Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. Reports Results for First Quarter Fiscal 2016
Strong Performance From Bridger With Meaningful Progress on Acquisition Integration
Ferrellgas Continues Successful Ongoing Transformation Into a Diversified Midstream MLPOVERLAND PARK, Kan., Dec. 09, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (NYSE:FGP) today announced Adjusted EBITDA of $48.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 ended October 31, up 42% from $34.4 million in the same quarter of last year, due to strong results from the Bridger acquisition, which the partnership completed in June 2015. Distributable Cash Flow (DCF) to equity investors for the quarter was $11.2 million, producing DCF coverage of 1.08x for the trailing twelve month period.President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen L. Wambold commented, “We are excited to report a solid first quarter that represents our first full quarter of combined results following the completed acquisition of Bridger and officially welcoming the organization into the Ferrellgas family. We continue to integrate Bridger, which will serve as a platform for continued midstream growth and diversification. We are also encouraged by the continued solid financial and operational performance of our Propane segment. While persisting warmer nationwide temperatures during our first fiscal quarter put pressure on our Propane segment’s results, our flexibility, focus on maintaining strong margins and commitment to containing retail expenses allowed us to offset the unfavorable operating environment.”Mr. Wambold concluded, “We are more excited than ever about the future of Ferrellgas and the strong pipeline of acquisition and organic development opportunities. With our acquisition of Bridger we have established a firm foundation for a powerful midstream growth platform and we expect to continue developing our already diverse footprint and extensive customer base in high-growth regions over the course of fiscal 2016 and beyond.”Propane margin cents per gallon continued to benefit from lower wholesale commodity prices, and during the first fiscal quarter, prices were 57% lower than those of the same quarter in fiscal 2015. Strong margin cents per gallon and lower operating expenses in the Propane and related equipment sales segment helped minimize the effect of warmer temperatures in the more highly concentrated geographic areas Ferrellgas serves. Temperatures were 31% warmer than normal and 13% warmer than prior year for the first fiscal quarter.Adjusted EBITDA from the Midstream – Crude Oil Logistics segment was $24.8 million during the first fiscal quarter, driven exclusively by the Bridger acquisition which exceeded management’s expectations for the first full fiscal quarter subsequent to the closing of the acquisition. These results reflect management’s focus on expense controls as well as Bridger’s strong customer relationships and contractual agreements which helped navigate a volatile commodity price environment. The partnership is on pace to generate $100 million of adjusted EBITDA in this segment for full-year fiscal 2016.Operating expense for the first quarter increased to $115.0 million from $102.9 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2015, primarily due to the additional operating expenses associated with the Bridger acquisition. General and administrative expense rose to $12.2 million from $10.8 million in the fiscal first quarter of 2015, also as a result of the acquisition.Interest expense increased to $33.8 million for the first fiscal quarter from $23.9 million a year ago, reflecting increased borrowings to fund acquisition and growth capital expenditures. The seasonal Net loss for the quarter was $80.6 million, or $0.79 per common unit, compared to $33.2 million, or $0.40 per common unit in the prior year quarter. The increase in seasonal Net loss is due in part to a one-time, non-cash goodwill write-off related to the partnership’s midstream water solutions operations and a one-time loss on trucks held for sale.Ferrellgas today also reaffirmed its previously provided estimates for full-year fiscal 2016 Adjusted EBITDA of $400 million to $420 million based on continued confidence in the partnership’s traditional retail operations and expected strong contributions from Bridger.About FerrellgasFerrellgas Partners, L.P., through its operating partnership, Ferrellgas, L.P., and subsidiaries, serves propane customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and provides midstream services to major energy companies in the United States. Ferrellgas employees indirectly own 22.8 million common units of the partnership, through an employee stock ownership plan. Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. filed a Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 29, 2015. Investors can request a hard copy of this filing free of charge and obtain more information about the partnership online at www.ferrellgas.com.Statements in this release concerning expectations for the future are forward-looking statements. A variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause results, performance and expectations to differ materially from anticipated results, performance and expectations. These risks, uncertainties and other factors are discussed in the Form 10-K of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp., Ferrellgas, L.P., and Ferrellgas Finance Corp. for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2015, in the Form 10-Q of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp., Ferrellgas, L.P., and Ferrellgas Finance Corp. for the quarter ended October 31, 2015 and in other documents filed from time to time by these entities with the Securities and Exchange Commission.