Release date- 15022017 - DEERFIELD, Ill - CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CF), the global leader in nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing and distribution, today announced results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2016.
Fourth Quarter Highlights
Net loss of $320 million, or $1.38 per diluted share; adjusted net loss(1) of $90 million, or $0.39 per diluted share(1)
EBITDA(2) loss of $135 million; adjusted EBITDA(2) of $133 million
New ammonia and urea plants at Port Neal Nitrogen Complex in operation
Refinanced private placement notes
Shipments of UAN in fourth quarter exceeded two million tons, a company record
Record fourth quarter exports above 500,000 tons
Net loss includes $134 million non-cash impairment charge related to Point Lisas Nitrogen Limited (PLNL)
Full Year Highlights
Net loss of $277 million, or $1.19 per diluted share; adjusted net earnings(1) of $109 million or $0.47 per diluted share(1)
EBITDA(2) of $395 million; adjusted EBITDA(2) of $858 million
Accelerated tax depreciation on capacity expansion projects driving estimated federal and state tax refunds of approximately $800 million, expect to receive in third quarter 2017
Record exports of approximately 1.4 million tons in 2016, 110 percent increase over prior year
(1) See reconciliations of adjusted net earnings and adjusted net earnings per diluted share to the most directly comparable GAAP measures in the tables accompanying this release.
(2) EBITDA is defined as net earnings attributable to common stockholders plus interest expense (income)-net, income taxes, and depreciation and amortization. See reconciliations of EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA to the most directly comparable GAAP measures in the tables accompanying this release.
Overview of Results
CF Industries Holdings, Inc., today announced a fourth quarter 2016 net loss attributable to common stockholders of $320 million, or $1.38 per diluted share, and adjusted net loss of $90 million, or $0.39 per diluted share. Fourth quarter 2016 EBITDA loss was $135 million, and adjusted EBITDA was $133 million. These results compare to fourth quarter 2015 net earnings attributable to common stockholders of $27 million, or $0.11 per diluted share; adjusted net earnings of $168 million, or $0.72 per diluted share; EBITDA of $254 million; and adjusted EBITDA of $445 million. Fourth quarter 2016 results include a realized loss on natural gas hedges of $5 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to a realized loss on natural gas hedges of $30 million for the fourth quarter of 2015.
For the full year 2016, net loss attributable to common stockholders was $277 million, or $1.19 per diluted share, and adjusted net earnings was $109 million, or $0.47 per diluted share. Full year 2016 EBITDA was $395 million, and adjusted EBITDA was $858 million. These results compare to full year 2015 net earnings attributable to common stockholders of $700 million, or $2.96 per diluted share; adjusted net earnings for the full year 2015 of $896 million, or $3.79 per diluted share; EBITDA of $1.67 billion; and adjusted EBITDA of $1.98 billion. Full year 2016 results include a realized loss on natural gas hedges of $133 million, compared to a realized loss on natural gas hedges of $70 million for the full year 2015.
The company expects to receive tax refunds of approximately $800 million due to the carryback of certain federal and state tax losses from the 2016 tax year to prior periods. These tax losses are primarily related to accelerated tax depreciation of the capacity expansion projects that were placed in service in 2016. The cash refunds related to this tax loss carryback are expected to be received in the third quarter of 2017.
During the fourth quarter, the company completed the issuance of $1.25 billion of senior secured notes. The proceeds were used primarily to fund the prepayment of the $1.0 billion principal amount of CF Industries, Inc.'s senior notes due 2022, 2025 and 2027, plus a related make-whole amount of approximately $170 million.
CF Industries has completed a review of its equity method investment in PLNL, the company's 50 percent interest in an ammonia production joint venture located in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. This review assessed the recoverability of the company's carrying value of the investment. During the fourth quarter of 2016, the company recognized an impairment charge of $134 million relating to its investment in PLNL due to projected longer-term challenges with gas availability and potential price increases from the government-controlled gas supplier.
CF Industries' manufacturing network operated safely and efficiently during the fourth quarter of 2016. As of December 31, 2016, CF Industries' 12-month rolling average recordable incident rate was 1.16 incidents per 200,000 work hours, well below industry averages. Ammonia utilization rate during the quarter across the manufacturing network was 99 percent.
During the fourth quarter, the company completed its capacity expansion projects as the new ammonia and urea plants at the Port Neal Nitrogen Complex were successfully commissioned and started-up. Both new plants are producing on-spec product for sale.
'Our expansion projects are complete, and the company's production capacity is now 25 percent greater on a nutrient ton basis than it was this time last year,' said Tony Will, president and chief executive officer, CF Industries Holdings, Inc. 'With our cash generation capability strengthened significantly as a result, and the structural advantages of being the low cost producer in an import-dependent region, we believe CF is the best-positioned company to benefit both from the improving market in the first half of 2017 and from the sustained recovery we see ahead for the sector over the next several years.'
Net sales in the fourth quarter of 2016 decreased to $867 million from $1,115 million in the same period last year due to lower average selling prices across all segments. Excess global nitrogen supply continued to pressure prices as it had throughout 2016. The average selling price for ammonia was $277 per ton in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $458 per ton in the fourth quarter of 2015. Similarly, the average selling price for urea was $214 per ton in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $275 per ton in the fourth quarter of 2015, and the average selling price for UAN was $149 per ton in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $230 per ton in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Sales volume for the quarter increased compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, partially offsetting the decrease in average prices. Greater volumes were available for sale due to the company's completed capacity expansion projects. Additionally, exports of UAN and ammonia were significantly higher year-over-year as the company continues to develop a global portfolio of customers in order to optimize the overall business.
Cost of sales decreased in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 due primarily to an unrealized net mark-to-market gain on natural gas derivatives of $91 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to an unrealized net mark-to-market loss on natural gas derivatives of $97 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. This was partially offset by the impact of higher volumes in 2016, $34 million in start-up costs related to the new Port Neal ammonia and urea plants, and an increase of $43 million in depreciation related to the capacity expansion projects compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, the average cost of natural gas reflected in cost of sales for the company was $3.24 per MMBtu, which includes a realized loss of $0.06 per MMBtu on natural gas hedges, totaling $5 million. This compares to the average cost of natural gas in cost of sales of $3.23 per MMBtu for the fourth quarter of 2015, which included a realized loss of $0.41 per MMBtu on natural gas hedges totaling $30 million. During the fourth quarter of 2016, the average price of natural gas at Henry Hub in North America was $2.99 per MMBtu, and the average price of natural gas at the National Balancing Point in the United Kingdom was $5.69 per MMBtu.
The company did not enter into any additional natural gas hedges in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Global nitrogen prices rose during the fourth quarter of 2016. U.S. prices also increased, but remained below international parity. The average U.S. Gulf urea barge price was approximately $180 per ton at the start of the fourth quarter and increased to approximately $240 per ton by the end of the quarter. The average U.S. Gulf UAN barge price was approximately $130 per ton at the start of the fourth quarter and increased to $153 per ton by the end of the quarter.
A decline in Chinese urea exports, from more than one million tonnes per month in the first quarter of 2016 to an average of approximately 470,000 tonnes per month in the fourth quarter, has been a key driver of increased global nitrogen prices. Rising costs for marginal producers in China, including significantly higher coal costs compared to the middle of 2016 along with reduced urea subsidies, and concerns over pollution and air quality drove urea operating rates, according to published reports, down to approximately 50 percent in that country during the fourth quarter. At these operating rates, Chinese demand for urea is expected to exceed available domestic supply during the spring. Chinese manufacturers will need to increase urea production, or purchasers will need to import urea, in order to meet seasonal domestic needs. As a result, CF expects global prices will be supported through the first half of the year due to limited Chinese export availability. For the full year 2017, Chinese urea exports are expected to decline from 8.9 million tonnes in 2016 to an anticipated range of approximately 5-6 million tonnes.
Higher hydrocarbon feedstock costs compared to the lows of early and mid-2016 are also supporting higher nitrogen prices. Higher oil prices have led to increased prices for contract gas in Europe. The strengthened Russian ruble has led to higher U.S. dollar gas prices in that country.
Import activity into North America during the fourth quarter of 2016 was lower than the fourth quarter of 2015 driven in part by regional prices that were below international parity. Additionally, the impact of the new North American capacity brought online during 2016 and expectations for the startup of additional new capacity in the region lowered the perceived economic incentive for North American purchasers to import product.
CF Industries expects North American demand for nitrogen in 2017 to be relatively unchanged compared to 2016. In the United States, the company forecasts 89.5 million acres of corn planted and fewer than 50 million acres of wheat planted, while in Canada lower grain planting is anticipated to be largely offset by increased canola plantings. As a result, total North American nitrogen fertilizer demand is projected to be roughly 16 million nutrient tons for full year 2017. Based on this, approximately 7 million nutrient tons of imported nitrogen will be required to meet North American agricultural and industrial demand for the full year 2017.
The company expects nitrogen prices in North America during the first half of 2017 to continue to improve into the second quarter, driven by the same factors currently supporting the higher global prices. As additional nitrogen capacity comes online globally during 2017, including a significant increase in North America, market price uncertainty exists for the second half of the year before a more sustained global nitrogen price recovery is expected to begin in 2018.
New capital expenditures for 2017 are estimated to be in the range of approximately $400 to $450 million for sustaining and other, a level that continues the company's commitment to safe, reliable and compliant operations. Actual cash expenditures will also reflect amounts accrued but not paid in 2016. At December 31, 2016, approximately $225 million was accrued related to activities in 2016.
As of December 31, 2016, the company had a balance of cash and cash equivalents of $1.16 billion, had no borrowings outstanding under its revolving credit facility and was in compliance with all applicable covenant requirements under its debt instruments.
CHS Inc. Distribution
On January 31, 2017, the Board of Managers of CF Industries Nitrogen, LLC approved a semi-annual distribution payment to CHS Inc. of $48 million for the distribution period ended December 31, 2016. The distribution was paid on January 31, 2017. The total distribution approved pertaining to 2016 was approximately $128 million.
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