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Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. Reports Fiscal First Quarter 2019 Results

  • Total Retail propane sales volume for the quarter increased approximately nine percent leading to a 15 percent increase in gross margin dollars over the prior year
  • Retail customer growth of approximately 24,500, or four percent over prior year
  • Tank Exchange sale locations now exceed 53,800, up 12 percent compared to prior year.
  • Three accretive acquisitions of Blue Rhino independent distributors completed to date this fiscal year.

/EIN News/ -- LIBERTY, Mo., Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (NYSE:FGP) (“Ferrellgas” or the “Company”) today reported financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended October 31, 2018.

For the quarter, the Company reported a net loss attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. of $57.0 million, or $.58 per common unit, compared to prior year period net loss of $47.9 million, or $.49 per common unit.

Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, was $17.8 million compared to $26.2 million in the prior year. The following table represents the contribution to adjusted EBITDA from ongoing propane operations as well as from assets that were sold during 2018.

(in millions) Q1 2019   Q1 2018
Propane Operations and Corporate Support $17.8   $19.0
Results from Assets Sold in 2018  -   $7.2
  Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA $17.8   $26.2

On a trailing twelve month basis, adjusted EBITDA from on going propane operations and corporate support as of October 31, 2018 is $226.5 million compared to $227.7 million as of July 31, 2018.

The Company’s propane operations reported that total gallons sold increased 5.9 million gallons, or three percent, over prior year. Margins were over two percent higher than the prior year despite increased competitive pressure in the tank exchange business. The Company continues its aggressive approach to gaining market share.  This strategic focus resulted in approximately 24,500 new customers, or approximately four percent more than prior year. Additionally, the Company’s current Blue Rhino tank exchange sales locations have increased over 12 percent from prior year to over 53,800 locations. Overall, the increase in sales volume growth and margins per gallon resulted in an increase in gross margin dollars of $4.4 million.  The Company’s ongoing commitment to investing in the business led to higher operating expenses during the quarter which were largely the result of new locations established to be in closer proximity to current and potential customers as the company looks to continue increasing market share and customer density.  As a result of this investment and the growth in sales volumes, operating, general and administractive expenses in our Propane segment were $6.1 million higher than the prior year.

Liquidity of $250.1 million at October 31, 2018 resulted from $186.9 million of available borrowing capacity on the Company’s secured credit facility and $63.2 million of cash.

“We are extremely pleased with the quarterly results as our strategy to invest in the growth of the business is paying dividends even faster than anticipated,” said James E. Ferrell, Interim Chief Executive Officer and President of Ferrellgas.  “We are committed to growing market share organically and through acquisition.  As expected, operating expenses would exceed growth in gross margin dollars leading into the quarter, however, we were able recover those investments almost completely with an extremely strong month of October.  We have momentum leading into the winter heating season with a stronger customer base, larger footprint and committed employee owners.”

As previously announced, the Company indefinitely suspended its quarterly cash distribution resulting from a failure to meet the required fixed charge coverage ratio within the senior unsecured notes due 2020.

In addition to solidifying the Company’s liquidity with the fourth quarter 2018 closing of the $575 million secured credit facility and extension of its accounts receivable securitization facility and cash from 2018 announced asset sales, the Company  is in the process of engaging a financial advisor to assist in evaluating all available options to address its leverage. 

“Our Company is focused on growth.” said Ferrell.  “We have the liquidity to continue executing on this strategy and I expect that we will resolve our leverage situation in the near future to position our Company for continued success.”

About Ferrellgas
Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., through its operating partnership, Ferrellgas, L.P., and subsidiaries, serves propane customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Ferrellgas employees indirectly own 22.8 million common units of the partnership, through an employee stock ownership plan. Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. filed a Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 27, 2018. Investors can request a hard copy of this filing free of charge and obtain more information about the partnership online at www.ferrellgas.com.

Forward Looking Statements
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 include those 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, 2018, and in other documents filed from time to time by these entities with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contacts

William Ruisinger, Interim Chief Financial Officer – billruisinger@ferrellgas.com 816-792-7914

 
 
 
FERRELLGAS PARTNERS, L.P.  AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except unit data)
(unaudited)
         
         
         
         
         
ASSETS   October 31, 2018   July 31, 2018
         
Current Assets:        
  Cash and cash equivalents   $   63,188     $    119,311  
  Accounts and notes receivable, net (including $137,560 and $120,079 of accounts        
  receivable pledged as collateral at October 31, 2018 and July 31, 2018, respectively)     136,189       126,054  
  Inventories     106,560       83,694  
  Prepaid expenses and other current assets     34,003       34,862  
  Total Current Assets     339,940       363,921  
         
Property, plant and equipment, net     566,078       557,723  
Goodwill, net     247,478       246,098  
Intangible assets, net     117,452       120,951  
Other assets, net     72,842       74,588  
  Total Assets   $   1,343,790     $ 1,363,281    
         
         
LIABILITIES AND PARTNERS' DEFICIT        
         
Current Liabilities:        
Accounts payable   $ 59,664     $ 46,820  
Short-term borrowings     -         32,800  
Collateralized note payable     90,000       58,000  
Other current liabilities     185,968       142,025  
  Total Current Liabilities     335,632       279,645  
         
Long-term debt (a)     2,081,243       2,078,637  
Other liabilities     38,654       39,476  
Contingencies and commitments        
         
Partners' Deficit:         
 Common unitholders (97,152,665 units outstanding at October 31, 2018 and July 31, 2018)     (1,041,971 )     (978,503 )
 General partner unitholder (989,926 units outstanding at October 31, 2018 and July 31, 2018)     (70,433 )     (69,792 )
 Accumulated other comprehensive income     8,050       20,510  
Total Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. Partners' Deficit     (1,104,354 )     (1,027,785 )
Noncontrolling interest     (7,385 )     (6,692 )
Total Partners' Deficit     (1,111,739 )     (1,034,477 )
Total Liabilities and Partners' Deficit   $ 1,343,790     $ 1,363,281  
         
         
(a) The principal difference between the Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. balance sheet and that of Ferrellgas, L.P., is $357 million of 8.625% notes which are liabilities of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. and not of Ferrellgas, L.P.


 
 
 
FERRELLGAS PARTNERS, L.P. AND SUBSIDIARIES 
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
 
(in thousands, except per unit data)
(unaudited) 
 
    Three months ended 
    Twelve months ended 
    October 31
    October 31
    2018     2017     2018   2017
Revenues:                    
Propane and other gas liquids sales   $ 334,966     $ 302,758     $ 1,675,184     $ 1,378,771  
Midstream operations     -        120,760       161,559       479,419  
Other   17,343     31,137     134,053     147,200  
  Total revenues   352,309     454,655     1,970,796     2,005,390  
                     
Cost of sales:                    
Propane and other gas liquids sales   204,136     179,515     998,035     754,458  
Midstream operations     -      108,125     147,434     442,922  
Other   3,047     13,702     57,999     69,223  
                     
Gross profit    145,126     153,313     767,328     738,787  
                     
Operating expense   110,331     110,462     471,617     437,221  
Depreciation and amortization expense   18,992     25,732     95,055     102,881  
General and administrative expense   14,179     13,164     55,416     47,662  
Equipment lease expense   7,863     6,741     29,394     28,516  
Non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge   2,748     3,962     12,645     15,296  
Non-cash stock-based compensation charge (a)     -       -       -     1,417  
Asset impairments     -       -     10,005       -  
Loss on asset sales and disposals   4,504     895     191,008     8,929  
                     
Operating income (loss)   (13,491
)   (7,643
)     (97,812 )   96,865  
                     
Interest expense   (43,878
)   (40,807
)     (171,538 )     (157,864 )
Other income, net   19     511     436       1,477  
                     
Loss before income tax benefit   (57,350
)   (47,939
)     (268,914 )     (59,522 )
                     
Income tax expense (benefit)   158     377         (2,897 )       (176 )
                     
Net loss   (57,508
)   (48,316
)     (266,017 )     (59,346 )
                     
Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interest (b)   (493
)   (401
)     (2,336 )     (297 )
                     
Net loss attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.     (57,015
)     (47,915
)       (263,681 )       (59,049 )
                     
Less: General partner's interest in net loss   (570
)   (479
)       (2,637 )       (590 )
                     
Common unitholders' interest in net loss   $   (56,445 )   $   (47,436 )    $  (261,044 )   $    (58,459 )
                     
Loss Per Common Unit                    
Basic and diluted net loss per common unitholders' interest   $   (0.58 )   $   (0.49 )    $  (2.69 )   $    (0.60 )
                     
Weighted average common units outstanding - basic   97,152.7     97,152.7       97,152.7     97,443.7  
                     


Supplemental Data and Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Items:
                         
    Three months ended     Twelve months ended 
    October 31
  October 31
    2018     2017     2018     2017  
                         
                         
Net loss attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.   $   (57,015 )   $   (47,915 )   $   (263,681 )   $   (59,049 )
  Income tax expense (benefit)     158       377       (2,897 )     (176 )
  Interest expense   43,878     40,807     171,538     157,864  
  Depreciation and amortization expense   18,992     25,732     95,055     102,881  
EBITDA     6,013       19,001       15       201,520  
  Non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge     2,748     3,962     12,645     15,296  
  Non-cash stock based compensation charge (a)     -       -       -     1,417  
  Asset impairments     -       -     10,005       -  
  Loss on asset sales and disposals     4,504     895     191,008     8,929  
  Other income, net     (19 )   (511 )   (436 )   (1,477 )
 Severance expense $358 included in operating expense for both the three and twelve months ended periods ending October 31, 2017. Also includes $1,305 and $1,795 included in general and administrative expense for the three and twelve months ended October 31, 2017, respectively.     -       1,663       -       2,153  
  Legal fees and settlements     3,564       -       9,629       -  
  Multi-employer pension plan withdrawal settlement     1,524       -       1,524       -  
  Exit costs associated with contracts - Midstream dispositions           -       11,804        
 Unrealized (non-cash) loss (gain) on changes in fair value of derivatives $(314) and $1,839 included in cost of sales for the twelve months ended October 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Also includes in cost of sales $1,607 for the three months ended October 31, 2017. Also includes $(2,120) included in operating expense for the twelve months ended October 31, 2017.     -       1,607       (314 )     (281 )
  Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interest (b)   (493 )   (401 )   (2,336   (297 )
Adjusted EBITDA (c)     17,841       26,216       233,544       227,260  
  Net cash interest expense (d)     (40,899 )     (38,057 )     (163,734 )   (148,027 )
  Maintenance capital expenditures (e)     (5,385 )     (8,704 )     (24,298 )   (22,317 )
  Cash refund from (paid for) taxes     (2 )     (6 )     295     (315 )
  Proceeds from certain asset sales     1,061       1,208       9,056       7,440  
Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors (f)     (27,384 )     (19,343 )     54,863       64,041  
Distributable cash flow attributable to general partner and non-controlling interest     (548 )     (387 )     1,097       1,281  
Distributable cash flow attributable to common unitholders (g)     (26,836 )     (18,956 )     53,766       62,760  
Less: Distributions paid to common unitholders     9,715       9,715       38,861       38,860  
Distributable cash flow excess/(shortage)    $  (36,551 )    $  (28,671 )    $  14,905      $  23,900  
                         
Propane gallons sales                        
  Retail - Sales to End Users   129,667     119,294     647,341     572,978  
  Wholesale - Sales to Resellers   48,960     53,429     235,741     227,690  
  Total propane gallons sales   178,627     172,723     883,082     800,668  
                         
                         
(a)  Non-cash stock-based compensation charges consist of the following: 


    Three months ended    Twelve months ended 
    October 31   October 31
      2018     2017     2018     2017
Operating expense    $   -    $    -    $    -    $    567
General and administrative expense       -        -        -        850
Total   $    -    $    -     $   -    $    1,417
                         


(b)  Amounts allocated to the general partner for its 1.0101% interest in the operating partnership, Ferrellgas, L.P.
(c) Adjusted EBITDA is calculated as net loss attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., less the sum of the following: income tax expense (benefit), interest expense, depreciation  and amortization expense, non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge, non-cash stock-based compensation charge, asset impairments, loss on asset  sales and disposals, other income, net, severance expense, legal fees and settlements, multi-employer pension plan withdrawal settlement, exit costs associated with contracts - Midstream dispositions,  unrealized (non-cash) loss (gain) on changes in fair value  of derivatives, and net 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 in accordance with GAAP.
 
 
 
(d) Net cash interest expense is the sum of interest expense less non-cash interest expense and other 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)  Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors is calculated as Adjusted EBITDA minus net cash interest expense, maintenance capital expenditures and cash refund from (paid for) for taxes plus proceeds from certain asset sales. Management considers distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors a meaningful measure of the partnership’s ability to declare and pay quarterly distributions to equity investors. Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors, as management defines it, may not be comparable to distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors or similarly titled measurements used by other corporations and partnerships. Items added into our calculation of distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors that will not occur on a continuing basis may have associated cash payments. Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors may not be consistent with that of other companies and should be viewed in conjunction with measurements that are computed in accordance with GAAP.
(g) Distributable cash flow attributable to common unitholders is calculated as Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors minus distributable cash flow attributable to general partner and noncontrolling interest. Management considers distributable cash flow attributable to common unitholders a meaningful measure of the partnership’s ability to declare and pay quarterly distributions to common unitholders. Distributable cash flow attributable to common unitholders, as management defines it, may not be comparable to distributable cash flow attributable to common unitholders or similarly titled measurements used by other corporations and partnerships. Items added to our calculation of distributable cash flow attributable to common unit holders that will not occur on a continuing basis may have associated cash payments. Distributable cash flow attributable to common unitholders may not be consistent with that of other companies and should be viewed in conjunction with measurements that are computed in accordance with GAAP .

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