Alon USA CEO Discusses Q3 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Alon USA Energy, Inc. ( ALJ)

Q3 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

November 5, 2010 10:00 am ET


Amir Barash – VP, IR

Jeff Morris – CEO

Paul Eisman – President


Jeff Dietert – Simmons & Company

Evan Templeton – Jefferies & Company

Paul Cheng – Barclays Capital

Paul Sankey – Deutsche Bank

Chi Chow – Macquarie Capital

Matthew Mulligan – BNP Paribas

Matt Hall – 40/86 Advisors



Good day, ladies and gentlemen and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Alon USA's Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call. During today’s presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Following the presentation, the conference will be open for questions. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, today’s conference is being recorded, Friday, the 5th of November, 2010. I’d now like to hand the conference over to Amir Barash, Vice President, Investor Relations. Go ahead, please.

Amir Barash

Thank you, Josh [ph]. Good morning, everyone and welcome to Alon USA’s third quarter 2010 earnings conference call. With me Jeff Morris, Chief Executive Officer; Paul Eisman, President; Joseph Israel, Chief Operating Officer; Shai Even, Chief Financial Officer; along with other members of our senior management team. You should have received yesterday our earnings release but in case you didn't, you can obtain a copy from our website, under the Investor Relations section.

Before I turn the call over to Jeff, please be aware that the information reported on this call speaks only as of today, November 5, 2010 and therefore you're advised that time sensitive information may no longer be accurate as of time of any replay. Also let me remind you that certain statements made by management during this call may constitute forward looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

These forward looking statements are based on management's current expectations and include known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which the company is unable to predict or control, that may cause the company's actual results or performance to materially differ from any future results or performance expressed or implied by those statements. These risks and uncertainties include the risk factors disclosed by the company from time to time in its filings with the SEC.

Furthermore, as we start this call please also refer to the statement regarding forward looking statements incorporated in our news release issued yesterday. And please note that the contents of our conference call today are covered by these statements. With that, I’ll turn the call over to Jeff.

Jeff Morris

Thank you, Amir and thank you all for joining us today. Alon USA is in transition and we’re transitioning Big Spring to higher throughputs quarter-by-quarter while integrating retail fuel’s marketing business continues to have record quarters and its projected to have a second record year.

Paul will provide more details about our retails and fuels marketing but we are very proud of the contribution of this segment to our overall business. We are transitioning our Paramount facility by the conversion of startup of Bakersfield as a gad oil hydrocracker, while our integrated asphalt business continues to focus on the growth of our specialty asphalts.

We are transitioning our Krotz Springs facility to operate that with a broader array of crude oils and operating modes to address the high WTI LLS spreads. And importantly, we’re providing the financial resources to support this transition.

Paul will more provide details later regarding operations and plans as I will provide some color around our resources. In October, we completed a direct offering of preferred stock for $40 million. In addition, we obtained $23million of letters of credit outside of our existing facilities.

We have also identified offers and opportunities, which would add $60 million to $100 million to our resources over the next few quarters. At this time, it would be premature for me to provide details regarding these opportunities. And since we are sometimes asked, the market value of our inventories exceeds our LIFO value by $104 million.

In addition, you will see a $17 million after-tax gain on bargain purchase in our 10-Qs – in our press release. This is evidence of the good price for which we were able to obtain the Bakersfield refinery.

In the second quarter, we successfully monetized inventory in place of Bakersfield and recovered the metals from catalyst, which we will not use long-term. Both of these have higher values than we anticipated.

We are well aware of the near-term issues, which have affected our profitability. The throughputs of Big Spring have been lower than historical but we are continuing our disciplined operations review and raising rates quarter-by-quarter. And our integrated retail wholesale fuel business is performing at record levels with continued improvement opportunities.

West coast margins are low and asphalt demand has been below historical levels but we will transform our margin capture on the West Coast with the startup of Bakersfield. And we continue to obtain pricing for asphalt well above WTI pricing due to our focus on premium grades.

Finally, the spreads between LLS and WTI have been at record levels. Thus we are already test running alternative crude such as Bakken and undertaking initiatives to receive crude such as a WTI at Krotz Springs. We are not naive to our challenges but have specific initiatives in place to address each of these challenges and are providing the financial resources to implement these initiatives.

I will now turn the call over to Paul to provide more details around our operations.

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