BioFuel Energy's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

BioFuel Energy Corp. (BIOF)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 10, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Scott Pearce - President & CEO

Kelly Maguire - EVP & CFO

Doug Henderson - EVP & COO

Analysts

Presentation

Operator

Welcome to today's BioFuel Energy conference call entitled earnings release for second quarter 2012. During the presentation, all lines will be in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation and instructions for asking questions will be given at that time. Thank you for your attention. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Mr. Scott Pearce.

Kelly Maguire

Please bear in mind that we will be making a number of forward-looking statements on today's call. Forward-looking statements are any statements that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements are based on the current expectations of BioFuel Energy’s management and therefore, and there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct because forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, our actual results could differ materially from management’s expectations.

Information about the risk factors that could cause our results to differ from our expectations are also referred to in this morning’s earnings press release and are described in greater detail in our annual report on Form 10-K and in other periodic filings.

Scott Pearce

Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us for our second quarter earnings call. On the call today, with me are Kelly Maguire and Doug Anderson, our Chief Operating Officer.

With another challenging quarter for the company, ongoing weakness in ethanol prices has reflected in the narrow ethanol corn crush pressure margin remained a key driver behind our net loss.

All of our assets performed well during the quarter, and the benefit we had from strong ditillers pricing and as well our corn oil revenue that was realized over the full quarters did help to mitigate the loss during these historically low crush margins.

Later in the call, we’ll talk about the ongoing drought, but we do expect to have advantage as the harvest progresses here in the next month or so as the local crop around both of our plants remaining in good shape. In Nebraska, it is irrigated all around our facilities and southern Minnesota has some decent moisture levels and has not experienced the drought going on throughout most of the corn belt.

There is a little question in our view that the key reason for the continued lag in the industry's profitability and low crush margins, the high level of ethanol inventories that were carried over from the previous quarter and the industry continued to over produce well in to the second quarter.

Towards the end of the quarter, we did finally see a pullback in production, which has continued in to the third quarter. We also saw corn basis levels that rose through the quarter, exceeding historical averages.

We believe that this in part is a result that farmers increased on farm storage, spreading out their corn sales across the year in limiting supply.

Because the Chicago board corn ethanol crush spreads remained range bound, this trend towards rising local corn bases put additional pressure on margins as the quarter progressed.

This basis pressure was a key driver in our decision to scale back in mid-June which I will also cover some of the rationale behind that later. But I am going to turn it over to Kelly to go through the financial results for the second quarter.

Kelly Maguire

Thank you, Scott and good morning everyone. As Scott mentioned earlier the company had another challenging quarter resulting in a $12.4 million net loss. We recorded revenues of a $122.8 million for the second quarter of 2012. This represented a 27% decrease when compared to the same period in 2011 and was driven primarily by a 34% decrease in ethanol revenues.

The decline in ethanol revenues was a result of both lower production and sales volumes combined with a lower price per gallon received. On the positive side, corn oil revenues continued to increase generating 4 million in revenues in the second quarter of 2012 versus 2.7 million in the first quarter of 2012 which was our first quarter of corn oil sales.

We also saw a $2.5 million or 9% decrease in our distillers revenue over the prior year as the decrease in our production and sales volumes was only partially offset by increased unit pricing received. Cost of goods sold was $131.1 million for the second quarter of 2012, a decrease of 24% when compared to 2011 and was primarily due to less corn ground as we slowed plant production.

On a per bushel basis, our cost of corn was 10% lower in the second quarter of 2012 versus the same period in 2011. We generated an $8.3 million gross loss for the second quarter of 2012 which was $4.5 million worse than the same period in 2011.

Operating loss was $10.7 million for the second quarter of 2012 as compared to $6.3 million last year. In addition, our interest expense was $1.7 million during the quarter or $300,000 lower as compared to last year. Depreciation expense was $6.8 million for the quarter, most of which $6.5 million is included in costs of goods sold with the remainder in G&A expense.

The end result of this challenging quarter was a net loss attributable to BioFuel common stockholders of $10.6 million or $2.05 per share compared to a net loss attributable to BioFuel common stockholders of $7 million or $1.38 per share in the same period in 2011.

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