AAR Corp. (NYSE:AIR) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call July 10, 2019 4:45 PM ET
John Holmes - President and Chief Executive Officer
Sean Gillen - Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
- John Holmes - 总裁兼首席执行官
- Sean Gillen - 副总裁兼首席财务官
Robert Spingarn - Credit Suisse
Larry Solow - CJS Securities, Inc.
Ken Herbert - Canaccord Genuity Group Inc
Joseph DeNardi - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.
Michael Ciarmoli - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc
- Robert Spingarn - 瑞士信贷
- Larry Solow - CJS Securities，Inc。
- Ken Herbert - Canaccord Genuity Group Inc.
- Joseph DeNardi - Stifel，Nicolaus＆Co。
- Michael Ciarmoli - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to AAR’s Fiscal 2019 Fourth Quarter Earnings Call. We are joined today by John Holmes, President and Chief Executive Officer; Sean Gillen, Chief Financial Officer.
Before we begin, I would like to remind you that the comments made during the call may include forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 as noted in our news release and the Risk Factors section of the company’s Form 10-K, for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2018. In providing a forward-looking statement, the company assumes no obligation to provide updates to reflect future circumstances or anticipated or unanticipated events.
At this time, I would like to turn the call over to AAR’s President and CEO, John Holmes.
女士们，先生们，下午好，欢迎来到AAR的2019财年第四季度收益电话会议。 我们今天加入了总裁兼首席执行官John Holmes; Sean Gillen，首席财务官。
Hey, thank you very much and good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for joining us. We are pleased to be here to discuss our Q4 and full-year 2019 results. Our sales for the full-year were up 17% from $1.75 billion to $2.05 billion. Adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations increased 36% from $1.73 per share to $2.36 per share.
In Q4, consolidated sales grew significantly, up 19% to a record of $563 million. Our growth in adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was even stronger, up 33% from $0.48 a share to $0.64 per share. Additionally, we had solid cash generation again this quarter as we delivered $44 million of operating cash flow from continuing operations.
We continue to see outstanding performance from our parts supply and government programs activities. In MRO, we saw another quarter of sequential improvement. This improvement was driven by actions we have taken throughout FY 2019 to address the tight labor supply, such as enhancing our recruiting efforts, partnering with various schools and repositioning elements of our workforce across our network. Our customers have also continued to work with us to increase pricing, which has partially offset higher labor cost.
During FY 2019, we focused on implementing a number of new programs, as well as executing on certain strategic initiatives. Our government programs team successfully implemented both our U.S. Air Force landing gear PBL contract, as well as the WASS INL program. Both programs were extremely large and complex implementations, involving almost 1000 new employees and contractors. We are very pleased with the results of these implementations, and more importantly, so are our customers.
As part of our previously communicated strategy to shift to an asset-light GOCO business model, we entered into a definitive agreement to sell certain assets in our COCO business. In addition to executing on these and other prior awards, we announced several new business wins throughout the year.
Most recently, in the fourth quarter, we announced the extension of our engine support contract with MTU. We also received certification from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, the JCAB, that will expand our Japanese customer base and further strengthen the company’s position in Asia.
Subsequent to the quarter-end, we announced an exclusive distribution arrangement with Woodward to support the U.S. military and a joint repair management contract with Global Aerospace Logistics, or GAL, focused on UAE military fleets. We feel very good about what we have accomplished in FY 2019 and are particularly pleased with our record fourth quarter results.
With that, I’ll turn the call over to our CFO, Sean Gillen.
在季末结束之后，我们宣布与伍德沃德达成独家分销协议，以支持美国军方，并与Global Aerospace Logistics（GAL）签订联合维修管理合同，该合同主要针对阿联酋军队。我们对2019财年取得的成就感到非常满意，并对我们创纪录的第四季度业绩感到特别满意。
Thanks, John. Before I comment on the financial results, I would like to mention the 8-K we filed this afternoon.
As noted, the company retained outside counsel to investigate possible violations of the company’s Code of Conduct, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and other applicable laws, relating to the company’s activities in Nepal and South Africa.
Based on these investigations, we self-reported these matters to the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK Serious Fraud Office. We will fully cooperate in any review by these agencies, although we are unable at this time to predict what action, if any, they may take. Given that this is now an open matter with the government, we will not be able to offer further detail at this time.
With that, I will discuss the company’s Q4 and full-year 2019 financial performance in more detail.
Our sales in the quarter of $562.7 million were up 19%, or $89.2 million year-over-year. We experienced growth in both segments, including a $78.2 million, or 18% increase in Aviation Services revenues and $11 million, or 37% increase in Expeditionary Services revenues. This significant increase in top line growth was primarily driven by sales in our parts supply activities along with the WASS program.
Gross profit increased 11.8%, or $10 million to $94.7 million. Gross margin was 16.8% versus 17.9% in the prior year period, primarily due to the labor challenges in MRO and mix in Expeditionary Services.
SG&A expenses were 11.2% of sales versus 13.1% in the prior period, which reflects the utilization of our existing infrastructure to support WASS as well as other growth. However, increased legal cost in the quarter did drive SG&A higher than initially expected.
Fourth quarter reported results include tax benefits related to reversals of state valuation allowances, which reduced income tax expense by $5.1 million, or $0.15 per diluted share. Adjusted income from continuing operations was $22.3 million, or $0.64 per diluted share. This compares to $16.7 million, or $0.48 per diluted share in the prior year.
Note that Q4 adjusted income from continuing operations and diluted EPS exclude the aforementioned state tax benefits. Additionally, full-year adjusted results exclude these Q4 state tax benefits, as well as the Q3 federal tax benefits discussed on the previous call. This change in presentation is to more clearly reflect the underlying performance of the business.
As John mentioned, in the quarter, we took action to reposition certain elements of the workforce across our network. We incurred after-tax costs of $0.7 million associated with these actions, which we have excluded from our adjusted results.
Capital expenditures for the quarter were $5.1 million and depreciation and amortization was $11.5 million. Net interest expense was $2.1 million, compared to $2.2 million last year.
During the quarter, our cash flow from operating activities from continuing operations was $44.1 million, which is net of a $13.3 million reduction in our AAR program. Also, we repurchased 291,000 shares for $9.5 million.
Switching to full-year results. Our sales for the full-year were $2.05 billion, up 17.4%, or $304 million year-over-year. Aviation Services sales grew 17.4%, or $285 million. Our sales increases were driven by our parts supply activities, as well as government programs. Expeditionary Services sales grew 16.6%, or $19 million due to volume growth for our mobility products.
Gross profit for the year increased 11.8%, or $35 million to $330 million. Gross profit in Aviation Services increased 13.8%, or $38 million, primarily due to parts supply and government programs sales flow-through. Gross profit in Expeditionary Services declined 16.1%, or $3.1 million due to changes in product mix.
SG&A expenses were 10.5% of sales versus 11.9% in the prior period. Adjusted income from continuing operations was $83.1 million, or $2.36 per diluted share, compared to $60.6 million, or $1.73 per diluted share in the prior year.
Capital expenditures for the full-year were $17.4 million, depreciation and amortization were $42.8 million. Net interest expense for the year was $8.5 million, compared to $7.9 million last year due to an average increase in the underlying interest rate. We feel very good about the strength of the balance sheet and the strong cash flow generation.
Net debt decreased $26.2 million to $121.6 million, resulting in net leverage of 0.7 times. Additionally, we returned $20.8 million to our shareholders through dividends of $10.5 million and share repurchases of $10.3 million.
I will now turn the call back over to John.
Thank you, Sean. As we enter FY 2020, we are really excited about the opportunities ahead of us and the outlook for all of our businesses. As indicated in our release, we are providing FY 2020 guidance for sales to be between $2.1 million and $2.2 billion, which represents a growth rate of 5% at the midpoint.
We expect diluted earnings per share from continuing operations to be in the range of $2.45 a share to $2.65 a share, which represents a growth rate of 8% at the midpoint of the range. As part of this guidance, we expect SG&A to be approximately 10.5% of sales and having an effective tax rate of 24%. This guidance reflects continued growth in our parts supply business, which is coming off of a very strong year, a partial recovery in MRO and growth in programs that reflects the full ramp of contracts that had already occurred in FY 2019.
Regarding WASS, while we have added a new site and anticipate adding more sites, we expect the financial performance and operational tempo of the WASS program to be consistent with last year.
Our estimate for SG&A as a percentage of sales reflects anticipated investments to support the growth of our business, including sales, quality, compliance and IT resources.
Regarding the effective tax rate, we want to note that last year’s effective tax rate adjusted for one-time items in Q3 and Q4 was 18.5%, which compares to an anticipated tax rate of 24% for FY 2020.
Overall, we are very excited as we enter FY 2020. Our markets are strong. We have robust pipeline of opportunities and we have significant liquidity to fund our growth. We look forward to discussing all of this in more detail at our Investor Day next week in New York on July 17.
At this point, I’ll turn it back over to the operator for questions.
Thank you, sir. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from the line of Rob Spingarn of Credit Suisse. Your line is open.
谢谢你，先生。 [操作员说明]我们的第一个问题来自瑞士信贷的Rob Spingarn。 你的线是开放的。
Good afternoon, everybody.
Hey, Rob, how are you?
I’m good. Thanks. And nice numbers from you guys. I wanted to ask you, John, to talk a little bit more about some of the strength in the quarter, particularly Expeditionary, it sounds like program is coming online. And is that sort of a one or two quarter event then it moderates?
And then if you could then extrapolate into next year and maybe a little bit further color on the relative business lines, it sounds like MRO’s low single-digit growth and other things are above that 5% rate?
我很好。 谢谢。 你们这些好的数据。 我想问你，约翰，更多地谈谈本季度的一些力量，特别是远征，这听起来好像程序即将上线。 那是一个一两个季度的事件然后它温和吗？
Yes, sure. Just on the quarter – thanks. We’re really happy with the way the year ended, very strong results from the businesses across the company. As it relates to Expeditionary Services, we’ve announced a few wins in the mobility business throughout the year and we’re starting to perform on those wins and produce and ship our products.
So, we saw the benefit of that in Q4. And [when it’s due in] [ph] quarters, we expect to see additional benefit as we ship off against those wins. Thinking about the year ahead, MRO, as I mentioned, we expect a partial recovery. We’re encouraged by the results that we’re seeing both in terms of the labor attraction and retention, as a result of the initiatives that we implemented throughout the year. And we also feel good about the loading in the hangars heading into this year, as well.
And you’re right. I mean, as you think about the growth rate at the midpoint of 5%, certain businesses are above that, certain businesses are below that, but that represents our best view of the blended rate from where we sit today.
是的，当然。就在这个季度 - 谢谢。我们对今年结束的方式非常满意，整个公司的业务都取得了非常强劲的成果。由于它涉及远征服务，我们宣布全年在移动业务上取得一些胜利，我们开始在这些胜利中表现出色并生产和运送我们的产品。
John, before you go further, how do we factor India into this MRO outlook?
Yes. Our India JV, I think, we indicated last quarter that, we expected construction to be complete this calendar year. Based on what we know right now, we still look for that. We’re working to finalize the agreement with the customer. And once all that’s done, we’ll be able to give more color on how that will play into the results.
是。 我们认为，我们的印度合资企业上个季度表示，我们预计本年度的建设将完成。 根据我们现在所知，我们仍然在寻找。 我们正在努力与客户达成协议。 一旦完成所有这些，我们就能够更好地了解结果如何发挥作用。
Is there any revenue from that joint venture in the guide?
No, we’re not anticipating any.
Okay. Okay. Just with regard to the EPS guidance that the 10 – is the 10.5% SG&A maybe a little higher than you originally expected. Is there anything there maybe tied to this legal situation? We thought it might have been closer to 10%?
好的。 好的。 关于EPS指导，10 - 是10.5％SG＆A可能比您原先预期的要高一点。 有什么可能与这种法律情况有关吗？ 我们认为可能接近10％？
Yes. It is a little higher than we anticipated. As it relates to the matter that Sean mentioned in the 8-K, we haven’t factored in costs there. Although we did see some cost that came through in the fourth quarter. The 10.5% is really based on investments that we’re making around sales resources to promote the continued growth, particularly in the parts businesses, and then we are adding some IT resources.
We’re making a number of investments around the digital space and we saw some nice returns from those investments in FY 2019. So we want to continue to fund that growth, and then additional quality and compliance resources as well.
是。 它比我们预期的要高一点。 由于它涉及肖恩在8-K中提到的问题，我们没有考虑到那里的成本。 虽然我们确实看到第四季度出现了一些成本。 10.5％实际上是基于我们围绕销售资源进行的投资，以促进持续增长，特别是在零件业务中，然后我们增加了一些IT资源。
Okay. And then just to finish up, Sean, on the cash flow for this coming year, how should we think about either operating cash or free cash, especially off of what looked like a bit of an inventory build in this past year?
Yes. We do expect for this upcoming year to have a nice cash flow year to be cash flow positive. But we’re not giving any specific guidance as it relates to either free cash flow or operating cash flow for this upcoming year.
是。 我们预计即将到来的这一年将有一个很好的现金流量年度现金流量正面。 但我们没有提供任何具体的指导，因为它涉及到即将到来的一年的自由现金流量或经营现金流量。
What are the moving pieces that prevent you from doing that?
I’d say just – the part of our business if we’re going to – if we see opportunity, which we think will continue to do so to invest either support parts supply in inventory or new business wins in distribution or other programs, we’re going to do that. And so we don’t want to limit our ability to grow the business by boxing ourself in our cash flow.
我只是说 - 如果我们要去 - 我们的业务的一部分 - 如果我们看到机会，我们认为将继续如此投资支持零件供应的库存或新的业务赢得分销或其他计划，我们 我会这样做的。 因此，我们不希望通过在现金流中装箱来限制我们发展业务的能力。
So you can’t even provide a range, a conversion range?
We’re not providing any guidance on cash flow.
Okay. All right. Thank you, guys.
好的。 行。 感谢你们。
Other than to say, we expect to be cash flow positive this year.
Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Larry Solow of CJS Securities. Your line is open.
谢谢。 我们的下一个问题来自CJS Securities的Larry Solow。 你的线是开放的。
Great. Thanks. Good afternoon, guys. Could you – I’m not sure, if you can maybe give us a little more granularity just on the Aviation Services, the 18% growth, maybe just help parse this out? Is the WASS contract sort of similar sequentially that’s been running out like $50 million plus or minus top line? Is that fair to say?
非常好。 谢谢。 大家下午好。 你能不能 - 我不确定，如果你能在航空服务上给我们更多的细节，18％的增长，也许只是帮助解析这个？ WASS合同是否有类似的顺序，已经耗尽了5000万美元加上或减去顶线？ 说得公平吗？
Yes, that’s a fair range. Yes.
Right. So excluding that, you had essentially low double-digit, it looks like growth. And MRO itself in the quarter, was that actually – it sounds like you recovered sequentially. Was it still down year-over-year?
对。 所以不包括那个，你的两位数基本上都很低，看起来像增长。 和MRO本身在这个季度，实际上是 - 听起来你顺序恢复。 它是否仍然逐年下降？
It was down year-over-year, but we did see sequential improvement.
Got it. And for next year, you’re looking to continue sequential improvement and a little bit, I guess, of growth for the full-year basis on MRO you said, right?
That’s correct. That’s correct.
And then on the Expeditionary side and obviously a nice bump up sequentially and year-over-year. And on the margin basis, a little bit of an improvement, I guess, sequentially. How come – I guess, the pressure year-over-year, is that also labor-related? And considering, expeditionary is predominantly mobility, which I know historically had been a very high-margin business, but I realize some high fixed costs in there. So I would think that with a pretty good bump up in revenue, your gross margin would improve there. Any thoughts on that?
然后在远征方面，显然是一个很好的突然上升和年复一年。 而且在保证金的基础上，我猜，顺序一点点改进。 为什么 - 我猜，与去年同期的压力还与劳动力有关吗？ 考虑到，远征主要是移动性，我认为这在历史上是一个利润率很高的业务，但我意识到在那里有一些高固定成本。 所以我认为，随着收入的大幅提升，你的毛利率会有所改善。 有什么想法吗？
Yes. I think you hit on it. A couple of moving parts there. One is labor, and we highlighted that in the third quarter and that continues to be an element impacting the results there going forward. And then also, there is a mix of – there is a mix issue there as it relates to margin on different product lines. And certain of those where we’ve wanted on producing are lower-margin product that you might – we might have otherwise seen.
是。 我觉得你碰上了它。 那里有几个活动部件。 一个是劳动力，我们强调在第三季度，这仍然是影响未来结果的因素。 然后，还有一个混合 - 那里有一个混合问题，因为它涉及不同产品线的利润率。 我们想要生产的某些产品是低利润的产品，你可能会 - 我们可能已经看到了。
Okay. And the [indiscernible] agreement to sell the COCO assets, I know, I think you had announced that last quarter. So is that still sort of set to close sometime in calendar 2019? Is there – any update on that, or…?
好的。 我知道，我认为你已经宣布了上个季度的[不可识别]出售COCO资产的协议。 那么在2019年的某个时候还有什么关闭？ 是否 - 有任何更新，或......？
Yes, that’s correct.
Okay. And then on the WASS, as we look out, you said sort of similar to this year, or do we get incremental growth from Costa Rica and potentially additional sites, so are you…?
Yes. We – yes, good question. We are expecting similar performance in FY 2020 to what we saw in FY 2019. And as we’ve been on the program now, we – we’ve learned more about how it operates. And we added a new site. We anticipate adding more sites. But new sites does not necessarily correlate with growth of the program, as you do have some up and downs between sites throughout the year.
是。 我们 - 是的，好问题。 我们预计2020财年的绩效与我们在2019财年的情况类似。而且，由于我们现在已经参与该计划，我们 - 我们已经了解了它的运作方式。 我们添加了一个新网站。 我们预计会增加更多网站。 但新网站并不一定与计划的增长相关，因为全年网站之间确实有些起伏不定。
Okay. I mean, in the long run, would you expect to add more sites that you would get some growth, or I mean, does that necessarily – I would think that would equate with growth over the long run?
好的。 我的意思是，从长远来看，你会期望增加更多的网站，你会得到一些增长，或者我的意思是，这必然 - 我认为这将等同于长期增长？
Again, if you look historically, still the program is in a [historical] [ph] low from where it was a few years ago. And so we believe that there’s potential for the program to grow from where it is. But as we look out over the next 12 months just based on what we see, we expect it to be consistent with the prior 12 months.
同样，如果从历史角度看，该程序仍处于几年前的[历史] [ph]低点。 因此我们相信该计划有可能从现在的地方发展壮大。 但是，正如我们根据我们所看到的情况看待未来12个月，我们预计它将与之前的12个月保持一致。
Okay. And then just lastly, just a follow-up to Rob’s question on the SG&A, because I know long-term, you had sort of this, like 10% goal. It looked like we were sort of getting close to that, maybe looks like, obviously, perhaps a little bit of a reset expectation there for some required investments. Would you view some of this stuff as one-time in nature? Is that a recurring type thing? How should we kind of anyway to sort of parcel that out?
好的。 然后最后，只是Rob对SG＆A的问题的后续跟进，因为我知道长期，你有这样的，就像10％的目标一样。 看起来我们有点接近这一点，或许看起来很明显，也许是一些需要投资的重置预期。 你会把这些东西视为一次性的吗？ 这是反复出现的事吗？ 无论如何我们应该怎样那种包裹呢？
Yes. I mean, based on some investments that we’re making, that’s what’s driving the 10.5% that we’re forecasting for this year.
But it is still a long-term goal to get to the 10% or below level and we did make meaningful progress. So if you look at where we were last year to this year, we made some really nice progress towards that long-term 10% goal. But given some of these resources that we want to bring on during the year, that puts us at the 10.5% estimate now.
但是达到10％或更低水平仍然是一个长期目标，我们确实取得了有意义的进展。 因此，如果你看看我们去年到今年的位置，我们在实现长期10％的目标方面取得了一些非常好的进展。 但考虑到我们希望在这一年中带来的一些资源，这使我们现在估计为10.5％。
And that doesn’t really – you’re not taking into account or will you sort of call that out on – in legal expenses, or…?
这并不是真的 - 你没有考虑到，或者你会在法律费用上打电话，或者......？
Yes. To the extent, we see legal expenses related to the item in the 8-K. We would – we’ll call that out.
是。 在某种程度上，我们会看到与8-K项目相关的法律费用。 我们会 - 我们会打电话给你。
And was there any that you mentioned I know in the prepared remarks, there was some of that already in Q4 and not significantly elevated to where you need to call it out, or…?
There was – there were expenses related to that in Q4.
有 - 在第四季度有与此相关的费用。
But that’s in your operating numbers, right, you left that in there?
It’s left in there. We did not call it out.
Okay. But potentially next year maybe you don’t pull it out, but at least you might be able to call it out. Is that fair to say?
好的。 但也许明年可能你不会把它拉出来，但至少你可以把它叫出来。 说得公平吗？
Yes. We want to see how it goes, but…
…likely we’ll highlight that.
Fair enough. Great. Okay. Thanks, guys. I appreciate it.
很公平。 大。 好的。 多谢你们。 我很感激。
Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Ken Herbert of Canaccord. Your line is open.
谢谢。 我们的下一个问题来自Canaccord的Ken Herbert。 你的线是开放的。
Yes. Hi, good afternoon, John and Sean.
Hey, I just wanted to follow-up on the guidance for fiscal 2020 on the top line. Are you seeing specifically within the parts supply side, it looks like maybe growth slows there a little bit. And I’m just wondering, within distribution and purchase trading, are you seeing any sort of sequential shift in those markets, or is it really just up against some very difficult comps from fiscal 2019?
嘿，我只是想在最后一行跟进2020财年的指导。 你是否特别在零件供应方面看到，看起来可能增长放缓了一点点。 我只是想知道，在分销和购买交易中，您是否看到这些市场中出现任何形式的连续变化，或者它真的只是对抗2019财年的一些非常困难的组合？
I think it’s the latter. Yes, we had, as we’ve highlighted throughout the year, we had really substantial growth throughout FY 2019 in both the trading business as well as the new parts distribution business and we’re very pleased with that. We anticipate more growth in both of those business and we’re really happy with our market position in each one of those. But you’re absolutely right. You get up against some pretty significant comps as you go throughout the year.
我认为这是后者。 是的，正如我们在全年所强调的那样，我们在整个2019财年的交易业务以及新零件分销业务都实现了大幅增长，我们对此非常满意。 我们预计这两项业务将会有更多增长，我们对每一项业务的市场地位都非常满意。 但你绝对正确。 你全年都会遇到一些非常重要的比赛。
Okay. And if I could on the trading side, I mean, we all follow, retirements are down pretty significantly, which is maybe lowering your access to some material, but probably more than offset by better pricing. Just can you talk a little bit more, John, about some of the dynamics you’re seeing in that market? And how with retirements and access to material, how we should think about maybe some of the changes or dynamics of that market here into fiscal 2020?
好的。 如果我可以在交易方面，我的意思是，我们都遵循，退休率显着下降，这可能会降低您对某些材料的访问权限，但可能会被更好的定价所抵消。 约翰，关于你在那个市场看到的一些动态，你能谈谈更多吗？ 如何退出和获取材料，我们应该如何考虑2020年财政市场的一些变化或动态？
I think, that’s a great question. And I think you highlighted the two most important elements there. Retirements are down in certain areas. The material availability is tight, but you’re able to make up for that in price. And we have a market-leading position in the aftermarket parts business. And our team has done an exceptional job over the last several quarters dealing with that tight market and really outmaneuvering our competition to get our hands on the best material when it becomes available and that’s come through in the results.
And we feel very good about our position there. We feel very good about the availability of materials that we believe will be able to get our hands on versus our competitors. And really, I think, for our ground game is a lot better there. And even in a tight market, we’re able to get the best stuff and sell it at a premium.
我想，这是一个很好的问题。 我认为你强调了那里最重要的两个因素。 某些领域的退休率有所下降。 材料供应紧张，但您可以在价格上弥补这一点。 我们在售后零件业务方面处于市场领先地位。 在过去的几个季度里，我们的团队在这个紧张的市场中做了出色的工作，并且真正战胜了我们的竞争对手，以便在结果可用时获得最好的材料。
我们对那里的立场感到非常满意。 对于我们认为能够与竞争对手相比可以获得的材料，我们感觉非常好。 而且，我认为，因为我们的地面游戏在那里要好得多。 即使在紧张的市场中，我们也能够获得最好的东西并以高价出售。
Okay. No, that’s helpful. And just finally, as I think about the balance sheet and leveraging, you’re obviously, you could argue underlevered and you’ve got plenty of capacity. How should we think about maybe capital allocation this year? And is there anything else you can say or anything in the guidance regarding potential step-up in the buyback and or the M&A pipeline? I know, you’ve continued to invest for organic growth and I know, that’s clearly a priority, which is great.
好的。 不，那很有帮助。 最后，当我考虑资产负债表和杠杆时，你很明显，你可能会认为你有充分的能力。 我们今年应该如何考虑资本配置呢？ 对于回购和/或并购管道中的潜在升级，您是否还有其他任何可以说或其他指导的内容？ 我知道，你继续投资于有机增长，我知道，这显然是一个优先事项，这很好。
But how do we think about maybe other changes in allocation moving here, as you’ve got very favorable balance sheet position?
Yes. I think as you highlight, we feel good about the balance sheet and where it is and it gives us flexibility to invest. I think, priority number one, we’re going to continue to invest in the business to grow the business that we have. But as it relates to the capital allocation, after that, you saw some increased repurchase activity in Q4.
I think given the balance sheet and cash flow, we’ll continue to look to deploy capital that way to return capital to shareholders. And on M&A, we will – we do see some opportunities out there and some ability for us to add to our portfolio, and we’re going to look to do that over the next year or so.
是。 我认为，正如您所强调的那样，我们对资产负债表及其所在位置感到满意，并且它为我们提供了投资灵活性。 我认为，优先考虑的是，我们将继续投资业务，以发展我们的业务。 但由于它涉及资本配置，在此之后，您在第四季度看到了一些增加的回购活动。
我认为，考虑到资产负债表和现金流，我们将继续寻求以这种方式部署资本以将资本返还给股东。 在并购方面，我们会 - 我们确实看到了一些机会，并且有一些能力让我们加入到我们的投资组合中，我们将在未来一年左右的时间内做到这一点。
Okay. Can you just remind us, Sean, what you’ve got left or what’s outstanding on the buyback authorization?
Yes. We got about 230 left on the buyback as the current authorization.
Great All right. Well, thank you very much.
Thank you. Our next question comes from Joseph DeNardi of Stifel. Your line is open.
谢谢。 我们的下一个问题来自Stifel的Joseph DeNardi。 你的线是开放的。
Hey, good evening, everybody.
How are you?
John, when you look back at your kind of tenure at AAR and the MRO business, what’s the range of margins that that businesses has produced over time over a cycle? Where are they now? And it feels like there maybe towards the lower end? And what’s the strategy for improvement there?
约翰，当你回顾AAR和MRO业务的任期时，企业在一个周期内产生的利润率范围是多少？ 他们现在在哪里？ 感觉就像可能会走向低端？ 那里的改进策略是什么？
Yes. You’re absolutely right. I mean, there is a cycle, the MRO business and we’ve talked about this –historically is a single-digit margin business. And it ranges from very low-single digits to high-single digits. But you’ve – we’ve definitely seen that. I would characterize us right now at the low-end of that range.
We did a lot in FY 2019 to improve that situation, both in terms of getting more price from the customer, as well as launching a whole series of different recruiting efforts and partnerships to develop our own proprietary pipeline of talent. And we’re starting to see the benefits of those now. And we’ve got a market-leading position in MRO. We’ve got a blue chip customer base. We’ve got great facilities, and we’ve got very supportive customers, and everybody in the industry is aware of this tightness of mechanics.
And so we’re getting, as I said in the prepared remarks, we’re getting a lot of support, as it relates to pricing to help deal with the tightness and supply. So I’m encouraged by the progress that we made in FYI 2019. I’m encouraged by the sequential improvements that we saw in the fourth quarter. I’m encouraged by the loading in the hangars that we have going into this summer versus where we were a year ago. And so all of those are positive things.
So, again, getting back to your original question about the cycle, while we’re at the low-end, these are all favorable results from the initiatives that we started over the last 12 months to move us back to the higher-end of the range.
是。你是绝对正确的。我的意思是，有一个周期，MRO业务，我们已经谈过这个 - 历史上是一个单位数的保证金业务。它的范围从非常低的单位数到高位数。但是你 - 我们肯定已经看到了。我现在就把它描述在那个范围的低端。
John, is that an area of the business where you’re looking at M&A to maybe get yourselves some better pricing tower?
We’re looking at a number of different things there more specifically about our own footprint and rationalizing the workforce across that footprint that we took. As we noted in the prepared remarks, we took some steps during the first quarter to do that and we’re seeing the benefit of those things now. But as it relates to M&A, we – we’re always open to ideas and we will continue to look at creative solutions to deal with the overall labor challenge.
我们正在研究一些不同的事情，更具体地说是我们自己的足迹，并在我们采取的足迹中合理化劳动力。 正如我们在准备好的评论中所指出的那样，我们在第一季度采取了一些措施来做到这一点，我们现在看到了这些事情带来的好处。 但是，由于它涉及并购，我们 - 我们始终对创意持开放态度，我们将继续寻找创造性的解决方案来应对整体劳动力挑战。
Okay. And then John, can you just walk us through maybe the pipeline of opportunities that you’re seeing and I hopped on to the call a little late, so apologize if you did this already. But just a pipeline of opportunities on the government business? And if there are any big ones pending? Thank you.
好的。 然后约翰，你能不能带我们看看你所看到的机会，我有点迟到了，所以如果你已经这样做了，请道歉。 但只是政府业务的一系列机会？ 如果有任何大的未决？ 谢谢。
Yes. For competitive reasons, I wouldn’t disclose the specific bids that we have out there. But what I will say is that, there are some significant bids out there, both that have already been submitted and also those that are in the works.
I think it’s important to note that in the guidance, we – while we have a very strong pipeline of government opportunities, these deals take a long time to award and we are anticipating that even if we see some significant awards during the year, it’s likely that implementation wouldn’t occur to have a meaningful impact on the FY 2020 results. And we could talk a little bit more about the pipeline and the type of things that we’re looking at the Investor Day next week.
是。 出于竞争原因，我不会透露我们在那里的具体出价。 但我要说的是，有一些重要的出价，既已提交，也有正在进行中。
我认为重要的是要注意，在指导中，我们 - 虽然我们有非常强大的政府机会，这些交易需要很长时间才能获得奖励，我们预计即使我们在年内看到一些重要奖项，也可能 该实施不会对2020财年的业绩产生有意义的影响。 我们可以更多地谈谈我们在下周的投资者日看到的管道和事物的类型。
Got it. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Michael Ciarmoli of SunTrust. Your line is open.
谢谢。 我们的下一个问题来自SunTrust的Michael Ciarmoli。 你的线是开放的。
Hey, good evening, guys. Thanks for taking the question. Nice quarter to close out the year here. Maybe just to stay on that topic, John, winning these government deals and having them taking time, I think, you just want a sizable C130 contract for the Afghan Air Force. Should we expect – is that going to be a contributor at all, modest contributor this year, or is that more of a 21 event?
嘿，晚上好，伙计们。 谢谢你提出这个问题。 在这里关闭一年的好季度。 也许只是为了坚持这个话题，约翰，赢得这些政府交易并让他们花时间，我想，你只想要为阿富汗空军制定一份相当大的C130合同。 我们应该期待 - 今年是否会成为贡献者，温和的贡献者，还是更多的21事件？
It’s actually, it’s a recompete. So we’re on that contract today.
So we successfully competed to retain that contract. We have that – yes, so we have that – we had – we were confident in our ability to retain it and so that’s included in the guidance.
所以我们成功地竞争保留了这份合同。 我们有 - 是的，所以我们有 - 我们有 - 我们对保留它的能力充满信心，因此包含在指南中。
Got it. And then maybe Sean, just – your first time going through establishing a framework for guidance, maybe could you just give a little color on what maybe you did differently establishing the guidance this year, or did you guys make any philosophical changes to how you establish the guidance? And any color kind of given your prior experiences and what may be brought to the table?
得到它了。 然后也许肖恩，只是 - 你第一次建立一个指导框架，或许你可以给一些颜色说明你今年可能采取的不同方式建立指导，或者你们是否对你如何建立做出任何哲学上的改变 指引？ 鉴于您之前的经历和可能被带到桌面上的任何颜色？
Yes. I’d say, no major shift in kind of how we came about guidance in terms of the planning of the organization and budgeting process for the year. Obviously, we’re giving guidance at a different point in the fiscal year than the previous guidance. So I think that allows us to have a little bit more insight into what we’re seeing over the next 12 months rather than an 18-month period. But other than that, and I think largely consistent with other company has thought about creating its plan and budget and communicating to the Street.
是。 我要说的是，在今年的组织规划和预算编制过程中，我们的指导方式没有出现重大转变。 显然，我们在财政年度的不同时间点提供指导而不是之前的指导。 因此，我认为这使我们能够更深入地了解我们在未来12个月而不是18个月内所看到的情况。 但除此之外，我认为与其他公司基本保持一致，已考虑制定计划和预算并与街道沟通。
Got it. Got it. And then John, just overall, airline customer behavior, I mean, we’re looking, there’s some – there’s definitely been some profit pressure for some of the carriers traffics decelerating. Just in general, what are you seeing from a behavioral standpoint from your customers? And even kind of weaving in, what’s happening with the MAX, presumably that’s creating some more opportunities for you guys? But maybe just if you can just a little bit of color on the overall market conditions and how you’re looking at them, as we wrap up the summer here and get into the fall?
得到它了。 得到它了。 约翰，总的来说，航空公司的客户行为，我的意思是，我们正在寻找，有一些 - 对于一些航空公司的交通减速肯定存在一些利润压力。 总的来说，您从客户的行为角度看到了什么？ 甚至还有一种编织方式，MAX正在发生什么，大概是为你们创造了更多的机会？ 但也许只是你可以在整体市场条件上看到一点颜色，以及你如何看待它们，因为我们在这里结束夏天并进入秋季？
Yes, I think, overall, and I think about our most transactional businesses where we’re in, day-to-day contact with the customer, notwithstanding those the macro factors that you mentioned, the pace of activity that we’re seeing on a day-to-day basis is as robust as we’ve ever seen. And that – but that’s enhanced by what I said earlier about our market position and the fact that we’re able to get material that others cannot.
And as it relates to the MAX, we talked about that in the third quarter. And we’ve seen some shifting in the MRO schedule as a result of the MAX. And we have seen a slight, I’d say increase in parts demand as a result of the MAX, but nothing that really influenced the results, at least, in the fourth quarter. But certainly, that’s something that we’re monitoring closely.
是的，我认为，总的来说，我考虑的是我们所处的大多数交易业务，与客户的日常联系，尽管你提到的宏观因素，我们所看到的活动节奏 日常的基础与我们所见过的一样强劲。 而且 - 但是我之前所说的关于我们的市场地位以及我们能够得到其他人无法获得的材料的事实增强了这一点。
由于它与MAX有关，我们在第三季度讨论了这个问题。 由于MAX，我们已经看到MRO计划中的一些变化。 我们已经看到了一个轻微的，我认为由于MAX的原因，零件需求增加，但至少在第四季度没有任何真正影响结果的东西。 但当然，这是我们密切关注的事情。
Got it. And then just the last one for me. The labor pressure and you guys talking about pricing and getting support from your customers. I mean, in short, are you guys able to increase your pricing on existing contracts to pass through some of those higher labor rates you might have to be offering out there?
得到它了。 然后就是我的最后一个。 劳动压力和你们谈论定价和获得客户的支持。 我的意思是，简而言之，您是否能够提高现有合同的定价，以通过您可能必须提供的那些较高的人工费率？
Yes, we have.
We have been able to renegotiate. Not – we have not been able to pass dollar for dollar, but we have been able to get some relief.
我们已经能够重新谈判。 不 - 我们无法以美元换取美元，但我们能够得到一些缓解。
Okay. And all of your customers have been open to that renegotiation?. I mean, they obviously understand the dynamics in the marketplace. So it sounds like they’re being receptive to that?
好的。 您的所有客户都对这次重新谈判持开放态度。 我的意思是，他们显然了解市场的动态。 所以听起来他们正在接受这个？
Yes, the customers are being supportive.
Okay. Got it. Got it. All right. Great. Thanks, guys.
好的。 得到它了。 得到它了。 行。 大。 多谢你们。
Right. Thank you.
Thank you. At this time, I’d like to turn the call back over to John Holmes for any closing remarks. Sir?
谢谢。 在这个时候，我想把这个电话转回John Holmes的任何结束语。 先生？
Again, thank you for your time and interest in the company. We’re really proud of what we accomplished in FY 2019 and very excited about the opportunities ahead of us in FY 2020 and look forward to seeing everybody at the Investor Day next week. Thank you.
再次感谢您对公司的时间和兴趣。 我们为2019财年取得的成就感到自豪，并对2020财年我们面前的机遇感到非常兴奋，并期待在下周的投资者日期间与大家见面。 谢谢。
Thank you, sir. Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today’s conference. Thank you for your participation, and have a wonderful day. You may disconnect your lines at this time.
谢谢你，先生。 女士们，先生们，今天的会议结束了。 感谢您的参与，祝您度过愉快的一天。 您可以在此时断开线路。
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