The following excerpt is from the company's
Rhino Resource Partners LP Announces Third Quarter 2015 Financial and Operating Results
LEXINGTON, Ky., Oct. 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rhino Resource Partners LP (NYSE:RNO) ("Rhino" or the "Partnership") announced today its financial and operating results for the quarter ended September 30, 2015. For the quarter, the Partnership reported a net loss of $9.3 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $2.8 million, compared to a net loss of $8.9 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $1.8 million in the third quarter of 2014. Diluted net loss per common unit was $0.31 for the quarter compared to diluted net loss per common uni t of $0.28 for the third quarter of 2014. Total revenues for the quarter were $54.1 million, with coal sales generating $45.5 million of the total, compared to total revenues of $61.4 million and coal revenues of $52.3 million in the third quarter of 2014. (Refer to "Reconciliations of Adjusted EBITDA" included later in this release for reconciliations to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures).
On October 19, 2015, the Partnership announced the cash distribution for its common units remained suspended for the current quarter. No distribution will be paid for common or subordinated units for the quarter ended September 30, 2015.
Joe Funk, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rhino's general partner, stated, "We have continued to proactively manage the Partnership's cash flow and liquidity during these challenging market conditions. The continued suspension of the common unit distribution and the lowering of our cost structure has continued to optimize our cash flow as we look to preserve the long-term value of the Partnership. We believe our focus on cost and productivity improvements at our ongoing core operations will provide us the flexibility to continue exploring non-coal investments, which we believe will enhance the long-term value of the Partnership.
Our proactive focus on the Partnership's cash flow allowed us to reduce our debt balance with approximately $48 million drawn on the bank line of credit at the end of September, which is approximately $6.5 million lower compared to the balance at year-end. Our balance sheet remains strong with this relatively low debt level compared to many competitors in the coal industry along with our low level of legacy liabilities.
Our priority on maintaining our excellent safety record at all of our operations has continued through these difficult market conditions. We have focused on making capital purchases only after they have been strongly justified, which has helped to preserve our liquidity during these challenging times.
Low natural gas prices have continued to adversely affect the coal markets. During the third quarter, we idled the majority of our Central Appalachia mining operations as we had built excess coal inventory levels due to the ongoing weak market conditions. We have been able to reduce our inventory levels this quarter as we completed strategic sales transactions to monetize this inventory. We will continue to monetize our Central Appalachia inventory in the fourth quarter to generate cash for the Partnership to further reduce our debt level. The majority of our Central Appalachia operations will remain idle in the fourth quarter as we are able to meet customer demands by shipping coal from our coal inventories.
In Northern Appalachia, our cost structure has improved at our Hopedale operation and the railroad transportation constraints that had affected this region in prior quarters also improved during the quarter. These improvements along with increased customer demand at our Sands Hill operation led to improved financial results in the quarter. Our Castle Valley operation continued to provide positive cash flow as results improved sequentially from the second quarter, although temporary coal quality issues encountered during this quarter restricted production and customer shipments and limited financial results this quarter when compared to the prior year. We believe the coal quality issues at Castle Valley will improve during the remainder of 2015 as we plan to mine higher quality coal sections in the mine and we are on track to meet our annual contracted customer demand for coal from this operation.
Our Pennyrile mine has increased productivity in its mining operations since its initial startup last year. The second mining section at Pennyrile received permission for its deep cut mining plan, which has contributed to the increased productivity at this location. During the fourth quarter, we will increase the coal processing capability of the Pennyrile preparation plant, which should lead to future cost improvements. Pennyrile is making shipments on the new long-term sales contract we recently executed with a second local utility customer along with continued shipments to fulfill our base 800,000 ton per year contract. Pennyrile gives us additional diversification and we expect it to be a significant generator of stable cash flow as it ramps up to its full potential run rate of two million tons per year."
Further, Mr. Funk stated, "The dissolution of the Rhino Eastern joint venture in January 2015 has continued to improve our cash flow and operating results compared to the prior year. During the third quarter, the divestiture of the Rhino Eastern joint venture improved our cash flow by approximately $4 million compared to the prior year."
Rhino Strategy Update
During these challenging market conditions, Rhino has focused on minimizing the carrying costs on its non-core, non-operating assets. During the second quarter of 2015, Rhino completed the transfer of its Bevins Branch surface mine operation in Central Appalachia to a third party, which reduced Rhino's annual carrying costs for this idle operation and relieved the Partnership of reclamation liabilities and bonding requirements related to this operation. In the third quarter of 2015, Rhino completed the sale of its non-core Cana Woodford oil and gas properties in Oklahoma for approximately $5.6 million of net proceeds. These transactions and the focus on other cost savings have helped to reduce the Partnership's debt level by approximately $6.5 million this year.
In Central Appalachia, Rhino's strategy has focused on potential divestitures of certain mining operations, while retaining the mineral ownership or mineral rights to these properties that could generate future royalty income streams. This strategy would reduce the Partnership's operational risk, reclamation liabilities and bonding requirements, while converting these properties to royalty generating assets that would provide stable, long-term cash flows to the Partnership. At Rhino's other coal mining operations in Northern Appalachia, the Illinois Basin and the Western Bituminous region, the Partnership's strategy is to secure profitable, long-term sales contracts and keep operating costs low to maximize cash flows. Rhino continues to evaluate its other non-core assets for potential divestiture to potentially monetize these assets and further reduce the Partnership's debt level.
Rhino believes this strategy will lead to potential investments in other natural resource assets outside of the coal industry, which will diversify the Partnership's cash flow streams and enhance the long-term value of the Partnership.
Coal Operations Update
Pennyrile's long-term sales contracts have committed sales of 1.2 million tons in 2016 and 1.35 million tons in 2017.
Rhino is expanding the processing capacity of the Pennyrile coal preparation plant in the fourth quarter to fulfill current long-term contracts, which is expected to result in future cost improvements.
The approved deep cut mining plan for the second mining section at the Riveredge mine at Pennyrile has resulted in higher productivity and is expected to result in lower mining costs in the future.
Rhino's Pennyrile operations produced approximately 230,000 tons during the third quarter while coal sales were approximately 210,000 tons.
Pennyrile's sales are fully contracted through 2015 and 2016 at current production levels.
Rhino's cost of operations per ton improved year-over-year as mining conditions improved at Hopedale. For the third quarter, year-over-year coal revenues per ton decreased $0.19 to $59.13 while cost of operations costs per ton decreased by $10.37 to $49.68.
Sales volume was 264,000 tons, versus 244,000 tons in the prior year and 253,000 tons in the prior quarter.
Sales at Rhino's Hopedale and Sands Hill operations in Northern Appalachia are fully contracted through 2015.
Coal revenues per ton in the quarter decreased to $37.13 versus $41.06 in the prior year and $37.59 in the prior quarter. Coal revenues per ton decreased due to lower contracted prices for coal from Rhino's Castle Valley mine. Sales volume was 234,000 tons versus 298,000 tons in the prior year and 268,000 tons in the prior quarter.
Cost of operations per ton was $30.91 versus $30.22 in the prior year and $34.16 in the prior quarter. Castle Valley had higher maintenance and other expenses in the prior quarter, which led to the quarter-to-quarter decrease in cost of operations per ton.
Castle Valley's sales remain fully contracted through 2016.
Coal revenues per ton in the quarter was $49.59 versus $67.83 in the prior year and $58.65 in the prior quarter. Metallurgical coal revenue per ton in the quarter was $81.85 versus $74.90 in the prior year and $81.83 in the prior quarter. Steam coal revenue in the quarter was $44.39 per ton versus $64.81 in the prior year and $52.57 in the prior quarter. Sales volume was 232,000 tons in the quarter versus 330,000 in the prior year and 233,000 tons in the prior quarter.
Cost of operations per ton in the quarter was $65.98 versus $66.09 in the prior year and $54.95 in the prior quarter.
Rhino idled the majority of its Central Appalachia mining operations in the third quarter to reduce excess inventory stockpiles. The duration these operations remain idle will depend upon future coal market conditions.
Deane Mining Complex
The Partnership's Deane mining complex is located in eastern Kentucky and includes one underground mine that is currently idle. The infrastructure at the Deane mining complex consists of a preparation plant and a unit train loadout facility. The Partnership is currently negotiating with multiple third parties for the potential sale of the Deane mining complex. The contemplated sale of the Deane complex would transfer the underground mine, related equipment, the preparation plant and loadout facility, while the Partnership would retain the mineral rights for the 39.3 million tons of proven and probable steam coal reserves at this complex. The contemplated transaction would also include a royalty agreement with the third party pursuant to which the Partnership would collect future royalties for coal mined and sold from the Deane complex. The proposed sale of the Deane complex would also relieve the Partnership of significant reclamation liabilities and bonding requirements. The Partnership evaluated the appropriate held for sale accounting criteria to determine if the Deane mining complex should be classified as held for sale as of September 30, 2015. Based on this evaluation, the Partnership determined the Deane mining complex met the held for sale criteria at September 30, 2015 and the Partnership recorded an impairment charge of approximately $2.3 million for the Deane complex in the third quarter of 2015.
In August 2015, the Rhino completed the sale of its oil and natural gas investment of approximately 1,900 net mineral acres in the Cana Woodford region of western Oklahoma. The Partnership received a total of approximately $5.7 million in proceeds from the sale of the Cana Woodford oil and natural gas mineral rights. The proceeds from the sale of Cana Woodford were used to reduce the outstanding balance on Rhino's revolving credit facility. In the second quarter of 2015, the Partnership evaluated the appropriate held for sale accounting criteria to determine if the Cana Woodford mineral rights should be classified as held for sale as of June 30, 2015. Based on this evaluation, the Partnership determined these mineral rights met the held for sale criteria at June 30, 2015 and, accordingly, these mineral rights were written down to their estimated fair value. Due to the determination that the mineral rights met the held for sale criteria, the Partnership recorded an impairment charge of approximately $2.2 million for the Cana Woodford mineral rights during the second quarter of 2015.
Rhino's total capital expenditures decreased approximately $6 million this quarter compared to the prior year as the Partnership continues its focus on justifying capital expenditures.
Maintenance capital expenditures for the third quarter were approximately $1.0 million.
Expansion capital expenditures for the third quarter were approximately $3.2 million, which consisted of funding the completed development of Pennyrile.
The table below displays Rhino's committed coal sales for the periods indicated.
Northern Appalachia/Illinois Basin
The Partnership evaluated its amended and restated senior secured credit facility at September 30, 2015 to determine whether this debt liability should be classified as a long-term or short-term liability on the Partnership's unaudited condensed consolidated statements of financial position. In April 2015, the Partnership entered into a third amendment of its amended and restated senior secured credit facility (see Note 9 for further details of the third amendment). The third amendment extended the expiration date of the amended and restated credit agreement to July 2017. The extension is contingent upon (i) the Partnership's leverage ratio being less than or equal to 2.75 to 1.0 and (ii) the Partnership having liquidity greater than or equal to $15 million, in each case for either the quarter ending December 31, 2015 or March 31, 2016. If both of these conditions are not satisfied for one of such quarters, the expiration date of the amended and restated credit...