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Edited Transcript of AWI earnings conference call or presentation 27-Apr-20 3:00pm GMT

Q1 2020 Armstrong World Industries Inc Earnings Call

LANCASTER Jun 11, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Armstrong World Industries Inc earnings conference call or presentation Monday, April 27, 2020 at 3:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Brian L. MacNeal

Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - Senior VP & CFO

* Thomas J. Waters

Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - VP of Treasury & IR

* Victor D. Grizzle

Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director

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Conference Call Participants

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* David Sutherland MacGregor

Longbow Research LLC - CEO, Director of Research & Senior Analyst

* Garik Simha Shmois

Loop Capital Markets LLC, Research Division - MD

* John Lovallo

BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - VP

* Justin A. Speer

Zelman & Associates LLC - MD of Research

* Kathryn Ingram Thompson

Thompson Research Group, LLC - Founding Partner, CEO & Director of Research

* Keith Brian Hughes

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division - MD

* Kenneth Robinson Zener

KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Equity Research Analyst

* Michael Robert Wood

Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division - Research Analyst

* Philip H. Ng

Jefferies LLC, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst & Equity Analyst

* Stephen Kim

Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Senior MD & Head of Housing Research Team

* Susan Marie Maklari

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - Analyst

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Armstrong World Industries, Incorporated First Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to hand the conference to your speaker today, Tom Waters, Vice President of Corporate Finance. Please go ahead, sir.

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Thomas J. Waters, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - VP of Treasury & IR [2]

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Thank you. Good morning, and welcome. Please note that members of the media have been invited to listen to this call, and the call is being broadcast live on our website at armstrongceilings.com. With me on the call this morning are Vic Grizzle, our CEO; and Brian MacNeal, our CFO. Hopefully, you have seen our press release this morning, and both the release and the presentation Brian will reference during this call are posted on our website in the Investor Relations section. I advise you that during this call, we will be making forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual outcomes may differ materially from those expected or implied. For a more detailed discussion of the risks and uncertainties that may affect Armstrong World Industries, please review our SEC filings, including the 10-Q filed earlier this morning. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement beyond what is required by applicable securities law. In addition, our discussion of operating performance will include non-GAAP financial measures within the meaning of SEC Regulation G. A reconciliation of these measures with the most directly comparable GAAP measures is included in the press release and in the appendix of the presentation. Both are available on our website.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Vic.

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [3]

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Thanks, Tom, and good morning, everyone. These are unusual circumstances that we are all experiencing. And I want to begin by saying that I hope that everyone on this call, your families and your colleagues are all safe and well. Safety has always been a nonnegotiable operating principle at Armstrong, and COVID-19 has challenged us to deliver on this principle. And I'm happy to report, our teams are delivering. They're working systematically, collaboratively and with great agility and finding ways to adapt our processes to enable social distancing and to operate within CDC guidelines. Among other things, we have altered crewing, adjusted line speeds, installed barriers and increased the frequency with which we clean our facilities. And our corporate and sales staffs are working from home. And our most recent Board meeting was successfully held virtually. We have instituted our emergency lead process so that employees who need time to deal with the COVID-19 issues will have it.

Armstrong is a strong company with 160-year history, an experienced leadership team, a strong balance sheet and a deep set of core values. Armstrong has weathered crisis in the past, and we will weather this one as well. We are committed to keeping our employees safe and supporting our customers, distribution partners, suppliers and the communities in which we operate. Our long-term strategy to drive shareholder value is unchanged. And we will continue even during what is sure to be a challenging 2020. Even within this challenging environment, we will continue to expand Mineral Fiber AUV, primarily through innovation and improved mix. We'll continue to grow architectural specialty share, and we'll continue to accelerate penetration into the specialties business through M&A activity and continue to drive productivity gains. And not only to continue our digitalization initiatives but find ways to accelerate their use and deployment as we become the easiest building products company to do business with. And of course, we will maintain a prudent balance sheet and balanced capital deployment policy.

This morning, I will spend the majority of my prepared remarks on the impact of the virus, but I do want to briefly touch on our first quarter financial results and what we are seeing so far in April. Then I'll update you on where we are today, what we expect and how our longer-term outlook is developing. First quarter sales were up 3% versus 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was up 5% and margins expanded in the quarter. Sales in the second half of March slowed in the geographies you would expect; New York, Boston, Seattle and some other severely affected cities. These regional headwinds were partially offset by the acceleration of shipments to essential health care projects and stronger sales in Latin America the retail channel and Canada, as we expected. The strong sales in Latin America in the retail channel, coupled with significant weakness in premium markets, like New York City and Boston, had a significant impact on the overall mix and drove negative AUV in the quarter. Now this is an unusual occurrence for Armstrong. So I want to take a moment and be clear that this channel and a geographic swing does not represent a change in course to our overall consistent AUV growth. I'll also remind you that we are comping a very strong AUV quarter in 2019, where we delivered 10% growth. So I'm confident that we will return to positive AUV as this year progresses.

In the quarter, we also incurred expenses, responding to the safety requirements of the virus, and the fact that our production at the Marietta, Pennsylvania, facility was briefly stopped until the state determined that the plant plays a critical role in the manufacture and supply of goods necessary to sustain life, namely health care facilities. These items overall had a modest negative impact on earnings. Now sales in April have clearly been affected by the various state and local shelter in place requirements and their ripple effects. Based on shipments month-to-date, we currently anticipate that April sales will be down in the range of 25% to 30%. Weakness is apparent in all channels and all geographies with relative strength in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina, while California, New York and Massachusetts were particularly soft. Based on orders and discussions with distributors and contracts, we believe May and June will improve sequentially. And currently, we're tracking jobs that have been delayed, and we are focused on serving them effectively when they get started. Including in these delays are a few large transportation projects that will impact Architectural Specialties in the second half of the year. Overall, we expect the Architectural Specialty business to outperform the market in 2020. We believe the second quarter will be the trough of operating activity for the year, and we're managing our production and our inventory accordingly. While clarity is limited, we are aligned with most of the economic- and sector-specific forecast that we've seen and expect the third and the fourth quarter to be sequentially better. The situation remains fluid, so we believe it's prudent to withdraw previously communicated 2020 guidance.

At this moment, all of our plants and distribution centers are up and running with the exception of our recently acquired MRK facility. We continue to work to optimize our production and shipping operations within the new safety constraints and the teams are getting better on a daily basis. We are in close contact with our suppliers to ensure their ability to deliver the materials and services necessary for our operations and logistics. And as an Americas only company, we have limited overseas supply chain exposure and have not experienced any supply disruptions thus far. We are carefully monitoring finished goods inventory with a priority on solutions for hospitals and health care facilities. In fact, we just recently received urgent request for products at health care facilities in New York City. Our teams at Steel Ceilings; our plant in Pensacola, Florida; and our WAVE group in Aberdeen, we're able to expedite orders for the Mount Sinai St. Luke hospital conversion and for the Bronx North Central Hospital expansion. These are 2 great accomplishments, and there are many more. Our management teams are utilizing a robust array of digital interactive communication tools to stay closely engaged with their teams. Our sales and design staff remain connected with customers and continue to work on ongoing and prospective projects. At Armstrong, we have a 3A policy; any device, anywhere, any time. And this has been in place for 4 years now, and our employees are comfortably working remotely and in a manner that is transparent to customers. If anything, interactions with architects and designers has increased over the past month. The breadth of custom technology we now have available on our digital platform is more important than ever. We are fortunate to have started our digital journey when we did as we have a suite of Armstrong-specific digital solutions available to our customers. I have no doubt that these tools, which I've talked to you about in the past, including customer online, 1 quote, quote to order and the recently launched project works are providing a differentiated capability to serve our distributor, contractor partners in this unique environment.

As a matter of normal practice, we annually create multiple recession scenario response plans. And while the rate and pace of this situation was not anticipated, we have levers identified and roles and responsibilities assigned and are executing against these plans. We are taking steps to manage expenses, preserve our cash, including cutting SG&A and deferring capital expenditures and temporarily suspending our share repurchase program. Our regular quarterly dividend is not affected, and we remain in the market for strategic and financially attractive acquisition opportunities.

So at this point, let me pause and turn the call over to Brian for a more detailed review of our first quarter results, and then I will close by sharing my preliminary views on some of the longer-term implications of this pandemic. Brian?

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Brian L. MacNeal, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - Senior VP & CFO [4]

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Thanks, Vic. Good morning to everyone on the call. And I echo Vic's thoughts that I hope everyone is healthy and safe. Today, I'll be reviewing our first quarter results. But before I begin, as a friendly reminder, I'll be referring to the slides available on our website, and Slide 3 details our basis of presentation.

Beginning on Slide 4, for our first quarter results, sales of $249 million were up 3% versus prior year. Adjusted EBITDA increased 5% and margins expanded 90 basis points. Adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.10 grew 10%, driven by increased earnings, reduced interest expense and a lower share count. Adjusted free cash flow improved by $18 million or 106% over the prior year. Given our focus on cash and liquidity, we've added additional metrics to Page 4.

Our cash balance of $147 million is $127 million lower than last year, while our revolver reavailability of $305 million is up $105 million as a result of our refinancing in September 2019. This positions us with $452 million of available liquidity. Net debt is $21 million higher than last year, driven by share repurchase activity, capital expenditures, dividend payments and by the acquisition of MRK. As of the quarter end, our net debt-to-EBITDA leverage is 1.5x versus 2.1x last year as calculated under the terms of our credit agreement. Our covenant threshold is 3.75x. So we have considerable headroom.

In the quarter, we repurchased $34 million of stock prior to suspending repurchase activity to preserve liquidity in light of the COVID-19 situation. Since the inception of the repurchase program, we have bought back 9.6 million shares at a cost of $596 million for an average price of $62.13. As of the quarter end, we had $104 million remaining under our share repurchase program.

Turning now to Slide 5. Adjusted EBITDA increased 5%. The Architectural Specialty segment drove volume growth, including the year-on-year impact of the ACGI acquisition, which closed in March 2019. AUV was a headwind in the quarter, and I will provide additional details when I review the Mineral Fiber segment. Input costs were favorable in the quarter, but offset by inventory valuations as inventories declined at the end of the quarter. We continue to get strong manufacturing performance from our plants, aided by our ongoing digitalization investments. SG&A benefited year-over-year due to lower incentive and deferred compensation expenses and WAVE equity earnings grew versus prior year.

Slide 6 shows adjusted free cash flow performance in the quarter versus the first quarter of 2019. Cash from operations was up $8 million, primarily driven by higher earnings. Capital expenditures were lower year-on-year, but do not yet reflect the impact of the delays we've implemented as a result of COVID-19. Interest expense was lower as a result of our refinancing in September 2019.

WAVE's cash distribution was down slightly due to the year-on-year timing of capital expenditures and working capital changes. Slide 7 begins our segment reporting. In the quarter, Mineral Fiber sales grew 1% versus prior year. Overall volume was positive as growth in Latin America, the Big Box channel and Canada offset late quarter weakness in our U.S. commercial channel. AUV was negative, driven by nonproduct mix factors. Let's discuss the channel and geographic shifts that negatively impacted AUV from both a sales and earnings perspective. And I'll remind you that AUV last year was up 10% in the first quarter. So we're wrapping a strong year ago period. Within the core commercial business, we continue to see above-market performance from our higher end products, including total acoustics, sustain and recently ACOUSTIBuilt. In the quarter, price over input inflation was once again positive. As we move through the year and comparisons normalize, we are confident that AUV will once again be positive. But given the current inflationary backdrop, likely comprised of more mix than like-for-like price. Adjusted EBITDA was up $5 million or 6% versus prior year as margins of 44% expanded 230 basis points from prior year. Strong performance from our manufacturing operations was the key driver.

SG&A was lower due primarily to year-on-year incentive compensation expenses, including our deferred compensation program. First quarter SG&A spending was not impacted by the reductions we are now implementing as a result of the COVID-19 situation. Moving to Architectural Specialties segment on Slide 8. Quarterly sales grew 12% to $51 million. As we outlooked on our last earnings call, we expected tough comparisons in the quarter as Q1 2019 benefited from large transportation projects that we knew would not reoccur. Most of the sales growth was driven by our 2019 acquisition of ACGI. But as we've discussed this, it is not a purely apples-to-apples comparison as we have moved previously sourced third-party wood product sales to ACGI. On a comparable basis, sales of our base business was up modestly. Adjusted EBITDA was flat in the quarter as sales growth was offset by costs associated with acquired businesses and continued investment. We continue to see growth in the custom and premium range of our AS product portfolio, and we did not experience any sourcing issues in our standard product offering. Acquisition integration continues to go well and our order intake in the quarter was strong.

Slide 9 is where we would normally update you on our guidance for the year. However, due to the unprecedented nature of COVID-19 and the subsequent lack of clarity in the marketplace, we are withdrawing our previously issued guidance. We are also temporarily replacing our past practice of specific financial guidance with commentary on actions that we have greater control over and confidence in our ability to deliver in 2020. First, we will do all that we can to ensure the safety of our employees, service our customers and support the communities in which we operate. We are taking steps to ensure we can service the spike in demand we are seeing in health care projects while offsetting weakness in other end markets. Second, our Mineral Fiber business will continue to earn like-for-like price greater than inflation through service, quality and innovation just as we had for the past decade, including during the financial -- global financial crisis. Our innovative products will continue to drive mix gains and contribute to AUV growth. The Architectural Specialties business will organically gain share, and as Vic mentioned, we will remain open for business for attractive strategic acquisitions. Our manufacturing operations teams will continue to drive productivity gains as they demonstrated in the first quarter, and we are taking actions to prudently reduce manufacturing and SG&A spending. Third, we are temporarily suspending our share repurchase program to preserve cash. We look forward to restarting it when the outlook becomes more certain. Our regular quarterly dividend remains in place, and our Board declared another distribution just last week. Fourth, given the strong free cash flow generation of this business and our expectation to see favorability in every element of free cash flow generation below EBITDA, we expect to deliver a free cash flow margin in the range of 22% to 25% of sales. We are implementing steps to delay capital expenditures to a range of $45 million to $55 million, down from the $71 million in 2019. Fifth, we are taking the advantage of provisions of the CARES Act. It allows us to defer about $6 million of payroll taxes into future years. We've also accelerated our 2019 federal tax filing to allow us to receive a $28 million refund associated with the sale of our international business. Consistent with past practices, we will exclude this when we discuss operational adjusted free cash flow performance. That said, it's still $28 million of cash. All of these actions give us confidence that barring a truly unforeseen downturn, we will generate a 22% to 25% adjusted free cash flow margin.

Slide 10 comes from our investor presentation, and I wanted to highlight it here as it clearly illustrates the power of our cash generation capability and our ability to manage through recessionary environments, including the global financial crisis. This past performance informs our confidence in delivering a 22% to 25% adjusted pre free cash flow margin in 2020. Finally, as we previewed last quarter, we executed a pension risk transfer moving over $1 billion of pension obligations related to approximately 10,000 retirees. As a result of this transaction, we recorded a noncash charge of $374 million as a component of nonoperating expense to reflect a partial planned settlement. This charge is recorded in our unallocated corporate segment, and as with other noncash pension expenses and income, we exclude this from our adjusted financial results. We did not have to make any cash contributions to the pension as a result of the transaction and do not anticipate contributions in the coming years. For your balance sheet models, this transaction and the required remeasurement of our pension benefit obligation results in a $370 million reduction in retained earnings, a $385 million reduction in our accumulated other comprehensive loss and an $11 million increase in our prepaid pension asset. These are challenging times, but I have no doubt that Armstrong is uniquely positioned to succeed. We have the leading brand, the best innovation pipeline, unparalleled industry margins and the best in cash-free cash flow margin generation. We fully expect to emerge on the other side of this prices with our value creation model intact.

With that, I'll turn it back over to Vic.

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [5]

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Thanks, Brian. A shock to the system of the magnitude we are experiencing now will undoubtedly have far-reaching impacts on the way all of us live, work, learn, heal and play in the future. I think we can all imagine a future with a heightened focus on healthy spaces in offices, stores, hospitals, airports, schools and other indoor environments. What exactly this new normal will look like is still developing, but Armstrong is committed to remaining on the leading edge of innovation, safe, and sustainable commercial interior solutions. We already offer a broad array of health care appropriate products, including the Health Zone family. Health Zone ceilings allow for the washability and scrubbability necessary in hospital settings, exceeding industry guidelines for cleanability. These products provide antimicrobial bio block performance that resists the growth of bacteria. These products also provide the superior acoustical performance necessary in healing environments and can be used in nonmedical spaces, too. For example, Calla Health Zone offers the smoothest mineral fiber ceiling available, making it perfect for offices, retail, education and other interior environments, along with its total acoustics and sustained performance. We are using this time of uncertainty to strengthen our already close relationships with the most creative thought leaders in the A&D community. We will have a strong voice in the conversation around the future of interior spaces and develop products and systems to serve these needs. We are also engaging with contractors and assessing the future of job site activity. It is unlikely that construction practices emerge from this crisis unchanged. We will be at the forefront of designing on-the-job solutions for the new environment. This will involve collaboration with our WAVE team, our digital solutions and with our distribution partners.

Finally, we're building on our already robust digitalization platform to further enable the virtual design process we have pioneered and make the order management process completely frictionless. As I said earlier, Armstrong is a strong company. We have a talented, committed and agile team. We have deep, long-standing relationships with the leading contractor designers and architects in the industry. And we have best-in-class distribution partners. We have a network of proven suppliers and service providers and a strong balance sheet with ample liquidity, low leverage and no near-term maturities. And as Brian mentioned, again, we're open for business for financially and strategically attractive acquisitions and investments. And we have a long-term strategy that is as appropriate now as it was a year ago. We entered this crisis with the strongest brand, leading share positions, the broadest and most innovative product portfolio in the industry. Financially, we have best-in-class margins, unparalleled free cash flow margin and numerous avenues for growth. And we will exit this crisis in an even stronger relative position, poised to win and to create long-term shareholder value. As you've heard we say before, Armstrong remains committed to being the standout leader in innovative products and digital solutions and provide the best possible experience for our customers, and we are committed to making a difference in spaces where people live, work, learn, yield and play.

And with that, we'll be happy to take your questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from Keith Hughes with SunTrust.

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Keith Brian Hughes, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division - MD [2]

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A couple of questions. On the 25% to 30% decline in April, do you have a sense for how much of that distributor inventory is coming down versus kind of the lower sell-through?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [3]

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Keith, it's hard to tell how much of that. I'm sure it's a mix based on different distributors and there are different situations. So I wouldn't attribute that too heavily on distribution, leveling off of distribution. I would say that's more skewed toward the stoppage of construction sites and the flow of product into those construction sites. And again, there were some big cities, Boston, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco that literally closed construction sites. So I think it's more a reflection of that.

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Keith Brian Hughes, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division - MD [4]

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Okay. And then is the difference between Mineral Fiber and Architectural Specialties in April?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [5]

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I'm sorry, can you -- I didn't hear your question.

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Keith Brian Hughes, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division - MD [6]

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Yes. So that decline for April, can you give us a sense how much Mineral Fiber was versus Architectural Specialties?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [7]

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Yes. As you can imagine that the way that these 2 businesses perform in a downturn, the majority of that is Mineral Fiber. We're continuing to gain share and our backlog contingents remain very robust in Architectural Specialties. So it's a minority portion from architectural specialties and a majority portion from mineral fiber. Like in past downturns, that was a very similar performance in 2008 and 2009.

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Operator [8]

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Our next question comes from John Lovallo with Bank of America.

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John Lovallo, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - VP [9]

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And I hope you guys are doing well and healthy. First question is maybe just thinking back at prior downturns, maybe the global financial crisis would be something to think about here, were you still able to put through 2 price increases a year with, call it, 3-ish percent realization?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [10]

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I think what happened in the last downturn to use that as a reference point, price -- AUV was positive, continued to be driven up by mix as the industry continued -- no matter, they were buying less, but they were buying more of the higher value, higher end products. And we expect that to be the same dynamic in this market environment as well. So I think deflation goes down. And like-for-like pricing holds, mix is positive, and that drives the overall AUV higher. Again, that's exactly what we have seen in the last several recessions. In the depth of the recession and the financial crisis in 2008, 2009, we saw that again. So we expect, again, that dynamic to happen again in 2020.

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John Lovallo, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - VP [11]

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Okay. That's helpful. And then maybe just about -- referring to capital allocation, I know the share repurchases are put on hold. Do you anticipate still pursuing architectural specialty acquisitions? Or is that kind of a back-burner for now as well?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [12]

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Yes -- no, I think in the short term here, as Brian outlined, I think, very well, we're being prudent cash managers here, controlling our costs, we're deferring CapEx, stopping our share repurchases, as you mentioned. But as soon as we have an eye to how deep this is and how wide this is going to be and how long it's going to last, we have a strong balance sheet. We are, as Brian outlined, we continue to expect to drive strong cash flow this year, even in this environment. And that we're in a unique position to be opportunistic around M&A. So we're open for business. We -- our pipeline looks good. It's going to continue to get better we believe through this. And we'll be active in M&A as we see good, strategic, financial smart plays to make.

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Operator [13]

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Our next question comes from Ken Zener with KeyBanc.

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Kenneth Robinson Zener, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Director and Equity Research Analyst [14]

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I guess, Brian, the one fundamental question I have is, I would like you to expand on your view that in past periods, you did see the high end accelerate. And I'm thinking specifically 2010 when offices had a lot of renovation, as landlords thought to keep tenants or attract tenants. Given the unique nature of this deceleration and people are using things like Zoom, could you talk to where your confidence comes from -- given that that office space won't be seen by companies as, I guess, the intensity or the need per employee might go down, A? And then B, since you've been around for over 100 years, did you guys look at any demand occurs post the Spanish influenza? That's it.

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Brian L. MacNeal, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - Senior VP & CFO [15]

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Thanks, Ken, for the question. I think we do believe there's got to be changes for sure, right? The emphasis on healthy space is going to be everybody's focus, not only in offices, right, but in education, transportation, just about every commercial space is going to be emphasizing how do we create more healthy spaces. I think it's fair to say that there's going to be a pause on new construction in office, in particular as people assess their needs and what the real new normal is going to do to the office space. And in fact, third-party entities like Dodges already reduced the new construction outlook for this year. But I would say, again, you have to remember, in this business, we have a diverse set of end markets. Office -- we're not biased so heavily to just one that we're going to go with way offices go as we've talked about in the past, in the last 10 years, actually. There's a real portfolio effect when office has been up in the last 4 or 5 years, there's others that have offset that. So the way we think about what's going on in office, and I think this is still developing, to be honest, with, Ken, is, there's going to be a lot of renovation opportunities because what has been happening over the last 10 years has been employee densification, and even in the education environment, student densification. Those trends are going to reverse. And this trend toward open offices is going to reverse. I think we can be confident of those simple basic design trends are going to reverse themselves. Those in themselves will create tremendous renovation opportunities in the office segment. And by the way, I think this is going to happen in the health care facilities as well as the educational facilities as they try to use more healthy materials in these environments. So I think there's going to be puts and takes. We'll have to see. We're very early to understand the real new normal impacts, but I'm not overly concerned that they're not going to need -- because people are telecommuting or even there's more colleges using online education that, that is going to be a huge headwind for this business. I think there's going to be equal opportunities in other parts and other verticals and in other parts of renovation activity. Let me just -- while I'm on this, let me just say, Ken, because I think this is important for everybody to recognize and this is how we've seen this in the past is, this business will trade in a very tight range, in terms of the volume in Mineral Fiber because of the diverse end markets that we serve and because that diversification is actually accentuated when you look at the cuts of renovation and new, and so there's always puts and takes. There's always positive and negatives going on as we've experienced over the last 10 years. But the range of volumes in all parts of the cycle was really tightly -- is really in a tight range. And I think in this cycle, we're going to see something very similar.

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Operator [16]

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Our next question comes from Kathryn Thompson with Thompson Research Group.

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Kathryn Ingram Thompson, Thompson Research Group, LLC - Founding Partner, CEO & Director of Research [17]

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First, just going to focus on the supply chain, and we have feedback from our commercial construction contracts that have pointed to disruptions in the supply chain. And these mainly have been around plants or factories, operating either on reduced hours or closed altogether. What are you seeing in terms of managing supply chain? And more importantly, what are the bigger changes you expect going forward in terms of managing supply chain? And so in other words, this isn't necessarily the supply chain for the manufacture of our product but really more the supply chain to the end market.

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [18]

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Well, I think the -- I mean, it's hard to say exactly all the changes just yet. But I think the use of digital tools is going to creep its way into all parts of the supply chain. I think that's inevitable. I'm really happy that we've taken an advanced head start on this. I know a lot of our distributors and our partners have also moving in this direction. But I think the use of digital tools and making it easy for people to manage their orders or place their orders in a remote way, I think, is going to be key to the supply chain going forward. And I would say that's the apparent one at this point. I don't see any structural changes or moves in the supply chain as far as our business and our approach to the market so far.

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Kathryn Ingram Thompson, Thompson Research Group, LLC - Founding Partner, CEO & Director of Research [19]

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Okay. Following up, this is really more on specialty services and products. As we're having the early conversation on a changing workplace, what types of products other than -- we focus on the ceiling, but what other types of products that you manufacture your target are well positioned for this changing landscape in terms of healthy spaces with interior products?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [20]

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Yes, whether it's on the ceilings or the wall, I think cleanability is going to be in a very important attribute. And you might see some more solid surfaces on both the walls and the ceilings, things like metal or wood that are highly cleanable in addition to our Mineral Fiber line that's highly cleanable. So I think this actually could expand the use of various materials on ceilings and walls that, again, provide that extra cleanability.

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Operator [21]

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Our next question comes from Susan Maklari with Goldman Sachs.

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Susan Marie Maklari, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - Analyst [22]

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My first question is, just going back to thinking about some of the volumes and the projects that you expect to come through, how should we think about what percentage of your revenues could potentially be coming from health care or some of the sectors that have been smaller maybe over the last few years as office maybe kind of give some of that share back? And then thinking about that shift in your revenue breakdown, are there any margin implications with that?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [23]

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Yes. It's a good question, Susan. I think, as I was saying earlier, there might be a pause taken on new construction and office, and it's certainly the outlook of some of the third-party data sources we look at. Conversely, they're forecasting an increase in new construction activity and renovation activity in health care, as you can imagine. I think this crisis has clearly highlighted there's a capacity issue in our health care system to manage events like this, that will likely get rectified over the next several years. And the way that they're treating the spaces for flexibility and to be able to expand within the current facilities in different parts of the hospital, for certain events like this, I think is going to create renovation opportunities. So again, I think there's going to be lot more activity in health care facilities over the next several years that would more than offset what we might see, for instance, in the new construction part of the office market. That's about 15% to 20% of our business, Susan, today and with office in the 25% to 30% part of our business. So not too far from a proportion standpoint.

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Susan Marie Maklari, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - Analyst [24]

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Okay. And then are there any margin implications as we think about the growth in health care? Or do those projects tend to run fairly similar with some of the office work that you do?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [25]

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Yes, the margin and the AUVs that we sell in both of those spaces are about the same.

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Susan Marie Maklari, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - Analyst [26]

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Okay. And then you mentioned in the commentary, the efforts that you're putting into thinking about reducing SG&A and kind of controlling the cost structure. Can you just give us a little more color there?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [27]

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Yes. Brian, I'll let you speak to that, if you will.

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Brian L. MacNeal, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - Senior VP & CFO [28]

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Yes. And I'll just -- before I answer the SG&A, I'll add a piece on the margins, Susan. As each of these end markets start to mix up, right, as they do major renovations sort of we've called out our confidence in our ability to mix, that's going to help those margins across each of those end markets. And then on the SG&A side, we've been making investments over the last few years. We've frozen headcount at this point. We are prioritizing spending for kind of the commercial facing sales teams but all the other SG&A, more G&A. We're locking down to make sure we conserve cash there and generate free cash flow.

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Operator [29]

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Our next question comes from Michael Wood with Nomura Instinet.

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Michael Robert Wood, Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division - Research Analyst [30]

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Could you give some more thoughts in terms of what the decremental margins may look like, at least in the initial stages of this decline? And how are you thinking about -- I imagine the duration of the downturn is going to determine the nature of the cost actions that you'll ultimately take. Have you gotten to a point yet where you're planning for or have an idea in terms of temporary or permanent cost actions? And where might you be thinking now about the duration in terms of that planning?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [31]

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Yes. I'll let Brian talk about the detrimental margins, Mike. But I would say we're very clear, we have line of sight to the cost actions we need to take for what we see in front of us in the next month or 2. And those plans are being implemented as we speak. So those are going. As you say, though, as things start to develop, if the outcomes that we're expecting are different, one way or the other, then we can adjust. We have line of sight to another round of cuts and actions that we would take in the event that it was deeper or longer than we expected. So I would just say, we're not providing any guidance in terms of the overall numbers, but I would just say, we do believe May and June should be sequentially better than April. And that's one of the big differences, right, in this downturn is it took a long time in 2008/'09 downturn to reach the trough. I think we -- it could be 30 to 60 days in this event to reach the trough and then to start our way back out of that. So I think we have good line of sight on the actions, and you know this team well, we'll adapt and adjust as we need as things develop in front of us. On the decremental margins, Brian, do you want to take that?

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Brian L. MacNeal, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - Senior VP & CFO [32]

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Yes, sure. Mike, as you know, our Mineral Fiber segment has incremental margins of 60%, AS is typically in the 30% range. So as you step back and think about the actions we're taking as a result of suppressed demand, the decremental margins will be in that 40% to 50% range for the total company. And as Vic pointed out, you know this team well. We're going to adjust. We've got our finger on that pulse, and we're trying to make sure we've got the best information to inform how deep this is going to be and how long it is, and so we can take the right actions to generate free cash flow.

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Michael Robert Wood, Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division - Research Analyst [33]

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Okay. I appreciate that. And also, what are you seeing in terms of -- I know you have a project tracker to track those big projects. Can you just speak to any trends there and maybe what you're hearing anecdotally from architects or customers in terms of the nature of the weakness that you've seen in terms of how much of it is work stoppage versus inability to just get into certain places or cities versus just underlying demand fallout?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [34]

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Yes. Mike, we -- in the first quarter, and we talked about this, right, we had really good overall activity, quoting activity. In fact, I think I may have mentioned this on our last call that I hadn't talked to anybody that didn't have positive quoting activity and was feeling good about the year before this all began. So I think the work is there. And in a lot of cases, the work has already started, it just got stopped. And so as we track these projects, we're watching very closely for things that are delayed versus canceled. And we've had very few cases of work being canceled. It's been mostly delayed until things open back up again. And then -- and that's the sentiment, I think within our contractor and our distribution community is, yes, when these things open up, the jobs are there waiting for us to finish and waiting for us to do. So I think that's the sentiment, generally speaking, really across the country.

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Operator [35]

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Our next question comes from Stephen Kim with Evercore ISI.

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Stephen Kim, Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Senior MD & Head of Housing Research Team [36]

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A couple of questions. One, the mix we saw impacted by Big Box and LATAM, you mentioned the easy comps from the year ago period. How much of what you saw in this quarter do you attribute to the comp versus something that you saw encouragingly on a sequential basis from those 2 end markets?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [37]

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Well, we had tough comps actually in the first quarter.

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Stephen Kim, Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Senior MD & Head of Housing Research Team [38]

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I'm sorry, that's what I meant.

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [39]

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Yes, I figured you did, just to make that clear, yes. Yes. I mean, 10% AUV and 7% like-for-like pricing in the first quarter of '19. So we expected that to be a tough comp, and we were looking for what we saw on the like-to-like pricing, which is flattish pricing on that side of the AUV. So it's all mix. And the mix was driven by -- again, we were expecting the LATAM market to rebound. Remember, we had a tough year last year in that channel. And we were putting actions in place to fix that same with the Big Box channel. So we were expecting some growth in those channels. What I think exacerbated the situation, though, in the last couple of weeks of March, we had high AUV markets in the U.S. that also -- they were shut down, Boston, New York City. So these are high AUV markets that we didn't -- weren't able to -- Seattle is the other one that we weren't able to ship into. So really, it's the combination of -- you had lower volumes in your highest AUV markets in the United States complicated by you had stronger growth in your lower AUV channels. So really, overall, it was a mix issue. And as you know and you've seen over time, quarter-to-quarter, these things kind of work their way out on an annual basis, and we expect AUVs to be positive in 2020, despite the downturn.

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Stephen Kim, Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Senior MD & Head of Housing Research Team [40]

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Yes. Great. I appreciate that. Secondly, you talked about digitalization and the initiatives you've been undertaking there over the last couple of years. In general, I'm trying to understand how significant this could be for you as we come out of this initial impact from COVID-19? Can you give us some specific examples where the digitalization programs that you've got -- that you've been implementing are having a noticeable impact on your results? And are any of these likely, in your view, to become more visible in 2Q as early as 2Q or 3Q?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [41]

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Well, I think everybody has been forced, right, to work this way, work remotely, and so we've really had to rely on digital tools. And there's been a couple of examples where we've been able to use the project works software connecting literally in 4 different areas: an architect, a contractor, a distributor and our sales force in a common place and actually look at the takeoff design work that needed to happen and be agreed upon to move the project forward. Without project works, I don't know how you do that, other than a series of e-mails or exchanges of pieces of the drawing, but to literally be able to do it real-time in project works was obviously a big asset and allowed us to actually get that work going and moving, in spite of the fact that we're all working remotely. So there's really good examples. I'm very encouraged by the way that our sales team, in particular, are staying connected to the architectural community and moving projects forward, even though nobody is in the office. So I think these are going to -- as I said in my prepared remarks, I really believe these are going to get accelerated because some people are going to get used to working this way because they've been forced to do it, and they're finding out, "Hey, actually, this is pretty good. And this is pretty easy, and it's more efficient." So I think there's going to be an acceleration in the use of these tools. We're still in the early innings, Stephen, but I think these are going to get accelerated.

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Stephen Kim, Evercore ISI Institutional Equities, Research Division - Senior MD & Head of Housing Research Team [42]

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Do you think it could be like 25% of your newer projects? Are you better using this project work software? Or is that too aggressive?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [43]

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I think sitting here, it's too hard to tell. Okay. So we'll see. We'll see. I think it's going to be a lot exponentially more than it was before, which we were in the early innings. And so it's hard to say exact number on that, Stephen. But I think it's going to be a lot more than -- and it's not going back to the way it was or to the numbers it was before. I think this is going to accelerate our work with architects and designers, in particular, this way.

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Operator [44]

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Our next question comes from Philip Ng with Jefferies.

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Philip H. Ng, Jefferies LLC, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst & Equity Analyst [45]

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Can you give us some color on how trends are tracking in April and some of the markets you called out that were hit harder, like Boston, San Francisco, New York versus some of these other regions. And I don't see any early read on the timing on those markets that may reopen from your context?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [46]

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Well, I think I mentioned the 4 big ones where we felt the biggest shortfall. I mean, literally, when they shut the construction site, there is no flow of material versus a slowdown in the pace of work for distancing and so forth that may be happening in other places. But Boston and New York, Seattle, San Francisco, they literally stopped construction work, altogether. So I think I mentioned those. Those are the ones that we felt mostly in April. Boston has opened up already. New York is not yet, but as anticipated in May, middle of May, sometime, they start to -- I read this morning, they were going to relieve the restrictions on construction work. Seattle has now opened back up. Of course, when we say open back up, these are slow transitions back to opening under these safe work practices. So I don't mean like a light switch, they've been open back up and flow a product again, but it's encouraging. And again, it gives us the confidence to say we think May should be better than April and June should be better than May as these projects are there waiting to be finished. And as we open those sites up and are able to start shipping into those sites, we should start to see some improvement in May and June.

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Philip H. Ng, Jefferies LLC, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst & Equity Analyst [47]

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Got it. Any color on some of those places that weren't hit? Were they down like 10%? Because it sounds like Boston, New York, obviously, was hit very hard.

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Brian L. MacNeal, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - Senior VP & CFO [48]

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Yes. Those were stoppages. And so it's hard to put a number on it, to be honest with you. So I'd rather not put a number on it. But I can tell you, those are the biggest and higher AUV markets. So you can imagine it's an outsized impact on the overall sales trend.

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Philip H. Ng, Jefferies LLC, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst & Equity Analyst [49]

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Got it. That's super helpful. And then 1Q, obviously, was very noisy from an AUV standpoint. But curious, what type of traction you saw on your price increase that you typically go out with on Mineral Fiber early in the year? And how perhaps AUV might be tracking in April?

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Brian L. MacNeal, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - Senior VP & CFO [50]

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Yes. I think our pricing is -- our like-for-like pricing component of that is where we expected it to be, Phil, and tracking the way we expected it to be. It was early and the -- it's before the crisis, frankly, so fortunate that way. But really the mix until New York, Boston, Seattle, we start really getting a good flow of products. We're going to have some mix headwinds. And I would say that's consistent with what we see in April, given the downfall, as I just talked through, is driven by some major metro markets.

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Philip H. Ng, Jefferies LLC, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst & Equity Analyst [51]

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Got it. That's super helpful. And just one last one for me. How should we think about inflation or maybe perhaps deflation now? Brian, gave us some color to start the year. How that would kind of flow through over the course of the year?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [52]

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Yes. Brian, you want to take that question?

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Brian L. MacNeal, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - Senior VP & CFO [53]

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Sure. Yes, we outlined a little bit of net inflation, right? Obviously, on the weight side, mostly that's contractual, 2.5% range. But as many you're seeing, some of the -- gas is down, electricity is relatively flat, some of the raws are puts and takes that net generally in a deflationary period. So we're again, not guiding, Phil, to the deflation. As we mentioned, this is dynamic. We could see some pressure back in the fourth quarter. So I'd say it's not as inflationary as we thought back at the beginning of the year.

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Operator [54]

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Our next question comes from Garik Shmois with Loop Capital.

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Garik Simha Shmois, Loop Capital Markets LLC, Research Division - MD [55]

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Just first off, just wanted to just circle back around on the CapEx view, taking it down to kind of the $45 million range. Just wondering, is this a barebones maintenance level? Or are there additional, I guess, levers that you can pull on CapEx, if you need to, over the next 1 or 2 years?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [56]

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Brian, I'll let you take that.

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Brian L. MacNeal, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - Senior VP & CFO [57]

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Yes. So Gary, good question. We rearranged that 45% to 55%, right. So that's a good mix, kind of, in our historic norm of 50% on repair and maintenance, another 50% that's supporting growth and productivity. We still have contingencies there if we need to pull them, if this is a more prolong or deeper demand impact. So more to go there if we need to.

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Garik Simha Shmois, Loop Capital Markets LLC, Research Division - MD [58]

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Okay. Just wanted to ask a bigger quick picture question. Just -- it's only 1 month worth of data, but you did talk about Dodge starts getting negative revised down on the office side, the ABI had a pretty drastic pullback, given that your products tend to go into structures that get started a year or 2 afterwards. Just wondering how you're thinking about the volume opportunity over the next several years, just given, I guess, some of these drastic moves on the leading indicator side. Would you be concerned as far as the pullback in demand long term? Or I guess any way you could help us think about those leading indicators and how you're thinking about them as well.

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [59]

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Yes. It's early, right? But Dodge has recalibrated their outlook for starts. When you look at our set of markets, let's pick a number. It's probably in the neighborhood of what they're outlooking, and we all know that, that's not an exact science, but down 10% in terms of starts, 12, 18 months out, that's an impact on, say, 30% of our business. So 10% of our -- down on 30% of our business is about a 3% headwind. As I outlook before, there is equal opportunity in accelerated renovation activity in both the office, education and the health care facilities that will help offset that. And in fact, what happens, and it has happened in 8 of the last 9 downturns, including the 2008/2009. When new construction goes negative, R&R activity picks up and that's 70% of our business. So we're not concerned about major structural shifts or changes in terms of the overall demand for mineral fiber. Within the verticals, it may change a bit. That's that portfolio effect that we've actually been experienced for the last several years. So we're not overly concerned about that. We're watching it. It could create a bit of an air pocket or headwind that we'll be watching for 12 to 18 months out. But again, I think that would, in itself, would be ignoring the fact that there's a tremendous amount of other renovation opportunities that we're excited about.

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Operator [60]

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Our next question comes from David MacGregor with Longbow Research.

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David Sutherland MacGregor, Longbow Research LLC - CEO, Director of Research & Senior Analyst [61]

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Vic, earlier in response to a question, you provided a little color around the percentage of your business in office and health care. And together, they represented about half of the Mineral Fiber business. First of all, I guess, for clarity, are we talking about Mineral Fiber or Mineral Fiber plus AS? But before if I could get into maybe -- yes, I wonder if I could get you to round that out a little bit, just talk about the other 50%, what verticals would make up the balance?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [62]

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Yes, David, I was talking about. So this is primarily a Mineral Fiber. Look, although Architectural Specialties isn't too far off of this, okay, so it wouldn't be a huge departure. But this is mainly what we're talking about in terms of Mineral Fiber. But the other verticals, and this is in our investor deck, if you want better detailed reference, but retail, transportation and education would make up the other 50% roughly.

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David Sutherland MacGregor, Longbow Research LLC - CEO, Director of Research & Senior Analyst [63]

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Right. Is there any chance of getting some granularity around just quant on those?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [64]

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In terms of the percentages?

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David Sutherland MacGregor, Longbow Research LLC - CEO, Director of Research & Senior Analyst [65]

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Yes.

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [66]

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Yes, that's in our investor deck. And Brian, maybe you could say more on that, where to find that in the investor deck.

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David Sutherland MacGregor, Longbow Research LLC - CEO, Director of Research & Senior Analyst [67]

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I can find it in the deck. That's okay.

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [68]

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I mean, education is -- that's ahead.

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David Sutherland MacGregor, Longbow Research LLC - CEO, Director of Research & Senior Analyst [69]

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A follow-up question, just on the SG&A. Just trying to get a sense of where fixed versus variable would fall.

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [70]

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Brian, do you want to take that?

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Brian L. MacNeal, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - Senior VP & CFO [71]

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Sure. David, we -- obviously, everything over time is variable, right? It depends on how long it is, or at least a majority of it. So in the short term, a good bit of that is fixed. But we are working on the discretionary pieces of it. Again, not going to give you an exact number on that breakdown. But you can imagine travel has been cut back, it's frozen. We're finding ways to operate more remotely, and we're going to continue to do that even as we see markets open up because we're finding ways to be more efficient there, some of the digitalization efforts we've talked about. So we're looking to maintain that spend, even with a little bit of headwind from investments from the acquisitions.

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Operator [72]

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Our next question comes from Justin Speer with Zelman & Associates.

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Justin A. Speer, Zelman & Associates LLC - MD of Research [73]

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The first question I have, I don't know if you can answer, but roughly, you can give us some context, the percentage of your business that is in the materially affected geographies, I'd be interested to know that.

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [74]

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Well, Justin, all geographies have been impacted by the coronavirus and our demand. Some have been like the 4 or 5 that I mentioned, where there's literally stoppage of construction sites in those cities. Obviously, that was the most dramatic in terms of the impact. There are large metro markets, by the way, but to go to stoppage, not delays or slowdown, which we have seen in some of the other markets that have really deemed construction as an essential business which has been the majority of places outside of those major metros, I mentioned, where you still have a slowdown in labor and pace of work. So it's been -- it's -- we've seen an impact, as I said in my prepared remarks, really, in all chances in all geographies.

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Justin A. Speer, Zelman & Associates LLC - MD of Research [75]

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Right. I'm just saying for, I guess I should have rephrased it, but where you've actually seen 100% stoppage. I was curious if there's like a definition of how big that is in your portfolio?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [76]

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No. I'd rather not disclose that at this point. Again, I can tell you it was an oversized contribution based on the fact that it was stopped versus a slowdown in the flow.

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Justin A. Speer, Zelman & Associates LLC - MD of Research [77]

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Makes sense. And then the other question I have and just going back to David's question about the verticals and looking at retail, transportation and education, just if there's any context or nuance that you can call out there currently? And then just based on your experience and the nature of this downturn, how do you think those verticals, those pieces of your business will respond?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [78]

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Yes. I think what we have from a historical perspective that informs this is back what I was mentioning earlier that in downturns like this, the CapEx dries up in some of the new construction activity slows down and goes negative for a bit. And I think that's reasonable to expect, except in health care. I think in health care, we're going to see a continuation of the expansion of health care capacity and facilities, which will offset some of the other verticals. Big transportation projects, in my experience, they may get delayed, but they don't get canceled if they've already been started. And so a lot of the stuff that's already been started is going to get finished because this isn't a financial crisis. The money hasn't dried up for those projects. I think in certain segments, you might see a pause until they understood what this new normal looks like and what it might mean for them as a company. But I think we're going to see an uptick in renovation activity in all of these verticals, really driving to more healthy spaces and how do they get to healthier spaces, whether it be diverting traffic, foot traffic, whether it's meeting spaces, whether it's more private spaces, both in education, health care and offices. So I think there's a lot of positive trends here that could drive renovation activity higher over the next couple of years.

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Justin A. Speer, Zelman & Associates LLC - MD of Research [79]

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You mentioned like 8 of the last 9 downturns. I guess it goes back maybe many decades...

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [80]

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It does, it does.

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Justin A. Speer, Zelman & Associates LLC - MD of Research [81]

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I guess, is that in year 1 or is that in year 2, I guess, if you were to start the clock on the recession? I know this has been filtered through a longer kind of a longer-term lease for your neck of the woods in nonres. But just thinking about this renovation piece, what in your mind suggests that confidence will be in the business realm strong enough to support renovation or refurbishment relative to last downturns? And maybe which was -- I guess, was the great -- the financial crisis where renovation did not hold up, is that correct?

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [82]

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Yes. That was the only one where both went down in the same year. But even in that year, that was down in 2009. In 2010, renovation activity popped back up. So it was a temporary downturn. Of course, that was a very seriously -- obviously a very serious downturn. Does that answer your question on that?

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Operator [83]

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Thank you. I'm not showing any further questions at this time. I would now like to turn the call back over to Vic Grizzle for closing remarks.

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Victor D. Grizzle, Armstrong World Industries, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [84]

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Okay. Thank you very much, and thanks, everybody, for joining us. I think it's -- when you're on the outside looking in and the crisis like this, I think it's important for me to note that the rate and pace of activity inside the organization, even though we are remote, is extremely high. Our team is highly engaged, and they're on this. And I think the way to picture what this team is doing right now is leaning into this crisis. They're ready to execute. And as we said earlier on the call, this team is ready to adapt and adjust as needed as we get into what is undoubtedly going to be a challenging second quarter. We look forward to updating you next quarter, and I want to thank you and wish everybody to stay safe.

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Operator [85]

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Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today's conference call. Thank you for participating. You may now disconnect.