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Teledyne Technologies Inc (NYSE:TDY)
Q4 2019 Earnings Call
Jan 22, 2020, 12:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Teledyne Fourth Quarter Earnings Release Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Jason VanWees. Please go ahead.

Jason VanWees -- Executive Vice President

Thank you. Good morning, everyone. This is Jason VanWees, Executive Vice President. And, I want to welcome everyone to Teledyne's fourth quarter and full-year 2019 earnings release conference call. We released our earnings earlier this morning before the market opened.

Joining me today are Teledyne's Executive Chairman, Robert Mehrabian; President and CEO, Al Pichelli; Senior Vice President and CFO, Sue Main; and SVP, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary, Melanie Cibik. After remarks by Robert, Al and Sue, we will ask for questions.

Of course, though before we get started, our attorneys have reminded me to tell you that all forward-looking statements made this morning are subject to various risks and caveats, as noted in the earnings release and our periodic SEC filings. And in order to avoid potential selective disclosures, this call is simultaneously being webcast and a replay, both via webcast and dial-in will be available for approximately one month.

Here's Robert.

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Thank you, Jason, and good morning everyone and thank you for joining our earnings call. For the second consecutive quarter, we achieved all-time record sales, earnings per share and free cash flow. Likewise, full-year 2019 was by any measure a record year. Each of sales, earnings, GAAP operating margin, and free cash flow were all-time records.

Fourth quarter and full-year sales increased 11.5% and 9%, respectively. Organic growth for both periods also exceeded 4%, including some modest currency headwinds, about 0.6% in Q4 and about 1% headwind for the full-year 2019.

In addition, for both the fourth quarter and full year, GAAP operating margin expanded just under 120 basis points. Fourth quarter earnings were $3.06, exceeding $3 per share for the first time, an increase of 24.9% compared to last year. While we have increased our emphasis on margin improvement, we are continuing our proven strategy of disciplined capital deployment for a compound growth in earnings and cash flow. In 2019, we deployed $484 million on complementary acquisitions and earlier this month, we announced the acquisition of OakGate Technology, a software and hardware company focused on the test validation and operating performance of solid state electronic storage media. This is our third bolt-on acquisition for Teledyne LeCroy and our last Teledyne to provide a complete set of protocol analysis software and hardware, used from the design of new data storage devices for the use our search devices in hyperscale cloud storage networks.

Teledyne continues to benefit from our balanced portfolio of common technologies, serving different complementary market. We began 2020 with growth in our defense businesses, expected to offset declines in sales of OEM avionics. Marine instrumentation continues to recover with growing sales, but also with orders having exceeded sales for the sixth consecutive quarter.

In Digital Imaging, we expect to see continued strength in certain high-growth markets, like micro electro-mechanical systems or MEMS and a modest recovery in certain commercial machine vision market, such as the semiconductor industry. Given the short cycle nature of our environmental and electronic test and measurement instrumentation businesses, at this point we are only projecting low-single-digit GDP-like organic growth. Finally, our balance sheet remains exceptionally strong, with a quarter-end leverage ratio of 1.4 times and we are continuing to pursue acquisition opportunities.

Before turning the call to Al, I want to emphasize that all of our financial results this morning are reported on a GAAP basis with no adjustments for amortization, stock compensation, acquisition charges, purchase accounting, restructuring or other charges.

I will now -- Al will now comment on the performance of our four business segments.

Aldo Pichelli -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Robert. In our Instrumentation segment, overall fourth quarter sales increased 14.5% from last year. Sales of marine instrumentation increased 14.7% organically in the quarter and we also closed 2019 with the highest year-end backlog since 2014. In addition, operating profit improved significantly. In the environmental domain, sales increased 31.9% as a result of our recent acquisition of the gas and flame detection business. In addition, greater organic sales of pollution control instrumentation were offset by lower sales of selected process gas analyzers and laboratory instruments. Sales of electronic test and measurement systems increased sequentially to the highest level of 2019, but decreased 6.8% year-over-year, given an especially tough comparison. For the full year, sales increased 6% organically.

Overall Instrumentation segment operating profit increased 38.4% in the quarter and margin increased 340 basis points with margins increasing for test and measurement and marine instrumentation. Excluding the gas and flame detection acquisition and related purchase accounting, margins also increased within the environmental instrumentation.

Turning to the Digital Imaging segment, fourth quarter's sales increased 20.1%. Sales of our proprietary medical and dental X-ray detectors again increased significantly year-over-year. Sales of geospatial sensor systems and MEMS devices also grew nicely, as did sales of advanced infrared and visible light detectors for defense and space applications. The strong growth in these businesses more than offset some expected declines in the portion of our industrial machine vision business, which serves consumer electronics and generally factory automation markets, especially in Asia. However, sales of these products did increase sequentially, given some recent recovery in the semiconductor-related inspection systems. GAAP segment operating profit increased 29.8% and margin increased 131 basis points, generally as a result of the increased sales volume.

In the Aerospace and Defense Electronics segment, fourth quarter sales increased 2.7%, primarily due to strong growth across the majority of our defense electronic businesses, partially offset by lower sales of OEM aerospace electronics. Segment operating margin decreased 208 basis points to 19.2%. The operating margin primarily resulted from product mix differences in defense electronics and lower sales of commercial avionics.

In the Engineered Systems segment, fourth quarter revenue decreased 1.7% with greater sales related to space and energy programs, electronic manufacturing and turbine engines, more than offset by lower sales from missile defense programs and energy systems. Segment operating profit and margin was flat year-to-year.

Before turning to Sue, I want to offer some additional commentary regarding our 2020 outlook. Given the points raised by Robert earlier, we believe that total organic revenue growth in the full-year of 2020 will be 3% to 3.5%. In addition, the full-year contribution from the scientific camera, gas and flame detection, Micralyne and OakGate acquisition will add another $100 million or so of incremental revenue. This translates to total revenue of approximately $3.36 billion to $3.37 billion for 2020.

I will now turn the call over to Sue.

Susan L. Main -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Alan and good morning, everyone. I will first discuss some additional financials for the quarter not covered by Robert and Al and then I will discuss our first quarter and full-year 2020 outlook.

In the fourth quarter, record cash flow from operating activities was $167.9 million compared with cash flow of $125.5 million for the same period of 2018. The cash provided by operating activities in the fourth quarter of 2019 reflected the impact of higher operating income, cash flow from recent acquisitions and improved working capital management. Free cash flow, that is, cash from operating activities less capital expenditures, was $144 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with $106.8 million in 2018.

Capital expenditures were $23.9 million in the fourth quarter compared to $18.7 million for the same period of 2018. Depreciation and amortization expense was $29.3 million in both the fourth quarter of 2019 and 2018. We ended the quarter with $651.1 million of net debt, that is, $850.6 million of debt, less cash of $199.5 million for a net debt-to-capital ratio of 19.4%. Stock option compensation expense was $5.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with $4.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Turning to our outlook. Management currently believes that GAAP earnings per share in the first quarter of 2020 will be in the range of $2.25 to $2.35 per share. And for the full-year of 2020, our GAAP earnings per share outlook is $11.20 to $11.30. The 2020 full-year estimated tax rate, excluding discrete items, is expected to be 22.3%, a 170 basis point increase compared to full-year 2019, due in part to less R&D tax credits as a percentage of taxable income. In addition, we currently expect significantly less discrete items in 2020 compared with 2019.

I will now pass the call back to Robert.

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Thank you, Sue. We'd now like to take your questions. Greg, if you're ready to proceed with the questions and answers, please go ahead.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Andrew Buscaglia. Please go ahead.

Andrew Buscaglia -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Hey, guys. Thanks for taking my question.

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Good morning, Andrew.

Andrew Buscaglia -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Good morning. I was hoping you could dig a little bit more into marine. So, you're on your second quarter now of what looks like the beginning out of ramp. How sustainable is this -- is the growth into next year? And then, can you also talk a little bit about, I would think, given you got marine finally rebounding here, you got potentially machine vision rebounding here, I would think that your organic growth rate guidance will be higher than that, 3 -- I believe you said 3%, 3.5%. So, what's -- can you talk about how that's weighing it down or what's weighing it down?

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Sure, Andrew. Let me start with marine. I think our orders in marine were significant this year. We ended the year with about 1.1 in terms of book-to-bill. The -- it's been a good run. There are -- the oil prices hover between $55 and $65 for Brent and a lot of deep water production is profitable below $50, so we're seeing both improvements in our seismic activities, activities for oil exploration as well as long-term oil production contracts. We think that in 2020, marine would have increased revenues in the range of about 6.6% versus 4% in 2019.

Now, continuing with the second part of your question, which is why we have organic growth less than 4% or so, this year we achieved about 4.4%. We are projecting between 3% and 3.5% for next year. That's primarily affected by the 737 Max. It impacts our revenues by 1%. That's our best guess right now, which is equivalent to about $30 million. We anticipated that we would have revenues of over $40 million, maybe as much as $45 million. And because of the delays that you are very familiar with, we expect that that would be down about -- effect our revenue about 1% or $30 million.

Having said that, I think it's important to note that with even that hit that we're taking in our revenue, because of our balanced portfolio, even in the Aerospace and Defense segment, we expect revenue to be flat year-over-year, because the defense businesses are going to do much better this year than they did last year. So, the answer to your question is primarily driven by Max. Whenever [Phonetic] it comes back into production, we'll pick it up again.

Andrew Buscaglia -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Yeah, no, that's helpful. And maybe could you just comment too on the -- you said machine vision in the quarter seems to -- you got a little uptick sequentially here. What is your expectation for 2020? I mean, you got semis markets moving higher or just good commentary out of those markets, so what are you guys thinking?

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Right now, we think that in the machines vision that we will get some pickup from semi. We think for the year, we'll probably organically grow 3% to 3.5%, but we also made a acquisition, sci-cam [Phonetic] acquisition last year as well as Micralyne, etc. I think, overall machine vision would be over 5%, maybe 5.1%, 5.2%. The Digital Imaging that includes machine vision is recovering modestly. Where we've done well, really, is in the healthcare, which is our X-ray business and our MEMS areas and we think those areas will help us as well.

We think the sales in that total Digital Imaging will increase from what was this year about $900 million to about $990 million -- I'm sorry $900 million to about $1.4 billion, $1.450 billion. So, I mean, $1.045 billion. And so, we are positive about machine vision. Of course if the business picks up more, especially in the flat panel displays, then we'll do better sill.

Andrew Buscaglia -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Yeah, got it. All right, thanks for the color.

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Joe Giordano, please go ahead.

Joe Giordano -- Cowen -- Analyst

Hey guys, good morning.

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Good morning, Joe.

Joe Giordano -- Cowen -- Analyst

Hey, Robert, you answered a bunch of my questions there, but maybe could we just talk about margins a little bit and how much -- how dilutive was the M&A in the quarter and how much is -- how dilutive do you have it into 2020 margins and maybe we can get a little color on margins by segment there?

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Yeah, I can give you margins first if I made by segment and related to '19. Let me start with Instrumentation. Instrumentation had full-year margin of about 18.1% and that was really good, because it improved about 370 basis points over 2018. We think that will go up again in 2020, perhaps, as much as 70 basis points.

Right now, we think you'll end up at 18.8%.

And moving to Digital Imaging, Digital Imaging margins were flat year-over-year. At '18, it was 17.8% and '19, it was 17.8%. We think we're going to get some margin improvement there, perhaps, as much as 65 basis points. Aerospace and Defense and Engineered Systems, we don't think we're going to improve margins, Aerospace and Defense, primarily because the margins are already pretty high at 20.8%. But also, as I mentioned because of the headwind from 737 Max, we think even though defense will make up for the revenue, margins will stay flat. And then Engineered Systems, we think margins will remain about 9.7%.

So, overall in the segments, we think that the margins will increase overall about 45% -- or 45 basis points and the Company as a whole, it will be about 50 basis points. Regarding the question you asked about dilution -- accretion/dilution from the acquisitions, the Roper acquisition was with scientific cameras, was not dilutive. Right now, gas and flame, which is the business we bought from 3M and Micralyne which we bought, we think they will add about -- they added about 50 basis points in dilution, probably in Q4 and we think going forward, they will be flat.

Most of our acquisitions that we make, may be diluted at very early on because of expenses we have in acquiring them, but after a while they are accretive.

Joe Giordano -- Cowen -- Analyst

That's very helpful. Just wanted to clarify, I think, you said earlier marine up about 6.5% in 2020. What about the oil and gas, the energy component of marine specifically? I just want to make sure I wasn't confusing which things you were talking about there.

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Yeah, let me just point that out. I think in the oil and gas, first, let me start with the big picture. This year, we ended marine at about $450 million, which was a 3.9% improvement over '18. Our present plans or our present anticipation is that, that'll go up 6.6% to $480 million. Of that, the oil and gas in 2019 was about $185 million and we think that will increase to $202 million, a hefty increase for us. And we think the rest of marine, which is -- has to do with defense and security and other things, that will go up from $265 million to $278 million. So to put it in a nutshell, the 6.6% is balanced between oil and gas and the other business, especially, defense where we do have really good programs, especially in the submarine area.

Joe Giordano -- Cowen -- Analyst

So, maybe last from me on the healthcare part of Digital Imaging, that business has been great for you guys. And what's the outlook and kind of current thoughts around new customers and new fields like on surgery and mammography? And what's the kind of the pacing in discussions with big customers there and what's embedded in your guidance for growth under healthcare in 2020?

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

We think we're going to have a little growth in healthcare, but it's not going to be as robust as we had in 2020, because we had a lot of new OEM to sign up in 2020 and we don't see any new OEMs right now. It could happen, but we don't see it right now. We have -- in prior years, we had really good extraoral surgery, we had good intraoral, we had mammography. So we think it's going to be relatively flat, maybe, increase another $10 million year-over-year. I think last year was about $255 million. We are projecting about $265 million or so this year, but it's a healthy business and we're trying to also move up market with some of our products.

So, as the year progresses, I think, we'll be able to project improvement, especially in mammography and other OEMs as we move closer to 2021.

Joe Giordano -- Cowen -- Analyst

Great, thanks very much.

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And at this time, there are no further questions.

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Well, thank you very much, Greg. What I'd like to do is ask Jason to conclude the conference call. Thank you.

Jason VanWees -- Executive Vice President

Thanks, Robert. And again, thanks everyone for joining us this morning. If you do have follow-up questions, please feel free to call me at the number on the earnings release, and of course, all our news releases are available on our website. Greg, if you could conclude the conference call, then please provide the replay details for the audience. We'd certainly appreciate it. Thanks again.

Operator

Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, this conference will be available for replay after 10:00 AM Pacific Time today through February 22. You may access the AT&T executive replay system at any time by dialing 1-866-207-1041 and entering the access code 1455431. International participants dial 402-970-0847. Those numbers once again are 1-866-207-1041 or 402-970-0847 with the access code 1455431.

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 27 minutes

Call participants:

Jason VanWees -- Executive Vice President

Robert Mehrabian -- Executive Chairman

Aldo Pichelli -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Susan L. Main -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Andrew Buscaglia -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Joe Giordano -- Cowen -- Analyst

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