Analyst asked her directly (twice) if she would disavow using NNA like recently proposed to assist NM at any time in the future. In her first response she said there is no plan like that "today" and in her second response she referred to her first statement and then added that there are no discussions regarding anything sinmilar "at present."
Not quite what the analyst was trying to tease out...
Okay, I read through the basics of the complaint by Metropolitan that were posted here and I'm trying to se this in context.
I also own Huntsman Chemical and they just entered into a new term loan of $550 million to pay off those due in 2016 and 2017. The rate was 3.5% above LIBOR. Seems very similar terms to the $50 million arrangement here, even if this one was done "within the family."
While recognizing the differences in credit ratings, the latest exchange does not seem to be "way out of line" with others closed recently.
Fair or unfair?
That seems to me to be the way it always was - operated as a whole from summing (and leveraging) the parts. The subsidiary benefits from the management arrangements and lower operating costs accordingly, so why shouldn't there be some reciprocity when necessary?
Cost savings, synergies, dividends, and all things that benefit the distributed and partial ownership of the subsidiaries in relation to each other and to the parent should not only work when things are good, but should also shoulder the risks accordingly and contribute as well when things turn difficult.
(I guess everyone cheered the NM diversification as a strength until they booed it as a weakness...)
TiO2 certainly has gotten the attention, but they highlighted the cap ex squeeze those miners are in that means they will eventually have to see price adjustments to continue their viability.
Elsewhere, they hilighted the growing demand for MDI is outpacing the ability for additional plant supply to come online - a three to five year phenomenon.
Just a couple - the whole presentation in available at their website - well worth a listen.
"when competition drives margins lower"
In what segment of the business?
If you didn't hear the commentary, you really missed the crux of most every issue. The slides can only tell so much...
You really should listen to this one if they recorded it. It was over four hours and we heard from every division president, sharing the business and all taking their own Q&A. This wasn't simply dog and pony - it was a serious exchange with engagement with current market perceptions as well as some push back on questions they may have found unfair or perceptions they find invalid.
Everything was backed up with their segment performance, cap ex and strategic plans, as well as the market appraisals for each area of the business.
It was well done, and perhaps the best I've seen (and the most I've learned at one time) since becoming a shareholder in 2009.