Cash flow from operations was $151.7 million for 2012 compared to $252.3 million in 2011 due to lower earnings and higher deicing salt inventories. The company recorded capital expenditures of $32.0 million in the quarter and $130.9 million for the full year.
For the first few weeks of 2013, snow events in the company’s core North American service areas have been below average. If winter weather generates average highway deicing demand for the remainder of the first quarter of 2013, the company expects highway deicing sales volume to be approximately 3.3 million tons. Consumer and industrial sales volumes and average selling prices are expected to be similar to the first quarter of 2012. Per-unit salt costs are expected to remain at elevated levels due to operating inefficiencies resulting in large part from the mild winter season.
The company expects its specialty fertilizer sales volume to be approximately 175,000 tons in the first half of 2013, with 80,000 to 90,000 of those tons sold in the first quarter at an average selling price of approximately $600 per ton. Specialty fertilizer per-unit costs are projected to decline sequentially by approximately $75 per ton in the first quarter of 2013, then to approach $325 per ton for the remainder of the year.“While we face near-term challenges, primarily weather-related, I believe the way forward is to sharpen our strategies, not change them,” Mr. Malecha said. “I look forward to working with our employees and the board of directors to make Compass Minerals an even stronger company.” Conference Call Compass Minerals will discuss its results on a conference call this morning, Wednesday, February 6, at 9:00 a.m. ET. To access the conference call, interested parties should visit the company’s website at www.CompassMinerals.com or dial (877) 614-0009. Callers must provide the conference ID number 2032647. Outside of the U.S. and Canada, callers may dial (913) 643-4075. Replays of the call will be available on the company’s website for two weeks. The replay can also be accessed by phone for seven days at (888) 203-1112, conference ID 2032647. Outside of the U.S. and Canada, callers may dial (719) 457-0820. An updated summary of the company’s performance is included in a presentation available on the company’s website at www.compassminerals.com/presentation. About Compass Minerals Based in the Kansas City metropolitan area, Compass Minerals is a leading producer of minerals, including salt, sulfate of potash specialty fertilizer and magnesium chloride. The company provides highway deicing salt to customers in North America and the United Kingdom and specialty fertilizer to growers worldwide. Compass Minerals also produces consumer deicing and water conditioning products, ingredients used in consumer and commercial foods, and other mineral-based products for consumer, agricultural and industrial applications. Compass Minerals also provides records management services to businesses throughout the U.K.