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Longleaf Partners Comments on LafargeHolcim

- By Holly LaFon

LafargeHolcim (LHN) (+13%; +0.60%), the world's largest global cement, aggregates, and ready-mix concrete producer, also added to the Fund's return. The company's 4Q results demonstrated continued success in pricing, operating cost control, and disciplined capital spending which helped earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grow 15.5% and free cash flow increase 107%. For 2017, Eric Olsen guided to 2-4% volume growth helped by resumed growth in India and Latin America and continued volume growth in the U.S. Improved volumes combined with pricing and cost controls should drive double-digit EBITDA growth and strong free cash flow (FCF) generation. FCF along with divestitures has fortified LafargeHolcim's balance sheet, and the competitive landscape is positive with few slated capacity additions. We expect dividends and share repurchases to accelerate as cash flow grows.

From Longleaf Partners Fund first quarter 2017 commentary.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.