WHIPPANY, N.J., May 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. (the "Partnership") (NYSE: SPH), a nationwide distributor of propane gas, fuel oil and refined fuels and related products and services, as well as a marketer of natural gas and electricity, today announced earnings for the second quarter ended March 29, 2008. Net income amounted to $94.5 million, or $2.89 per Common Unit, compared to $105.9 million, or $3.24 per Common Unit, in the prior year quarter. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 amounted to $111.5 million compared to $123.1 million in the prior year quarter.
The second quarter of 2008 presented a very challenging operating environment for the entire industry, characterized by a continuation of the unprecedented rise in commodity prices which drove continued customer conservation, coupled with warmer than normal temperatures. Average posted prices for propane and heating oil increased 51.6% and 65.0%, respectively, compared to the prior year second quarter. Average temperatures in our service territories for the three months ended March 29, 2008 were 3% warmer than the prior year second quarter, and 5% warmer than normal. However, with continued improvements in operating efficiencies and the Partnership's flexible cost structure, combined operating and general and administrative expenses for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 were $9.4 million, or 9.0%, lower than the prior year second quarter. The 2007 second quarter results reflected incremental margin opportunities of approximately $8.3 million due to favorable market conditions that affected the supply and pricing structure for propane and fuel oil. These favorable market conditions and resulting incremental margin opportunities were not present during the fiscal 2008 second quarter.
In announcing these results, Chief Executive Officer Mark A. Alexander said, "Record high commodity prices driving conservation, warmer average temperatures and a slowing economy are all factors contributing to an industry-wide drop in volumes. However, the steps taken over the past few years to focus on driving efficiencies within our operating platform now appear even more timely. We are very pleased with this quarter's results, particularly in such a challenging environment."
Retail propane gallons sold in the second quarter of fiscal 2008 decreased 20.5 million gallons, or 12.3%, to 146.3 million gallons compared to 166.8 million gallons in the prior year quarter. Sales of fuel oil and refined fuels decreased 12.6 million gallons, or 28.6%, to 31.4 million gallons during the second quarter of fiscal 2008 compared to 44.0 million gallons in the prior year quarter. Lower volumes in both segments were attributable to ongoing customer conservation, warmer than normal temperatures, as well as, to a lesser extent, the effects of eliminating certain lower margin accounts which occurred throughout much of the prior year.
Revenues of $587.1 million increased $32.0 million, or 5.8%, compared to the prior year second quarter as lower volumes were offset by higher average selling prices associated with higher product costs. Cost of products sold increased $53.5 million, or 16.3%, to $380.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2008 compared to $327.3 million in the prior year second quarter, primarily resulting from the unprecedented rise in commodity prices. Cost of products sold in the second quarter of fiscal 2008 included a $2.3 million unrealized (non-cash) loss attributable to the mark-to-market on derivative instruments ("FAS 133"), compared to a $6.6 million unrealized (non-cash) loss in the prior year quarter; these losses are excluded from Adjusted EBITDA for both periods in the table below.
Combined operating and general and administrative expenses of $94.9 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 were $9.4 million, or 9.0%, lower than the prior year quarter as a result of continued savings in payroll and benefit related expenses, including variable compensation resulting from lower earnings. In addition, despite a significant rise in diesel costs to operate the Partnership's fleet, overall vehicle expenditures were relatively flat compared to the prior year second quarter as a result of operating efficiencies and a lower vehicle count. As has been the case since April 2006, there were no borrowings under the Partnership's working capital facility as seasonal working capital needs continue to be funded from cash on hand, despite the dramatic rise in commodity prices. The Partnership ended the second quarter of fiscal 2008 with more than $100.0 million of cash on hand.
On April 24, 2008, the Partnership announced that its Board of Supervisors declared the seventeenth increase (since the Partnership's recapitalization in 1999) in the Partnership's quarterly distribution from $0.7625 to $0.775 per Common Unit for the three months ended March 29, 2008. On an annualized basis, this increased distribution rate equates to $3.10 per Common Unit, an increase of $0.05 per Common Unit, or 10.7%, compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2007. The $0.775 per Common Unit distribution will be paid on May 13, 2008 to Common Unitholders of record as of May 6, 2008.
Mr. Alexander added, "These are challenging times for the industry, but the efficiency and flexibility of our operating platform and our financial strength should continue to help us effectively manage through this difficult environment and to deliver increased value to our Unitholders. With this most recent increase, our annualized distribution rate is $3.10 per Common Unit, a growth rate of nearly 11% year-over-year."
Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. is a publicly-traded master limited partnership listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Headquartered in Whippany, New Jersey, Suburban has been in the customer service business since 1928. The Partnership serves the energy needs of approximately 1,000,000 residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers through approximately 300 locations in 30 states.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to future business expectations of financial condition and results of operations of the Partnership, based on management's current good faith expectations and beliefs concerning future developments. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed or implied in such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following:
-- The impact of weather conditions on the demand for propane, fuel oil and other refined fuels, natural gas and electricity; -- Fluctuations in the unit cost of propane, fuel oil and other refined fuels and natural gas, and the impact of price increases on customer conservation; -- The ability of the Partnership to compete with other suppliers of propane, fuel oil and other energy sources; -- The impact on the price and supply of propane, fuel oil and other refined fuels from the political, military or economic instability of the oil producing nations, global terrorism and other general economic conditions; -- The ability of the Partnership to acquire and maintain reliable transportation for its propane, fuel oil and other refined fuels; -- The ability of the Partnership to retain customers; -- The impact of customer conservation, energy efficiency and technology advances on the demand for propane and fuel oil; -- The ability of management to continue to control expenses; -- The impact of changes in applicable statutes and government regulations, or their interpretations, including those relating to the environment and global warming and other regulatory developments on the Partnership's business; -- The impact of legal proceedings on the Partnership's business; -- The impact of operating hazards that could adversely affect the Partnership's operating results to the extent not covered by insurance; and -- The Partnership's ability to make strategic acquisitions and successfully integrate them.
Some of these risks and uncertainties are discussed in more detail in the Partnership's Annual Report on Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended September 29, 2007 and other periodic reports filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which reflect management's view only as of the date made. The Partnership undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.
Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. and Subsidiaries Consolidated Statements of Operations For the Three and Six Months Ended March 29, 2008 and March 31, 2007 (in thousands, except per unit amounts) (unaudited) Three Months Ended Six Months Ended March 29, March 31, March 29, March 31, 2008 2007 2008 2007 Revenues Propane $422,376 $391,236 $729,701 $677,036 Fuel oil and refined fuels 114,312 111,215 192,347 180,085 Natural gas and electricity 38,203 36,455 62,186 59,200 Services 11,096 14,671 25,568 33,130 All other 1,110 1,534 2,404 3,568 587,097 555,111 1,012,206 953,019 Costs and expenses Cost of products sold 380,757 327,347 658,472 558,221 Operating 79,697 88,553 159,040 172,228 General and administrative 15,161 15,693 24,364 28,595 Restructuring charges and severance costs - 1,100 - 1,485 Depreciation and amortization 7,107 7,446 14,166 14,456 482,722 440,139 856,042 774,985 Income before interest expense and provision for income taxes 104,375 114,972 156,164 178,034 Interest expense, net 9,418 9,322 17,806 18,538 Income before provision for income taxes 94,957 105,650 138,358 159,496 Provision for income taxes - current and deferred 434 378 2,113 1,140 Income from continuing operations 94,523 105,272 136,245 158,356 Discontinued operations: Gain on disposal of discontinued operations - - 43,707 1,002 Income from discontinued operations - 588 - 1,156 Net income $94,523 $105,860 $179,952 $160,514 Income from continuing operations per Common Unit - basic $2.89 $3.22 $4.16 $4.88 Discontinued operations - 0.02 1.34 0.07 Net income per Common Unit - basic $2.89 $3.24 $5.50 $4.95 Weighted average number of Common Units outstanding - basic 32,725 32,673 32,716 32,433 Income from continuing operations per Common Unit - diluted $2.87 $3.20 $4.14 $4.86 Discontinued operations - 0.02 1.33 0.07 Net income per Common Unit - diluted $2.87 $3.22 $5.47 $4.93 Weighted average number of Common Units outstanding - diluted 32,959 32,844 32,926 32,585 Supplemental Information: EBITDA (a) $111,482 $123,130 $214,037 $194,898 Adjusted EBITDA (a) $113,817 $129,714 $219,055 $202,470 Retail gallons sold: Propane 146,252 166,796 258,189 288,560 Refined fuels 31,435 43,997 55,029 72,495 Capital expenditures: Maintenance $3,033 $1,889 $5,144 $4,022 Growth $1,465 $3,158 $5,940 $9,177 (a) EBITDA represents net income before deducting interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA excluding the unrealized net gain or loss on mark-to-market activity for derivative instruments. Our management uses EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as measures of liquidity and we are including them because we believe that they provide our investors and industry analysts with additional information to evaluate our ability to meet our debt service obligations and to pay our quarterly distributions to holders of our Common Units. In addition, certain of our incentive compensation plans covering executives and other employees utilize Adjusted EBITDA as the performance target. Moreover, our revolving credit agreement requires us to use Adjusted EBITDA as a component in calculating our leverage and interest coverage ratios. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not recognized terms under generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") and should not be considered as an alternative to net income or net cash provided by operating activities determined in accordance with GAAP. Because EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as determined by us excludes some, but not all, items that affect net income, they may not be comparable to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA or similarly titled measures used by other companies. The following table sets forth (i) our calculations of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA and (ii) a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA, as so calculated, to our net cash provided by operating activities: Three Months Ended Six Months Ended March 29, March 31, March 29, March 31, 2008 2007 2008 2007 Net income $94,523 $105,860 $179,952 $160,514 Add: Provision for income taxes - current and deferred 434 378 2,113 1,140 Interest expense, net 9,418 9,322 17,806 18,538 Depreciation and amortization - continuing operations 7,107 7,446 14,166 14,456 Depreciation and amortization - discontinued operations - 124 - 250 EBITDA 111,482 123,130 214,037 194,898 Unrealized (non-cash) losses on changes in fair value of derivatives 2,335 6,584 5,018 7,572 Adjusted EBITDA 113,817 129,714 219,055 202,470 Add / (subtract): Provision for income taxes - current (190) (378) (592) (1,140) Interest expense, net (9,418) (9,322) (17,806) (18,538) Unrealized (non-cash) losses on changes in fair value of derivatives (2,335) (6,584) (5,018) (7,572) Compensation cost recognized under Restricted Unit Plan 753 (137) 686 1,160 Gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment, net (283) (1,815) (1,712) (2,062) Gain on disposal of discontinued operations - - (43,707) (1,002) Changes in working capital and other assets and liabilities (52,004) (24,358) (142,519) (92,089) Net cash provided by operating activities $50,340 $87,120 $8,387 $81,227 The unaudited financial information included in this document is intended only as a summary provided for your convenience, and should be read in conjunction with the complete consolidated financial statements of the Partnership (including the Notes thereto, which set forth important information) contained in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q to be filed by the Partnership with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Such report, once filed, will be available on the public EDGAR electronic filing system maintained by the SEC.
SOURCE Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. -0- 05/08/2008 /CONTACT: Michael Stivala, Chief Financial Officer & Chief Accounting Officer of Suburban Propane Partners, L.P., +1-973-503-9252/ /Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/112074.html / /Web site: http://www.suburbanpropane.com / (SPH) CO: Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. ST: New Jersey IN: OIL FIN SU: ERN HB-AA -- NYTH057 -- 1456 05/08/2008 07:25 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com