Tronox (TROX) Preliminary Q4 Revenue Below Street

February 7, 2013 9:03 AM EST
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Tronox Limited (NYSE: TROX) announced today that it expects to report fourth-quarter 2012 revenue of $482 million and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of approximately $70 million, which is below previous guidance, due to the combined effect of three scheduled ore shipments in the quarter that were either delayed or cancelled by customers and a $9.6 million lower of cost or market (LCM) inventory write-down. One of the delayed shipments constituting 10,000 metric tons of chloride slag was shipped on January 7, 2013. In addition, while zircon sales volumes were approximately as forecast, zircon prices in the fourth quarter were roughly 12 percent below forecast.

(***Street sees Q4 Revenue of $491.55)

For the first time since 2005, fourth-quarter pigment sales volumes were higher than those of the preceding third quarter. The sequential difference was only 1,429 metric tons, but the company views this increase in what is normally a seasonally affected lower quarter as a positive sign. Nevertheless, because prices declined 10.7 percent sequentially, which was more than the company had forecast, adjusted EBITDA from pigment sales was approximately $10 million less than forecasted.

The aggregate EBITDA effect of the missed mineral sands shipments, the zircon pricing, the LCM charge, and the pigment shortfall was partially offset by operating cost savings achieved across all business units.

Tronox had a cash balance of $716 million at year-end 2012.

The company also announced that it is evaluating opportunities to refinance its term loan under more favorable terms and conditions, given the current debt market environment.

In accordance with normal procedures, these unaudited preliminary revenue and other results are subject to further review and completion of year-end accounting processes by the company and its auditors, which include the finalization of potentially significant items that could affect these results. As a result, preliminary net income estimates are not available at this time.

The company expects to release fully audited fourth quarter and full year 2012 financial results on February 20, 2013. Accordingly, the company will remain in a quiet period with investors and analysts until complete financial results are released.

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