Rentech Nitrogen Announces Results for Third Quarter 2012

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Rentech Nitrogen Announces Results for Third Quarter 2012

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P. (NYS: RNF) , which manufactures and sells nitrogen fertilizer products including ammonia, urea ammonium nitrate solution (UAN) and ammonium sulfate (AS), today announced its results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012.

Agrifos LLC Acquisition


On November 1, 2012, Rentech Nitrogen acquired all of the membership interests of Agrifos LLC, which owns a fertilizer production facility in Pasadena, Texas, that produces primarily ammonium sulfate fertilizer. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to per unit cash available for distribution beginning in 2013.

The acquired Pasadena facility is the third largest producer of ammonium sulfate fertilizer as well as the largest producer of synthetic granulated AS in North America. The plant's other products include ammonium thiosulfate fertilizer, or ATS, and sulfuric acid, or SA. The plant uses ammonia and sulfur as raw materials to produce these products. Product margins and seasonality of sales are generally less variable than those of ammonia and UAN, with premium pricing received for the plant's superior quality AS product. The products are sold through distributors to customers within the U.S. and Brazil. AS and ATS are typically blended with other nitrogen, phosphate, and potash fertilizers for application to a variety of crops to maximize yields and maintain nutrient balance within crops. SA is utilized for industrial purposes. The Pasadena facility and site provide a number of opportunities for growth in cash flow expected to be provided by the facility.

Financial Highlights

Results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011 exclude those of Agrifos LLC, since Agrifos was acquired subsequent to September 30, 2012.

Three months ended September 30, 2012

Revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2012 were $60.1 million, compared to $38.6 million for the comparable period in the prior year. This increase in revenues was primarily due to increased sales volume for all products, except for nitric acid, sales of which remained unchanged. The timing of product shipments during the three months ended September 30, 2011 was affected by the 2011 turnaround. With fewer tons available for sale last year, Rentech Nitrogen secured a larger percentage of sales for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2011, which resulted in reduced deliveries in the third quarter of last year. The warm, dry weather during the second quarter of 2012 reduced UAN sales volume, resulting in additional product available for delivery in the third quarter of 2012.

During the three months ended September 30, 2012, Rentech Nitrogen generated operating income of $29.2 million compared to $10.4 million during the comparable period in the prior year.

For the three months ended September 30, 2012, net income was $28.8 million or $0.75 per unit. This compares to net income of $3.3 million for the comparable period last year. EBITDA for the period was $32.9 million, compared to $12.9 million in the corresponding period in 2011. Further explanation of EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, and a reconciliation of Rentech Nitrogen's EBITDA to net income have been included below in this press release.

Commenting on the results for the period, D. Hunt Ramsbottom, CEO of Rentech Nitrogen GP, LLC, stated, "Rentech Nitrogen continues to produce exceptional results, benefiting from relatively low natural gas prices and strong product deliveries and prices. These factors contributed to strong cash distributions of $0.85 per unit this quarter." Mr. Ramsbottom continued, "We recently completed our first acquisition, which will provide incremental cash flow and growth opportunities and diversifies the products, markets, location, and raw materials of our nitrogen fertilizer operations beyond those of our existing plant in East Dubuque. Rentech Nitrogen will begin to see the accretive benefits of this new business in 2013, when it is expected to begin contributing to cash distributions."

Mr. Ramsbottom added, "With the acquisition of the fertilizer production facility in Pasadena, TX, we believe we have positioned Rentech Nitrogen for additional growth and less exposure to weather fluctuations in corn pricing and plantings, pricing of any one particular product or raw material, and the seasonality of sales."

Rentech Nitrogen's natural gas hedging strategy resulted in average natural gas costs of $3.14 per MMBtu for the third quarter of 2012, compared to $4.74 per MMBtu for the prior-year period. Lower natural gas costs combined with strong product prices contributed to gross margins of 58% in the current period, up significantly from 33% for the same quarter last year.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses were $5.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2012, compared to $1.8 million for the prior-year period. The increase in SG&A expenses was primarily due to business development expenses, including $1.7 million of costs relating to the Agrifos acquisition. Also contributing to the increase were costs associated with having become a publicly traded limited partnership, including an increase of $1.1 million in non-cash unit-based compensation expense.

Nine months ended September 30, 2012

Revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 were $169.2 million, compared to $136.9 million for the comparable period in the prior year. The increase in revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 was primarily due to increased sales prices for all products and sales volume for ammonia.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2012, Rentech Nitrogen generated operating income of $90.3 million, compared to $55.3 million during the comparable period in the prior year.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2012, net income was $89.4 million or $2.34 per unit. This compares to net income of $20.6 million for the comparable period last year. Included in the prior year's net income was $9.2 million of loss on debt extinguishment. EBITDA for the period was $99.7 million, compared to $62.7 million in the corresponding period in 2011. Further explanation of EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, and a reconciliation of Rentech Nitrogen's EBITDA to net income have been included below in this press release.

The Partnership's natural gas hedging strategy resulted in average natural gas costs of $3.63 per MMBtu for the first nine months of 2012, compared to $4.78 per MMBtu for the prior-year period. Lower natural gas costs combined with strong product prices contributed to gross margins of 61% in the current period, up significantly from 44% for the same period last year.

SG&A expenses were $12.0 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2012, compared to $4.4 million for the prior-year period. The increase in SG&A expenses was primarily due to business development expenses, including costs of $2.0 million relating to the Agrifos acquisition. Also contributing to the increase were costs associated with having become a publicly traded limited partnership, including an increase of $2.3 million in non-cash unit-based compensation expense.

Partnership Outlook

Rentech Nitrogen expects low grain inventories caused by the drought to continue to have a favorable impact on nitrogen prices and demand for the remainder of 2012 and 2013.

2012 Outlook

The fall harvest in Rentech Nitrogen's market area is nearly complete, several weeks earlier than typical. Recent rains as well as optimal soil temperatures have set the stage for an early start for fall application. As of October 30th, ammonia application was in full stride in the Mid Corn Belt.

Rentech Nitrogen reiterates guidance for the twelve months ending December 31, 2012, stating that it expects cash available for distribution to be in excess of $126 million or $3.30 per unit, and EBITDA to be in excess of $130 million. The guidance includes the expected impact of business development expenses in SG&A attributed to the Agrifos acquisition; the contribution of the Pasadena plant's operations; and a five day outage at the East Dubuque facility that occurred in early November. The Partnership has included an updated calculation of forecasted cash available for distribution below in this press release.

Rentech Nitrogen has delivered, or has forward purchase commitments for 100% of its forecasted deliveries of ammonia and UAN for 2012. The Partnership has already purchased or contracted at fixed prices 100% of the natural gas required to produce the product already delivered or forecasted to be delivered during the twelve months ending December 31, 2012.

2013 Outlook

Rentech Nitrogen continues to expect 2013 to benefit from market dynamics similar to those of 2012. The impact of the drought on ending corn stocks will likely result in continued high prices and significant acres planted next year. Multiple forecasting services are projecting corn plantings to exceed 96 million acres next year. Low corn inventories should drive corn pricing throughout the year and support strong fertilizer demand. Current posted product prices for spring 2013 delivery are $810 per ton for ammonia and $360 per ton for UAN.

Rentech Nitrogen expects the recently acquired Pasadena facility to generate approximately $20 million in operating income and approximately $25 million in EBITDA in 2013, excluding one-time integration and transition costs. Further explanation of EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, and a reconciliation of the plant's forecasted EBITDA to operating income have been included below in this press release.

The Pasadena facility is expected to be accretive to cash distributions per unit beginning in 2013.

The East Dubuque facility will undergo its next bi-annual turnaround during the fall of 2013. The turnaround is anticipated to take up to four weeks, which is longer than the typical 18 to 25 days, due to the fact that the final tie-ins for the ammonia production capacity expansion will occur during the 2013 turnaround to minimize plant downtime. During the turnaround, the plant's ammonia and UAN units will be off-line and therefore ammonia and UAN production and sales volumes during 2013 are expected to be lower than in 2012. Approximately $3 to $5 million of costs for work related to the turnaround are anticipated to be included in cost of sales in the fall of 2013.

The ongoing urea production capacity expansion project at the East Dubuque facility is on schedule to be completed by the end of 2012. The expansion is now expected to increase urea production by approximately 14% or 19,250 tons annually, an increase from the previous estimate of 13% or 17,500 tons annually. The capital budget for this project, which includes completed work relating to the DEF expansion, is now estimated at approximately $7 million, up from an estimated $6 million.

The ammonia expansion project at the facility in East Dubuque is progressing on schedule and within budget. The project is designed to increase production of ammonia for sale or upgrade to other products by approximately 23%, or 70,000 tons annually, and to increase on-site ammonia storage capacity by approximately 20,000 tons. The estimated approximately $100 million expansion project, which is being financed by a multiple-draw capital expenditure loan facility, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013, after the scheduled bi-annual turnaround. The Partnership expects the additional ammonia production to contribute to per unit cash distributions beginning in 2014.

In 2013, Rentech Nitrogen expects to commence a project to increase ammonium sulfate production capacity by 20%, or 115,000 tons annually, at its Pasadena facility. The Partnership expects to complete this expansion in the first half of 2014, with the additional ammonium sulfate production anticipated to contribute to per unit cash distributions beginning in the second half of 2014.

Third Quarter Cash Distribution

On October 23, 2012, Rentech Nitrogen declared a cash distribution of $0.85 per unit, payable on November 14, 2012 to unit holders of record as of November 7. This will be the third cash distribution paid by Rentech Nitrogen since its initial public offering in November 2011, and will result in cumulative cash distributions of $3.08 per common unit. Of that amount, $2.55 per common unit relates to cash distributions for the twelve months ending December 31, 2012. The calculation of cash available for distribution has been included below in this press release.

Amended Credit Facility

In conjunction with the closing of the Agrifos acquisition, Rentech Nitrogen amended its existing debt facility, and expanded its borrowing base from $135 million to $300 million. The facility also includes an accordion feature to expand the debt capacity by an additional $35 million, subject to additional lending commitments, to finance future growth projects. GE Capital Markets, Inc. served as lead arranger and book runner for the debt facilities.

Conference Call with Management

Rentech Nitrogen will hold a conference call today, November 8, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. PST, during which time senior management will review the Partnership's financial results for this period and provide an update on the business. Callers may listen to the live presentation, which will be followed by a question and answer segment, by dialing 800-404-5245 or 303-223-4363. An audio webcast of the call will be available at www.rentechnitrogen.com within the Investor Relations portion of the site under the Presentations section. A replay will be available by audio webcast and teleconference from 11:00 a.m. PST on November 8 through 11:00 a.m. PST on November 15. The replay teleconference will be available by dialing 800-633-8284 or 402-977-9140 and the reservation number 21607176.

 
Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P.
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(Stated in Thousands, Except per Unit Data)
 
   For the Three Months   For the Nine Months
Ended September 30,Ended September 30,
2012   20112012   2011
(unaudited)(unaudited)
 
Total Revenues$60,112$38,567$169,228$136,895
 
Cost of Sales 25,077  25,751  65,975  76,451 
 
Gross Profit35,03512,816103,25360,444
 
Selling, general and administrative expense5,5081,75011,9824,354
Depreciation9095726297
(Gain) loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment 237  595  284  523 
Operating Expenses 5,835  2,440  12,992  5,174 
 
Operating Income29,20010,37690,26155,270
Other Income (Expense), Net
Interest income14124339
Interest expense(39)(4,522)(181)(10,841)
Loss on debt extinguishment---(9,223)
Loss on interest rate swaps(327)-(907)-
Other income, net -  (1) 232  - 
Total Other Expenses, Net (352) (4,511) (813) (20,025)
 
Income Before Income Taxes28,8485,86589,44835,245
 
Income tax expense -  2,553  -  14,643 
 
Net Income$28,848 $3,312 $89,448 $20,602 
 
Net Income per Common Unit - Basic$0.75$2.34
Net Income per Common Unit - Diluted$0.75$2.34
 
Weighted-Average Units:
Basic 38,260  38,254 
Diluted 38,292  38,259 
 
 
 
Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P.
Balance Sheet Data
(Stated in Thousands)
 
     As of     As of
September 30, 2012December 31, 2011
Cash and Cash Equivalents$55,487$44,836
Working Capital27,77931,645
Construction in Progress42,9877,062
Total Assets176,068130,443
Credit Facilities26,990-
Total Long-Term Liabilities28,108277
Total Partners' Capital104,96499,191
 

Key Operating Statistics:

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   Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended
September 30,September 30,
2012   20112012   2011
 
Production Tons (in thousands)
Ammonia7655231198

Ammonia Available for Sale
(included in line above)

372411289
UAN7767238226
Other Products (excludes CO2)7657228203
 
Delivered Tons (in thousands)

Ammonia

311810181
UAN11077236236
Other Products (excludes CO2)1474034
 
Average Price per Delivered Ton
Ammonia$620$636$666$630
UAN$295