North American Energy Partners' CEO Discusses F1Q13 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

North American Energy Partners Inc. (NOA)

F1Q13 Earnings Call

August 9, 2012 9:00 AM ET

Executives

Kevin Rowand – General Manager, Corporate Development and IR

David Blackley – CFO

Martin Ferron – President and CEO

Analysts

Stephen Ragard – Stephens Incorporated

Greg McLeish – GMP Securities

Bert Powell – BMO Capital Markets

A. J. Strasser – Cooper Creek

Theoni Pilarinos – Raymond James

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to North American Energy Partners’ Fiscal 2013 First Quarter Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Following management’s prepared remarks, there will be an opportunity for analysts, shareholders and bondholders to ask questions.

The media may monitor this call in listen-only mode. They are free to quote any member of management, but they are asked not to quote remarks from any other participant without that participant’s permission. I advise participants that this call is also being webcasted currently on the company’s website at nacg.ca.

I will now turn the conference over to Kevin Rowand, General Manager, Corporate Development and Investor Relations of North American Energy Partners Inc. Please go ahead, sir.

Kevin Rowand

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for joining us. On this morning’s call we will discuss our financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2012, which represents the first quarter of our 2013 fiscal year. All amounts are in Canadian dollars.

Participating on the call are Martin Ferron, President and CEO; David Blackley, CFO; Barry Palmer, Vice President, Oil Sands Operations; Bernie Robert, Vice President, Corporate Services, and Harold Gudmundsen, General Manager, Asset Management. David will start off today with a review of our new business segmentation and our first quarter results. Martin will then provide an overview of our recent business improvement initiative and outlook.

Before I turn the call over to David, I would like to remind everyone that statements made during our prepared remarks or in the Q&A portion of the conference call, with reference to management’s expectations or our predictions of the future are forward-looking statements.

All statements made today which are not statements of historical facts are considered to be forward-looking statements. Certain material factors or assumptions were applied in drawing a conclusion or making a forecast or projection as reflected in the forward-looking information. The business prospects of North American Energy Partners are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from the conclusion, forecast or projection in the forward-looking information.

For more information on these risks, uncertainties and assumptions please refer to our June 30, 2012 Management’s Discussion and Analysis, which is available on SEDAR and EDGAR. As previously mentioned, management will not provide financial guidance.

At this time, I will turn the call over to our CFO, David Blackley.

David Blackley

Thank you, Kevin, and good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for participating in today’s call. As we outlined in our press release, we’ve recently reorganized our business into two segments, from three previously. Our Heavy Construction and Mining statement continues to include mine support services and project development for the oil sands and other resource industry customers.

Our new Commercial and Industrial Construction segment encompasses piling and pipeline operations, as well as structural steel construction, oil and gas tank servicing and screw pile and anchor – screw pile and pipeline anchor system manufacturing. The results representing for the three months ended June 30, 2012 reflect the three organizations as due results from the comparable period last year.

Looking first at consolidated results for (inaudible). We achieved year-over-year gains primarily due to normalized weather and the continued strong performance of our Piling operations.

Consolidated revenues increased $235.9 million in the first quarter of 2012, up from a $194 million during the same period last year and our gross margin increased to 7.7% from 3.4%.

Operating profits also increased to $0.2 million compared to an operating loss of $5.7 million last year. G&A increased by $7.1 million due in part to a one-time charge of $2.5 million related to our business restructuring. Excluding the effects of non-cash item, we recorded a net loss per share of $0.14, this compares to a net loss of $0.26 during the same period last year.

On a segmented basis, results from our heavy construction and mining division were generally flat. Revenues of $165.5 million were up just slightly from $163.4 million last year. We executed a large volume of several construction works during the period including work on Syncrude’s shear key project, increased activity at Suncor Base mine, site development activities at Total’s Joslyn mine and PetroChina’s Dover SAGD facility.

However, this was largely offset by a significant reduction in activity at Shell’s operations. This customer slowed work on a major tailings project and also began to in-source more of its mining services during the quarter.

Profitability from the Heavy Construction and Mining segment was very similar to last year. While we achieved higher margins on overburdened removal work at Canadian Natural under our amended contract, this was offset by a lower volume of civil construction work at Shell, higher material cost from the Syncrude project and continued underutilization of some of our heavy equipment. We ended the quarter with segment profits of $8.6 million and a margin of 5.2%, virtually on a par with last year’s results.

In contrast, our Commercial and Industrial Construction segment posted strong gains during the quarter, with revenue up 130% year-over-year. This primarily reflects a high level of piling activity and a return to normal weather conditions following last year’s extreme weather and fire event.

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