UGI Corporation (UGI) CEO John Walsh on Q2 2018 Results - Earnings Call Transcript
Teledyne Technologies Inc. (NYSE:UGI) Q2 2018 Results Earnings Conference Call August 2, 2018 11:00 AM ET
Brendan Heck - Investor Relations
Hugh Gallagher - CFO, AmeriGas Propane
Ted Jastrzebski - CFO, UGI Corporation
Jerry Sheridan - President and CEO, AmeriGas Propane
John Walsh - President and CEO, UGI Corporation
Chris Sighinolfi - Jefferies
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Julie and I will be your conference operator today. At this time I would like to welcome everyone to the UGI Corporation and AmeriGas Third Quarter 2018 Conference Call and Webcast. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers remarks there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] Thank you. I would now like to turn the call over to Brendan Heck, Manager Investor Relations. Brendan you may begin.
Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us. With me today are Hugh Gallagher, CFO of AmeriGas Propane; Ted Jastrzebski, CFO of UGI corporation; Jerry Sheridan, President and CEO of AmeriGas Propane; and John Walsh President and CEO of UGI Corporation.
Before we begin let me remind you that our comments today include certain forward-looking statements which management believes to be reasonable as of today's date only. Actual results may differ significantly because of risks and uncertainties; they're difficult to predict. Please read our earnings release and our annual report on Form 10-K for extensive list of factors that could affect results. We assume no duty to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that are different from expectations. Also describe our business using certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations of these measures to the comparable GAAP measures are available in the appendix of our presentation.
Now let me turn the call over to John. John?
Thanks Brendan. Good morning and welcome to our call. I hope that you've all had the opportunity to review our press releases reporting third quarter results for UGI and AmeriGas. On the call this morning I'll provide an overview of our financial performance and key activities in the third quarter. Then turn it over to Ted who joined us as CFO in May who will provide you with a more detailed review of UGI's financial performance. Jerry will follow with an overview on AmeriGas and I'll then wrap up with an update on our strategic initiatives.
Our financial results this quarter were in line with our expectations and the underlying performance of our businesses remains strong. Ted will provide additional information on our financial results later in the call.
Our Q3 GAAP EPS was $0.30. Our adjusted EPS was $0.09. While our GAAP EPS was well above last year's Q3 GAAP EPS of an $0.11 loss our adjusted EPS of $0.09 was equal to or Q3 fiscal 17 adjusted EPS. Both quarters have been adjusted for the mark-to-market valuation of unsettled hedges and other items that Ted will cover later.
Achievement of adjusted EPS equal to last year is noteworthy since the adjusted EPS in fiscal ‘18 Q3 includes the impact of a $0.09 reserve in our utilities business in connection with an order issued by the Pennsylvania PUC directing the company return the tax savings from January to June 2018 to our customers. Excluding this $0.09 reserve we delivered adjusted EPS that was roughly double our adjusted EPS in Q3 fiscal ‘17.
Based on strong year-to-date results we expect our full-year adjusted EPS to be within the current guidance range of $2.70, $2.80 which we announced on our last call. At the midpoint of that range our fiscal ‘18 adjusted EPS would surpass the record adjusted fiscal ‘17 EPS of $2.29 by 20%. These outstanding results reflect the strong underlying performance of our business units and the positive impact of tax reform on our non-utilities businesses.
One final critical point related to tax reform as we look forward to fiscal ‘19 and beyond the impacts of tax reform at UGI are significant positive and ongoing.
Our teams have done an outstanding job delivering superior financial results. They've managed through the many challenges they face every day while maintaining a strong focus on safety, customer service, and the development of emerging growth opportunities. We're very pleased with the financial and operational performance of our businesses and with the continued contributions from our major new investments. Our outlook remains very positive for fiscal 19 and beyond.
I'll discuss progress on our long-term strategic opportunities later in the call but first I'd like to highlight several key achievements in the quarter. Our utilities team continues to make great progress executing our infrastructure replacement and upgrade program and growing our customer base across eastern and central Pennsylvania. Our cast iron and bare steel replacement programs remain on track and we've added over 11,000 new residential heating and commercial customers to the first three quarters of the fiscal year.
Results within our midstream marketing business reflect the positive contributions from our Sunbury and Texas Creek projects. These two projects are among a portfolio of midstream investments that we've executed over the past decade as we build out our asset network in the Marcellus. Our existing network which includes gathering, storage, pipeline, and LNG assets provides us with a range of midstream transportation capabilities and options. This supply versatility is particularly well suited to deliver value in the coming years due to the market uncertainty related to the timing and extent of additional pipeline capacity additions in the mid-Atlantic and northeast.
I'll come back to that point later in the call.
Our team from AmeriGas saw the benefits of colder weather particularly in the first few weeks of Q3. AmeriGas's adjusted EBITDA was up over 15% versus Q3 fiscal ‘17. We also continue to perform extremely well with our national accounts customers where AmeriGas scale and reach is a clear differentiator. National Accounts volumes at AmeriGas were up 11% over our Q3 fiscal ‘17 volumes.
UGI International delivered a very strong quarter quarterly performance with operating income well above fiscal ‘17. On a year-to-date basis we've seen the very positive impact of contributions from DVEP and UniverGas. We're extremely pleased with the performance of both of these businesses which we acquired late in fiscal ‘17 and early in fiscal ‘18 respectively. They are great examples of investments that enable UGI to push our boundaries by identifying attractive new investment opportunities. UniverGas push the boundaries of our European LPG business representing our entry into Italy. DVEP push the boundaries of our energy marketing business in Europe by adding a significant power marketing and services capability and by establishing UGI International as a natural gas and power marketer in the Netherlands.
Our solid performance in Q3 and year-to-date clearly demonstrates the strength and resiliency of UGI's businesses. Our robust performance in a quarter gives us great confidence in our full-year outlook and provides a strong foundation for fiscal ‘19 and beyond.
Before I turn the call over to Ted I just like to say how pleased we are to have added a senior executive of Ted's caliber and capability to the UGI team. That's extensive experience as a senior finance executive, his general management experience and his years of living and working internationally makes him a great fit for our CFO role. With that I'll turn the call over to Ted who will provide you with more details on our overall financial performance. Ted?
Thanks for the introduction John. It's an exciting time to be at UGI working with such an experienced and capable executive team and now I'm learning firsthand the numerous opportunities this business has the continuous growth trajectory and build on its already impressive record of financial performance. I'm really glad to be here and look forward to working with all of you in the future.
Turning to our financials as you can see on slide 7 the table lays out our GAAP and adjusted earnings per share for this quarter compared to the third quarter of last year. Adjusted results exclude the impact of mark-to-market changes and commodity hedging instruments; a gain of $0.21 this quarter versus a loss of $0.10 in the prior year. We had a similar story with our foreign currency hedges a gain of $0.10 this quarter versus a loss of $0.06 in the prior year. You can also see the integration expenses associated with the Finagaz acquisition and one-time tax impacts of the French finance bill and the tax cuts and Jobs Act. The $0.08 adjustment as a result of the impairment of heritage trade names and trademarks that Jerry will discuss in greater detail.
Our adjusted earnings of $0.09 per share for the quarter are flat versus last year largely due to the impact of the Pennsylvania PUC order concerning the tax cut and Jobs Act. On the chart we broke out the $0.09 reserve that we booked this quarter. I'll explain the impact in greater detail on the next slide.
Excluding the order our businesses posted results that nearly doubled the third quarter of 2017. Cold weather early in the quarter led to increased volumes at our LPG businesses. AmeriGas and UGI International also benefited from higher unit margins. The natural gas side of the house continues to benefit from our recent investments as well as customer growth at the utility.
Slide 9, on May 17 2018 the Pennsylvania PUC required Pennsylvania Utilities to establish a regulatory liability for tax benefits accrued from January 1 through June 30 resulting from the change in Federal tax rate from 35% to 21%. In June UGI utilities reduced its revenue by $22.7 million and established a reserve. This decreased adjusted EPS by $0.09 in the quarter.
This table breaks down the EPS impact of the regulatory liability. As you can see the after tax impact recorded in Q3 was $16.2 million. This is in addition to the 900,000 previously recorded in March 2018. Of the $16.2 million only $1.3 million or one penny relates to the fiscal third quarter. The remaining reserve relates to the fiscal second quarter. The rate treatment of the reserve will be addressed in future proceedings.
Turning to Slide 10, retail volume was up 4% at AmeriGas due to cold weather in April. Operating and administrative expenses from Q3 2017 include $7.5 million manufactured gas plant accrual. Excluding that accrual operating and admin expenses increased by about 1% as expenses related to increased delivery activity were largely offset by lower self-insured and liability expense. Adjusted EBITDA was $67.2 million for the quarter representing an increase of $8.8 million or 15% versus the third quarter of last year. Jerry will spend some more time on AmeriGas in just a bit.
UGI International contributed $10.6 million and adjusted income before taxes about $9 million increase over last year. Volume increased 13.5% as a spillover result of late March cold weather in France and incremental gallons from the UniverGas acquisition.
Total margin increased 27% over last year due to higher retail unit margins, stronger Euro and Pound Sterling an incremental margin from both UniverGas and DVEP.
Turning to expenses OpEx increased year-over-year due to stronger FX rates approximately $8.7 million of incremental cost from our recent acquisitions, slightly higher distribution costs and increased compliance costs associated with energy conservation and operational safety requirements. The increase in OpEx was partially offset by expense energies from the Finagaz gas integration as well as lower tank and cylinder repairs and maintenance. The $2.8 million increase and other income is largely the result of the gain on the sale of assets and interest income.
As a reminder foreign currency fluctuations impacting individual financial statement line items but are largely offset by our FX hedging. The gains and losses from hedging are accorded in other income and expense.
Midstream and marketing income before taxes is up nearly $5 million to $8.2 million for the quarter. Total margin increased $15.4 million. Most of the increase was driven by our midstream assets particularly higher gathering margin from Sunbury and Texas Creek and improved leverage of our capacity. Cold weather early in the quarter led to increased volume sold and higher total margin from retail natural gas and power marketing.
OpEx increased $7.3 million which was largely a result of higher compensation and benefits and higher expenses associated with increased peaking LNG and natural gas gathering activities.
The decrease in other operating income was driven primarily by the absence of AFUDC income associated with the Sunbury pipeline that was recorded in Q3, 2017.
Turning to Slide 13 utilities is reporting a loss before taxes of $6.1 million about 24 million lower than last year's quarter. As I've mentioned utilities results are impacted by the Pennsylvania PUC order. Revenues were reduced by $22.7 million. This impacted margin in the quarter but if you exclude the revenue reduction total margin increased $15.4 million due to higher core market throughput and an increase in PNG base rates as well as higher large firm delivery service total margin. The increase in OpEx is driven primarily by higher IT maintenance and consulting expense, higher uncollectible accounts expense and higher distribution systems expenses. Depreciation and amortization are up due to increase capital spending activity.
Lastly, the $6 million decrease in other income is due to the absence of $5.8 million insurance settlement that was recorded in Q3 of 2017. The utility continues to have a strong year as their adjusted net income attributable to UGI's up about 25 million or $0.14 year-to-date versus last year.
With that let me turn the call over to Jerry for his update on AmeriGas. Jerry?
Okay. Thanks a lot Ted. Good morning everyone. AmeriGas EBITDA for the third quarter was $67 million as Ted mentioned up 15% from the $58 million reported last year. Whether for the quarter was 9.6% colder than normal with some significant fluctuations throughout the quarter. April was very cold and wet; significantly colder than normal and last year. May and June have a fewer degree days than April but they remain important to finishing the heating season and both May and June were significantly warmer than normal and warmer than last year leading to a fairly abrupt end to the heating season.
Average propane prices in the quarter of Mont-Bellevue were $0.87 were 39% above the prior year despite the significant rise in cost we managed margins $0.02 above the prior year. Operating expenses were up 1% primarily related to the 4% increase in volume and higher delivery activity in the quarter. So year-to-date adjusted EBITDA for the nine months ended June 30 was $570 million. Given a reasonably normal September weather coming up Q4 tends to come in around $40 million to $50 million in EBITDA so we expect to finish the year with adjusted EBITDA in the range of $610 million to $620 million.
Now just turning to our growth. AmeriGas cylinder exchange volume for the quarter was flat with the prior year. The cold-wet April which provided more volume for the base business did reduce drilling demand. However, ACE volume is up 7% year-to-date and the total locations where you can buy an ACE cylinder are up 6% from this time last year.
Our National Accounts volume as John mentioned earlier was up 11% primarily due to the April weather and year-to-date our National Accounts volume is up 12% versus last year. We also did closed one acquisition in April adding 3 million gallons annually.
Finally, just a couple comments on the trade names that have been mentioned. Last quarter I shared that we were rationalizing the many trade names we acquired in 2012 with the Heritage propane acquisition and at that time we estimated the non-cash charge of about $70 million would flow through the third quarter.
Now that the full analysis is complete the actual non-cash charge is $75 million and will be reflected in our Q3 P&L and will be adjusted out of EBITDA. The remaining trade name balance will be amortized over the next three years. So that concludes my comments. I will turn it back over to John.
Okay. Thank you Jerry. I'd like to have briefly review progress on the strategic investments that will provide the foundation for our future growth. Our midstream and marketing team continues to identify and develop a broad range of new investments that deliver attractive returns as individual projects and strengthen our network of assets within and adjacent to the Marcellus. We continue to work with our Penny's partners as that critical infrastructure project moves through the state level permitting processes. At this point we're working through the details of gaining access to the remaining land parcels along the route in order to confirm field level environmental data for our permits. We will update the project timeline once we have clarity on completion dates for our state level permitting.
However, we do expect to commence construction on the project in late 2019.
The delays and uncertainty around new pipeline capacity addition have resulted in the emergence of new and very attractive investment opportunities. Net gas demand remains very high and we're focused on developing projects that could serve this increased demand. One example of these emerging opportunities is the unprecedented demand for our LNG peaking services and supply capabilities throughout the mid-Atlantic region and New England.
In order to address that ramping demand we're planning to construct a new LNG storage and vaporization facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This facility which capitalizes on our close proximity to abundant and affordable Marcellus resources will include 2 million gallons of LNG storage and new vaporization capacity to serve our peaking customers. The system is similar to our Steelton Pennsylvania facility that came on stream earlier this year. This is another key step in the build-out of our LNG network and positions UGI as a leader in LNG peaking services.
The strengthening of our LNG network also provides us with additional capacity and delivery flexibility which is critical during periods of market volatility when demand spikes and pipeline capacity is constrained. As I noted earlier on the call activity at our gas utility remains at an unprecedented level.
In addition to the capital for infrastructure replacement and customer growth we're also investing in enhanced tools and systems that will ensure that UGI remains at the forefront in terms of safety and customer service. Our full year fiscal ‘18 capital spend for UGI utilities will exceed $350 million and we expect that our CapEx will continue at or above that level over the next five to ten years.
We're excited about this opportunity to invest in our service territories in Pennsylvania and to serve the growing demand for natural gas across our residential, commercial, and industrial segments.
AmeriGas continues to be the leader in the growth segments of the U.S. propane sector. In addition to our success of National Accounts which I referenced earlier we are the leading innovator in cylinder exchange as we deploy next generation bending systems with our high-volume retail partners. These systems provide clear benefits to both the retailer and the consumer as they enable access to ACE cylinders 24/7, 365 days a year.
In addition to delivering a very strong quarterly performance our team at UGI International continues to enhance our position in European LPG distribution while developing and expanding position in natural gas and power marketing. Our recent acquisitions; [indiscernible] and UniverGas and LPG and DVEP and gas and power marketing are performing well and we've added talented teams to our organization. Our future outlook for UGI International is very positive and we're eager to develop more investments that will further push the boundaries of our strategy.
As I noted earlier we're on track to deliver a full year fiscal ‘18 adjusted EPS approximately 20% above our record adjusted fiscal ‘17 EPS. The midpoint of our adjusted EPS guidance for fiscal ‘18 represents a 70% increase from our fiscal ‘13 adjusted EPS. That five-year compound annual EPS growth rate of over 11% has been enabled by a series of acquisitions and new capital projects that have been executed over that timeframe. These new investments which are closely aligned with our core strategies for each business provide a strong foundation for the future.
As we turn our attention to fiscal ‘19, we're very encouraged by the range of growth opportunities currently being developed by our teams and we look forward to keeping you updated on our future calls. With that I'll turn the call back over to Julie who will open it up for questions.
[Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from Chris Sighinolfi with Jefferies. Chris your line is open.
Hey good morning guys.
John just a couple questions for me. You had I don't know I joined up the call a little bit late and so I apologize if you covered this in your early -- the early part of your prepared remarks, but you had disclosed in the Q last quarter filings to merge the utilities into one and so I was just curious if you could talk about sort of the motivations to doing that and then what we might see as a result of it? Does it change? Obviously you're spending a lot of capital, so I would imagine spreading that over a larger consolidated customer basis has some positive effects when it comes to [indiscernible] cadence of great cases and things of that nature but I'm not sure if there's other things that motivated them or worth discussing.
Yes. Sure. And you basically hit it Chris in terms of the motivation. Merging the utilities sort of simplifies the regulatory processes. It enables us to more easily sort of optimize and manage capital spend across the larger entity which for us is beneficial and also beneficial for the regulators in terms of assessing our activities and monitoring our execution of critical infrastructure programs. So it does sort of simplify and streamline the regulatory processes and from our standpoint enables us to optimize capital spend and prioritize that spend across our entire service territory on the gas side.
So that's the primary motivator. It will simplify the rate case cadence as well. So that's beneficial for us and also beneficial for the regulators.
Okay. I thought that was the case but helpful to get your feedback on it. And then I guess Ted one question with regard to the PUC action here and as it pertains I guess most specifically to how we think about fiscal ‘19. So just I guess correct my understanding 4Q or fiscal 1Q last year obviously before any tax impact but really it's just moving revenues, reducing revenues for the net effect of what the tax code change was. So we should anticipate that fiscal 1Q ‘19 and I guess in terms of just the interplay between fiscal 2Q and 3Q you detailed in the slide presentation kind of what was attributable to each period. So if we make that adjustment ourselves it should be pretty clean year-over-year comparisons. Is that an accurate way to think about it or is there anything else you would advise us to consider as we think about forecasting quarters for next year?
No. I think that's exactly how you should be thinking about it. I mean given the PUC order we're expecting to have any tax what would have been tax gains under the new act that'll be returned through revenue to consumers. As I said in my statements we'll be looking at future proceedings for rate treatment on that but until we have any new decisions I think it's that straightforward.
Okay. And I guess the final question for me and it's maybe back to you John. In regards to the international business I mean clearly there's been a lot of things said on the political front when it comes to sort of U.S. and its trading partners and the treatments that we have with one another. It seems like there has been a day-to-day change obviously as somebody who owns and operates businesses abroad and is also actively acquiring businesses abroad. Has there been any change I guess in your appetite with that or the appetite of potential your partners or sellers to UGI International in light to change dynamic?
Yes. No Chris. No change from our appetite. I think one of the things that just reinforces something we do anyways is it's important for us as a distributor to have a supply portfolio diversity because you never know what's going to happen in terms of availability or any kind of tariff or anything that could be imposed. So whether we're talking about commodity itself like propane or we're talking about cylinders, it's important for us and we do have a multitude of suppliers from various geographies and trade partners. So we really see this as having no impact and when you get to the core of the business it's a domestic business in terms of the customers we serve within each geography in Europe but I think the key when it comes to some of the uncertainty around trade is to have that continued application of a sourcing and supply strategy that we have which is diversity is crucial.
Okay. Great. Thanks for the added color this morning, appreciate it.
Okay. Thank you Chris.
We have no further questions at this time. I will turn the call back over to John Walsh.
Okay. Thank you Julie and thank you all for your time and attention this morning. We look forward to keeping you abreast of developments during the fourth quarter and look forward to fourth quarter earnings call. Thanks.
This concludes today's conference call. You may now disconnect.
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