May 8, 2019 - First Quarter 2019 Highlights
Foresight Energy LP (“Foresight” or the “Partnership”) (FELP) today reported financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019. Foresight generated first quarter coal sales revenues of $267.3 million on sales volumes of nearly 5.7 million tons, resulting in a net loss of $16.8 million, Adjusted EBITDA of $65.5 million, and cash flows from operations of $49.2 million. Production was strong with the mines safely and efficiently producing over 6 million tons during the quarter. Foresight also announced that the Board of Directors of its General Partner has suspended the quarterly distribution to common unitholders.
“Despite the difficult flooding conditions experienced on the river and at our ports on the Gulf, we exported nearly 2.2 million tons during the quarter and, given our contracted position, we maintained sales realizations even though we continue to see a decline in API2 pricing,” remarked Mr. Robert D. Moore, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. “These factors, combined with our continued industry-leading cost structure, allowed us to maintain comparable margins quarter-over-quarter.”
Mr. Moore further commented, “Regarding the decision to suspend the quarterly cash distribution at this time, the Board considered the current export price environment and challenging logistical conditions, the desire to maintain financial strength and flexibility, and other factors to conclude that our cash resources would be best directed towards other uses including, among other things, liquidity improvement and debt reduction.”
Consolidated Financial Results
Quarter Ended March 31, 2019 Compared to Quarter Ended March 31, 2018
Coal sales totaled $267.3 million for the first quarter 2019 compared to $238.4 million for the first quarter 2018, representing an increase of $28.9 million, or over 12%. The increase in coal sales revenues was driven by a nearly 9%, or 456 thousand ton, increase in tons sold combined with an increase in coal sales realizations of over 3%, or $1.44 per ton sold. The increases in sales volumes and sales realizations per ton were primarily the result of increased export sales. Although API2 pricing has declined during the first quarter 2019, Foresight’s contracted position allowed it to maintain comparable coal sales realizations on export tons.
Cost of coal produced was $134.0 million for the first quarter 2019 compared to $120.6 million for the first quarter 2018. The increase in cost of coal produced was primarily due to higher sales volumes during the first quarter 2019, as the cost per ton sold was comparable quarter-over-quarter.
Transportation costs increased approximately $12.4 million from the first quarter 2018 to the first quarter 2019 because of higher sales volumes and a higher percentage of sales going to the export market during the current quarter and the additional transportation and transloading costs associated therewith.
The small increase in selling, general and administrative expense during the first quarter 2019 was primarily due to increased sales and marketing expense associated with increased export sales volumes.
Interest expense during the first quarter 2019 increased $1.0 million compared to interest expense during the first quarter 2018 primarily due to outstanding borrowings on the revolving credit facility and overall higher variable interest rates during the current quarter, offset by lower overall outstanding principal balances.
During the first quarter 2019, Foresight generated operating cash flows of $49.2 million and ended the quarter with $3.5 million in cash and $112.7 million of available borrowing capacity, net of outstanding borrowings and letters of credit, under its revolving credit facility. Capital expenditures for the first quarter 2019 totaled $35.1 million compared $16.5 million for the first quarter 2018. The increase in capital expenditures was primarily the result of land purchases, a new portal at the Sugar Camp complex, and development of the Hillsboro complex.
Guidance for 2019
Based on Foresight’s contracted position, recent performance, and its current outlook on pricing and the coal markets in general, the Partnership is updating the following guidance for 2019:
Sales Volumes – Based on current committed position and expectations for 2019, Foresight is projecting sales volumes to be between 20.0 and 22.0 million tons, with over 6.0 million tons expected to be sold into the international market.
Adjusted EBITDA – Based on the projected sales volumes and operating cost structure, Foresight currently expects to generate Adjusted EBITDA in a range of $260 to $300 million.
Capital Expenditures – Total 2019 capital expenditures are estimated to be between $70 and $85 million.
Foresight is a leading producer and marketer of thermal coal controlling nearly 2.1 billion tons of coal reserves in the Illinois Basin. Foresight currently operates two longwall mining complexes with three longwall mining systems (Williamson (one longwall mining system) and Sugar Camp (two longwall mining systems)), one continuous mining operation (Macoupin) and the Sitran river terminal on the Ohio River. Additionally, Foresight has recently resumed continuous miner production at its Hillsboro complex and continues to evaluate potential future mining options. Foresight’s operations are strategically located near multiple rail and river transportation access points, providing transportation cost certainty and flexibility to direct shipments to the domestic and international markets.