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Natural Resource Partners L.P. Reports Second Quarter 2012 Results And Updates Guidance

08/06/2012
Second Quarter 2012 Highlights:
- Revenues of $90.7 million, a 6% decrease from 2Q11
- Net income per unit of $0.46, a decrease of 11% from 2Q11
- Distributable cash flow of $70.7 million, a decrease of 17% from 2Q11
- Distribution of $0.55 per unit, a 2% increase over 2Q11
- Metallurgical production accounted for 33% of production and 45% of coal royalty revenues for the first six months
Updated Guidance for 2012
- Lowers midpoint of revenue by $5 million and earnings per unit by $0.05
- Increases midpoint of distributable cash flow by $5 million

HOUSTON, Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Natural Resource Partners L.P. (NYSE:NRP) today reported revenues of $90.7 million and net income per unit of $0.46 for the second quarter 2012.  In addition, NRP reported distributable cash flow, a non-GAAP measure, of $70.7 million. 

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060109/NRPLOGO)

"As reflected in our second quarter results, our coal lessees are performing better than the industry as a whole in this weak market.  Our emphasis on metallurgical coal and our expansion into the Illinois Basin helped through the first half of this year when the thermal market has been under pressure from low natural gas prices, mild winter weather, and regulatory pressures," said Nick Carter, President and Chief Operating Officer.  "We also benefitted from our recent diversification efforts, as our revenues other than coal royalties increased by 10% over the second quarter of 2011."

Highlights

Quarter Ended


Six Months Ended


June

June

%


June

June

%


2012

2011

Change


2012

2011

Change


(in thousands except per unit, per ton and %)

Revenues








Total revenues

$      90,664

$      96,532

-6%


$    182,536

$    181,384

1%

Coal production

11,982

12,028

0%


24,097

23,974

1%

Coal royalty revenues

$      62,878

$      71,242

-12%


$    122,794

$    136,607

-10%

Average coal royalty revenue per ton

$          5.25

$          5.92

-11%


$          5.10

$          5.70

-11%

Revenues other than coal royalties

$      27,786

$      25,290

10%


$      59,742

$      44,777

33%









Net Income 








Net income to limited partners

$      48,939

$      55,082

-11%


$      99,222

$      99,458

0%

Net income per unit

$          0.46

$          0.52

-12%


$          0.94

$          0.94

0%

Average units outstanding

106,028

106,028

0%


106,028

106,028

0%









Distributable cash flow(1)

$      70,653

$      84,946

-17%


$    107,080

$    124,021

-14%

(1) See Non-GAAP reconciliation







Revenues

Second Quarter

Total revenues for the second quarter were $90.7 million, a decline of 6% from the second quarter 2011.  While quarterly coal production remained flat compared to second quarter 2011, coal royalty revenues decreased 12%, quarter over quarter, to $62.9 million.  The decline in coal royalty revenues was partially due to a greater proportion of our production coming from our Illinois properties that sell at lower prices, some new production from properties on old leases with very low royalty rates and some decline in overall prices. This decline was partially offset by a $2.5 million, or 10%, increase in revenues other than coal royalty revenues to $27.8 million, mainly due to increases in infrastructure fees resulting from additional throughput, increases in oil and gas revenues due to lease bonuses and an increase in gain on sales of assets. 

Six Months

Total revenues for the first six months increased 1% over the 2011 period to $182.5 million.  While coal royalty revenues declined approximately 10% due to $0.60 per ton lower coal royalty realizations, other revenues more than offset that decline.  The lower realizations per ton resulted from lower prices received in Appalachia on both thermal and metallurgical coal and new production offsetting the decline in Central Appalachian production that receives lower prices. Metallurgical coal accounted for 33% of NRP's production and 45% of its coal royalty revenues for the first six months of 2012 compared to 37% of production and 47% of coal royalty revenues in 2011.

Revenues other than coal royalty revenues increased $15.0 million from the first six months of 2011 to $59.7 million mainly due to a $9.6 million minimum recognized as revenue in the first quarter on the Gatling Ohio property.  In addition, overriding royalties increased $2.1 million due to increased production on override properties and the new Sugar Camp override purchased late in the first quarter 2012.

Operating Expenses

Second Quarter

Total operating costs and expenses for the second quarter 2012 totaled $27.2 million, down modestly from the 2011 quarter.

Six Months

Total operating costs and expenses for the first six months of 2012 were $54.2 million, down $2.6 million from 2011 mainly due to lower depreciation, depletion and amortization.

Net income

Second Quarter

Net income to the limited partners totaled $48.9 million, down $6.1 million from the 2011 second quarter, due to lower coal royalty revenues. 

Net income per unit was $0.46 compared to the $0.52 per unit reported in 2011. 

Six Months

Net income attributable to the limited partners for the first six months of 2012 was $99.2 million, or $0.94 per unit, flat with the prior year.

Distributable cash flow

Second Quarter

Second quarter distributable cash flow of $70.7 million was $14.3 million lower than the second quarter of 2011, mainly due to lower revenues and a $5.4 million increase in the reserve for future principal payments on NRP's senior notes. 

Six Months

Distributable cash flow for the first six months of 2012 decreased $16.9 million to $107.1 million from 2011 primarily due to an increase in the reserve for future principal payments on NRP's senior notes of $10.4 million and increased interest payments of $6.1 million due to increased borrowings. 

Second Quarter 2012 Compared to First Quarter 2012

Highlights

2Q12

1Q12

% Change


(in thousands, except per ton and per unit)


Total revenues

$ 90,664

$   91,872

-1%

Coal production

11,982

12,115

-1%

Coal royalty revenues

$ 62,878

$   59,916

5%

Average coal royalty revenue per ton

$     5.25

$       4.95

6%

Revenues other than coal royalty

$ 27,786

$   31,956

-13%

Net income to limited partners

$ 48,939

$   50,283

-3%

Net income per unit

$     0.46

$       0.47

-2%

Average units outstanding

106,028

106,028

0%

Distributable cash flow(1)

$ 70,653

$   36,427

94%

(1)See Non-GAAP reconciliation




Revenues

Total revenues for the second quarter decreased 1% over the first quarter 2012 to $90.7 million. Coal royalty revenues increased $3.0 million, or 5% on virtually flat volume due to a 6% increase in the average coal royalty revenue per ton mainly as a result of increased sales of metallurgical coal offsetting lower thermal coal production, particularly in Appalachia.  With respect to revenues other than coal royalty, NRP saw increases in infrastructure fees of $2.2 million and received two lease bonus payments on oil and gas totaling $2.5 million, and gains recorded on a right of way condemnation and the sale of a small property garnered $4.1 million.  The first quarter of 2012 included the $9.6 million minimum recognized as revenue associated with the Gatling Ohio property.

Operating Expenses

Total operating costs and expenses for the second quarter of 2012 totaled $27.2 million, nearly flat with the preceding quarter. 

Net income

Net income to the limited partners for the second quarter 2012 totaled $48.9 million, or $0.46 per unit compared to the first quarter 2012 net income of $50.3 million or $0.47 per unit. 

Distributable cash flow

Distributable cash flow increased $34.2 million, or 94%, to $70.7 million due to positive working capital changes in the balance sheet.  In the first quarter of each year, NRP has a large outflow of cash payments for interest expense, incentive compensation plans, and property and franchise taxes.  In addition, in the second quarter NRP received significant minimums and collections of accounts receivable.

Market Outlook

"The current thermal coal market continues to be weak," said Nick Carter. "Beginning in early 2012, due to low natural gas prices, gas fired plants began to substitute for coal fired plants in electricity generation.  In addition, unusually warm winter weather, combined with governmental regulations, decreased overall demand and created large stockpiles of coal at the utilities.  The coal industry has responded with reduced production. While natural gas prices have risen in recent months, they are still not to the level to cause significant switching back to coal fired power plants. However, the unusually warm weather experienced over the last month across much of the Mid Atlantic and Northeast has caused some previously idled coal plants to be brought back on line.  As the market slowly recovers, our focus on Illinois Basin thermal coal should benefit us because we believe that the Illinois Basin will recover ahead of Central Appalachia."

Mr. Carter added that, "the metallurgical coal market, while significantly stronger than the thermal market, has seen some softening recently due to a slowing of the Asian economies resulting in a slight slowdown in steel production. We are, however, waiting to see the response of the governments in Asia regarding any type of stimulus to spur growth.  Domestic metallurgical coal demand was strong in the first half of the year mainly due to strong automobile manufacturing, but there have been signs of slight weakening recently.  On a more positive note, we have experienced unprecedented exports of both thermal and metallurgical coal this year, putting the country on track to have another record year for exports of coal."

Acquisitions and Liquidity

In the second quarter 2012, NRP invested $26.7 million in acquisitions of oil and gas reserves located in Oklahoma and funded the final payment of $500 thousand associated with remaining obligations on a previously announced acquisition. 

As of June 30, 2012, NRP had $227 million in available capacity under its credit facility and approximately $122 million in cash.  The final $40 million acquisition of Hillsboro reserves in the Illinois Basin will occur in August 2012 when the longwall mining unit commences operation.

Guidance Update


Revised 2012 Guidance


Original 2012 Guidance


(Range)


(Range)


(in millions except per unit)


(in millions except per unit)

Coal royalty revenues

$ 245.0

-

$ 260.0


$ 265.0

-

$ 295.0

Coal production tonnage (mm tons)

48.0

-

54.0


52.0

-

58.0

Total revenues

$ 340.0

-

$ 365.0


$ 335.0

-

$ 380.0

Distributable cash flow

$ 220.0

-

$ 240.0


$ 210.0

-

$ 240.0

Net income per unit

$   1.65

-

$   1.85


$   1.65

-

$   1.95

NRP is slightly adjusting its guidance for 2012.  While coal royalty revenues are forecasted to be lower than originally forecast, revenues other than coal royalty are forecasted to offset much of this decline.  NRP is now lowering the midpoint of the range of total revenues by approximately $5 million and net income by $0.05 per unit. The midpoint of the range for distributable cash flow has been increased by $5.0 million due to the receipt of proceeds from a condemnation of a right-of-way in West Virginia and the sale of an asset.  In both the original guidance and the revised guidance NRP has reserved an additional $21.1 million for principal payments due in 2013 above the payments being made in 2012. 

Distributions

As reported on July 19, 2012, the Board of Directors of NRP's general partner declared a quarterly distribution of $0.55 per unit, an increase of 1.9 percent over the second quarter 2011 and flat with the first quarter 2012. 

Company Profile

Natural Resource Partners L.P. is a master limited partnership headquartered in Houston, TX, with its operations headquarters in Huntington, WV.  NRP is principally engaged in the business of owning and managing mineral reserve properties.  NRP primarily owns coal, aggregate and oil and gas reserves across the United States that generate royalty income for the partnership.

For additional information, please contact Kathy H. Roberts at 713-751-7555 or kroberts@nrplp.com.  Further information about NRP is available on the partnership's website at http://www.nrplp.com.

Disclosure of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Distributable cash flow represents cash flow from operations and proceeds from assets sales and returns on direct financing leases and contractual overrides less actual principal payments and cash reserves set aside for scheduled principal payments on the senior notes.  Distributable cash flow is a "non-GAAP financial measure" that is presented because management believes it is a useful adjunct to net cash provided by operating activities under GAAP. Distributable cash flow is a significant liquidity metric that is an indicator of NRP's ability to generate cash flows at a level that can sustain or support an increase in quarterly cash distributions paid to its partners. Distributable cash flow is also the quantitative standard used throughout the investment community with respect to publicly traded partnerships. Distributable cash flow is not a measure of financial performance under GAAP and should not be considered as an alternative to cash flows from operating, investing or financing activities. A reconciliation of distributable cash flow to net cash provided by operating activities is included in the tables attached to this release.  Distributable cash flow may not be calculated the same for NRP as other companies.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may include "forward-looking statements" as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Such statements include the current coal market condition, borrowing capacity and any references to future guidance.  All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that the partnership expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements.  These statements are based on certain assumptions made by the partnership based on its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances.  Such statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the partnership.  These risks include, but are not limited to, decreases in demand for coal; changes in operating conditions and costs; production cuts by our lessees; commodity prices; unanticipated geologic problems; changes in the legislative or regulatory environment and other factors detailed in Natural Resource Partners' Securities and Exchange Commission filings.  Natural Resource Partners L.P. has no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

-Financial statements follow-

Natural Resource Partners L.P.

Operating Statistics

(in thousands except per ton data)





Quarter Ended


 Six Months Ended





June


June


June


June





2012


2011


2012


2011





(unaudited)


(unaudited)







(restated)




(restated)

Coal Royalties:








Coal royalty revenues:









Appalachia










Northern

$   4,689


$    5,180


$     7,697


$     9,861



Central

38,403


55,119


80,475


100,561



Southern

6,718


3,447


11,021


8,188




Total Appalachia

$ 49,810


$  63,746


$   99,193


$ 118,610


Illinois Basin

12,912


6,225


21,681


15,285


Northern Powder River Basin

310


1,120


1,772


2,513


Gulf Coast Lignite

(154)


151


148


199

Total



$ 62,878


$  71,242


$ 122,794


$ 136,607

Coal royalty production (tons):









Appalachia










Northern

1,651


1,199


4,052


2,374



Central

6,507


8,023


13,041


15,350



Southern

835


472


1,388


1,120




Total Appalachia

8,993


9,694


18,481


18,844


Illinois Basin

2,910


1,758


5,001


4,034


Northern Powder River Basin

126


425


595


905


Gulf Coast Lignite

(47)


151


20


191

Total



11,982


12,028


24,097


23,974

Average royalty revenue per ton:









Appalachia










Northern

$     2.84


$      4.32


$       1.90


$       4.15



Central

5.90


6.87


6.17


6.55



Southern

8.05


7.30


7.94


7.31




Total Appalachia

5.54


6.58


5.37


6.29


Illinois Basin

4.44


3.54


4.34


3.79


Northern Powder River Basin

2.46


2.64


2.98


2.78


Gulf Coast Lignite*

 NM 


1.00


7.40


1.04

Combined average royalty 









revenue per ton

$     5.25


$      5.92


$       5.10


$       5.70












Aggregates:








Royalty revenues

$   1,702


$    1,737


$     3,418


$     2,931

Aggregate royalty bonus

-


94


-


94

Production


1,447


1,671


2,814


2,936

Average base royalty per ton

$     1.18


$      1.04


$       1.21


$       1.00












Oil and gas:








Royalty revenues

$   4,078


$    1,996


$     5,466


$     4,988












* (NM) Not meaningful



















Natural Resource Partners L.P.

Consolidated Statements of Income

(in thousands, except per unit data)
















Quarter Ended


Six Months Ended





June


June


June


June





2012


2011


2012


2011





(unaudited)


(unaudited)







(restated)




(restated)

Revenues:










Coal royalties


$ 62,878


$  71,242


$ 122,794


$ 136,607


Aggregate royalties

1,702


1,831


3,418


3,025


Processing fees


3,138


3,173


5,264


6,262


Transportation fees

5,246


3,745


9,354


7,843


Oil and gas royalties

4,078


1,996


5,466


4,988


Property taxes


3,331


3,577


7,819


6,589


Minimums recognized as revenue

938


2,520


12,652


3,027


Override royalties

3,497


3,492


8,639


6,535


Other


5,856


4,956


7,130


6,508



Total revenues

90,664


96,532


182,536


181,384

Operating costs and expenses:









Depreciation, depletion and amortization

15,172


17,435


27,581


31,757


General and administrative

7,029


6,439


15,979


16,635


Property, franchise and other taxes

3,771


3,306


8,787


7,003


Transportation costs

527


523


1,000


991


Coal royalty and override payments

673


159


873


467



Total operating costs and expenses

27,172


27,862


54,220


56,853

Income from operations

63,492


68,670


128,316


124,531

Other income (expense)









Interest expense


(13,578)


(12,429)


(27,138)


(23,016)


Interest income


24


16


69


24

Income before non-controlling interest

$ 49,938


$  56,257


$ 101,247


$ 101,539


Less non-controlling interest

-


51


-


51

Net income 


$ 49,938


$  56,206


$ 101,247


$ 101,488

Net income attributable to:









General partner


$      999


$    1,124


$     2,025


$     2,030


Holders of incentive distribution rights

$          -


$           -


$            -


$             -


Limited partners


$ 48,939


$  55,082


$   99,222


$   99,458












Basic and diluted net income per









limited partner unit:

$     0.46


$      0.52


$       0.94


$       0.94












Weighted average number of units outstanding:

106,028


106,028


106,028


106,028












Comprehensive income

$ 49,951


$  56,218


$ 101,270


$ 101,513












Natural Resource Partners L.P.

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flow

(in thousands, except per unit data)






Quarter Ended


Six Months Ended






June


June


June


June






2012


2011


2012


2011






(unaudited)


(unaudited)


(unaudited)


(unaudited)

Cash flows from operating activities:










Net income (loss)


$      49,938


$      56,206


$    101,247


$    101,488


Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to 











net cash provided by operating activities:











Depreciation, depletion and amortization


15,172


17,435


27,581


31,757



Gain on sale of assets


(4,108)


-


(4,108)


-



Gain on reserve swap


-


(2,990)


-


(2,990)



Non-cash interest charge, net


151


118


300


268



Non-controlling interest


-


51


-


51


Change in operating assets and liabilities:











Accounts receivable


7,088


745


5,851


(3,785)



Other assets


(176)


310


24


532



Accounts payable and accrued liabilities


(521)


662


562


(485)



Accrued interest


2,737


8,902


(158)


1,868



Deferred revenue


9,000


7,085


6,551


12,519



Accrued incentive plan expenses


1,331


1,697


(5,261)


(1,130)



Property, franchise and other taxes payable


1,910


1,425


(582)


(1,413)




Net cash provided by operating activities:


82,522


91,646


132,007


138,680

Cash flows from investing activities:











Acquisition of land, coal and other mineral rights


(26,727)


(14,546)


(94,453)


(99,368)



Acquisition or construction of plant and equipment

(492)


(163)


(492)


(325)



Proceeds from sale of assets


285


1,000


285


1,100



Return on direct financing lease and contractual override

904


-


904


-



Acquisition of contracts


-


-


(59,009)


-




Net cash used in investing activities


(26,030)


(13,709)


(152,765)


(98,593)

Cash flows from financing activities:











Proceeds from loans


26,000


250,000


73,000


335,000



Repayment of loans


(7,917)


(187,633)


(23,108)


(202,826)



Deferred financing costs


-


(1,052)


-


(1,052)



Payment of obligation related to acquisitions


(500)


(4,025)


(500)


(4,025)



Costs associated with equity transactions


-


(108)


-


(140)



Distributions to partners


(59,505)


(58,422)


(121,582)


(116,845)




Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

(41,922)


(1,240)


(72,190)


10,112

Net increase (decrease)  in cash and cash equivalents


14,570


76,697


(92,948)


50,199

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period


107,404


69,008


214,922


95,506

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period


$    121,974


$    145,705


$    121,974


$    145,705

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION:











Cash paid during the period for interest


$      10,684


$        3,400


$      26,976


$      20,859


Non-cash  activities:











Obligation related to purchase of reserves and infrastructure


$             -


$        2,100


$             -


$        4,100













Natural Resource Partners L.P.

Consolidated Balance Sheets

(in thousands, except for unit information)








ASSETS





June 30,


December 31,





2012


2011





(unaudited)


(audited)

Current assets:





Cash and cash equivalents

$    121,974


$       214,922


Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts

33,029


30,923


Accounts receivable - affiliates

12,897


10,138


Other


526


832



Total current assets

168,426


256,815

Land



24,515


24,534

Plant and equipment, net

42,967


46,185

Coal and other mineral rights, net

1,324,654


1,257,501

Intangible assets, net

72,972


75,164

Loan financing costs, net

4,569


4,846

Long-term contracts receivable - affiliates

55,371


-

Other assets, net

886


604



Total assets

$ 1,694,360


$    1,665,649








LIABILITIES AND PARTNERS' CAPITAL








Current liabilities:





Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

$        2,905


$           2,366


Accounts payable - affiliates

398


375


Obligation related to acquisitions

-


500


Current portion of long-term debt

87,230


30,801


Accrued incentive plan expenses - current portion

6,982


8,374


Property, franchise and other taxes payable

5,734


6,316


Accrued interest

10,603


10,761



Total current liabilities

113,852


59,493

Deferred revenue

118,373


113,303

Accrued incentive plan expenses

7,801


11,670

Long-term debt

829,731


836,268

Partners' capital:





Common units outstanding (106,027,836)

611,845


629,253


General partner's interest

10,162


10,517


Non-controlling interest

3,066


5,638


Accumulated other comprehensive loss

(470)


(493)



Total partners' capital

624,603


644,915



Total liabilities and partners' capital

$ 1,694,360


$    1,665,649








Natural Resource Partners L.P.

Reconciliation of GAAP Financial Measurements

to Non-GAAP Financial Measurements

(in thousands)












Reconciliation of GAAP "Net cash provided by operating activities"

to Non-GAAP "Distributable cash flow"
















Quarter Ended


Six Months Ended





June


June


June


June





2012


2011


2012


2011





(unaudited)


(unaudited)












Net cash provided by operating activities


$ 82,522


$ 91,646


$ 132,007


$ 138,680

Less scheduled principal payments



(7,917)


(8,633)


(23,108)


(23,826)

Less reserves for future scheduled principal payments


(13,058)


(7,700)


(26,116)


(15,759)

Add reserves used for scheduled principal payments


7,917


8,633


23,108


23,826

Return on direct financing lease and contractual override

904


-


904


-

Proceeds from sale of assets



285


1,000


285


1,100

Distributable cash flow




$ 70,653


$ 84,946


$ 107,080


$ 124,021












SOURCE Natural Resource Partners L.P.

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