66, including the impact of the prior period corrections, which principally related to tax referred to in our earnings release.

Excluding such corrections adjusted earnings per share was $0.50. Lastly, our balance sheet remains strong as our net debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio fell to 1.3 times. Consolidated revenue for the firsts quarter was $8.7 billion, down $500 million or 6% compared to the first quarter of 2018. The year over year decrease in revenue was principally driven by the decline in volumes in our marine and land segments.

Our aviation segment volume was 1.97 billion gallons in the first quarter, effectively flat year over year. For the full year, we expect volume growth to be similar to the growth experienced in 2018 in the aviation segment.

Volume in our marine segment for the first quarter was 5.2 million metric tons, which is down 575,000 tons compared to the first quarter of last year. The volume reduction is principally related to our continued efforts to access certain low margin business activities in Asia. The marine team continues to focus on growth opportunities which meet our return thresholds, including the identification and penetration of new markets.

Our land segment volume was 1.3 billion gallons or gallon equivalents during the first quarter, down approximately 110 million gallons or 8% compared to the first quarter of 2018. The year over year decline in land segment volume was principally related to our continuing efforts to reduce non-core, low-margin supply and training activities in North America. Public consolidated volume for the first quarter was 4.7 billion gallons or gallon equivalents, a decrease of approximately 260 million gallons or 5% year over year.

Please note the following figures exclude the impact of pre-taxed non-operational items in the first quarter as well as non-operational items in periods previously reported as highlighted in our earnings release. These non-operational items principally represent restructuring and acquisition-related costs.

To assist all of you in reconciling results published in our earnings release, the breakdown of these non-operational items can be found on our website on the last slide of the webcast presentation.

Now on to gross profit -- on a consolidated basis, gross profit for the first quarter was $251 million, an increase of $8 million or 3% compared to the first quarter of 2018. Our aviation segment contributed $114 million in the first quarter. That's up slightly compared to the first quarter of 2018. Strength in our government-related and international fielding operations were principally offset by the effects of market backwardation on our domestic supply activity during the first quarter.

We expect similar sequential growth in aviation gross profit in the second quarter to the growth experience last year, principally related to normal resale business and international fueling operations. The marine segment generated first quarter gross profit if $35 million, an increase of $4 million or 13% year over year. Our team continues to execute well with poor margins and returns remaining well above the prior year.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, we expect marine gross profit to be similar to the first quarter, which would again drive solid year over year improvement. Our land segment delivered gross profit of $102 million in the first quarter. While land gross profit did increase sequentially, such increase was muted by yet another unseasonably warm winter in the UK. Year over year, gross profit was essentially flat with the UK down from last year's more seasonable winter offset by increased gross profit in our connect global energy services platform and North American commercial and industrial and retail activities.

Gross profit coming from our multi-service payment solutions business was $18.9 million, an increase of $2 million or 12% compared to the first quarter of last year, reflecting the continued strength of the multi-service business model. Looking ahead to the second quarter, while we expect gross profit in the land segment to be flat but slightly lower sequentially, driven principally by seasonality, we expect solid year over year improvement driven principally by increasing profitability in our commercial and industrial and retail activities.

Operating expenses in the first quarter excluding bad debt expense and non-operational items were $176 million, which is an improvement of $3 million year over year, an improvement of $2 million sequentially. Our total operating expense ratio as a percent of gross profit improved year over year to 71.1% from 74.5% in the first quarter of last year and from 72.7% for the full year of 2018 and we remain focused on achieving our target of a 250-basis point improvement at our operating expense ratio for the full year 2019.

And as a reminder, this target is in addition to the 425-basis point improvement in our operating expense ratio, which we achieved in 2018, a testament to the focus of our entire team globally of controlling costs better than we had done in the past. In the second quarter, we expect operating expenses, excluding bad debt and any non-operational items to be in the range of $180 million to $184 million.

Adjusted EBITDA was $95 million in the first quarter, up $14 million or 17% from the first quarter of 2018. Again, this represents the eighth consecutive quarter of year over year improvement in EBTIDA. Over this period, trailing 12-month EBITDA has increased by nearly $100 million. Adjusted income from operations for the first quarter was $73 million, up $10 million with 17% year over year.

First quarter non-operating expenses, which principally comprised of interest expense and finance charges were $19 million, effectively flat compared to last year. I would assume interest expense to be in the same $18 million to $20 million range for the second quarter of 2019.

Our adjusted effective tax rate was 16.6%, including the effect of the correction related to a prior period discreet tax item. This is down from 19.3% in the first quarter of last year. Excluding the impact of the discreet item, our adjusted effective tax rate would have been 32.4%, slightly lower than the rate we guided to going into the first quarter. But for the balance for the year, we still expect our tax rate to be in the range of 32% to 36%.

Adjusted net income for the first quarter was $45 million, an increase of $9 million or 27% when compared to the first quarter of 2018. Adjusted diluted earnings per share was $0.66 for the first quarter, an increase of 27% compared to last year -- again, impacted by a lower than expected effective tax rate.

Our total accounts receivable balance was $2.7 billion at quarter end, effectively flat sequentially as well as when compared to the first quarter of 2018. We generated cashflow from operating activities of $22 million for the first quarter despite a significant increase in fuel prices from year end to the end of the first quarter.

Despite the increase in fuel prices, we further strengthened our balance sheet, reducing our total debt balance below $700 million, which is down nearly $140 million year over year, resulting in a reduction of our ratio of net debt to adjusted EBTIDA to 1.3 times, down from 2.2 times in the first quarter of last year. This improvement increases our capacity to invest in both organic and strategic investment opportunities while continuing to maintain a strong balance sheet.

In closing, we delivered strong results in the first quarter, while further improving our balance sheet and liquidity profile. We remain focused on sharpening our portfolio business activities by divesting of additional non-core businesses and reinvesting related proceeds in core activities which should drive additional profitable growth.

Our continued focus on cost control resulted in a significant year over year improvement in our operating expense ratio in the first quarter and remain focused on delivering a 250-basis point reduction in the ratio for the full year. These opportunities remain bound tightly together in support of our principal goals of increasing returns on capital and increasing shareholder value.

I will now turn the call back over to our operator, Ash, to begin the Q&A session.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. At this time, I would like to remind everyone if you would like to ask a question, please press the number 1 followed by the number 4 on your telephone keypad. You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration, please press the number 1 followed by the number 3. If you're using a speakerphone, please lift your handset before entering your request. As a reminder, we would appreciate it if the participants would limit themselves to two questions with one follow-up. We will pause for just a moment to compiles the Q&A roster.

Our first question comes from the line of Ben Nolan with Stifel. Please proceed with your question.

Benjamin Nolan -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Managing Director

Thanks. Hey, guys. I guess for my first question, you mentioned as it relates to the aviation business that you've done pretty well on the government contracting side. I know that's always been kind of an ambiguous number or somewhat of an uncertain outlook and it's hard to pin down, but how are you feeling about the continuation of that government business going forward, both for the rest of the year and then maybe out into the future as well?

Ira M. Birns -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I'll start. Mike can chime in. How are you doing, Ben? Thanks for the question. That's always very, very difficult to predict long-term based upon a lot of the factors that were all equally exposed to dated today in terms of what's going on in that part of the world. We've been pleased that our relationship remains strong and activity remains strong. As a matter of fact, our first quarter is one of the strongest we've had in a very long time in that regard. While we have contracts, that doesn't guarantee us any level of volume on any given day.

In saying that, at the same time, those volumes have continued, but it's impossible to project when they may change materially in one direction or the other. For now, we're still relatively confident that we'll deliver similar results to what we did in 2018 in that area, but the caveat to that is that can always change on a dime if something develops in terms of troop withdraws or border closures or anything that would have an impact on that business. But at the moment, our team has done a phenomenal job and the business continues to be generally robust.

Michael Kasbar -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

I'll just add to that in terms of what we've -- I've said this in the past but I'll repeat it because it's worth repeating -- the capability that we've developed there was instrumental in terms of our global petroleum logistics. The company has really transformed from an asset-light company to a fairly sophisticated logistics company from our military logistics personnel. So, that's been tremendously helpful. The objective -- and we've made progress on diversifying that military activity to a number of different locations and we are making progress there. Those are two dimensions I think are noteworthy in terms of just that military activity.

Benjamin Nolan -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Managing Director

Okay. It would theoretically make it a little stickier but also more diverse, I guess is kind of the idea, right?

Michael Kasbar -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Exactly. The reputation, obviously, it's serving a very demanding client, so, having that reputation and being able to handle that -- again, I've said it in the past. Make it analogous to Formula One racing to passenger car. So, that capability to be able to deal with that has really strengthen the logistics capability throughout the entire company. I made reference to our shared service and center of excellence and our global physical operations capability is driven by our military personnel and that has been a tremendous asset for us.

Benjamin Nolan -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Managing Director

Okay. Great. My second question is to related to sort of capital allocation. I know that in the last call, you talked about the idea that maybe you're sniffing around, perhaps, a little bit more at some M&A opportunities. I'm curious if you have color there. Also, I noticed the inventory levels are rising as you're sort of becoming more of a logistics company and less of an asset-light sort of a broker, effectively. How do you have to sort of weigh in the need to support and build the balance sheet as a function of capital allocation in addition to M&A opportunities, debt repayment, what have you?

Michael Kasbar -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Well, step-by-step. Obviously, the returns are what keep you in the right place. So, you need to manage that carefully. If you get the returns, you're going to be able to grow your balance sheet. So, blending that within a combination of asset-light inventory, lots of services. We like the services side. So, growing those services and those services have growth within the aviation side, so, it really is getting the balance right.

The notion of value-share where we are becoming a strategic partner for our clients and also a strategic partner for our suppliers and refiners in terms of the offtake and bringing that demand to that. So, certainly the balance sheet has implications there and it's making sure that it's getting the returns and growing your earnings so that you could continue to flex your balance sheet.

Benjamin Nolan -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Managing Director

I'll turn it over. Thanks guys.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Kevin Sterling with Seaport Global Securities. Please proceed with your question.

Kevin Sterling -- Seaport Global Securities -- Managing Director

Thank you. Good afternoon, gentlemen. You guys mentioned, I think, for Q2 we should expect organic growth in aviation. How should we think about growth in marine and land? I know Ira, I believe you said gross profit improvement year over year in marine, I assume that's mainly coming from price, not necessarily volume. How should we think about marine and land, organic growth, if you will?

So, within marine, we've got 2020. There has been a lot of wait and see on that. The forward curve isn't really showing very much. But there have been a couple of select deals, but if you look at -- and I've said this before -- aviation being a manifestation for the entire company in terms of a combination of asset light, select physical inventory distribution and technology. That applied to both marine and land. So, we'll have a selective approach to organic growth. We've got tremendous capabilities.

We are leveraging more of the capabilities within the company that cut across all of the segments. We'll continue to grow organically. We'll penetrate markets selectively, both on the asset-light side, which we've done in marine and aviation, but selectively entered the physical side of equation, try to add more services where we can, utilizing technology. Within land, as I've mentioned, I think last quarter, we are going to use the global platform that we have within marine and aviation to selectively grow our land business.

Certainly, the US is an area of interest where we've got a foothold within Europe. So, there are acquisitions within the land space. We have fairly small market share. That's a fairly rich place for us to continue to grow our C&I business. Within connect, we believe we've got good growth within our gas and power and sustainability business, blending those together on a go to market within our commercial and industrial users makes a lot of sense.

I made reference to that last quarter. It's a combination of leveraging the corporation's innate capabilities and applying that across the entire business using our global platform to logically extend into those different activities and then selectively looking at acquisitions.

So, marine we feel good about in terms of getting some growth there. Certainly with 2020, we are well-prepared to support our loyal clients and then land has been a rough road, but we feel like we are getting a solid team together and while technology is slow to come, we are focused very much on the customer experience and being able to overcome some of the challenges in terms of putting together complex systems.

So, we feel like we've got a much better growth curve and momentum and the land engine is starting to come together. It's palpable in terms of a hell of a lot more engagement within the team, both on diesel, gas, and power and sustainable. So, that feels good. We're feeling very positive about that. And then marine team as well is extremely engaged. So, it feels like all of the businesses are coming together and the balance sheet looks good. We're ready to roll. It's never simple, but we feel like we're in better condition now than ever before.

Kevin Sterling -- Seaport Global Securities -- Managing Director

Thank you, Mike. I guess I'll dig in a little bit deeper into marine. You guys have done a good job exiting some of the low margin business there, getting out of some of the Asian ports. How much more do you have left to exit? Is it possible to quantify it or ballpark it? You can see another quarter or two where you continue to exit this business or how should we think about exiting -- how much more do you have left to exit in your marine business?

Ira M. Birns -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I would say we've been through -- if you put it in innings in baseball vernacular, we're probably in the eighth inning or so. So, if you look at it from a volume perspective, I would hope with no guarantees that we kind of bottomed out in the first quarter. I don't expect that volume number to grow materially in the second quarter. Mike talked about the opportunities that may come to pass in terms of 2020, but we're always -- I would say we're permanently more seriously looking at pieces of business that maybe we should have never been doing in the first place.

Obviously, the low-hanging fruit has been pulled. There are always going to be opportunities to identify more of that, but hopefully we're placing that going forward more than on a one-to-one basis. We think we're going to start seeing some uplift in volume over the course of the year, not material uplift, but also, it's pretty safe to say we don't expect the number to decline from the first quarter over the next three quarters.

So, it's activity that had low returns. We're also looking -- that market is still kind of fragile, rigth? We're looking at various relationships and some of them continue to make sense, some may not from a credit perspective. We're looking at it from a whole bunch of angles and focusing on driving the parts of the business that make the most sense to us. Our guys have done a great job in doing that and improving overall margins and returns. That quest will continue over the balance of this year. We expect a pretty good result out of marine this year because of all those efforts despite likely limited volume growth.

Kevin Sterling -- Seaport Global Securities -- Managing Director

Thank you. Last question here -- Mike, you briefly touched on this and I'm going to ask, if you don't mind -- you talked about M&A opportunities. Obviously, you mentioned the balance sheet leverage is low, it's probably one of the lowest levels I've see in quite some time. So, how does M&A pipeline look. If that doesn't come to fruition, how could we think about maybe stock buyback or dividend increases as well?

Ira M. Birns -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I'll start on that. Mike, I think we get that question on every call, so, we should probably record our answer. Look, great point from the standpoint that we've done a good job with the balance sheet, maybe a little more conservative in trying to clean up that balance sheet over the course of the last 12 months and put this in a much better position going forward. We didn't do any M&A in 2018 purposely. Our balance sheet is in good shape. We spent a lot of time focusing on cost. We've gotten that in much better shape.

We're in a much better position in our minds now to go out and look at opportunities. The pipeline is extensive. There are a lot of opportunities in our core businesses that are out there. We're scrutinizing many of them and we're hopefully that a couple will come to fruition some time in the near future. There's a lot of heavy lifting to occur before that happens.

So, I believe we could do that and find some opportunities without really changing the beauty of the current balance sheet, so to speak. We'll always look at buybacks and dividends. We'll always evaluate the level of our dividend. We review that with our board on a regular basis. Buybacks, as you know, I don't think we're ever going to be a large buyback type of company. We try to do that opportunistically. We try to buy back enough shares every year to cover the dilutive impact of stock awards.

 We're probably never going to do a whole lot more than that unless we were generating tremendous amounts of cash and didn't feel we had any better use for it. Investing in our business, in our core organic business today is number one. Investing in strategic opportunity would be number two and then finding ways to return additional value to shareholders with, I would say, limited buybacks and dividends would be tied for third.

Kevin Sterling -- Seaport Global Securities -- Managing Director

Ira, would you say most of your M&A opportunities are in land or is it spread across the board?

Ira M. Birns -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Land.

Michael Kasbar -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

If you look at it mathematically, obviously, we have the lowest market share in the largest business by far in terms of the overall markets worldwide. There are clearly more opportunities in land than anywhere else, but we're not only looking at opportunities in land. There are always opportunities to look at in the other businesses as well.

Kevin Sterling -- Seaport Global Securities -- Managing Director

That's all I had. Thanks so much for your time this evening.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line Ari Rosa with Bank of America. Please proceed with your question.

Ari Rosa -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Good afternoon, guys. Congrats on what looks like a pretty solid quarter. I'm curious if you can talk about some of these improvements that you've made.

Ira M. Birns -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Ari, we can't quite here you.

Ari Rosa -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Can you hear me better now?

Ira M. Birns -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Still a lot of static, but go ahead.

Ari Rosa -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

I apologize for that. Just asking to what extent do you think some of the improvements you made put you in a position where you're less sensitive to swings in the environment or the macro economy?

Michael Kasbar -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Swings in the macro economy.

Ira M. Birns -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Ari, if we got the question right -- I'm going to repeat it. I think what you asked was how do we feel we position ourselves better to insulate us from the macro economy. Is that correct?

Ari Rosa -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Exactly. Correct.

Michael Kasbar -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

I'll take a crack at that. One of the beauties of our business model is we're still primary an asset-light business. So, we're diverse. We're doing business in lots of different geographies and we're doing business in lots of different end markets. We don't have concentration in different business segments. So, that gives us a certain amount of insulation in terms of macroeconomic moves. So, that was by design as opposed to have a mono culture, so to speak. It has catastrophic impact. So, from that perspective, if you're looking at interest rates, the price of oil, certainly the volatility that could impact.

We generally benefit from because we've got the ability to pivot. If we're looking at economic downturns, sometimes the risk goes up, I've commented in the past that with 2020, one of the things that not a lot of people are thinking about is credit risk because undoubtedly, the price is going to go up some, ship owners are going to be able to pass on the cost, some maybe not so much. There potentially is going to be some risk, some quality risk and performance risk there.

So, by in large, we are on big risk management company. So, to the extent that you've got global downturns, we've got the ability to dial back better than most companies. The improvements that we've made, certainly from a balance sheet perspective, certainly from a cost perspective, we are a stronger company, a more resilient company. We've got a fairly diverse portfolio as I've mentioned, both geographic and end market.

Going through the rather unpleasant transformation that we have to go through, it's the first time we really have to do that, we've got a little bit of experience in terms of how to basically scale back. I'd say that we've got a more durable and a more resilient business model today, balance sheet, financial perspective, and frankly organization. That comes with time and I think that we're in better shape than some companies.

When we look at our physical logistics capability, we've got the ability to have pre-emptive exists in terms of exiting. We don't really have very many long-term commitments. So, we don't have heavy duty fixed assets with long-term commitments. I think we're better positioned than most companies for all the previous reasons. I hope that gives you enough color to answer the question.

Ari Rosa -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

That's a terrific level of detail. Hopefully you can hear me a little bit better. I'll just ask one more. As you talk about acquisitions, maybe you could talk about what you've learned from some of the past acquisitions that you've done where maybe there have been a couple of hiccups and how that's influenced your thinking as you begin to evaluate acquisitions going forward.

Michael Kasbar -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

We've learned. Yeah. We went to the best school going. So, anyway, as we look at sharpening our portfolio and looking at the organization, at the end of the day, it's very much about the people. It's very much about the process and the platform. So, having a more streamlined organization, having a clearer idea of what we're interested in allows us to really focus on the selection for acquisition, the valuation, and importantly, the integration, the realization of synergies, both on cost as well on growth.

So, I think those are areas that we've got a far greater focus. We've talked about ratability, scalability, sustainability. I think the entire organization is much more keyed into those areas. We've got a level of maturity. The organization is looking very good right now from that perspective. So, there's always room for improvement but we've come a long way. We're feeling a lot more in the same zone relative to making those selections and be able to execute on that. So, there's a higher level of organization confidence and engagement.

Ari Rosa -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Absolutely. Thanks for your time. I appreciate it.

Operator

Mr. Kasbar, there are no further questions at this time. I will now turn it back to you for closing remarks.

Michael Kasbar -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks very much for joining us. Thanks for the support. Thanks for all the team members that may be listening for all of the engagement and the burning desire to succeed. It really is a pleasure working with all of you. Thanks, everybody. We'll talk to you next quarter.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude the conversation call today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your line.

Duration: 42 minutes

Call participants:

Glenn Klevitz -- Vice President, Treasury and Investor Relations

Michael Kasbar -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Ira M. Birns -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Benjamin Nolan -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Managing Director

Kevin Sterling -- Seaport Global Securities -- Managing Director

Ari Rosa -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

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