Suburban Propane Partners LP. ( SPH)

F1Q12 Earnings Call

February 2, 2012 9:00 AM ET


David D’Ambrosio – Vice President and Treasurer

Mike Dunn – President and CEO

Michael Stivala – Chief Financial Officer.


Darren Horowitz – Raymond James

John Tysseland – CitiGroup



Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the First Quarter 2012 Results Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded.

This conference call contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, relating to the Partnership’s future business expectations and predictions, and financial condition, results of the operations.

These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties. The Partnership has listed some important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements, which are referred to as cautionary statements in its earnings press release which can be viewed on the company’s website. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to the Partnership or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by such cautionary statements.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Mr. Davin D'Ambrosio. Please go ahead.

Davin D'Ambrosio

Thank you, Greg, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to Suburban’s fiscal 2012 first quarter conference call. I’m David D’Ambrosio, Vice President and Treasurer at Suburban. Joining me this morning is Mike Dunn, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Michael Stivala, our Chief Financial Officer. Purpose of today’s call is to review our first quarter financial results, along with the current outlook for the business. Once we have concluded our prepared remarks, we will open the session to questions.

Before getting started, however, I would like to reemphasize what the operator has just explained about forward-looking statements. Additional information about factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in forward-looking statements is contained in the Partnership’s SEC filings, including its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 24, 2011 and its Form 10-Q for period ended December 24, 2011, which will be filed by the end of business today. Copies of these filings may be obtained by contacting the Partnership or the SEC.

Certain non-GAAP measures will be discussed on this call. We have provided a description of why those measures to be useful in our Form 8-K furnished to the SEC this morning. The Form 8-K can be access through a link on our website at

At this point, I’d like to get the call started by turning over to Mike Dunn for some opening remarks. Mike?

Mike Dunn

Thanks, Davin, and thanks everyone for joining us this morning. As we’ve discussed on last quarter’s conference call we fully expected this fiscal 2012 will continue to present a challenging operating environment for propane industry, with the continued weakness in the economy, limited new housing opportunities and stubbornly high commodity prices being the key drivers for our concerns.

However, our fiscal 2012 first quarter results were most negatively effected by the unseasonably warm weather experienced throughout most of our service territories during the quarter and in particular during the month of December 2011.

In fact, according to [Nova] many areas of the country have experienced record warm temperatures so far this heating season. Obviously, we are disappointed with our results. However, as we’ve discussed for several quarters now, the industry has been in the cyclical downturn resulting from the more microeconomic factors.

The significantly warmer than normal temperatures for first quarter across much of the nation only exacerbate the impact of these factors on both volumes and margins. Nonetheless, it is an environment such as this that reaffirms the importance of the steps we have taken to invest in our people, our technology and to restructure our operating model, while at the same time, strengthening our balance sheet and our cash position.

Despite these conditions, I’m pleased by the responsiveness of our flexible cost structure and the level of commitment by our field personnel in providing exceptional customer service while managing our customer base.

Furthermore, our financial position remain sound -- profile and more than $89 million of cash on hand, which not only provide us and our unitholders with the level of comfort in this swap, but will enable us to be responsive as opportunities present themselves.

In a moment I will comment on our outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year. However, at this point, I’d like to turn the call over to Mike Stivala to discuss our first quarter results in more detail. Mike?

Michael Stivala

Thanks Mike. And thanks everybody for joining us this morning. As we discussed our first quarter results to be consistent with previous reporting, I am excluding the impact of $1 million unrealized non-cash loss applicable to FAS 133 accounting that compares to an unrealized loss of $1.6 million in prior year first quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA for our first fiscal quarter totaled $39.1 million, a decrease of $21 million, compared to $60.1 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Net income totaled $24.3 million or $0.68 per common unit for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, compared to net income of $44.7 million or $1.26 per common unit in the prior year first quarter.

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