LSB Industries (LXU) Misses Q4 EPS by 23c, Revenues Beat

February 24, 2021 5:08 PM EST

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LSB Industries (NYSE: LXU) reported Q4 EPS of ($1.12), $0.23 worse than the analyst estimate of ($0.89). Revenue for the quarter came in at $88.9 million versus the consensus estimate of $80.7 million.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Highlights

  • Record total recordable injury rate (TRIR) of 1.06 for 2020, an improvement of 58% compared to 2019
  • Net sales of $88.9 million reflects a 31% increase from stronger sales volumes, partially offset by a 11% decrease from weaker pricing relative to the prior year fourth quarter
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $10.4 million reflects a $16.3 million benefit from stronger production and sales volumes, partially offset by a $9.6 million net impact from weaker pricing and $2.2 million from COVID-19’s impact on demand, relative to the prior year fourth quarter
  • Full year production volume records for ammonia of 827,000 tons and for UAN of 501,000 tons
  • 64% increase in fertilizer sales volumes, including a 105% increase in UAN sales volumes, versus the fourth quarter of 2019
  • Total liquidity of approximately $58 million as of December 31, 2020

“We delivered fourth quarter 2020 results largely in-line with our expectations headed into the period,” stated Mark Behrman, LSB Industries’ President and CEO. “Our substantial year-over-year increase in production volume more than offset the continued pricing headwinds on fertilizer sales and the pandemic-related impact on industrial and mining demand that we experienced during the quarter. Despite the challenges we faced across our end markets, we still generated a 44% year-over-year increase in adjusted EBITDA for the period.”

“The fourth quarter capped off our best year of operating performance across our three facilities in our company’s history. We delivered record production volumes for ammonia and UAN for full year 2020, reflecting a return on the investments we’ve made in plant reliability and product upgrading capabilities over the last several years as well as our focus on continuous improvement in our manufacturing operations. We also benefitted from the absence of any turnaround activity in 2020 as compared to 2019. Overall, we were pleased with the performance of our plants in 2020 and believe that we will generate further improvement in operating rates and production volumes in 2021.”

Mr. Behrman continued, “Favorable dynamics for U.S. agriculture have translated into higher prices for a variety of crops, including corn, wheat and cotton, which has prompted an increase in demand and selling prices for fertilizers. In fact, since mid-January we have seen a significant increase in selling prices for all the nitrogen fertilizers we sell. We expect that the benefit of these higher selling prices will have some impact on our first quarter financial results and be fully reflected in our second quarter. Regarding our industrial business, we have seen a steady rebound in demand since the lows experienced in the early part of the pandemic. However, many sectors are not yet operating at pre-pandemic levels and while we don’t expect that to significantly impact our industrial sales volumes due to our strong sales efforts, it is still putting selling price pressure on certain of our products. We are hopeful that as COVID-19 vaccines are increasingly distributed, overall demand in the marketplace will get back to pre-pandemic levels putting less pressure on selling prices on certain products.”

Mr. Behrman concluded, “Regarding our outlook for 2021, we expect to deliver year-over-year improvement in production and sales volumes which we believe will translate into improved adjusted EBITDA and cash flow for the year. We believe that with the strengthening of fertilizer market dynamics, our anticipated improvement in our financial performance and the current favorable credit market environment, we will have an opportunity to refinance our existing debt at more favorable terms, which would provide us with greater financial flexibility to pursue growth initiatives. “

“Lastly, consistent with the global focus on reducing carbon emissions, we are currently working on developing a strategy to enter the clean energy market through the production of “green ammonia.” We view this as a growth platform for our business and believe that current ammonia producers are best positioned to be leaders in this market as it develops, due to our ability to leverage our existing knowledge in ammonia manufacturing, handling, storage and logistics. We are very excited about the opportunities ahead of us in 2021 and look forward to providing updates on key initiatives and developments as we move through the year.”

For earnings history and earnings-related data on LSB Industries (LXU) click here.

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