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|Murphy USA Inc. Reports First Quarter 2017 Results|
El Dorado, Arkansas, May 1, 2017 - Murphy USA Inc. (NYSE: MUSA), a leading marketer of retail motor fuel products and convenience merchandise, today announced financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2017.
"After posting our highest first quarter last year, Q1 EBITDA this year fell to its lowest level since 2012 as record industry refined product inventory levels led to depressed wholesale prices, regulatory and political uncertainty dampened RIN prices, and seasonally weak demand at the beginning of the year impacted retail volume," said President and CEO Andrew Clyde. "However, throughout these peaks and troughs associated with fuel volatility, we continue to drive significant improvements to our underlying business, leading to higher total merchandising profits and lower per-store operating expenses. At the same time, we continue to execute our approach to strategic capital allocation, balancing high quality organic growth with meaningful share repurchases, while leveraging our balance sheet appropriately. As Q1 market factors have begun to normalize, our long-term approach to managing the business shines through."
Income from continuing operations, Adjusted EBITDA and earnings per share declined in the Q1 2017 period due to lower total fuel contribution from retail and PS&W including RINs along with higher SG&A and payment fees. Additionally, first quarter 2016 earnings reflect a $56 million after-tax gain on the disposition of the CAM pipeline system.
Total fuel contribution dollars decreased 27.5% in Q1 2017 due to lower contribution from both retail and midstream components of our fuel business.
Total retail fuel contribution was lower by 8.9% due to lower volume and margins, as a flatter market structure in Q1 2017, when compared to price declines that occurred in the prior year, created more challenging pricing conditions. Total network retail gallons sold in the quarter increased 0.6% despite taking down 17 high-performing stores in the quarter for raze-and-rebuild activity. Same store gallons declined by 3.0%. Product Supply & Wholesale generated a loss in the period, as excess winter-grade refined product and subdued retail demand drove higher gasoline inventories that put pressure on the spot-to-rack margin. In addition, RIN prices were volatile during the quarter due to regulatory and political uncertainty.
Merchandise total sales increased 0.7% to $565.8 million in 2017 from $561.7 million in 2016 and was primarily due to an increase in non-tobacco sales of 3.2% average per store month (APSM), offset by a decrease in tobacco products revenue of 5.6% APSM.
Quarterly merchandise margins in 2017 were higher than 2016. The increase in gross margin dollars of 3.4% in the current period was due primarily to benefits recognized from the Core-Mark supply contract, in addition to per store improvements and improved promotional effectiveness. As a result, total unit margins were up by 40 basis points from 15.3% in the prior period to 15.7% in the current year.
Total station and other operating expenses increased $8.0 million for the quarter, reflecting higher payment fees and new store additions. On a per store basis, operating expenses excluding credit card fees declined 2.5% with labor costs down 9.6%, partially offset by maintenance related costs.
Total SG&A was up $6.7 million during Q1 2017 due to the $2.1 million restructuring charge taken in the period combined with higher labor and employee benefit costs and certain technology costs. SG&A expense is expected to moderate in the upcoming quarters and achieve a full year result within the guided range.
Murphy USA opened five retail locations in Q1 2017, bringing the quarter end store count to 1,406, consisting of 1,152 Murphy USA sites and 254 Murphy Express sites. A total of 35 stores are currently under construction, which includes 17 raze and rebuild locations.
Cash Flow and Financial Resources
Cash balances on March 31, 2017 totaled $36.3 million. Long-term debt consisted of approximately $489 million in carrying value of 6% senior notes due in 2023, and $170 million of term debt less $40 million of current maturities, which is reflected in Current Liabilities. Borrowings under the Company's asset-based loan (ABL) facility at March 31, 2017 were $26.5 million which are also included in Current Liabilities. Remaining undrawn borrowing capacity under the ABL was $172 million as of March 31, 2017.
Subsequent to the end of the quarter, the Company issued $300 million of senior, unsecured notes due in 2027 at a fixed interest rate of 5.625%. Approximately $50 million of the net proceeds from this new debt was used to pay down existing term loan debt as required under the terms of our credit facility and the remainder will be used for general corporate purposes.
Common shares repurchased during the current quarter were 268,490 for $17 million. There is approximately $159 million remaining under our previously authorized program of up to $500 million as of quarter end. At March 31, 2017, the Company had common shares outstanding of 36,775,640.
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The Company will host a conference call on May 2, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. Central time to discuss first quarter 2017 results. The conference call number is 1 (877) 291-1367 and the conference number is 99081658. A live audio webcast of the conference call and the earnings and investor related materials, including reconciliations of any non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP financial measures and any other applicable disclosures, will be available on that same day on the investor section of the Murphy USA website (http://ir.corporate.murphyusa.com). Online
replays of the earnings call will be available through Murphy USA's web site and a recording of the call will be available through May 3, 2017, by dialing 1(855) 859-2056 and referencing conference number 99081658. In addition, a transcript of the event will be made available on the website shortly following the conference call.
Certain statements in this news release contain or may suggest "forward-looking" information (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) that involve risk and uncertainties, including, but not limited to anticipated store openings, fuel margins, merchandise margins, sales of RINs and trends in our operations. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual future results may differ materially from historical results or current expectations depending upon factors including, but not limited to: our ability to continue to maintain a good business relationship with Walmart; successful execution of our growth strategy, including our ability to realize the anticipated benefits from such growth initiatives, and the timely completion of construction associated with our newly planned stores which may be impacted by the financial health of third parties; our ability to effectively manage our inventory, disruptions in our supply chain and our ability to control costs; the impact of any systems failures, cybersecurity and/or security breaches, including any security breach that results in theft, transfer or unauthorized disclosure of customer, employee or company information or our compliance with information security and privacy laws and regulations in the event of such an incident; successful execution of our information technology strategy; future tobacco or e-cigarette legislation and any other efforts that make purchasing tobacco products more costly or difficult could hurt our revenues and impact gross margins; efficient and proper allocation of our capital resources; compliance with debt covenants; availability and cost of credit; and changes in interest rates. Our SEC report, including our Annual Report on our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 contains other information on these and other factors that could affect our financial results and cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking information we may provide. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events, new information or future circumstances.
Murphy USA Inc.
Murphy USA Inc.
Same store sales information (compared to APSM metrics)
Average Per Store Month (APSM) metric includes all stores open through the date of the calculation.
Same Store Sales (SSS) metric includes aggregated individual store results for all stores open throughout both periods presented. For all periods presented, the store must have been open for the entire calendar year to be included in the comparison. Remodeled stores that remained open or were closed for just a very brief time (less than a month) during the period being compared remain in the same store sales calculation. If a store is replaced either at the same location (raze and rebuild) or relocated to a new location, it will typically be excluded from the calculation during the period it is out of service. New constructed sites do not enter the calculation until they are open for each full calendar year for the periods being compared (open by January 1, 2016 for the sites being compared in the 2017 versus 2016 calculations).
Murphy USA Inc.
Murphy USA Inc.
Supplemental Disclosure Regarding Non-GAAP Financial Information
The following table sets forth the Company's Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2017 and 2016. EBITDA means net income (loss) plus net interest expense, plus income tax expense (benefit), depreciation and amortization, and Adjusted EBITDA adds back (i) other non-cash items (e.g., impairment of properties and accretion of asset retirement obligations) and (ii) other items that management does not consider to be meaningful in assessing our operating performance (e.g., (income) from discontinued operations, gain (loss) on sale of assets and other non-operating expense (income)). EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not measures that are prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
We use this Adjusted EBITDA in our operational and financial decision-making, believing that such measure is useful to eliminate certain items in order to focus on what we deem to be a more reliable indicator of ongoing operating performance and our ability to generate cash flow from operations. Adjusted EBITDA is also used by many of our investors, research analysts, investment bankers, and lenders to assess our operating performance. However, non-GAAP measures are not a substitute for GAAP disclosures, and Adjusted EBITDA may be prepared differently by us than by other companies using similarly titled non-GAAP measures.
The reconciliation of net income to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA is as follows:
The Company also considers Free Cash Flow in the operation of its business. Free cash flow is defined as net cash provided by operating activities in a period minus payments for property and equipment made in that period. Free cash flow is also considered a non-GAAP financial measure. Management believes, however, that free cash flow, which measures our ability to generate additional cash from our business operations, is an important financial measure for us in evaluating the Company's performance. Free cash flow should be considered in addition to, rather than as a substitute for consolidated net income as a measure of our performance and net cash provided by operating activities as a measure of our liquidity.
Numerous methods may exist to calculate a company's free cash flow. As a result, the method used by our management to calculate our free cash flow may differ from the methods other companies use to calculate their free cash flow. The following table provides a reconciliation of free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, to net cash provided by operating activities, which we believe to be the GAAP financial measure most directly comparable to free cash flow: