Good day, everyone and welcome to the SAExploration’s Second Quarter 2014 Earnings Results Conference Call. This call is being recorded. At this time for opening remarks and introductions I would like to turn the call over to SAE’s Vice President of Capital Markets and Investor Relations, Ryan Abney. Mr. Abney, please go ahead.
Thank you Nova. Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us today. Our speakers today will Jeff Hastings, Executive Chairman of SAExploration; Brian Beatty, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Brent Whiteley, Chief Financial Officer.
Before we begin I would like to remind everyone that some statements made during the course of today’s call maybe forward-looking within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These statements could be identified by the use of words or phrases such as believes, estimates, expects, intends, anticipates, projects, plans to, will, should or variations of these words or similar words. These forward-looking statements may include statements regarding SAE's financial conditions, results of operations and business and SAE's expectations or beliefs concerning future periods. And are subject to risks and uncertainties which may cause actual results to differ materially.
These risks and uncertainties include fluctuations in the levels of exploration and development activity in the oil and gas industry, intense industry competition, a limited number of customers, the need to manage rapid growth, delays, reductions or cancellations of service contracts, operational disruptions due to seasonality, weather and other external factors, crew productivity, the availability of capital resources, substantial international business exposing SAE to currency fluctuations and global factors including economic, political and military uncertainties, the need to comply with diverse and complex laws and regulations, and other risks incorporated by reference to SAE's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Certain risks and uncertainties related to SAE's business are or will be described in greater detail in SAE's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The information discussed today should be taken in light of such risks, except as required by law, SAE is not under any obligation to and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.
With that being said, I would now like to turn the call over to Jeff Hastings, Executive Chairman of SAE. Jeff, please go ahead.
Thank you Ryan and thanks to each of you for participating in today's call. I will start off with some initial comments on this past quarter and the overall direction of the company and then Brian Beatty, our President and CEO will discuss recent activity within our regional markets, Brent Whiteley, our CFO will then review the financial results of the second quarter and the first six months of 2014. After that, we'll turn the call over to questions.
Let me begin by mentioning how proud we are of the strong results produced by our field crews during the second quarter. We believe that the growth exhibited in our results is indicative of the broader health of the specific markets in which we focus. We also believe it represents the strength of our differentiated business model and the resilience of our operating strategy in light of broader market conditions. Every day, we strive to reduce our customers’ exploration risk in logistically complex and challenging environments by utilizing our vast experience and expertise in providing effective and efficient data acquisitions and logistical solutions.
We continue to experience robust growth in exploration spending in many of our key international markets due to the undeveloped nature of these remote regions and other factors unique to the countries and the economies which these markets support. We remain optimistic on our ability to capture additional growth in these core markets during the remainder of 2014 as we continue to execute our growth plan and focus on strategic diversification and a disciplined effort to maintain operational excellence.
As is customary, our proprietary data acquisition and logistics driven business model, our growth is directly correlated to the strength and stability of our contracted backlog. As noted in our release, we had a very strong backlog of $265.5 million on June 30, 2014. Despite seasonal effects and lower contracting activities which are customary for the spring season, our current backlog which we expect to continue to add throughout the year should allow us to produce meaningful revenues throughout the balance of 2014. We have a number of bids currently outstanding, a handful of which we have a strong level of confidence that we will secure. Some of these expected project awards will complement the 66% of our current backlog we expect to realize during the third and fourth quarters. With consideration given to the strength of our backlog and the expected growth in exploration spending within our core geographical markets, we firmly reiterate our previously disclosed summary financial guidance for 2014.
We believe SAE remains one of the healthiest public seismic companies in this sector. As part of our ongoing transition to a public company, we laid our specific goals for 2014 in our last earnings call. I am very pleased to report that we have made solid progress as shown by our first bond offering which closed on July 2nd. The successful financing lowered our overall cost of capital and further simplified our structure through the refinancing of our term loan and our stockholders notes. It also provided the ability for us to capitalize on near-term growth opportunities in Alaska through the strategic purchase of equipment enabling us to add an additional crew on the North Slope which will begin in 2015 winter season.
Our remaining transitional priority for 2014 is improving our tax efficiency through an internal corporate restructuring, a process which we recently initiated and expect to complete by year-end.
Operationally, we remain optimistic on the current landscape in our key markets. Overall, we're all positioned to further capitalize on our strengths and execute our growth strategy which remains unchanged to develop new expansion markets and to grow our presence in existing markets.
Before I turn things over, I would like to take a minute to congratulate our crews and our managerial staff on extending our previously disclosed record QHSE achievement to 30 million man hours or more than 745 consecutive days without a serious or lost-time injury or incident. This result would not have been possible without the dedication of our employees and their focus on maintaining our straight QHSE standards and level of performance.
For more details on our current markets and regional activity, I'll turn the call over to our President and CEO, Brian Beatty. Brian?
Thank you, Jeff and thanks to each of you on today's call. I'd like to take a few minutes to provide a brief overview of activity and opportunities in each of our current regions. I'll start in North America; Canada, it’s looking good, we'll shift our teams on bids in the third and fourth quarter, it looks like it will be busy than last year. As for Alaska everything is going to real great up there, we've got multi-year contracts with Conoco, BP, Repsol. We have currently just started our BP shallow marine and it looks for the next three, four years huge activity for us in Alaska and we’ve pretty much capitalized the market with all the major clients.
Then a little talk about South America; Peru its going very strong, we're currently working in four jobs for Pluspetrol, Repsol, Gran Tierra and actually two of the jobs are for Pluspetrol but in different blocks. As for 2015, the activity is picking up, we shift our team bids bit the end of this year or next year, so we feel very confident that Peru will have a good ‘15 also.
Bolivia, we've got two crews working YPFP, Charco and Repsol, they're doing really well and we're seeing also a activity coming up for 2015 and it should stay busy.
Colombia just went through a little slow period, but we currently now have two crews working for Parex and Grand Sierra, we’ve just recently been awarded a job for Conoco and the backlog for the remaining of 2014 is looking very strong and ‘15 will look very busy also.
For Brazil, we are currently working there are (inaudible) and we are pretty close to winning another job for a client there.
For Southeast Asia we are currently hoping to hear any day now on a win for a major shallow marine job and we are working on another bid for a large shallow marine job, so everything is looking pretty good for Malaysia.
As for new markets Africa is getting very busy we are currently working on bids well over $100 million and hopefully we will hear shortly if we have been awarded a job or two within Africa.
Also we believe our growth will be coming in Africa and also the shallow marine for the Brazil land markets not as easy as we thought it would be [Technical Difficulty] in 2015, going forward the shallow marine work will be very busy in Brazil.
Now I would like to I thank you for your participation and attention and I will now turn things over to our CEO, Brent Whiteley to discuss our financial results for the second quarter and the first half of 2014. Brent?
Thanks Brian and good morning to everyone. By now you have had the opportunity to review our earnings release, so I will take just a few minute to expand on certain areas to provide some additional details on our financial results for the second quarter and the first half of 2014.
Total revenues for Q2, increased 143.4% to $103.1 million from $42.4 million in the second quarter of 2013. Revenue for the first six months increased 50.1% to $190.8 million from a $127.1 million in the first half of last year. The growth in revenue was primarily the result of overall increased exploration activity within our core markets. Specifically, projects in Alaska and Bolivia resulted in 73.4% of our revenue in Q2, compared to 19.6% of our revenue in the same period of last year. Our revenue growth was also possibly impacted by meaningful projects in Peru and Columbia.
Our strong growth in core markets was partially offset by a decrease in exploration activity in Canada during the first part of 2014.
By geography approximately $48.3 million or 46.9% and $54.8 million or 53.1% of our revenues during the second quarter were generated in North America and South America respectively. For the first half of 2014, we generated approximately $79.9 million or 41.9% of our revenues in North America, primarily in Alaska followed by approximately $110.1 million or 56.7% of revenues in South America and $0.8 million are about 0.4% of revenues in Southeast Asia.
Our gross profit for Q2 increased 89.8% to $18.4 million or 17.8% of revenues from $9.7 million or 22.9% of revenues in the second quarter of 2013. Gross profit for the first half of 2014 increased 28.3% to $38.1 million or 20% of revenues, compared to gross profit of 29.7% or 23.3% of revenues in the first half of 2013. Gross profit for both Q2 2014 and Q2 2013 incurred approximately $3.4 million of depreciation expense. Excluding, depreciation expense, gross margin in Q2 2014 and Q2 2013 was 21.2% and 30.9% respectively. Gross profit for the first six months of 2014 include depreciation expense of $7 million compared to $6.9 million depreciation expense incurred in our gross profit for the first half of 2013. Excluding, depreciation expense, gross margin for the first half 2014 and 2013 was 23.6% and 28.8% respectively. The reduction in gross margins resulted from the timing of completion of certain major projects in South America, periodically unfavorable conditions on an extremely complex project in South America and the low level of seismic activity in Canada during the first part of the year.
SG&A expenses during Q2 were $10 million or 9.7% of revenues compared to $6.1 million or 14.5% of revenues in the second quarter of 2013. For the first six months of 2014 our SG&A expenses were $19.3 million or 10.1% of revenues compared to $13.6 million or 10.7% of revenues in the first half of 2013. The decrease in SG&A as a percentage of revenues was due to the overall increase in our revenue and the benefits from our previously planned scaling of our internal infrastructure which we build to continue managing our rapid growth. The increase in the dollar amount of SG&A was a result of additional costs of being a public company and incurring expenses related to our refinancing efforts.
Interest expense during Q2 increased to $4.1 million from $3.4 million second quarter of 2013. Interest expense during the first six months increased to $8.2 million from $6.8 million in the first half of 2013. The overall increase in interest expense was due to the increased amortization of deferred financing costs associated with our term loan and interest related to our stockholders note both of which we repaid in full on July 2nd.
Provision for income taxes in the first half of the year was $3.3 million, down slightly from our reported tax provision of $3.8 million during the first three months ended March 31, 2014. This sequential decrease caused a tax benefit of approximately $0.6 million for the second quarter of 2014. The decrease resulted from a downward revision provision of our predicted consolidated effective tax rate for the year which was precipitated by the recategorization of certain projected expenses in fiscal 2014 that are expected to be realized in the third quarter.
These projected expenses were primarily related to the repayment of our term loan and stockholders note. Our new projected effective tax rate for 2014 is approximately 59.2%. A considerable portion of our first half 2014 tax provision is a result of our effective valuation allowance for the year.
Income tax expense that it was attributable to normal operating activities during the first six months was approximately $2.1 million, representing an applied tax free from operations of approximately 37.4% on a normalized basis.
As Jeff mentioned earlier on the call, in June of this year we initiated a comprehensive plan to normalize our consolidated effective tax rate, redo restructuring of our foreign branch offices. We expect this process to be completed by the end of the year.
Net loss attributable to SAE during Q2 was negative $0.1 million or $0.01 per diluted share compared to a net loss of negative $1.3 million or $0.19 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013.
Net income attributable to SAE during the first six months of 2014 was $0.6 million or $0.04 per diluted share compared to net income of $4.5 million or $0.68 per diluted share in the first half of 2013. Including these results are certain unusual or specific or special items including a $4.6 million charge from the change in fair value of the shareholders’ note during Q2 2014, merger cost associated with us becoming public in Q2 2013, and a high tax rate.
With consideration given to these items and based on a tax rate of 39.1 cents which we view at the current U.S. statutory corporate income tax rate, our adjusted diluted EPS attributable to SAE for Q2 2014 and first half of 2014 were $0.14 and $0.30 per share, respectively, compared to negative $0.21 and $0.54 per share second quarter and first half of last year, respectively.
We refer to the supplemental and tables in our earnings release for additional information concerning these adjusted non-GAAP financial results. Adjusted EBITDA for Q2 increased 65.2% to $13 million, or 12.6% of revenues from $7.9 million, or 18.6% of revenues, in the second quarter of 2013.
In the first six months of 2014, our adjusted EBITDA increased 13.8% to $27 million or 14.1% of revenues from $23.7 million or 18.7% of revenues in the first half of 2013. Capital expenditures in Q2 were $2.3 million compared to $0.9 million in first quarter of 2013. In the first six months of 2014, capital expenditures were $4.4 million compared to $2.7 million in the first half of 2013. On June 30, 2014, without giving consideration to our recent financing, our cash, cash equivalent totaled $13.4 million, working capital was $39.2 million, long-term debt was $98.1 million and our stockholders' equity totaled $13.9 million.
As Jeff noted earlier, our backlog on June 30, 2014 was $265.5 million. By geography, our backlog is comprised of approximately $144 million in South America and $121.5 million in North America. We expect to realize approximately 66% of the currently backlog in the remainder of 2014 with the difference in 2015.
We are actively considering a number of large projects that if awarded to SAE will supplement our current backlog as the year progresses. As Jeff also mentioned earlier, we recently completed our first bond offering. On July 2nd, we issued $150 million of senior secured notes in a private offering to qualified institutional buyers, these notes will mature on July 15, 2019 and carry an annual interest rate of 10%, will be paid semi-annually beginning in January 15, 2015.
We used the proceeds from the notes to repay our term loan in full in the amount of approximately 90.8 million which applicable prepayment premiums and penalties and accrued, but unpaid interest. We also repaid our stockholders’ note in full in the amount of $18.8 million which included principal amount of $17.5 million plus accrued but unpaid interest.
As previously disclosed over the course of the remainder of the year, we expect to invest approximately $30 million of the proceeds to purchase logistics-related equipment to outfit an additional crew capable of servicing the increase in the amount of our contracted projects on the North Slope of Alaska. The remainder of the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes.
Had the issuance of the notes and the repayment of the Term Loan and the stockholders' note been consummated on or before June 30, 2014, we would have recorded a net increase in cash of approximately $34.8 million, a net reduction in deferred loan issuance costs of $0.9 million and a net increase in long-term debt of approximately $51.9 million.
The repayment of the term loan would have resulted and recording a loss on early extinguishment of debt of approximately $17 million, consisting of a 5% prepayment premium, the make-whole provision and the write-down of the remaining unamortized deferred loan costs. We expect the expenses on early extinguishment of debt to impact our financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2014.
In conclusion, as a result of the expected growth in exploration spending within our core geographic markets, in addition to the strength of our current backlog and bids outstanding, we reaffirm our previously disclosed revenue guidance of approximately $400 to $450 million in 2014.
We also affirm our adjusted EBITDA guidance for 2014 of $45 million to $55 million. As a result of our recent financing, in conjunction with key projects already secured for the upcoming winter season, we have increased our expected level of total capital expenditures for 2014 to approximately $45 million, including approximately $30 million earmarked for equipment purchases related to our North Slope operations in Alaska.
At this point, I’ll turn the call over to the operator and open the floor for questions.
Thank you. (Operator Instructions). Our first question comes from the line of [Evan Singleton] of Jeffries. Your line is open.
Hey thank you. Good morning guys.
Good morning Evan.
Just wondering, I was taking a look at the guidance and the guidance you gave just using the midpoints, so obviously maybe just will take that in mind, and implied very strong second half revenue growth, but it looks as if the margin might be a bit lower in the second half, can you just comment on that maybe?
Yes Evan I think, we have been giving guidance, we stay pretty conservative both on the revenue side and on margin side. So, we think our margin is going to be consistent with where we’ve been through the rest of the year, but we try to be a bit conservative on the guidance side.
Okay. So, and it’s just a function. Okay. And then as well, how should we think about revenues and EBITDA for the remaining half of the year, are they little bit more front loaded, back end loaded or just (inaudible) kind of spread across both quarters equally?
I think it spread across both quarters evenly, we should have obviously pretty strong third quarter especially year-over-year our third quarter was not too great last year, so a very strong third quarter. And so I think it should be pretty, you’ll see pretty good growth both in third and first quarter moving forward.
Fantastic. And then also just a question and maybe you can just help me understand a little bit better in terms of the backlog, it looks like it’s down a little bit from obviously from the end of the first quarter just natural run-off. Can you give me an idea when you typically see awards kind of come through I was looking at numbers last year it looks like kind of ran down until the end of September then obviously a big bump up towards the end of the year. Just trying to get an idea of kind of when we can anticipate seeing these some of these bids that you have that actually fall into backlog?
Sure. So, second quarter usually low point as far as building backlog where you have customers coming from winter season prepared within the year, we definitely see a building of backlog for the winter season in North America for its third and fourth quarter. And really the same in other regions you get through a - as customers start dealing with rainy seasons and all that in South America they start to contracting for the seasons over. So we really see a ramp up through the end of the year of our backlog and we expect the same result this year.
Yeah. Just to add to that Evan I think what you see typically in end of Q2, beginning of Q3 is fine or going through their internal hurdles for approval and usually don't see the final [AFU] approvals coming to near the end of Q3 or early Q4 and that's why you're seeing a ramp up in backlog during that time.
Okay, great. And then just one another just housekeeping question. Do you happen to have just current cash balances?
Well, our current cash balances, of course we have the amount and we raised in the bond offerings, so we’ve given the cash balance and we have the amount that the income reserve for cash FX for the bond offerings. So, that's kind of rise our cash balance.
Do you happen to have just the total amount today or no?
Don't have today, but it's….
What we have at June 30.
Okay. That's all I was looking for. Okay, great. That's it for now. Thank you.
(Operator Instructions). Our next question comes from the line of Veny Aleksandrov of FIG Partners. Your line is open.
Veny Aleksandrov - FIG Partners
Good morning Veny.
Veny Aleksandrov - FIG Partners
My first question is on the outlook. It seems like you are probably getting closer to new contracts in Malaysia and Southeast Asia and I know you have been working on this for a while. Are you more optimistic now that it’s going to -- they're going to hit pretty soon?
Yes. I think we're seeing in Southeast Asia is as you know there are a lot of the callings or the leases there. We have Petronas as the partial partner there and there is kind of a change in the process for Petronas approval this year starting at the beginning of the year and I think some of the clientele the international operators, I wouldn’t say they didn't understand it, but I think it's becoming a longer process than they anticipated.
So we are seeing things starting to free up there and people are better working within the Petronas system and our expectations are that the jobs that we currently are negotiating have been at least the personal gets freed up here in during the month of August and then we will probably see the second and third contracts that we have been awarded sometime late latter part of Q3 or maybe the first couple of weeks for Q4?
Veny Aleksandrov - FIG Partners
That sounds great. And talking (inaudible) again can you start on that this year and this is in your guidance of 400 because these are big projects and they're going to (inaudible) from your operations?
Yes, we anticipate that one of the jobs in Southeast Asia makes a part of our guidance. But certainly like is two and end of year there is three, two or three options that if something happen with the Southeast Asia job that could be something else forward and behind it.
Veny Aleksandrov - FIG Partners
Okay. And then I missed it because there were some problems on the call review I think in your prepared remarks you said that (inaudible) but offshoring is really strong, again I am sorry I just could not understand what you were saying at this point?
Veny, could you repeat the question I am sorry?
Veny Aleksandrov - FIG Partners
Yes, in your prepared remarks when you were talking about Brazil. I think I understand that land did not build as you expected, but if you say the market is really strong offshore?
Yes I think what we are seeing in Brazil, I mean if you look back 24 months or so or 36 months when everybody thought that Brazil was going to have huge success in terms of leasing on onshore blocks that’s happening in a much slower rate and the work activity onshore is happening at a lower rate than I think than anybody anticipated, but the offshore areas and specifically ocean bottom nodal areas in and around the fields and in the obstructed areas is picking up. So we are seeing some strong indications from the companies that are working offshore that there is a going to be a bunch of ocean bottom nodal or near shore shallow water marine work coming up in 2015.
Veny Aleksandrov - FIG Partners
Alright and my last question is on margins, very good revenues in the quarter and margins were very strong particularly in couple of projects that impacted them. Can I understand the timing, can I understand the discharge geographic issues, but is there anyway that you can protect yourself in big projects like these and protect your margins?
Yes. As far as our margin and our outlook I mean there is a number of things that we do at a field level as far as building our efficiencies and improve our margins. And we've grown this company as we've demonstrated, this quarter-over-quarter, over a 100%. So, that does have pressure on margins as we go into new areas, [train to ourselves] in these areas.
As we build our presence though, our margins do start to improve. So, it's hard to develop the balance of a high growth company and maintaining a stable level of margins. The project we had in Bolivia, we did have some pressure on margins this quarter because of the just the phase of the project, there is a higher cost phase, that was probably one of the most complex project that’s ever been accomplished by any seismic company in South America. It involved mountain climbers, three mount rangers, extremely complex program.
So, we did see some pressure on our margins from that program. But at the same time, the company has growing just exponentially and we see ourselves growing very quickly in lot of these areas. And I think our margins will definitely improve as we start to entrench ourselves and build efficiencies and that's what we see going forward.
Veny Aleksandrov - FIG Partners
Thank you. Appreciate it.
And our next question comes from the line of Ian Gazard of BlueMountain. Your line is open.
Ian Gazard - BlueMountain
Yes. Ian Gazard, BlueMountain. I’d like to know more about this extremely complex project and why it was so complex? And I’d like to also understand whether you expect to have more of those types and how you’ll price those differently if at all, if you get more of those types of contracts?
Yes, it's Brian there. The 3D job in Bolivia, a lot of that was due to just the drilling was harder than we expected. But the main reason as mentioned before due to the fact that we are growing organically, which is a really good thing. We’ve recognized the issue and we need to concentrate a lot more on making sure our management and our senior people in the field are aware of everything and are they executing plan. We’ve recognized that and we’re concentrating on.
Ian Gazard - BlueMountain
Sorry I missed it, you said something was a lot more difficult than expected, did I miss the word?
The drilling part, the drilling was ultimately did not get the [Technical Difficulty] under drilling.
Ian Gazard - BlueMountain
Okay. And so is this something you will price differently in the future or you will just manage differently?
We’ll manage it differently, but we’ll probably get a lot more detail of what we call spot drilling [Technical Difficulty] bidding we will drill some holes, sometimes it’s impossible to do because environmental permit is in place but while we’re bidding but we’ve definitely recognized it and we won’t allow that to happen again.
Ian Gazard - BlueMountain
Great. Thanks a lot.
And I am showing no further questions in the queue at this time. I’d like to turn the call back to Jeff Hastings for closing remarks.
My apologies, one moment, we have a follow-up question from the line of Evan Templeton of Jeffries. Your line is open sir.
Evan Templeton - Jeffries
Hi thanks. Just another follow-up on the drilling the 3D in Bolivia. Now because that would be one segment of that project, how did the overall margin of that project, what was realized on that versus your original expectation?
Well the problem with that job the drilling was on the each job it depends on the logistics and the complexity of the job but the drilling was a bigger portion of that job, due to the fact that they did not reach their productivity goals. They did have a bigger impact on some jobs drilling is a very small margin of the overall revenue but on this job it was more of a larger one.
Evan Templeton - Jeffries
It’s safe to say Evan that -- I think to follow up on that, that the other aspects were on target, right, with our expectation, those are available in recording.
Evan Templeton - Jeffries
Okay. So, I just missed this portion. Okay, great. Thanks a lot for the clarification.
There are no further questions in the queue, I would like to turn the call back to Jeff Hastings for closing remarks.
Thank you. Now, if there is no further questions, I'd like to thank you again for joining us today. We're very confident in our ability to progress to the next level and deliver real value to our stockholders and we appreciate your support and we hope to have you as part of growth story going forward. Have a great day. And that will conclude our call.
Ladies and gentlemen thank you for participating in today's conference. This does conclude the program. You may all disconnect. Everyone have a wonderful day.
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