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CVR Partners' (UAN) Q1 Earnings and Sales Beat; Down Y/Y

CVR PartnersUAN earnings came in at 25 cents per share in the first quarter of 2016, down 39% from 41 cents reported a year ago. The bottom line, however, surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 21 cents.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $27.9 million in the reported quarter, down from $38.4 million in the first quarter of 2015.
CVR Partners posted revenues of $73.1 million in the quarter, down around 21.5% year over year. Revenues, however, breezed past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $56 million.


Operational Statistics
CVR Partners produced 113,700 tons of ammonia during the first quarter and purchased an additional 3,000 tons, of which 15,100 net tons were available for sale while the rest was upgraded to 248,200 tons of urea ammonium nitrate (“UAN”). 
The company’s Coffeyville plant operated well in the quarter. During its turnaround last year, CVR Partners executed maintenance and made upgrades across the entire plant. As a result of these actions, the company achieved record production levels for both ammonia and UAN during the fourth quarter last year, and has maintained its performance in the first quarter this year.
On-stream factors during the reported quarter were 97.7% for gasification, 97.2% for the ammonia synthesis loop and 91.4% for the UAN conversion facility.
Also, during the quarter, the company made progress in terms of the integration of Rentech Nitrogen's East Dubuque facility. The deal was closed on Apr 1, 2016.
CVR Partners has declared first-quarter 2016 distribution of 27 cents per common unit. The distribution includes roughly 6 cents per common unit of available cash associated with Rentech’s first-quarter 2016 results. The distribution, as set by the board of CVR GP, LLC, the general partner of CVR Partners, will be paid on May 16, to unit holders of record as of May 9, 2016.
CVR Partners ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $52 million, up around 4% year over year. Operating cash flow was $23.6 million for the reported quarter, down roughly 7.1%. Capital spending for the quarter was $1.7 million.
CVR Partners noted a steady demand for nitrogen fertilizer to meet the projected spring planting on corn acres in the U.S. Having completed the acquisition of Rentech Nitrogen Partners, the company expects to benefit from the synergies outlined previously. 
Zacks Rank
CVR Partners currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Other well-ranked companies in the basic materials sector include Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co. Ltd. SHI and Arkema S.A. ARKAY, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company SMG, which carries the same Zacks Rank as CVR Partners.
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