Wall Street Transcript Interview with David Wathen, President and CEO of TriMas Corporation (TRS)

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - May 24, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Industrial Equipment, Aerospace and Defense Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs and Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Commercial Aviation and Energy Expenditures - Industrial Restructuring - Emerging Markets Penetration - Heightened M&A Activity - Defense Budget Uncertainty - Capital Equipment Technology Investing

Companies include: TriMas Corporation (TRS) and many more.

In the following excerpt from the Industrial Equipment, Aerospace and Defense Report, the President and CEO of TriMas Corporation (TRS) discusses company strategy and the outlook for vital industry:

TWST: You reported your first-quarter results a couple of weeks ago. What were the key takeaways?

Mr. Wathen: We had another record quarter. Versus a year ago, our Q1 sales were up 13.5%, our income was up 28% and EPS was up 13%, but that's on a bigger share base. The key takeaway was EPS up 13%, with 14% more shares. I want us to be configured in a way that we can keep the top line growing, and it is not always going to be 13.5%, but I do say high-single digits, and that earnings grow faster than that. This time, our earnings grew double what our top line did, while we also continued to invest heavily, so it was a good quarter.

The frustrations of the U.S. economy being soft and only growing slightly, and Europe being flat - those are frustrations. There's not a whole lot I can do about that, and so you adapt to it and do the best you can. A lot of our growth is coming from other places. Everybody knows that there is growth in Asia, in South America, and Mexico is growing surprisingly well. Companies like us, especially as diversified as we are - reconfigure fast to be able to grow in those more attractive economies. We grow in the soft economies like the U.S., but there's no tailwind; there's some tailwind helping us along in those faster growing economies.

To me, business managers in our industry long term should watch how the middle class is growing around the world, what's the growth rate in the middle class, because ultimately our kinds of products, whether they be aircraft, cosmetics or pharmaceuticals, a lot of them are consumed ultimately by the middle class. It's a little frustrating that all forecasts have the U.S. middle class pretty flat, but we will find the right places, and we will follow our customers to make sure we are in the right places to grow.

I felt good about first quarter. We did three acquisitions in the first quarter. I wouldn't call it intentional to do three in first quarter, but that's the way the timing hit as they were moving through the pipeline. I'm happy with that, because they are all strategically right on, and we'll get upside from them. We will have to absorb the costs of integration, and we do that pretty fast, but they're good for us in the long haul.

TWST: Is there anything you would note in terms of trends you're seeing among your customers and their demand?

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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