Star Gas: Star Group, L.P. Reports Fiscal 2019 Fourth Quarter And Full Year Results

The following excerpt is from the company's SEC filing.

STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Star Group, L.P. (the "Company" or "Star") (NYSE:SGU), a home energy distributor and services provider, today filed its fiscal 2019 annual report on Form 10-K with the SEC and announced financial results for the fiscal 2019 fourth quarter and year ended September 30, 2019.

Three Months Ended September 30, 2019 Compared to Three Months Ended September 30, 2018

For the fiscal 2019 fourth quarter, Star reported a 2.7 percent increase in total revenue to $235.9 million, compared with $229.6 million in the prior-year period, primarily due to higher serv ice and installation sales associated with recent acquisitions as well as an 8.9 percent increase in total volume sold, albeit at lower selling prices. The volume of just home heating oil and propane sold increased by 2.7 million gallons, or 14.3 percent, to 21.9 million gallons due to acquisitions and the timing of certain summertime deliveries, partially offset by net customer attrition and other factors. Total gross profit rose by $5.1 million, or 11.7 percent, due to acquisitions, higher home heating oil and propane margins, and an increase in home heating oil and propane volume sold within the base business. The implementation of a revenue recognition accounting standard also favorably impacted the year-over-year comparison.

Star's net loss increased by $12.5 million, to $33.9 million, as an improvement in the Company’s Adjusted EBITDA loss of $8.7 million, described below, was more than offset by an unfavorable non-cash change in the fair value of derivative instruments ($9.9 million) and a lower income tax benefit rate of 27.2 percent versus 41.9 percent for the same period last year. During the fiscal 2019 fourth quarter, a $5.8 million non-cash charge was recorded in recognition of a change in the fair value of derivative instruments, while a $4.1 million credit was recorded during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. Also impacting the net loss comparison year-over-year was a $7.0 million pre-tax gain recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 related to the sale of Star’s home security business.

The Company's Adjusted EBITDA loss for the fiscal 2019 fourth quarter was reduced by $8.7 million, to $28.9 million, largely due to an improvement in the base business. In the base business, total gross profit rose, as previously noted and operating expenses declined by $6.7 million. The curtailment of the Company’s concierge program, the impact from the aforementioned revenue recognition standard, and certain other expense control initiatives drove a reduction in operating costs.

Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure (see reconciliation below) that should not be considered as an alternative to net income (as an indicator of operating performance) or as an alternative to cash flow (as a measure of liquidity or ability to service debt obligations) but provides additional information for evaluating the Company’s ability to pay distributions.

On December 4, 2019 the Company entered into a fifth amended and restated revolving credit facility agreement with a bank syndicate that enables the Company to borrow up to $300 million ($450 million during the heating season) on a revolving line of credit and provides for a $130 million five-year senior secured term loan, up from $90 million prior to the fifth amendment. Proceeds from the new term loan were used to repay the outstanding balance of the existing term loan and $40 million of the revolving credit facility. The new credit facility allows for greater financial flexibility, particularly with regard to potential acquisitions.

"As we come to the end of another fiscal year, I’m pleased with the many changes implemented since our new management team has been in place that will help position the Company for 2020 and beyond,” said Jeff Woosnam, Star Group’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Reducing net attrition remains a key priority, although our performance in this regard was impacted this year by a decision not to renew certain low-margin accounts, by credit issues, and general product pricing trends. Nevertheless, we are committed to improving this going forward as we assess our overall market footprint and long-term growth strategy. We purposefully – and significantly – cut back on our concierge business this year which, following the sale of our security business in 2018, leaves Star Group more streamlined and better focused on its core products and services. At the same time, we continued to look at attractive acquisitions and completed three transactions during the past twelve months – strengthening our offerings across several geographic areas. In the fourth quarter we also repurchased 1.7 million units and, more recently, increased the size of our credit facility to fuel future growth, with both decisions designed to enhance shareholder value as we prepare for the start of yet another heating season.”

Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2019 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2018

Star reported 4.5 percent growth in total revenue to $1.8 billion, versus $1.7 billion in the prior-year period, due to an increase in total volume sold at higher selling prices – in response to a rise in wholesale product costs – and an acquisition-related increase in service and installation sales.

Home heating oil and propane volume declined by 11.7 million gallons, or 3.3 percent, to 345.5 million gallons, as the impact from acquisitions and slightly colder weather was more than offset by net customer attrition and other factors. Temperatures in Star's geographic areas of operation for fiscal 2019 were 0.8 percent colder than last year’s comparable period but 3.9 percent warmer than normal, as reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Net income decreased by $37.9 million, or 68.2 percent, to $17.6 million as an increase in Adjusted EBITDA of $9.1 million (discussed below) was more than offset by an unfavorable change in the fair value of derivative instruments of $36.5 million. Regarding this non-cash change in the fair value of derivative instruments, during fiscal 2019 a non-cash charge of $25.1 million was recorded versus a non-cash credit of $11.4 million during fiscal 2018. The year-over-year net income comparison was also impacted by a $7.0 million gain recorded in fiscal 2018 from the sale of Star’s security business and an increase in net interest expense of $2.5 million.

Adjusted EBITDA rose by $9.1 million, or 10.6 percent, to $95.4 million. Acquisitions provided $5.4 million of Adjusted EBITDA while, in the base business, Adjusted EBITDA rose by $3.7 million. In the base business, the impact of higher home heating oil and propane margins more than offset a decline in home heating oil and propane volume sold. However, Adjusted EBITDA was reduced by $10.0 million in fiscal 2019 due to the following items: i) $1.6 million due to the implementation of a new revenue recognition accounting standard; ii) $3.0 million of legal and professional expenses; iii) a charge of $1.5 million related to the discontinued use of a tank monitoring system; and iv) an Adjusted EBITDA loss of $3.9 million associated with the Company’s concierge program, which was greatly curtailed in January 2019.

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA (Non-GAAP Financial Measures)

EBITDA (Earnings from continuing operations before net interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization) and Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings from continuing operations before net interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, (increase) decrease in the fair value of derivatives, multiemployer pension plan withdrawal charge, net other income, gain or loss on debt redemption, goodwill impairment, and other non-cash and non-operating charges) are non-GAAP financial measures that are used as supplemental analytical tools by management and external users of our financial statements, such as investors, commercial banks and research analysts, to assess:

our compliance with certain financial covenants included in our debt agreements;

our financial performance without regard to financing methods, capital structure, income taxes or historical cost basis;

our operating performance and return on invested capital compared to those of other companies in the retail distribution of refined petroleum products, without regard to financing methods and capital structure;

our ability to generate cash sufficient to pay interest on our indebtedness and to make distributions to our partners; and

the viability of acquisitions and capital expenditure projects and the overall rates of return of alternative investment opportunities.

The method of calculating Adjusted EBITDA may not be consistent with that of other companies, and EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA both have limitations as analytical tools and so should not be viewed in isolation but in conjunction with measurements that are computed in accordance with GAAP. Some of the limitations of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are:

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect our cash used for capital expenditures;

although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated or amortized often will have to be replaced and EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect the cash requirements for such replacements;

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital requirements;

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect the cash necessary to make payments of interest or principal on our indebtedness; and

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect the cash required to pay taxes.

REMINDER:

Members of Star's management team will host a webcast and conference call at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time tomorrow, December 6, 2019. The webcast will be accessible on the company’s website, at

www.stargrouplp.com,

and the telephone number for the conference call is 877-327-7688 (or 412-317-5112 for international callers).

About Star Group, L.P.

Star Group, L.P. is a full service provider specializing in the sale of home heating products and services to residential and commercial customers to heat their homes and buildings. The Company also sells and services heating and air conditioning equipment to its home heating oil and propane customers and, to a lesser extent, provides these offerings to customers outside of its home heating oil and propane customer base. Star also sells diesel, gasoline and home heating oil on a delivery only basis. We believe Star is the nation's largest retail distributor of home heating oil based upon sales volume. Including its propane locations, Star serves customers in the more northern and eastern states within the Northeast, Central and Southeast U.S. regions. Additional information is available by obtaining the Company's SEC filings at www.sec.gov and by visiting Star's website at

where unit holders may request a hard copy of Star’s complete audited financial statements free of charge.

Forward Looking Information

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" which represent the Company’s expectations or beliefs concerning future events that involve risks and uncertainties, including those associated with the effect of weather conditions on our financial performance; the price and supply of the products we sell; the consumption patterns of our customers; our ability to obtain satisfactory gross profit margins; our ability to obtain new customers and retain existing customers; our ability to make strategic acquisitions; the impact of litigation; our ability to contract for our current and future supply needs; natural gas conversions; future union relations and the outcome of current and future union negotiations; the impact of future governmental regulations, including climate change, environmental, health and safety regulations; the ability to attract and retain employees; customer creditworthiness; counterparty creditworthiness; marketing plans; general economic conditions and new technology. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this news release are forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words "believe," "anticipate," "plan," "expect," "seek," "estimate" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct and actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" and "Business Strategy" in our Annual Report on Form 10- K (the "Form 10-K") for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2019. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations ("Cautionary Statements") are disclosed in this news release and in the Form 10-K. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to the Company or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the Cautionary Statements. Unless otherwise required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise after the date of this news release.

CONTACT:

Investor Relations

203/328-7310

Chris Witty

Darrow Associates

646/438-9385 or cwitty@darrowir.com 

(financials follow)

STAR GROUP, L.P. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

September 30,

(in thousands)

ASSETS

Current assets

Cash and cash equivalents

14,531

Receivables, net of allowance of $8,378 and $8,002, respectively

120,245

132,668

Inventories

64,788

56,377

Fair asset value of derivative instruments

17,710

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

36,898

35,451

Total current assets

226,830

256,737

Property and equipment, net

98,239

87,618

Goodwill

244,574

228,436

Intangibles, net

107,688

98,444

Restricted cash

Captive insurance collateral

58,490

45,419

Deferred charges and other assets, net

16,635

13,067

Total assets

752,706

729,971

LIABILITIES AND PARTNERS’ CAPITAL

Current liabilities

Accounts payable

33,973

35,796

Revolving credit facility borrowings

24,000

Fair liability value of derivative instruments

Current maturities of long-term debt

Accrued expenses and other current liabilities

120,839

116,436

Unearned service contract revenue

61,213

60,700

Customer credit balances

68,270

61,256

Total current liabilities

325,557

283,188

Long-term debt

120,447

91,780

Deferred tax liabilities, net

20,116

21,206

Other long-term liabilities

25,746

24,012

Partners’ capital

Common unitholders

279,709

329,129

General partner

(1,968

(1,303

Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net of taxes

(16,901

(18,041

Total partners’ capital

260,840

309,785

Total liabilities and partners’ capital

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

Twelve Months Ended

(in thousands, except per unit data)

 (unaudited)

 (unaudited) 

Sales:

Product

159,281

158,227

1,466,045

1,404,370

Installations and services

76,606

71,391

287,827

273,467

Total sales

235,887

229,618

1,753,872

1,677,837

Cost and expenses:

Cost of product

121,639

125,563

998,559

957,843

Cost of installations and services

65,766

60,668

267,607

256,652

(Increase) decrease in the fair value of derivative instruments

(4,102

25,113

(11,408

Delivery and branch expenses

73,007

76,459

369,033

357,580

Depreciation and amortization expenses

32,901

31,575

General and administrative expenses

28,414

24,227

Finance charge income

(5,105

(4,700

Operating income (loss)

(43,782

(41,654

37,350

66,068

Interest expense, net

(2,487

(2,060

(11,164

(8,716

Amortization of debt issuance costs

(1,032

(1,288

Other income, net

Income (loss) before income taxes

(46,545

(36,925

25,154

63,107

Income tax expense (benefit)

(12,640

(15,475

Net income (loss)

(33,905

(21,450

17,637

55,505

General Partner’s interest in net income (loss)

Limited Partners’ interest in net income (loss)

(33,681

(21,319

17,542

55,191

Per unit data (Basic and Diluted):

Net income (loss) available to limited partners

Dilutive impact of theoretical distribution of earnings under FASB ASC 260-10-45-60

Basic and diluted income (loss) per Limited Partner Unit:

Weighted average number of Limited Partner units outstanding (Basic and Diluted)

48,986

53,371

50,814

54,764

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION 

RECONCILIATION OF EBITDA AND ADJUSTED EBITDA

(Unaudited)

Ended September 30,

Net loss

Income tax benefit

(34,709

(26,421

(Increase) / decrease in the fair value of derivative instruments

(7,043

(28,864

(37,566

Add / (subtract)

Provision for losses on accounts receivable

Decrease in accounts receivables

44,930

49,355

Increase in inventories

(8,264

(8,213

Increase in customer credit balances

29,792

29,940

Change in deferred taxes

(14,956

Change in other operating assets and liabilities

(19,808

(5,130

Net cash provided by operating activities

35,060

27,441

Net cash used in investing activities

(1,588

Net cash provided used in financing activities

(34,290

(21,540

Home heating oil and propane gallons sold

21,900

19,200

Other petroleum products

44,200

41,500

Total all products

66,100

(in thousands)

70,251

104,686

95,364

86,235

(7,517

(7,602

Decrease (increase) in receivables

10,137

(37,149

(Increase) decrease in inventories

(6,306

Increase (decrease) in customer credit balances

(6,563

(5,126

14,685

97,382

57,460

(82,166

(65,252

Net cash used in financing activities

(24,848

(30,135

345,500

357,200

167,400

138,300

512,900

495,500

The above information was disclosed in a filing to the SEC. To see the filing, click here.

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