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LSB Industries, Inc. Reports Operating Results for the 2016 First Quarter

OKLAHOMA CITY, May 04, 2016 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- LSB Industries, Inc. (“LSB”) LXU, -2.47% today announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016.

First Quarter Highlights

  • Net sales of $165.6 million; $97.0 million Chemical, $66.6 million Climate Control
  • EBITDA of $(2.0) million; adjusted EBITDA of $14.6 million
  • Operating loss of $12.2 million; adjusted operating income of $1.2 million
  • Net loss applicable to common shareholders of $24.6 million, or $1.08 loss per diluted share; adjusted net loss applicable to common shareholders of $10.7 million, or $0.47 loss per diluted share

“Today we are pleased to report that we are nearing a transformative development in LSB Industries’ life as a public company,” stated Dan Greenwell, LSB’s President and CEO. “The new 375,000 ton per year ammonia plant at our El Dorado Facility is in the final stages of start-up and we expect to be producing ammonia in the next several weeks. At that point we expect to see a material improvement in profitability at the El Dorado Facility reflecting significantly lower feedstock costs, along with a greater overall volume of ammonia to upgrade to other products and to sell as part of our previously announced ammonia offtake agreement.”

“Turning to our first quarter 2016 financial performance, our Chemical Business results declined relative to the prior year quarter due largely to lower selling prices for our agricultural products. Pricing for nitrogen fertilizers has firmed up during the spring season but remains relatively low compared to the last several years. However, a reduction in natural gas costs has partially offset decreases in selling prices. Recent industry forecasts point to an increase in acres of corn to be planted by U.S. growers of approximately 6% this year relative to 2015. This increase, coupled with the poor fall 2015 application season, which led to stronger spring 2016 fertilizer application, makes us optimistic that the trend of lowered pricing for our agricultural products has stabilized.

“Our Chemical Business performance as compared to the first quarter of 2015 also continued to reflect the April 2015 expiration of our contract with Orica for low density ammonium nitrate, which resulted in reduced sales, as well as lost fixed cost absorption, exacerbated by the ongoing cost disadvantage resulting from the use of purchased ammonia at our El Dorado Facility. When the new ammonia plant is up and running, and we commence ammonia sales, and with a full year behind us since the end of the Orica contract, we expect year-over-year sales and profit comparisons for El Dorado to improve dramatically.

“Outside of the headwinds presented by weak agricultural product pricing, our facilities performed well during the quarter. Our Pryor Facility achieved an ammonia on-stream rate of 92% during the first quarter while our Cherokee Facility’s ammonia on-stream rate was 96%. We expect continued consistent production for the balance of 2016 as we focus on the implementation of enhanced reliability programs at all of our facilities.

“With respect to our Climate Control Business, we had a solid first quarter 2016. Sales increased compared to the same quarter last year, driven by stronger demand for our large custom air handlers for the healthcare and industrial sectors. These markets continue to show signs of gradual recovery and we expect to see continued improvement through the balance of the year. Notably, our Climate Control Business generated 120 basis points of gross profit improvement relative to the prior year reflecting the operating leverage inherent in the business as volumes rise, coupled with the increasing benefits of our operational excellence initiatives.”

Mr. Greenwell concluded, “Upon the start-up of our new ammonia plant at El Dorado, we believe that LSB will soon be better positioned to deliver profitable growth than at any time in our Company’s history. With our Pryor and Cherokee Facilities running well, and the other operational enhancements we have been implementing throughout our organization, we currently expect to generate improved earnings and free cash flow, while at the same time, strengthening our balance sheet, which we believe will translate into greater value for our shareholders.”

Chemical Business First Quarter 2016 Compared to First Quarter 2015:

Three Months Ended March 31,
2016 2015 Change
(In millions)
Net sales $ 97.0 $ 131.8 $ (34.8 )
Operating income (loss) $ (10.2 ) $ 16.7 $ (26.9 )
Segment EBITDA* $ 0.5 $ 24.5 $ (24.0 )
Adjusted Segment EBITDA* $ 13.9 $ 24.5 $ (10.6 )

*Refer to Non-GAAP Reconciliations for Segment EBITDA definitions later in this release

Comparison of 2016 to 2015 periods:

  • Net sales of agricultural products decreased significantly, driven by 20-35% declines in selling prices of our key products, as indicated in the table below. Sales volumes were also lower for HDAN and UAN resulting from a slower start to the quarter from residual inventory carry-over from the prior period coupled with reluctance of customers to buy given the declining price environment. We were able to take advantage of a more favorable ammonia market during the period, resulting in lower overall sales of UAN. Industrial acids and other chemical product sales also decreased as a result of lower selling prices. This decrease was partially offset by increased volume from our new nitric acid plant at the El Dorado Facility, which started up in November 2015. The April 2015 expiration of our contract with Orica coupled with continued headwinds in the mining industry also led to decreased volumes as compared to the prior period, coupled with lower sales prices from the pass-through of lower ammonia costs to our contractual customers.
  • Operating income and EBITDA declined primarily as a result of the aforementioned items in addition to a one-time cost of $12.1 million relating to consulting services associated with the reduction of assessed property tax values for the El Dorado projects’ real and personal property for the nitric acid plant, nitric acid concentrator plant and the ammonia plant. We expect material savings in future periods through a reduction in property taxes paid. The El Dorado Facility produces agricultural grade AN, nitric acid and industrial grade AN from purchased ammonia, which is currently at a cost disadvantage compared to products produced from natural gas. This cost disadvantage, along with the impact from the loss of our contract with Orica and certain additional expenses related to the El Dorado Expansion projects, resulted in an EBITDA loss for the El Dorado Facility during the first quarter of 2016 period of approximately $16.3 million compared to positive EBITDA of approximately $1.6 million in first quarter 2015. Natural gas and ammonia feedstock costs both decreased approximately 33% during the first quarter of 2016 relative to the prior year period, the benefits of which were partially offset by operating losses incurred relating to our working interests in certain natural gas properties. Please refer to “Non-GAAP Reconciliation” in the financial tables below for a reconciliation of Non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.
Three Months Ended March 31,
2016 2015
(Dollars in millions)

Sales by Market Sector






Agricultural $ 49.8 51 % $ 71.1 54 % (30 ) %
Industrial, Mining and Other $ 47.2 49 % $ 60.7 46 % (22 ) %
$ 97.0 $ 131.8 (26 ) %

The following tables provide key operating metrics for the Agricultural products of our Chemical Business:

Three Months Ended March 31,

Product (tons sold)

2016 2015 % Change
Urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) 94,306 116,922 (19) %
Ammonium nitrate (AN) 54,548 64,000 (15) %
Ammonia 36,644 30,766 19 %
Other 4,738 3,406 39 %
190,236 215,094 (12) %

Average Selling Prices (price per ton)(A)

UAN $ 180 $ 256 (30) %
AN $ 247 $ 317 (22) %
Ammonia $ 337 $ 513 (34) %

With respect to sales of Industrial, Mining and Other Chemical Products, the following table indicates the volumes sold of our major products:

Three Months Ended March 31,

Product (tons sold)

2016 2015 % Change
Nitric acid 140,530 130,737 7 %
LDAN/HDAN (B) 19,562 27,153 (28) %
AN solution 22,427 23,256 (4) %
Ammonia 7,673 8,418 (9) %
190,192 189,564 0 %

Input Costs

Average purchased ammonia cost/ton $ 328 $ 488 (33)%
Average natural gas cost/MMbtu $ 2.21 $ 3.32


Climate Control Business First Quarter 2016 Compared to First Quarter 2015:

Three Months Ended March 31,
2016 2015 Change
(In millions)
Net sales $ 66.6 $ 65.2 $ 1.4
Operating income $ 5.5 $ 4.3 $ 1.2
Segment EBITDA* $ 6.7 $ 5.5 $ 1.2

*Refer to Non-GAAP Reconciliations for Segment EBITDA definitions later in this release

Comparison of 2016 to 2015 periods:

  • Net sales increased driven primarily by higher sales of custom air handlers reflecting a higher beginning backlog relative to the backlog for these products at the beginning of the prior year period. Net sales of water source and geothermal heat pumps also increased in the first quarter of 2016 as stronger sales to the healthcare sector within our commercial and institutional market more than offset declines in sales of our residential products. Net sales of our hydronic fan coils were impacted by a decline in volume which was partially offset by increased unit selling prices related to favorable product mix.
  • Operating income and EBITDA increased as a result of the stronger...