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U.S. Silica (SLCA) Q1 Loss Lower than Expected, Sales Trail

U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc. SLCA recorded a net loss of $10.7 million or 20 cents per share in the first quarter of 2016 against a net income of $14.8 million or 28 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. Results were hurt by lower volumes as well as prices in the Oil and Gas segment, as the market turned increasingly competitive.

Barring one-time restructuring cost of $2.2 million and a $1.5 million insurance settlement gain, U.S. Silica’s adjusted loss came in at 19 cents per share in the quarter. Analysts polled by Zacks had expected a loss of 28 cents on an average and the results provided a positive surprise of 32.14%.

Revenues plunged around 40% year over year to $122.5 million in the reported quarter. The figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $125 million. The top line was adversely impacted by lower sales volumes coupled with reduced oil prices. Overall sales volume fell 15% year over year in the quarter to 2.3 million tons.

U.S. Silica’s shares rose 5.8% to close at $26.59 last Wednesday.

 

 

Segment Analysis

Revenues for the Oil & Gas division aggregated $73.9 million in the first quarter of 2016, down roughly 50% year over year. Overall sales volume fell 16% in the quarter to 1.4 million tons from 1.7 million tons sold in the prior-year quarter.

Revenues for the Industrial and Specialty Products division aggregated $48.6 million in the first quarter, down roughly 12% year over year. Overall sales volume declined 12% in the quarter to 0.9 million tons.

Financials

U.S. Silica had $463.4 million in cash and cash equivalents as of Mar 31, 2016, up roughly 83.5% from $252.5 million a year ago. Long-term debt as of Mar 31, 2016 was $487.5 million, down 0.7% from $490.9 million in 2015. The company completed a public offering of 10 million common shares in the quarter worth $186.2 million.

Outlook

Owing to lack of visibility in the Oil and Gas business, U.S. Silica said that it will not provide any guidance for adjusted EBITDA until it gets a clear picture of business activity levels and related demand for its products. Looking at current market conditions, U.S. Silica expects its capital expenditures for 2016 to be in the range of $15–$20 million.

The company’s decision to raise capital in the reported quarter enhanced its financial flexibility and strengthened its balance sheet. Expecting further downward pressure in the Oil and Gas segment for the second quarter of 2016, management is currently focusing on tight cash management, business efficiency and cost reduction. The company believes these measures will help it survive in the current downturn and increase profitability when the market reverses.

Zacks Rank

U.S. Silica currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials sector include Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. TRQ, sporting a Zacks #1 (Strong Buy), BHP Billiton Limited BHP and General Moly, Inc. GMO, both holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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