Ferrellgas Partners Reports Record Fiscal 2014 Results: Gross Profit, Adjusted EBITDA and Distributable Cash Flow

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Sept. 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (NYSE:FGP) today reported record gross profit, Adjusted EBITDA and distributable cash flow (DCF) for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2014.

Gross profit rose 7% to $791.3 million on increased propane sales volumes and margins, in addition to recently acquired midstream operations. Adjusted EBITDA improved to $288.1 million, meeting management's previously provided guidance of $285 million to $290 million, nearly 6% higher than the prior record of $272.2 million achieved in fiscal 2013. Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors improved to $190.5 million, producing DCF coverage of 1.17x, compared with $183.1 million and DCF coverage of 1.13x in fiscal 2013.

President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Wambold pointed out, "We are very happy to deliver these record results to our investors, and I could not be more proud of the way our organization performed this year in support of our customers and investors alike. Of longer-term significance, we were successful in taking our first step toward our strategic vision of diversifying our operations with our acquisition of Sable Environmental in May, and the establishment of our midstream division. Through this acquisition and two subsequent acquisitions in May and September, we are a significant provider of fluid logistics and salt water disposal services in the Eagle Ford Shale region of south Texas."

Wambold continued, "Fiscal 2014 represents our sixth record Adjusted EBITDA performance in the last nine years and we intend to build upon our success in fiscal 2015. Including the full-year impact from our midstream operations and the seven propane operations we acquired in fiscal 2014, we anticipate Adjusted EBITDA to range between $300 million and $320 million in fiscal 2015."

Propane sales volumes for the year grew 5% to 946.6 million gallons, from 901.4 million gallons sold in the year prior. Temperatures, as reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the more highly concentrated geographic areas the partnership serves, were 4% colder than normal in fiscal 2014. Blue Rhino tank exchange transactions contributed to the sales increase, posting a more than 9% improvement over the prior-year performance.

Operating expense for the year increased to $446.2 million from $410.1 million, reflecting the incremental cost associated with increased propane sales volumes while contending with the propane industry's supply shortages that occurred last winter. In addition, the acquisition of midstream operations and an accrual for contingent consideration related to the Sable transaction also increased operating expenses this fiscal year. General and administrative expense rose to $46.0 million from $42.0 million, primarily attributable to performance-based incentives and acquisition-related expenses. Interest expense improved to $86.5 million from $89.1 million, reflecting the benefit of the partnership's refinancing of senior notes in October 2013.

Net earnings for the year were $33.7 million, or $0.41 per common unit, including a loss on the early extinguishment of debt associated with the refinancing of the partnership's senior notes. Excluding this nonrecurring expense, net earnings per common unit were $0.67 compared to $0.71 in fiscal 2013.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., through its operating partnership, Ferrellgas, L.P., and subsidiaries, serves propane customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and provides midstream services to major energy companies in the United States. Ferrellgas employees indirectly own more than 22 million common units of the partnership through an employee stock ownership plan. More information about the partnership can be found online at www.ferrellgas.com.

Statements in this release concerning expectations for the future are forward-looking statements. A variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause results, performance and expectations to differ materially from anticipated results, performance and expectations. These risks, uncertainties and other factors are discussed in the Form 10-K of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp., Ferrellgas, L.P., and Ferrellgas Finance Corp. for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2014 and in other documents filed from time to time by these entities with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

FERRELLGAS PARTNERS, L.P. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
FOR THE THREE AND TWELVE MONTHS ENDED JULY 31, 2014 AND 2013
(in thousands, except per unit data)
Three months ended Twelve months ended
July 31 July 31
2014 2013 2014 2013
Revenues:
Propane and other gas liquids sales $ 350,557 $ 312,504 $ 2,147,343 $ 1,739,267
Midstream sales and other 48,473 38,169 258,517 236,200
Total revenues 399,030 350,673 2,405,860 1,975,467
Cost of product sold:
Propane and other gas liquids sales 223,872 189,161 1,456,388 1,092,261
Midstream sales and other 26,709 21,108 158,152 144,456
Gross profit 148,449 140,404 791,320 738,750
Operating expense (including $5,000 of change in fair value of contingent consideration for the three and twelve month period ended July 31, 2014) 112,561 100,838 446,193 410,059
Depreciation and amortization expense 22,431 20,822 84,202 83,344
General and administrative expense 10,913 9,631 45,983 42,027
Equipment lease expense 4,767 4,135 17,745 15,983
Non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge 11,400 3,096 21,789 15,769
Non-cash stock and unit-based compensation charge (a) 8,326 5,111 24,508 13,545
Loss on disposal of assets and other 3,060 4,693 6,486 10,421
Operating income (loss) (25,009) (7,922) 144,414 147,602
Interest expense (22,130) (22,007) (86,502) (89,145)
Loss on extinguishment of debt -- -- (21,202) --
Other income (expense), net (977) 48 (479) 565
Earnings (loss) before income taxes (48,116) (29,881) 36,231 59,022
Income tax expense (benefit) 125 (821) 2,516 1,855
Net earnings (loss) (48,241) (29,060) 33,715 57,167
Net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest (b) (446) (256) 504 741
Net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (47,795) (28,804) 33,211 56,426
Less: General partner's interest in net earnings (loss) (478) (288) 332 564
Common unitholders' interest in net earnings (loss) $ (47,317) $ (28,516) $ 32,879 $ 55,862
Earnings (loss) Per Unit
Basic and diluted net earnings (loss) per common unitholders' interest $ (0.58) $ (0.36) $ 0.41 $ 0.71
Weighted average common units outstanding 81,206.1 79,071.8 79,651.1 79,038.6
Supplemental Data and Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Items:
Three months ended Twelve months ended
July 31 July 31
2014 2013 2014 2013
Net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. $ (47,795) $ (28,804) $ 33,211 $ 56,426
Income tax expense (benefit) 125 (821) 2,516 1,855
Interest expense 22,130 22,007 86,502 89,145
Depreciation and amortization expense 22,431 20,822 84,202 83,344
EBITDA (3,109) 13,204 206,431 230,770
Loss on extinguishment of debt -- -- 21,202 --
Non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge 11,400 3,096 21,789 15,769
Non-cash stock and unit-based compensation charge (a) 8,326 5,111 24,508 13,545
Loss on disposal of assets and other 3,060 4,693 6,486 10,421
Other income (expense), net 977 (48) 479 (565)
Change in fair value of contingent consideration 5,000 -- 5,000 --
Litigation accrual and related legal fees associated with a class action lawsuit 327 230 1,749 1,568
Net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest (b) (446) (256) 504 741
Adjusted EBITDA (c) 25,535 26,030 288,148 272,249
Net cash interest expense (d) (22,179) (20,666) (83,686) (83,495)
Maintenance capital expenditures (e) (4,328) (4,074) (17,673) (15,070)
Cash paid for taxes (413) (462) (816) (550)
Proceeds from asset sales 1,257 1,967 4,524 9,980
Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors (f) (128) 2,795 190,497 183,114
Distributable cash flow attributable to general partner and non-controlling interest (3) 56 3,810 3,662
Distributable cash flow attributable to common unitholders (125) 2,739 186,687 179,452
Less: Distributions paid 40,614 39,535 159,316 158,087
Distributable cash flow excess/(shortage) $ (40,739) $ (36,796) $ 27,371 $ 21,365
Propane gallons sales
Retail - Sales to End Users 93,216 95,235 651,358 637,923
Wholesale - Sales to Resellers 61,548 61,051 295,212 263,447
Total propane gallons sales 154,764 156,286 946,570 901,370
Midstream operations (barrels processed) 2,500 0 2,500 0
(a) Non-cash stock and unit-based compensation charges consist of the following:
Three months ended Twelve months ended
July 31 July 31
2014 2013 2014 2013
Operating expense $ 1,832 $ 665 $ 5,335 $ 2,391
General and administrative expense 6,494 4,446 19,173 11,154
Total $ 8,326 $ 5,111 $ 24,508 $ 13,545
(b) Amounts allocated to the general partner for its 1.0101% interest in the operating partnership, Ferrellgas, L.P.
(c) Adjusted EBITDA is calculated as earnings (loss) before income tax expense(benefit), interest expense, depreciation and amortization expense, loss on extinguishment of debt, non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge, non-cash stock and unit-based compensation charge, loss on disposal of assets and other, other income (expense), net, change in fair value of contingent consideration, litigation accrual and related legal fees associated with a class action lawsuit and net earnings(loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest. Management believes the presentation of this measure is relevant and useful because it allows investors to view the partnership's performance in a manner similar to the method management uses, adjusted for items management believes makes it easier to compare its results with other companies that structures. This method of calculating Adjusted EBITDA may not be consistent with that of other companies and should be viewed in conjunction with measurements that have different financing and capital are computed in accordance with GAAP.
(d) Net cash interest expense is the sum of interest expense less non-cash interest expense and other income, net. This amount includes interest expense related to the accounts receivable securitization facility.
(e) Maintenance capital expenditures include capitalized expenditures for betterment and replacement of property, plant and equipment.
(f) Management considers distributable cash flow to equity investors a meaningful non-GAAP measure of the partnership's ability to declare and pay quarterly distributions to common unitholders. Distributable cash flow to equity investors, as management defines it, may not be comparable to distributable cash flow to equity investors or similarly titled measurements used by other corporations and partnerships. Items added into our calculation of distributable cash flow to equity investors that will not occur on a continuing basis may have associated cash payments Distributable cash flow to equity investors may not be consistent with that of other companies and should be viewed in conjunction with measurements that are computed in accordance with GAAP.
FERRELLGAS PARTNERS, L.P. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except unit data)
(unaudited)
ASSETS July 31, 2014 July 31, 2013
Current Assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 8,289 $ 6,464
Accounts and notes receivable, net (including $159,003 and $130,025 of accounts receivable pledged as collateral at July 31, 2014 and July 31, 2013, respectively) 178,602 131,791
Inventories 145,969 117,116
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 32,071 25,608
Total Current Assets 364,931 280,979
Property, plant and equipment, net 611,787 589,727
Goodwill 273,210 253,362
Intangible assets, net 276,171 189,516
Other assets, net 46,171 42,444
$ 1,572,270 $ 1,356,028
LIABILITIES AND PARTNERS' DEFICIT
Current Liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 69,360 $ 49,128
Short-term borrowings 69,519 50,054
Collateralized note payable 91,000 82,000
Other current liabilities 125,161 121,102
Total Current Liabilities 355,040 302,284
Long-term debt (a) 1,292,214 1,106,940
Other liabilities 36,662 33,431
Contingencies and commitments -- --
Partners' Deficit:
Common unitholders (81,228,237 and 79,072,819 units outstanding at July 31, 2014 and July 31, 2013, respectively) (57,893) (28,931)
General partner unitholder (820,487 and 798,715 units outstanding at July 31, 2014 and July 31, 2013, respectively) (60,654) (60,362)
Accumulated other comprehensive income 6,181 1,697
Total Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. Partners' Deficit (112,366) (87,596)
Noncontrolling Interest 720 969
Total Partners' Deficit (111,646) (86,627)
Total Liabilities and Partners' Deficit $ 1,572,270 $ 1,356,028
(a) The principal difference between the Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. balance sheet and that of Ferrellgas, L.P., is $182 million of 8.625% notes which are liabilities of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. and not of Ferrellgas, L.P.

CONTACT: Alan Heitmann, Investor Relations alheitmann@ferrellgas.com or (816) 792-6879 Scott Brockelmeyer, Media Relations scottbrockelmeyer@ferrelllgas.com or (913) 661-1830Source:Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.