Westlake Chemical Partners LP Announces First Quarter 2019 Results

  • Acquired additional 4.5% ownership interest in Westlake Chemical OpCo
    LP
  • Quarterly net income attributable to the Partnership of $15.0 million;
    MLP distributable cash flow of $17.6 million
  • Increased quarterly cash distribution by 2.9% sequentially, or 12%
    compared to the first quarter 2018 distribution, to $0.4452 per unit,
    the 17th consecutive quarterly increase in distributions

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Westlake Chemical Partners LP (NYSE: WLKP) (the “Partnership”) today
reported net income attributable to the Partnership of $15.0 million, or
$0.46 per limited partner unit, for the three months ended March 31,
2019, an increase of $2.7 million compared to first quarter 2018 net
income attributable to the Partnership of $12.3 million. The increase in
net income was primarily attributable to the Partnership’s increased
ownership interest in Westlake Chemical OpCo LP (“OpCo”), effective
January 1, 2019. Cash flows from operating activities in the first
quarter of 2019 were $113.5 million, an increase of $7.3 million
compared to first quarter 2018 cash flows from operating activities of
$106.2 million. This increase is primarily attributable to decreases in
working capital at OpCo, partially offset by lower margins on OpCo’s
third party sales volumes, as compared to the prior-year period. For the
three months ended March 31, 2019, MLP distributable cash flow of
$17.6 million increased by $3.1 million from first quarter 2018 MLP
distributable cash flow of $14.5 million. This increase was primarily
due to the increased ownership interest in OpCo, partially offset by
higher maintenance capital expenditures.

First quarter 2019 net income attributable to the Partnership of
$15.0 million increased by $3.1 million from fourth quarter 2018 net
income attributable to the Partnership of $11.9 million, primarily due
to the increased ownership interest in OpCo, partially offset by lower
production at OpCo. First quarter 2019 cash flows from operating
activities of $113.5 million increased $7.4 million compared to fourth
quarter 2018 cash flows from operating activities of $106.1 million,
primarily due to a reduction in working capital, partially offset by
lower production at OpCo. First quarter 2019 MLP distributable cash flow
of $17.6 million increased by $3.1 million compared to fourth quarter
2018 MLP distributable cash flow of $14.5 million, primarily due to the
increased in ownership of OpCo partially offset by lower production and
higher maintenance capital expenditures at OpCo.

On March 27, 2019, the Board of Directors of Westlake Chemical Partners
GP LLC announced that it had agreed to acquire an additional 4.5%
limited partner interest in OpCo on a fully diluted basis for
approximately $201.4 million. The Partnership financed the acquisition
with borrowings under its revolving credit facility and the proceeds of
a private placement of 2,940,818 common units. The acquisition increased
the Partnership’s limited partner interest in OpCo to approximately
22.8% and represented the third purchase of additional interests in OpCo
by the Partnership since the Partnership’s initial public offering. The
acquisition was effective January 1, 2019 and was immediately accretive
to the Partnership’s distributable cash flow.

On April 30, 2019, the Board of Directors of Westlake Chemical Partners
GP LLC announced a quarterly distribution with respect to the first
quarter of 2019 of $0.4452 per unit to be payable on May 28, 2019 to
unitholders of record as of May 13, 2019. The first quarter 2019
distribution increased by 12% compared to the first quarter 2018
distribution and by 2.9% compared to the fourth quarter 2018
distribution. MLP distributable cash flow provided trailing twelve-month
coverage of 1.12x the declared distributions for the first quarter of
2019.

OpCo’s Ethylene Sales Agreement with Westlake is designed to provide for
stable and predictable cash flows. The agreement provides that 95% of
OpCo’s ethylene production is sold to Westlake for a cash margin of
$0.10 per pound, net of operating costs, maintenance capital
expenditures and reserves for future turnaround expenditures.

“With the third dropdown transaction of interest in OpCo into the
Partnership, coupled with strong operational and financial performance
in the first quarter of 2019, we have laid the ground work for a
milestone year for the Partnership. This mutually beneficial transaction
demonstrates the strong, long-term alignment of the Partnership and
Westlake Chemical,” said Albert Chao, President and Chief Executive
Officer. “This quarter we increased our distribution for the seventeenth
consecutive quarter on MLP distributable cash flow of $17.6 million. We
are continuing to evaluate all opportunities available to further grow
our cash flows and continue long-term distribution growth to our
unitholders.”

The statements in this release and the related teleconference
relating to matters that are not historical facts, such as those with
respect to the potential for future growth of cash flows and
distributions are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking
statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual
results could differ materially, based on factors including, but not
limited to, operating difficulties; the volume of ethylene that we are
able to sell; the price at which we are able to sell ethylene; changes
in the price and availability of feedstocks; changes in prevailing
economic conditions; actions of Westlake Chemical Corporation; actions
of third parties; inclement or hazardous weather conditions, including
flooding, and the physical impacts of climate change; environmental
hazards; changes in laws and regulations (or the interpretation
thereof); inability to acquire or maintain necessary permits; inability
to obtain necessary production equipment or replacement parts; technical
difficulties or failures; labor disputes; difficulty collecting
receivables; inability of our customers to take delivery; fires,
explosions or other industrial accidents; our ability to borrow funds
and access capital markets; and other risk factors. For more detailed
information about the factors that could cause actual results to differ
materially, please refer to the Partnership’s Annual Report on Form 10-K
for the year ended December 31, 2018, which was filed with the SEC in
March 2019.

This release is intended to be a qualified notice under Treasury
Regulation Section 1.1446-4(b). Brokers and nominees should treat one
hundred percent (100.0%) of the Partnership’s distributions to non-U.S.
investors as being attributable to income that is effectively connected
with a United States trade or business. Accordingly, the Partnership’s
distributions to non-U.S. investors are subject to federal income tax
withholding at the highest applicable effective tax rate.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The body of accounting principles generally accepted in the United
States is commonly referred to as “GAAP.” For this purpose, a non-GAAP
financial measure is generally defined by the Securities and Exchange
Commission (“SEC”) as a numerical measure of a registrant’s historical
or future financial performance, financial position or cash flows that
(1) excludes amounts, or is subject to adjustments that have the effect
of excluding amounts, that are included in the most directly comparable
measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP in the
statement of income, balance sheet or statement of cash flows (or
equivalent statements) of the registrant; or (2) includes amounts, or is
subject to adjustments that have the effect of including amounts, that
are excluded from the most directly comparable measure so calculated and
presented. The non-GAAP financial measures described in this Form 10-Q
are not substitutes for the GAAP measures of earnings and cash flows. We
use each of MLP distributable cash flow and EBITDA to analyze our
performance. We define distributable cash flow as net income plus
depreciation, amortization and disposition of property, plant and
equipment, less contributions for turnaround reserves, maintenance
capital expenditures and mark-to-market adjustment on derivative
contracts. We define MLP distributable cash flow as distributable cash
flow less distributable cash flow attributable to Westlake’s
noncontrolling interest in OpCo and distributions attributable to the
incentive distribution rights holder. MLP distributable cash flow does
not reflect changes in working capital balances. We define EBITDA as net
income before interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and
amortization. MLP distributable cash flow and EBITDA are non-GAAP
supplemental financial measures that management and external users of
our consolidated financial statements, such as industry analysts,
investors, lenders and rating agencies, may use to assess our operating
performance as compared to other publicly traded partnerships, our
ability to incur and service debt and fund capital expenditures and the
viability of acquisitions and other capital expenditure projects and the
returns on investment of various investment opportunities. We believe
that the presentation of MLP distributable cash flow and EBITDA provides
useful information to investors in assessing our financial condition and
results of operations. The GAAP measures most directly comparable to MLP
distributable cash flow are net income and net cash provided by
operating activities. MLP distributable cash flow should not be
considered as an alternative to GAAP net income or net cash provided by
operating activities. MLP distributable cash flow has important
limitations as an analytical tool because it excludes some but not all
items that affect net income and net cash provided by operating
activities. The GAAP measures most directly comparable to EBITDA are net
income, income from operations and net cash provided by operating
activities, but EBITDA should not be considered an alternative to such
GAAP measures. EBITDA has important limitations as an analytical tool
because it excludes (1) interest expense, which is a necessary element
of our costs and ability to generate revenues because we have borrowed
money to finance our operations, (2) depreciation, which is a necessary
element of our costs and ability to generate revenues because we use
capital assets and (3) income taxes, which is a necessary element of our
operations in the jurisdictions we operate in. MLP distributable cash
flow and EBITDA should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute
for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP.

Westlake Chemical Partners LP

Westlake Chemical Partners is a limited partnership formed by Westlake
Chemical Corporation to operate, acquire and develop ethylene production
facilities and other qualified assets. Headquartered in Houston, the
Partnership owns an 22.8% interest in Westlake Chemical OpCo LP.
Westlake Chemical OpCo LP’s assets consist of three ethylene production
facilities in Calvert City, Kentucky, and Lake Charles, Louisiana and an
ethylene pipeline. For more information about Westlake Chemical Partners
LP, please visit http://www.wlkpartners.com.

Westlake Chemical Partners LP Conference Call Information:

A conference call to discuss Westlake Chemical Partners’ first quarter
2019 results will be held Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time
(11:00 AM Central Time). To access the conference call, dial (855)
765-5686 or (234) 386-2848 for international callers, approximately 10
minutes prior to the scheduled start time and reference passcode 888 02
96.

A replay of the conference call will be available beginning two hours
after its conclusion until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 9, 2019. To
hear a replay, dial (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 for international
callers. The replay passcode is 888 02 96.

The conference call will also be available via webcast at: https://edge.media-server.com/m6/p/htfmr93q
and the earnings release can be obtained via the Partnership web page
at: http://investors.wlkpartners.com/CorporateProfile.

 
WESTLAKE CHEMICAL PARTNERS LP (“WESTLAKE PARTNERS”)
 
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(Unaudited)
 
    Three Months Ended March 31,
2019     2018
(In thousands of dollars, except per unit data)
Revenue
Net sales—Westlake Chemical Corporation (“Westlake”) $ 257,040 $ 235,031
Net co-product, ethylene and other sales—third parties 42,046   49,241  
Total net sales 299,086 284,272
Cost of sales 208,432   191,767  
Gross profit 90,654 92,505
Selling, general and administrative expenses 6,973   7,133  
Income from operations 83,681 85,372
Other income (expense)
Interest expense—Westlake (5,900 ) (4,866 )
Other income, net 815   491  
Income before income taxes 78,596 80,997
Income tax provision 200   283  
Net income 78,396 80,714

Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests in
Westlake Chemical OpCo LP (“OpCo”)

63,441   68,419  
Net income attributable to Westlake Partners $ 14,955   $ 12,295  
 

Net income per limited partners unit attributable to Westlake
Partners (basic and diluted)

Common units

$ 0.46 $ 0.36
 
Distributions declared per unit $ 0.4452   $ 0.3975  
 
MLP distributable cash flow $ 17,555   $ 14,510  
 
Distributions declared
Limited partner units—publicly and privately held $ 9,379 $ 7,201
Limited partner units—Westlake 6,287 5,613
Incentive distribution rights   733  
Total distributions declared $ 15,666   $ 13,547  
EBITDA $ 111,340   $ 113,561  
 
 
WESTLAKE CHEMICAL PARTNERS LP
 
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(Unaudited)
 
    March 31,
2019
    December 31,
2018
(In thousands of dollars)
ASSETS
Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents $ 84,615 $ 19,744

Receivable under the Investment Management Agreement—Westlake
Chemical Corporation (“Westlake”)

276,501 148,956
Accounts receivable, net—Westlake 47,626 57,280
Accounts receivable, net—third parties 15,495 16,404
Inventories 4,171 4,388
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 251   370  
Total current assets 428,659 247,142
Property, plant and equipment, net 1,138,434 1,148,265
Other assets, net 64,180   66,718  
Total assets $ 1,631,273   $ 1,462,125  
 
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY
Current liabilities (accounts payable and accrued liabilities) $ 47,258 $ 48,772
Long-term debt payable to Westlake 601,119 477,608
Other liabilities 2,949   1,664  
Total liabilities 651,326   528,044  
Common unitholders—publicly and privately held 473,119 409,608
Common unitholder—Westlake 49,195 48,774
General partner—Westlake (242,572 ) (242,572 )
Total Westlake Partners partners’ capital 279,742 215,810
Noncontrolling interest in OpCo 700,205   718,271  
Total equity 979,947   934,081  
Total liabilities and equity $ 1,631,273   $ 1,462,125  
 
 
WESTLAKE CHEMICAL PARTNERS LP
 
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(Unaudited)
 
    Three Months Ended March 31,
2019     2018
(In thousands of dollars)
Cash flows from operating activities
Net income $ 78,396 $ 80,714
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by
operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization 26,844 27,698
Other balance sheet changes 8,259   (2,190 )
Net cash provided by operating activities 113,499   106,222  
Cash flows from investing activities
Additions to property, plant and equipment (12,144 ) (9,679 )
Maturities of investments with Westlake under the Investment
Management Agreement
80,000 112,000
Investments with Westlake under the Investment Management Agreement (207,512 ) (110,000 )
Other 46    
Net cash used for investing activities (139,610 ) (7,679 )
Cash flows from financing activities
Proceeds from private placement of common units 62,934
Proceeds from debt payable to Westlake 123,512 3,648
Quarterly distributions to noncontrolling interest retained in OpCo
by Westlake
(81,507 ) (91,148 )
Quarterly distributions to unitholders (13,957 ) (13,071 )
Net cash provided by (used for) financing activities 90,982   (100,571 )
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents 64,871 (2,028 )
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period 19,744   27,008  
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $ 84,615   $ 24,980  
 
 
WESTLAKE CHEMICAL PARTNERS LP
 
RECONCILIATION OF MLP DISTRIBUTABLE CASH FLOW TO NET INCOME
AND NET CASH PROVIDED BY OPERATING ACTIVITIES
(Unaudited)
 
   

Three Months
Ended
December 31,

    Three Months Ended March 31,
2018 2019     2018
(In thousands of dollars)
 
Net cash provided by operating activities $ 106,147 $ 113,499 $ 106,222
Changes in operating assets and liabilities and other (24,565 ) (35,103 ) (25,508 )
Net Income

 

81,582  

 

78,396  

 

80,714  
Add:

Depreciation, amortization and disposition of property, plant and
equipment

27,922 27,302 28,265
Mark-to-market adjustment gain on derivative contracts 62 (715 )
Less:
Contribution to turnaround reserves (4,238 ) (3,848 ) (4,148 )
Maintenance capital expenditures (9,297 ) (11,320 ) (7,979 )
Incentive distribution rights (733 )
Distributable cash flow attributable to noncontrolling interest in
OpCo
(81,507 ) (72,260 ) (81,609 )
MLP distributable cash flow $ 14,524   $ 17,555   $ 14,510  
 
 
WESTLAKE CHEMICAL PARTNERS LP
 
RECONCILIATION OF EBITDA TO NET INCOME, INCOME FROM OPERATIONS
AND NET CASH
PROVIDED BY OPERATING ACTIVITIES
(Unaudited)
 
   

Three Months
Ended
December 31,

    Three Months Ended March 31,
2018 2019     2018
(In thousands of dollars)
 
Net cash provided by operating activities $ 106,147 $ 113,499 $ 106,222
Changes in operating assets and liabilities and other (24,565 ) (35,103 ) (25,508 )
Net Income

 

81,582  

 

78,396  

 

80,714  
Less:
Other income, net

 

715

 

815

 

491
Interest expense

 

(5,381 )

 

(5,900 )

 

(4,866 )
Income tax provision

 

(208 )

 

(200 )

 

(283 )
Income from operations

 

86,456

 

 

83,681

 

 

85,372

 
Add:
Depreciation and amortization 26,666 26,844 27,698
Other income, net 715   815   491  
EBITDA $ 113,837   $ 111,340   $ 113,561  

Contacts

(713) 585-2900
Investors—Steve Bender
Media—L. Benjamin
Ederington

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