U.S. Markets closed

Edited Transcript of CMD earnings conference call or presentation 4-Jun-19 1:30pm GMT

Q3 2019 Cantel Medical Corp Earnings Call

Little Falls Jun 18, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Cantel Medical Corp earnings conference call or presentation Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 1:30:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

================================================================================

Corporate Participants

================================================================================

* George L. Fotiades

Cantel Medical Corp. - President, CEO & Vice Chairman

* Matt Micowski

Cantel Medical Corp. - VP of Corporate FP&A and IR

* Peter G. Clifford

Cantel Medical Corp. - Executive VP, COO & Member of Office of the Chairman

* Seth M. Yellin

Cantel Medical Corp. - Executive VP of Strategy & Corporate Development and Member of Office of the Chairman

================================================================================

Conference Call Participants

================================================================================

* Lalishwar Mitra Ramgopal

Sidoti & Company, LLC - Healthcare Sell Side Analyst

* Lawrence Soren Keusch

Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division - MD

* Matthew Ian Mishan

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

* Michael Stephen Matson

Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst

================================================================================

Presentation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [1]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Greetings, and welcome to the Cantel Medical Corp. Third Quarter of Fiscal Year 2019 Earnings Call. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Mr. Matt Micowski, VP of FP&A and Investor Relations. Thank you. You may begin.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matt Micowski, Cantel Medical Corp. - VP of Corporate FP&A and IR [2]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, Michelle, and good morning, everyone. On today's call, we have Chuck Diker, Chairman of the Board; George Fotiades, President and Chief Executive Officer; Peter Clifford, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Seth Yellin, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development; Shaun Blakeman, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Brian Capone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer.

Earlier this morning, the company issued a press release announcing the financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2019. In addition, we have posted a supplemental presentation to complement today's call.

This presentation, along with reconciliations of non-GAAP references, can be found on Cantel's website in the Investor Relations section under Presentations.

Before we begin, I would like to remind everyone that this conference call may contain forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, the risk detailed in the company's filings and reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such statements are only predictions, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Additional information concerning forward-looking statements is contained in our supplemental presentation and earnings release.

The company will also be making references on today's call to non-GAAP financial measurements, non-GAAP EBITDAS, non-GAAP income from operations, non-GAAP gross profit, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share and net debt. Reconciliations of these financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measurements are provided in today's earnings release.

With that, I'm pleased to introduce to you George Fotiades, President and CEO.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George L. Fotiades, Cantel Medical Corp. - President, CEO & Vice Chairman [3]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, Matt. Good morning all. On the whole, our third quarter came in as expected and was consistent with our earlier guidance. The Medical segment had a very strong quarter with 12.2% organic revenue growth year-on-year.

The Dental segment returned to positive organic revenue growth of 3.4%. Now this is a meaningful recovery from the first half of the year, which was impacted by inventory destocking and a shortage on a key chemistry. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, we estimate the Dental business will grow sequentially quarter-over-quarter with flat performance year-over-year due to an unusually strong prior year.

Life Sciences ended the quarter more negative than we expected. However, our analysis indicates this past quarter should be near the low point as this business moves towards stabilizing. We expect continued weakness in the fourth quarter of this year, but we are encouraged that we will return to modest growth in the second half of next fiscal year.

Before we get into more specifics on the third quarter performance, I want to spend a few minutes speaking to other developments during this past quarter. It has been exactly 3 months to the day since I became CEO. A lot has taken place, first and foremost, with the leadership team of Cantel. In my public comments at the outset as well as internally, I said I would work fast to ensure we get focus and alignment on what's most important. And to do that, we wanted to get the right people in the right jobs, and I knew I could rely on existing Cantel talent to get this done.

In our Medical segment, Mike Spicer was appointed President. Mike is the chief architect of our customer success in endoscopy over the past several years and now brings outstanding leadership to the entire Medical segment. Outside the U.S., we strengthened our commercial focus by moving from 1 international President to 2 to separate the focus on Europe and APAC. Neil Blewitt, who has successfully led our U.K. business, is now President of Europe. Michael McGrath, who has done an excellent job in Canada, is now leading APAC in addition to Canada. And in our corporate office, Jean Casner was promoted to Chief Human Resources Officer, and she's been instrumental in coordinating all aspects of these appointments.

And sitting around the table with me now are 2 more recent leadership appointments. Peter Clifford has assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer. And most of you on the call know Peter well, including his command of our business and the strong operational focus he brings to the company. And with Peter's leadership, we plan to strengthen our operating model for Cantel to drive more organic growth opportunities and operational excellence. Also, Peter's appointment gives me even more time to devote to our new product effort, M&A and organizational development.

Following Peter into the CFO role, we are welcoming back Shaun Blakeman. Shaun was most recently in a senior financial role at Medtronic and, prior to that, was the CFO of our Medical segment. Now while I previously said that all of our promotions are from within, I'm conveniently ignoring Shaun's sojourn to Medtronic to keep my pledge intact and as we're happy to have him back. And similar to Peter, Shaun grew up with a strong operational focus in his finance career, which is a terrific complement to the great talent in our finance organization.

While this represents a lot of change, you got to remember, these executives are all from within, familiar to our people and well-respected for their leadership and accomplishments. So this allows us to not miss a step in terms of speed of transition.

Beyond the scope of leadership changes, there were some other important developments during the quarter. We have completed an assessment of our chain of product priorities. As a result of this process, we are moving more resources to REVOX as we've gained more confidence in the potential and timeliness of this technology. We are also focusing on core product enhancements in our Medical segment to drive future growth, including our equipment, procedural products and chemistry product lines. As we make further progress, we will begin to talk more about these developments.

There are several initiatives in process around our cost structure. In the U.S. Dental business, we are consolidating our manufacturing sites and improving our supply chain capability by expanding our operations in Rochester, New York. We have also taken steps to address cost in our Life Science business to align with revenue performance. While all of these actions will ultimately contribute to margin performance, it also frees up funds to support product development initiatives, which are key to our long-term success.

We have made significant progress in our assessment of strategic alternatives in the Medical Water business. We have a little more work to do and expect to be able to communicate more specifics in the next few weeks.

Concurrently, our M&A pipeline is as productive as it has ever been. We have promising prospects in both the Medical and Dental markets that are strong strategic fits with our long-term vision. The focus is on larger opportunities that bring scale to support our expertise in infection prevention and reprocessing workflows.

Finally, we have decided to move away from providing 5-year guidance in terms of a set numerical target. Instead, we will continue to provide transparency around annual guidance for the company as well as transparency on the key drivers that will allow this business to continue its strong growth story. And we look forward to discussing updates to our strategic vision when we get to next quarter's earnings call.

Okay. With that, since Shaun joined us only a couple of weeks ago, Peter will discuss financial results one last time before he transitions this responsibility to Shaun. Peter?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peter G. Clifford, Cantel Medical Corp. - Executive VP, COO & Member of Office of the Chairman [4]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, George, and good morning, everyone. On a consolidated basis, our top line net sales increased 5.2% year-over-year in 3Q '19 versus the prior year and 6.5% on a constant currency basis. The consolidated net sales walk elements were: organic came in at 2.7%, M&A was 3.8% and FX was a headwind of 130 basis points.

Gross margins for the quarter. GAAP gross margins contracted by 140 basis points to 46.8% versus 48.2% in 3Q '18. While non-GAAP gross margins contracted by 110 basis points year-over-year, when adjusted for the recast of APAC service cost, we contracted in our core 60 basis points operationally year-over-year. Note, the primary drivers of the dilution were our previously announced livable wage actions, ERP project and REVOX. The impact of these investments on our non-GAAP gross margins was a 90 basis points dilution.

Operating expenses for the quarter. GAAP operating expenses increased by $14.5 million or 18.6% in 3Q '19 compared to the prior year. The impact of acquired cost from acquisitions was roughly $3.2 million or 4.1%. The impact from restructuring-related actions was roughly $7.9 million or 10.3%. This impact -- the balance was purposeful investment aligned with our strategic plan initiatives.

Op profit for the quarter. GAAP op profit decreased 45.3% year-over-year to $14.8 million. Note, there were a few items driving our GAAP dilution year-over-year. Key changes in senior leadership positions resulted in an increase in restructuring-related costs, coupled with higher depreciation, amortization and acquisition-related expenses, continued investment in REVOX and the livable wage actions taken in 4Q '18.

Our non-GAAP op profit decreased 10.4% year-over-year to $32.6 million. The key drivers were: continued reinvestment in REVOX, previously announced livable wage increase and the ERP project. The impact of these investments on our non-GAAP op profit was approximately 250 basis points headwind.

Our effective tax rate for the quarter. GAAP ETR for the quarter was 33.6% as compared to the prior year rate of 26.7%. This change was primarily driven by the nondeductibility of executive compensation related to restructuring activities in the quarter and the unfavorable impact of excess tax expense related to stock compensation as a result of a decrease in our share price.

On a non-GAAP basis, our effective tax rate for the quarter came in at 23.6% as compared to the prior year rate of 28.3%. Key drivers were: the impact of federal statutory rate change provided a benefit during the quarter, which was partially offset by the mix of income in our foreign operations.

EPS for the quarter. GAAP EPS decreased 56.4% year-over-year to $0.20. In addition to the commentary discussed earlier related to our GAAP op profit dilution, we incurred higher interest expense as a result of increased borrowings in the current rate environment. While our non-GAAP EPS decreased 7.5% year-over-year to $0.55. The impact was previously discussed. Investments was approximately $0.11.

Adjusted EBITDAS for the quarter. 3Q adjusted EBITDAS came in at $41.4 million, down 5% year-over-year.

Cash flow from operations. 3Q cash flow from ops came in at $21.1 million. Note, to buffer against disruption to our customer base, we consciously increased inventory in the early part of the quarter, which we expect to unwind over the next few quarters.

Now let's provide some insight into the segment results. For our Medical segment, for the quarter, sales grew 10.4% year-over-year to $130.7 million. Organic was 12.2%. Our GAAP op profit increased 18.5% to $24.3 million, while our non-GAAP op profit increased 11.2% to $29.3 million.

For our Life Sciences segment for the quarter, sales decreased 14% year-over-year to $46.5 million. Organic declined 17.6%. Lastly, our backlog increased for the quarter $3 million driven by Medical Water equipment. GAAP op profit decreased 46.3% to $4.8 million, while our non-GAAP op profit decreased 44.3% to $5.6 million. Note, ex incremental REVOX investment, non-GAAP op profit decreased 32%. And as George previously mentioned, we have taken actions in the third quarter to align our cost structure with the new revenue environment in our water division.

For our Dental segment, for the quarter, sales increased 18.5% year-over-year to 46.6 -- or $43.6 million. Organic was 3.4%. Our GAAP op profit decreased 32.3% to $4.8 million, while our non-GAAP op profit decreased 5.4% to $7.8 million, primarily driven by previously announced livable wage adjustments and material inflation.

For our Dialysis segment, for the quarter, sales decreased 3.7% year-over-year to $7.7 million. Our GAAP op profit decreased 35%, while our non-GAAP op profit decreased 35%.

Now I'd like to hit a few balance sheet and liquidity details. Our balance sheet remains strong with significant capacity. We ended the quarter with $51.3 million in cash and cash equivalents, $201.5 million in working capital. Our gross debt ended the quarter at $235.5 million. Our net debt is $184.2 million, and our net debt to adjusted EBITDAS is $1.07. Capital expenditures were $13.3 million, which reflects the ramp down in SAP costs now that we have gone live in our 2 key sites.

In terms of guidance for the remainder of the year, we anticipate revenue growth at the lower end of our range at 5% with organic growth of 3.5%, an FX headwind of 1%, announced acquisitions of 3% and dispositions at 50 basis point headwind. We estimate the Medical business will continue to grow at approximately 10%. The Dental business will be flat to the prior year. While we previously guided the Life Sciences segment to decrease in the mid-single digits, we have experienced a larger-than-expected amount of deferrals for central water units in the third quarter. Due to this trend, the business will decrease in the high single digits for the year.

Finally, we anticipate total fiscal year 2019 GAAP EPS of $1.61 to $1.63 and our non-GAAP EPS on the lower end of our previously guided range of $2.34 to $2.36. Thank you for listening. As a reminder, we will be filing our 10-Q at the end of the week.

We're ready to take some questions.

================================================================================

Questions and Answers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [1]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from the line of Larry Keusch with Raymond James.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lawrence Soren Keusch, Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division - MD [2]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So I guess the first question is -- obviously, it was a nice performance in the Medical business for the quarter and really sort of continued the trends that we've seen in the prior 3 quarters, but I guess the implied guidance would again suggest a deceleration in the fourth quarter. So just if I'm thinking about that correctly, I'm trying to understand why.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peter G. Clifford, Cantel Medical Corp. - Executive VP, COO & Member of Office of the Chairman [3]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. It's going to be centered almost exclusively on Life Sciences, Larry. We would expect our Dental business implied in the year being flat is our fourth quarter. And Dental is, by far, our toughest comp year-over-year. But again, we would expect sequential growth in Dental from 3Q to 4Q but likely closer to flat year-over-year on an organic basis in the fourth quarter. And we would view the Medical profile in the fourth quarter similar to the first 3 quarters.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lawrence Soren Keusch, Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division - MD [4]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. Perfect. And I guess just 2 other questions for you. First, on -- George, you mentioned, obviously you're working on your review of the Medical Water business, your Life Science business broadly. What steps are left to be done? What are you still working through? And once you come to a conclusion, how would you anticipate making that aware to investors? Is that something that waits until the fourth quarter? Or is there some separate announcement that comes out of that? Then I have one other one.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George L. Fotiades, Cantel Medical Corp. - President, CEO & Vice Chairman [5]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. I'll start with the end in mind here. I think what we're -- our expectation is to be, at our fourth quarter call, with a clearer sense of what we're doing and also to be able to factor that into the -- our outlook for fiscal year 2020. So that's the answer. But what's happening now is we are, first and foremost, managing the business to get this thing back on track. As Peter mentioned, we've done the rightsizing aspect of it, but at the same time, we're mindful of ensuring that we have a strong national base of sales and service. So that's a key feature of the business.

The second thing we've done with -- for quite some granularity, is we have been in discussions with our customers to develop a far more robust demand forecast. And we've reached 1 multiyear agreement with 1 customer. We're working on another. This is what gives us more insight and confidence about where we think the bottom is and an expectation of returning to modest growth as we get to the second half of the year.

At the same time, we obviously continue to evaluate. At the end of the day, are we the best owner of the business long term? But again, this is a business with great long-term demand characteristics and a short-term issue related to cyclicality and the in-sourcing with a customer. I think we've gotten a much clearer picture in the last few weeks of what our -- what the future looks like from a volume standpoint going forward. I think we're getting the cost structure in place and putting the position in a better place for the long term. But again, just to repeat, I think as we work our way through the next few weeks, our expectations will be here, 3 months from now, talking about how this impacts fiscal year 2020.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lawrence Soren Keusch, Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division - MD [6]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. Perfect. And then last one from me is just you mentioned a couple of times continuing to invest in REVOX. And I think, again, George, in your prepared comments, you indicated that you've got some greater confidence in that product that warrants more investment. So again, I guess same sort of question, which is sort of what have you learned recently that gives you confidence in that product to make additional investments? And again, what's sort of the time line that we should be thinking about for kind of a real commercial launch where we could start to see some revenues off of this?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George L. Fotiades, Cantel Medical Corp. - President, CEO & Vice Chairman [7]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. So first of all, what we're doing from an investment point of view is really reprioritizing our spend in new products. So we're moving money from one place to the REVOX. So incrementally, it won't be additional, but it will be from a REVOX point of view. The confidence, really, it sort of relates to what continues to evolve externally with respect to EtO, in particular. Clearly, we've got a number of customers that are quite anxious and apprehensive with the current situation and trying to understand what alternatives are there for the future and what kind of timing will these materialize.

So I think that's more what has been -- it drives more confidence in this. And obviously, we continue to make strides in developing particularly the machine design. That's where our focus is, to optimize what the commercial opportunity is and as well as what the market is asking for in terms of their requirements. From a timing point of view, this is a situation where we would like to be -- to under promise and over deliver. But I think we are operating under the assumption that 2 years from -- this is 24 months at the outside, maybe we do it in 18 months. But that's sort of what the horizon looks like.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [8]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question comes from the line of Matthew Mishan with KeyBanc Capital Markets.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew Ian Mishan, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - VP and Senior Equity Research Analyst [9]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I guess I'll start off with the Life Sciences business. It does seem like you're pretty far along in that process here. How should we be thinking about how separate that business is from like Medical or Dental? And how clean of a carve-out that could potentially be? Would there be costs that could be -- would be reallocated, dissynergies associated with it? Or would it be preisolated to the op income from that segment?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peter G. Clifford, Cantel Medical Corp. - Executive VP, COO & Member of Office of the Chairman [10]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. I mean all 3 of our divisions are generally pretty distinct in their cost structures. There is some modest shared cost that would get reallocated, but it's not substantial as a general rule. Where we do have overlap across all 3 of our businesses is really around our chemistry manufacturing. But outside of that, most of the cost structures is distinct and tied to the individual divisions.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew Ian Mishan, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - VP and Senior Equity Research Analyst [11]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And then can you talk about the strategic priorities for the Dental business longer term? I guess you're consolidating the manufacturing at this point. But what are you missing in the portfolio that can enable you guys to be at your full-service prevention player, similar to how you look at endoscopy? And then is there a lot of integration work that needs to be done given it's been built through various acquisitions over time?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George L. Fotiades, Cantel Medical Corp. - President, CEO & Vice Chairman [12]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. I'll answer part of it. I'll let Seth answer as well because he's obviously spent a lot of time on this. Look, from a revenue growth point of view, look, we have a number of very good assets in this business that we've acquired over the last 3 to 4 years. I think about inline water treatment, biological indicators, our Accutron, Omnia. So a real focus we have now is around building these individual assets more aggressively than we have in the past. We've done a great job with them, and I think there's more opportunity to develop new products in the space, being able to take these internationally, which is what Omnia affords us the opportunity to do. I was just there a couple of weeks ago. It's a great operation. We've got really good management, and there's a lot of enthusiasm for taking some of these Crosstex products into Europe. So I think we've got a lot of upside within our current portfolio.

And as far as the cost structure is concerned, obviously we're taking a fairly meaningful step today with both our manufacturing platform but also our supply chain with our distribution center, which will be upgraded considerably with the move to Rochester. So this will allow us to continue to try to protect our margins and as well as to potentially enhance them as we go forward. Seth, if you want to comment at all about the portfolio itself.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Seth M. Yellin, Cantel Medical Corp. - Executive VP of Strategy & Corporate Development and Member of Office of the Chairman [13]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think long term, we see the opportunity to really develop a cohesive, complete circle of protection strategy in the Dental suite, similar to what we've developed in our Medical offering where we can offer to our customers the ability to really understand and manage complex reprocessing workflows in the Dental suite to maximize efficiency and drive improved outcomes and a safe working environment for both patients and caregivers. We've been very successful with our strategy in the Medical space, see a lot of opportunity to continue to enhance that potential in the Dental space. Right now, we have great specific offerings that does provide great unique product elements. But I think to create a closed loop, a complete circle, is really our aspirational goal there. And we're working actively to develop that strategy and bring it to fruition.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew Ian Mishan, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - VP and Senior Equity Research Analyst [14]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. And last question for me. On the single-use procedural products in Medical, what's the opportunity there to bring those products to international markets? And what's been holding that back over the last couple of years?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peter G. Clifford, Cantel Medical Corp. - Executive VP, COO & Member of Office of the Chairman [15]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. When you think of the procedure set in Europe, it's -- we think of the U.S. as sort of mid-20s as kind of the number of procedures happen as a potential. And Europe, it'd be sort of in the low 20s. And the reality is we probably had penetrated the U.S. market procedures at about 35%-ish in terms of the number of procedures used in a single-use valve as an example. Obviously the penetration is much deeper on the hospital side and less so on the ASCs. We think that opportunity still exists in Europe.

I think our opportunity and challenge has been really influencing the regulatory bodies and the third-party thought leaders at the same pace, right? Obviously, in the U.S., you're dealing with less governing bodies, so it -- although not easy to move, you're moving less regulatory bodies. And on the European side, if you want to have an impact in each local market, you're usually having to influence somebody in that local market from a third party or a regulatory body of governance perspective. So that is where we are pivoting more resources now here in the summer is to help drive that topside sale. We've spent the last 2 years really refining the bottom-up sale, getting the right folks in the field trained and in the right pod structures. And now we are pivoting more to try and help ourself from up above.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [16]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question comes from the line of Mike Matson with Needham & Company.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Stephen Matson, Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst [17]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just want to ask about the Dental business. Good to see the growth improve there. Are you still seeing kind of mid-single-digit growth out the door at the distributor customers from your tracings?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peter G. Clifford, Cantel Medical Corp. - Executive VP, COO & Member of Office of the Chairman [18]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. The out-the-door sales from our distributors remains robust. Again, we will see sequential growth from 3Q to 4Q. The only soundbite there earlier is in the prior year, our fourth quarter, we had near double-digit organic growth in 4Q '18. So even though we feel good about the order rates and the fact that again we'll grow sequentially, it may look lighter year-over-year just due to the prior year comp on a 2-year stack basis. I think the fourth quarter will look exactly like our traditional view of the business, sort of in that mid-single digits.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Stephen Matson, Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst [19]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. And then can you just remind us what you factored into the guidance for 2019 for tariffs? And with Chinese tariffs potentially increasing or expanding, what's the outlook for '20? And then it doesn't look like you have any plans in Mexico, but I don't know if you're sourcing any supplies or raw materials from Mexico that will be affected by the tariffs.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peter G. Clifford, Cantel Medical Corp. - Executive VP, COO & Member of Office of the Chairman [20]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, so 2 parts to that. So look, we have been impacted in China earlier this year. We kind of said, look, if anything, it probably accelerated some revenue from some of our customers in China that wanted to buy ahead of the tariffs. So I think we had a very strong organic growth in the first half. Candidly, the third quarter was still very strong as well. But we are seeing it -- there's more pressure on the bids and the businesses that we're trying to chase in China. It may drive us to look at other supply chain options in '20 and '21.

As far as Mexico and the recent 5% tariff there, we're scrambling currently to monetize that or quantify it. But our best indication is we probably have exposure to the sense of -- there's probably a $5 million to $10 million book of annual spend that we do and stuff that's eventually sourced out of Mexico. So you could kind of look at it as it's probably $0.005 to $0.01 annually in terms of a headwind if that tariff stays in place for us. But we would look hard with our sourcing projects and initiatives to offset that as we always look at incremental price actions at the beginning of '20 to hold our ground on those types of pressures.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Stephen Matson, Needham & Company, LLC, Research Division - Senior Analyst [21]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. And then just one final financial question. So I know you've got a lot in your plate. There's a lot of cost-cutting and other kind of reinvestment going on and whatnot. But I guess just your tax rate, I know it's come down because of the tax cut. But is there any plans or opportunity to reduce that over time?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peter G. Clifford, Cantel Medical Corp. - Executive VP, COO & Member of Office of the Chairman [22]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. I mean obviously, we're -- our original guidance here at the beginning of the year was 24.5%. So on a year-to-date basis, we're now sort of at 28 point -- or 24.7%. Look, I think our next opportunity down the road would be to, one, as we continue to see our international-based businesses become more profitable, there are geographic jurisdictions which could naturally help us reduce our tax rate. Two, we've really never looked at not only the, I'll say, low-cost manufacturing and labor arbitrage there, but there are other tax initiatives coupled with lower-cost country manufacturing that could also help us be a tailwind to the effective tax rate as we look out a couple of years.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [23]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our next question comes from the line of Mitra Ramgopal with Sidoti & Company.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lalishwar Mitra Ramgopal, Sidoti & Company, LLC - Healthcare Sell Side Analyst [24]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George, I know it's been a busy few months as you get settled in here. And I'm just wondering -- I know you've talked about moving away from the 5-year guidance. However, if -- as we look longer term out in terms of the business and what you're seeing here right now, should we see any real fundamental changes in the underlying business as it relates to maybe organic growth no longer being double-digit 10% plus or more mid-single digit? Any color on that would be great.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George L. Fotiades, Cantel Medical Corp. - President, CEO & Vice Chairman [25]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I actually feel more confident about the growth rates. When we look by segment, Medical, I think we've talked about the drivers in the past. When we think about look and support and will support the 10% plus, the growth in procedural product penetration, growth in selling our full bag, the growth internationally whether we're talking about China, growth in procedural products in Europe, what we're doing in terms of new product emphasis that has been rejuvenated with the appointment of Mike Spicer in tandem with working with Daniel Khalili, our Chief Technology Officer. So I continue to feel very confident about that.

In Dental, we obviously went through this year, which was a challenging year in the first half, and we believe we're getting back on track to mid-single digit. There's nothing that -- as we look at out-the-door sales, I mean the market continues to perform as we expected. We talked earlier on the call about some of the things we can do from a growth initiative point of view that we're pushing out on. I mentioned on the -- again, internationally, but some other things on some of our individual business lines that we recently acquired, I think, continue to represent opportunities.

And the challenges we've talked about is in the Life Science business. But again, I think we can get this business, the water business -- again, as we look at long term, I think the characteristics of the entire Life Science business for mid-single digit. But again, there's work to do in the short term to address that.

The other consideration that obviously doesn't have predictability, other than over the long term, we've been predictable with respect to acquisitions being a component of our business model, it continues to be, I said, as active as it's ever been. Feel very good about some of the things that are in the pipeline. And as to when they happen, again, that's -- there are different stages and it's difficult to predict or talk about. But again, I feel -- as I said, what I've learned in the past 90 days is to be even more bullish about our opportunities, recognizing we've got some challenges to deal with short term, as mentioned in the hemodialysis business.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lalishwar Mitra Ramgopal, Sidoti & Company, LLC - Healthcare Sell Side Analyst [26]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, noted. Very helpful. And I guess, as you mentioned acquisitions, maybe Seth could probably also address this. As it relates to the pipeline, I know it's always very robust. But I was just curious if you're seeing any changes as it relates to maybe more competition? And any changes potentially in valuations that you're looking at?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Seth M. Yellin, Cantel Medical Corp. - Executive VP of Strategy & Corporate Development and Member of Office of the Chairman [27]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, Mitra. I think from a value perspective, it's been a competitive environment for the last many years. And so depending on the nature of the assets, it always is a healthy market. So obviously, as George said earlier, we're looking at larger acquisitions that have more scale and maturity and as you look at some of the larger assets, presumably at the higher end of some the valuation ranges. That said, I mean our focus is, first and foremost, on strategic fit and overall financial performance of the potential business . And so we remain disciplined in how we think about acquisitions. And despite the environment that you have healthy valuations, we see plenty of opportunity for us to continue to execute.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lalishwar Mitra Ramgopal, Sidoti & Company, LLC - Healthcare Sell Side Analyst [28]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. No, that's great. And finally, George, I know you mentioned earlier, you've made several changes as it relates to management and senior personnel. Just looking out now with 1 more quarter to go in 2019, you feel comfortable now that your place where you pretty much have your team in place and now it's really a question now of focusing on driving the growth again.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George L. Fotiades, Cantel Medical Corp. - President, CEO & Vice Chairman [29]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. Everybody around the table is looking at me apprehensively now. I feel very confident in the executive team that's in place. And look, the focus going forward, as it should be consistently over the long term, is developing the talent deeper in the organization. It's a great growth company, and great growth companies are places that attract people. We want to be sure we're getting the best people in some of these positions and as well as addressing diversity, which is a great business opportunity for us. So that's really where the focus is. But with respect to the leadership team and the management of our segments, things are in place.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [30]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are no further questions at this time. I would like to turn the call back over to management for any closing remarks.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George L. Fotiades, Cantel Medical Corp. - President, CEO & Vice Chairman [31]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you all for joining us on this call this morning. The management team here looks forward to updating you on our progress on the fourth quarter call and as well as to provide you with an outlook for our fiscal year 2020. Again, thank you.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [32]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you. This concludes today's teleconference. You may disconnect your lines at this time. Thank you for your participation, and have a wonderful day.