The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Globe Investor

News Sources

Take control of your investments with the latest investing news and analysis

Press release from PR Newswire

Ferrellgas Partners' Posts Significantly Improved First-Quarter Results; Adjusted EBITDA Nearly Doubles

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ferrellgas Partners' Posts Significantly Improved First-Quarter Results; Adjusted EBITDA Nearly Doubles07:00 EST Monday, December 10, 2012OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (NYSE: FGP), one of the nation's largest distributors of propane today reported results for the fiscal 2013 first quarter ended October 31.  The improved financial performance reflects both margin expansion to more historic levels and the partnership's focus on further cost reductions throughout its operations.Adjusted EBITDA increased 93% to a near-record $31.6 million, from $16.4 million in the year-earlier quarter. Distributable cash flow improved nearly $21 million to a record $11.0 million for the same time period.  Gross profit rose 9% to a near-record $140.1 million, from $128.7 million a year earlier. Based on these results, the seasonal first-quarter loss decreased 46% to $17.8 million, or $0.22 per unit, from $32.9 million, or $0.42 per unit.As expected, lower wholesale propane prices caused both revenues and cost of product sold to decline.  Revenues were $362.9 million, down 33% compared to $538.4 million in the prior year quarter, while total cost of product sold was $222.9 million, down 46% compared to $409.7 million in the prior year period.  President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Wambold commented, "Fiscal 2013 is off to an encouraging start, with the positive momentum of fiscal 2012's fourth quarter carrying over into the first quarter.  We continue to focus on both profitable growth while driving operational efficiencies in our business through more optimal routing and scheduling of our propane deliveries."Propane sales were 179.4 million gallons, reduced by 9% in the quarter primarily due to the partnership's focus on optimizing delivery efficiencies to residential customers.  Correspondingly, operating expense decreased 3% to $96.4 million, from $99.4 million the year before.  General and administrative expense declined 6% to $8.8 million, from $9.4 million in the year prior.Wambold pointed out, "The full impact of our cost-reduction initiative was even greater on an apples-to-apples basis, as excluding performance-based incentive compensation operating expense and general and administrative expense were down 5% and 13%, respectively." He added, "We remain on track to surpass our announced $20 million cost savings goal by the end of fiscal 2013."Wambold continued, "Based on the strength of our underlying fundamentals and a belief that winter temperatures will be more seasonal this year than last, we are projecting Adjusted EBITDA of between $240 million and $260 million for fiscal 2013. Although weather always plays a key role in our performance, we believe that fundamental changes we have made to our pricing and cost structure make financial results in this range possible assuming more normal variations in winter heating season temperatures." Contributing to the optimistic outlook is a growing pipeline of potential acquisitions, Wambold pointed out. "We made two acquisitions in the first quarter, Capital City Propane, headquartered in Sacramento, and El Paso-based Flores Gas. These acquisitions were perfect geographic fits, strengthening our presence in the key markets of California and Texas, as well as meeting our criterion of being immediately accretive to earnings."Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., through its operating partnership, Ferrellgas, L.P., serves approximately one million customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Ferrellgas employees indirectly own 21.7 million common units of the partnership through an employee stock ownership plan. More information about the partnership can be found online at www.ferrellgas.com.Statements in this release concerning expectations for the future are forward-looking statements. A variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause results, performance and expectations to differ materially from anticipated results, performance and expectations. These risks, uncertainties and other factors are discussed in the Form 10-K of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp., Ferrellgas, L.P., and Ferrellgas Finance Corp. for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2012, and other documents filed from time to time by these entities with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Contact:Tom Colvin, Investor Relations, (913) 661-1530Scott Brockelmeyer, Media Relations, (913) 661-1830 FERRELLGAS PARTNERS, L.P.  AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS(in thousands, except unit data)(unaudited)ASSETSOctober 31, 2012July 31, 2012Current Assets:  Cash and cash equivalents$                 8,678$         8,429  Accounts and notes receivable, net (including $139,433 and $121,812 of accounts receivable pledged as collateral at October 31, 2012 and July 31, 2012, respectively)146,946124,004  Inventories136,813127,598  Prepaid expenses and other current assets36,68129,315    Total Current Assets329,118289,346Property, plant and equipment, net616,921626,551Goodwill248,944248,944Intangible assets, net187,577189,118Other assets, net46,44843,320    Total Assets$          1,429,008$  1,397,279LIABILITIES AND PARTNERS' DEFICITCurrent Liabilities:  Accounts payable$               67,865$       47,824  Short-term borrowings117,89795,730  Collateralized note payable82,00074,000  Other current liabilities132,076122,667    Total Current Liabilities399,838340,221Long-term debt (a)1,069,2611,059,085Other liabilities29,47625,499Contingencies and commitments--Partners' Deficit:  Common unitholders (79,015,619 and 79,006,619 units outstanding at October 31, 2012 and July 31, 2012, respectively)(7,799)43,701 General partner unitholder (798,138 and 798,047 units outstanding at October 31, 2012 and July 31, 2012, respectively)(60,150)(59,630) Accumulated other comprehensive loss(2,795)(13,159)    Total Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. Partners' Deficit(70,744)(29,088)    Noncontrolling Interest1,1771,562    Total Partners' Deficit(69,567)(27,526)    Total Liabilities and Partners' Deficit$          1,429,008$  1,397,279(a) The principal difference between the Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. balance sheet and that of Ferrellgas, L.P., is $182 million of 8.625% notes which are liabilities of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. and not of Ferrellgas, L.P. FERRELLGAS PARTNERS, L.P. AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGSFOR THE THREE AND TWELVE MONTHS ENDED OCTOBER 31, 2012 AND 2011(in thousands, except per unit data)(unaudited)Three months ended Twelve months endedOctober 31October 312012201120122011Revenues:  Propane and other gas liquids sales$           335,281$     514,219$  1,982,007$  2,357,853  Other27,62824,207181,568203,596    Total revenues362,909538,4262,163,5752,561,449Cost of product sold:  Propane and other gas liquids sales213,657403,1221,412,4211,755,980  Other9,1976,62697,894118,238Gross profit 140,055128,678653,260687,231Operating expense (including $626 of non-recurring severance  charges for the twelve month period ended October 31, 2012)96,43499,411396,003411,432Depreciation and amortization expense20,87520,67484,04282,785General and administrative expense (including $429 of non-recurring severance charges for the twelve month period ended October 31, 2012)8,7749,36436,52651,137Equipment lease expense3,9233,52915,04214,315Non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge2,4022,5799,26310,292Non-cash stock and unit-based compensation charge (b)3,0922,9179,01815,392Loss (gain) on disposal of assets and other2713095,9974,174Operating income (loss)4,284(10,105)97,36997,704Interest expense(22,435)(23,387)(92,302)(98,395)Loss on extinguishment of debt---(46,962)Other income (expense), net91(33)630356Earnings (loss) before income taxes(18,060)(33,525)5,697(47,297)Income tax expense (benefit)(264)(630)1,4941,093Net earnings (loss)(17,796)(32,895)4,203(48,390)Net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest (a)(138)(291)209(181)Net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.(17,658)(32,604)3,994(48,209)Less: General partner's interest in net earnings (loss)(177)(326)40(482)Common unitholders' interest in net earnings (loss)$           (17,481)$      (32,278)$         3,954$     (47,727)Earnings (loss) Per UnitBasic and diluted net earnings (loss) per common unitholders' interest$               (0.22)$          (0.42)$           0.05$         (0.65)Weighted average common units outstanding79,013.375,966.478,338.373,928.5Supplemental Data and Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Items:Three months ended Twelve months endedOctober 31October 312012201120122011Net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.$           (17,658)$      (32,604)$         3,994$     (48,209)  Income tax expense (benefit)(264)(630)1,4941,093  Interest expense22,43523,38792,30298,395  Depreciation and amortization expense20,87520,67484,04282,785EBITDA25,38810,827181,832134,064  Loss on extinguishment of debt---46,962  Non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge2,4022,5799,26310,292  Non-cash stock and unit-based compensation charge (b)3,0922,9179,01815,392  Loss (gain) on disposal of assets and other2713095,9974,174  Other (income) expense, net(91)33(630)(356)  Nonrecurring severance costs--1,055-  Nonrecurring litigation reserve and related legal fees688-1,58011,788  Net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest(138)(291)209(181)Adjusted EBITDA (c)31,61216,374208,324222,135  Net cash interest expense (d)(21,075)(22,031)(86,644)(91,662)  Maintenance capital expenditures (e)(4,275)(5,327)(14,992)(16,352)  Cash paid for taxes(18)(3)(779)(511)  Proceeds from asset sales4,7711,3639,1505,279Distributable cash flow to equity investors (f)$             11,015$        (9,624)$     115,059$     118,889Propane gallons sales  Retail - Sales to End Users124,883132,848611,353667,695  Wholesale - Sales to Resellers54,55563,421249,946259,920  Total propane gallons sales179,438196,269861,299927,615(a)  Amounts allocated to the general partner for its 1.0101% interest in the operating partnership, Ferrellgas, L.P.(b)  Non-cash stock and unit-based compensation charges consist of the following:Three months ended Twelve months endedOctober 31October 312012201120122011      Operating expense$                   711$          1,167$          2,2914,788      General and administrative expense2,3811,7506,72710,604      Total$                3,092$          2,917$          9,018$        15,392 (c)  Adjusted EBITDA is calculated as earnings (loss) before income tax expense (benefit), interest expense, depreciation and amortization expense, loss on extinguishment of debt, non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge, non-cash stock and unit-based compensation charge, loss (gain) on disposal of assets and other, other income (expense), net, nonrecuring serverance costs, nonrecurring litigation reserve and related legal fees and net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest. Management believes the presentation of this measure is relevant and useful because it  allows investors to view the partnership's performance in a manner similar to the method management uses, adjusted for items management believes makes it easier to compare its results with other companies that have different financing and capital structures. This method of calculating Adjusted EBITDA may not be consistent with that of other companies and should be viewed in conjunction with measurements that are computed inaccordance with GAAP.       (d)  Net cash interest expense is the sum of interest expense less non-cash interest expense and other income (expense), net. This amount includes interest expense related to the accounts receivable securitization facility. (e)  Maintenance capital expenditures include capitalized expenditures for betterment and replacement of property, plant and equipment. (f)   Management considers Distributable cash flow to equity investors a meaningful non-GAAP measure of the partnership's ability to declare and pay quarterly distributions to common unitholders. Distributable cash flow to equity investors, as management defines it, may not be comparable to distributable cash flow or similarly titled measures used by other corporations and partnerships.        SOURCE Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.