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UAN > SEC Filings for UAN > Form 10-Q on 6-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for CVR PARTNERS, LP

Form 10-Q for CVR PARTNERS, LP


6-Nov-2012

Quarterly Report


Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the condensed consolidated financial statements and related notes and with the statistical information and financial data appearing in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, as well as the Partnership's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on February 23, 2012. Results of operations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012 are not necessarily indicative of results to be attained for any other period.

Forward-Looking Statements

This Form 10-Q, including this Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, contains "forward-looking statements" as defined by the SEC. Such statements are those concerning contemplated transactions and strategic plans, expectations and objectives for future operations. These include, without limitation:


statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future;


statements relating to future financial performance, future capital sources and other matters; and


any other statements preceded by, followed by or that include the words "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "plans," "intends," "estimates," "projects," "could," "should," "may," or similar expressions.

Although we believe that our plans, intentions and expectations reflected in or suggested by the forward-looking statements we make in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, including this Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such plans, intentions or expectations will be achieved. These statements are based on assumptions made by us based on our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors that we believe are appropriate in the circumstances. Such statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. You are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including but not limited to those set forth under "Risk Factors" in the Partnership's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 and in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. Such factors include, among others:


our ability to make cash distributions on the units;


the volatile nature of our business and the variable nature of our distributions;


the ability of our general partner to modify or revoke our distribution policy at any time;


the cyclical nature of our business;


adverse weather conditions, including potential floods and other natural disasters;


the seasonal nature of our business;


the dependence of our operations on a few third-party suppliers, including providers of transportation services and equipment;


our reliance on pet coke that we purchase from CVR Energy;


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the supply and price levels of essential raw materials;


the risk of a material decline in production at our nitrogen fertilizer plant;


potential operating hazards from accidents, fire, severe weather, floods or other natural disasters;


the risk associated with governmental policies affecting the agricultural industry;


competition in the nitrogen fertilizer business;


capital expenditures and potential liabilities arising from environmental laws and regulations;


existing and proposed environmental laws and regulations, including those relating to climate change, alternative energy or fuel sources, and existing and future regulations related to the end-use and application of fertilizers;


new regulations concerning the transportation of hazardous chemicals, risks of terrorism and the security of chemical manufacturing facilities;


our lack of asset diversification;


our dependence on significant customers;


the potential loss of our transportation cost advantage over our competitors;


our potential inability to successfully implement our business strategies, including the completion of significant capital programs;


our reliance on CVR Energy's senior management team and conflicts of interest they face operating both us and CVR Energy;


risks relating to evaluations of internal controls required by
Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act;


risks relating to our relationships with CVR Energy, including the effect of a change of control at CVR Energy;


control of our general partner by CVR Energy;


our ability to continue to license the technology used in our operations;


restrictions in our debt agreements;


changes in our treatment as a partnership for U.S. income or state tax purposes; and


instability and volatility in the capital and credit markets.

All forward-looking statements contained in this Form 10-Q speak only as of the date of this document. We undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date of this Form 10-Q, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Partnership Overview

Overview

We are a Delaware limited partnership formed by CVR Energy, Inc. to own, operate and grow our nitrogen fertilizer business. Strategically located adjacent to CVR Energy's refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, our nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing facility is the only operation in North America that utilizes a petroleum coke, or pet coke, gasification process to produce nitrogen fertilizer. Our facility includes a 1,225 ton-per-day ammonia unit, a 2,025 ton-per-day UAN unit, and a gasifier complex


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having a capacity of 84 million standard cubic feet per day of hydrogen. Our gasifier is a dual-train facility, with each gasifier able to function independently of the other, thereby providing redundancy and improving our reliability. We upgrade a majority of the ammonia we produce to higher margin UAN fertilizer, an aqueous solution of urea and ammonium nitrate that has historically commanded a premium price over ammonia. In 2011, we produced 411,189 tons of ammonia, of which approximately 72% was upgraded into 714,130 tons of UAN. For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012, we produced 104,161 and 302,339 tons of ammonia, respectively, of which approximately 72% and 70%, respectively, was upgraded into 181,861 and 516,465 tons of UAN, respectively.

We are expanding our existing asset base and utilizing the experience of our and CVR Energy's management teams to execute our growth strategy, which includes expanding production of UAN and acquiring and building additional infrastructure and production assets. A significant two-year plant expansion designed to increase our UAN production capacity by 400,000 tons, or approximately 50%, per year, is underway which is anticipated to be completed by January 1, 2013. CVR Energy, a New York Stock Exchange listed company, which indirectly owns our general partner and approximately 70% of our outstanding common units, currently operates a 115,000 bpd oil refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, a 70,000 bpd oil refinery in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and ancillary businesses.

The primary raw material feedstock used in our nitrogen fertilizer production process is pet coke, which is produced during the crude oil refining process. In contrast, substantially all of our nitrogen fertilizer competitors use natural gas as their primary raw material feedstock. Historically, pet coke has been significantly less expensive than natural gas on a per ton of fertilizer produced basis, and pet coke prices have been more stable when compared to natural gas prices. We currently purchase most of our pet coke from CVR Energy pursuant to a long-term agreement having an initial term that ends in 2027, subject to renewal. During the past five years, over 70% of the pet coke utilized by our plant was produced and supplied by CVR Energy's crude oil refinery.

Initial Public Offering

On April 13, 2011, we completed our Initial Public Offering, pursuant to which 22,080,000 common units, representing approximately 30% of the Partnership's common units, were sold to the public at a price of $16.00 per common unit. The net proceeds to CVR Partners from the Initial Public Offering were approximately $324.2 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses. The net proceeds from the Initial Public Offering were used as follows: approximately $18.4 million was used to make a distribution to CRLLC in satisfaction of the Partnership's obligation to reimburse CRLLC for certain capital expenditures it made on our behalf; approximately $117.1 million was used to make a special distribution to CRLLC in order to, among other things, fund the offer to purchase CRLLC's senior secured notes required upon consummation of the Initial Public Offering; approximately $26.0 million was used to purchase (and subsequently extinguish) the incentive distribution rights, or IDRs, owned by our general partner; approximately $4.8 million was used to pay financing fees and associated legal and professional fees resulting from our new credit facility; and the balance was used for or will be used for general partnership purposes, including approximately $100.0 million to fund our UAN expansion.

Shelf Registration Statement

On August 29, 2012, the Partnership's registration statement on Form S-3 (initially filed on August 17, 2012), was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), enabling CRLLC to offer and sell from time to time, in one or more public offerings or direct placements, up to 50,920,000 common units.


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CVR Energy Transaction Agreement

On April 18, 2012, CVR Energy entered into a Transaction Agreement (the "Transaction Agreement") with IEP Energy LLC (the "Offeror"), a majority owned subsidiary of Icahn Enterprises, L.P. ("Icahn Enterprises") and certain other affiliates of Icahn Enterprises, and Carl C. Icahn (collectively with the Offeror, the "Offeror Parties"). Pursuant to the Transaction Agreement, the Offeror offered (the "Offer") to purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of CVR Energy's common stock (the "Shares") for a price of $30 per Share in cash, without interest, less any applicable withholding taxes, plus one non-transferable contingent cash payment ("CCP") right for each Share (which represents the contractual right to receive an additional cash payment per share if a definitive agreement for the sale of CVR Energy is executed on or before August 18, 2013 and such transaction closes).

On May 7, 2012, the Offeror Parties announced that control of CVR Energy had been acquired through the Offer. As a result of Shares tendered into the Offer during the initial offering period, the subsequent offering period and subsequent additional purchases, the Offeror owned approximately 82.0% of the Shares of CVR Energy as of September 30, 2012.

Major Influences on Results of Operations

Our earnings and cash flows from operations are primarily affected by the relationship between nitrogen fertilizer product prices, on-stream factors and direct operating expenses. Unlike our competitors, we do not use natural gas as a feedstock and use a minimal amount of natural gas as an energy source in our operations. As a result, volatile swings in natural gas prices have a minimal impact on our results of operations. Instead, CVR Energy's adjacent refinery supplies us with most of the pet coke feedstock we need pursuant to a long-term pet coke supply agreement entered into in October 2007. The price at which our products are ultimately sold depends on numerous factors, including the global supply and demand for nitrogen fertilizer products which, in turn, depends on, among other factors, world grain demand and production levels, changes in world population, the cost and availability of fertilizer transportation infrastructure, weather conditions, the availability of imports, and the extent of government intervention in agriculture markets.

Nitrogen fertilizer prices are also affected by local factors, including local market conditions and the operating levels of competing facilities. An expansion or upgrade of competitors' facilities, international political and economic developments and other factors are likely to continue to play an important role in nitrogen fertilizer industry economics. These factors can impact, among other things, the level of inventories in the market, resulting in price volatility and a reduction in product margins. Moreover, the industry typically experiences seasonal fluctuations in demand for nitrogen fertilizer products.

In addition, the demand for fertilizers is affected by the aggregate crop planting decisions and fertilizer application rate decisions of individual farmers. Individual farmers make planting decisions based largely on the prospective profitability of a harvest, while the specific varieties and amounts of fertilizer they apply depend on factors like crop prices, their current liquidity, soil conditions, weather patterns and the types of crops planted.

Natural gas is the most significant raw material required in our competitors' production of nitrogen fertilizers. Over the past several years, natural gas prices have experienced high levels of price volatility. This pricing volatility has a direct impact on our competitors' cost of producing nitrogen fertilizer. Over the last year, natural gas prices have significantly decreased.

In order to assess our operating performance, we calculate plant gate price to determine our operating margin. Plant gate price refers to the unit price of fertilizer, in dollars per ton, offered on a delivered basis, excluding shipment costs.


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We and other competitors in the U.S. farm belt share a significant transportation cost advantage when compared to our out-of-region competitors in serving the U.S. farm belt agricultural market. In 2011, approximately 56% of the corn planted in the United States was grown within a $40/UAN ton freight train rate of the nitrogen fertilizer plant. We are therefore able to cost-effectively sell substantially all of our products in the higher margin agricultural market, whereas a significant portion of our competitors' revenues is derived from the lower margin industrial market. Our products leave the plant either in trucks for direct shipment to customers or in railcars for destinations located principally on the Union Pacific Railroad and we currently do not incur significant intermediate transfer, storage, barge freight or pipeline freight charges. We estimate that our plant enjoys a transportation cost advantage of approximately $25 per ton over competitors located in the U.S. Gulf Coast. Selling products to customers within economic rail transportation limits of the nitrogen fertilizer plant and keeping transportation costs low are keys to maintaining profitability.

The value of nitrogen fertilizer products is also an important consideration in understanding our results. For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012, we upgraded approximately 72% and 70%, respectively, of our ammonia production into UAN, a product that presently generates a greater value than ammonia. During 2011, we upgraded approximately 72% of our ammonia production into UAN. UAN production is a major contributor to our profitability.

The high fixed cost of our direct operating expense structure also directly affects our profitability. Our facility's pet coke gasification process results in a significantly higher percentage of fixed costs than a natural gas-based fertilizer plant. Major fixed operating expenses include electrical energy, employee labor, maintenance, including contract labor, and outside services. These fixed costs averaged approximately 87% of direct operating expenses over the 24 months ended September 30, 2012.

Our largest raw material expense is pet coke, which we purchase from CRRM and third parties. For the three months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, we spent approximately $3.8 million and $5.6 million, respectively, for pet coke, which equaled an average cost per ton of $30 and $43, respectively. For the nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, we spent approximately $12.9 million and $11.6 million, respectively, for pet coke, which equaled an average cost per ton of $34 and $30, respectively. If pet coke prices rise substantially in the future, we may be unable to increase our prices to recover increased raw material costs, because the price floor for nitrogen fertilizer products is generally correlated with natural gas prices, the primary raw material used by our competitors, and not pet coke prices.

Consistent, safe, and reliable operations at our nitrogen fertilizer plant are critical to our financial performance and results of operations. Unplanned downtime of the plant may result in lost margin opportunity, increased maintenance expense and a temporary increase in working capital investment and related inventory position. The financial impact of planned downtime, such as major turnaround maintenance, is mitigated through a diligent planning process that takes into account margin environment, the availability of resources to perform the needed maintenance, feedstock logistics and other factors. The nitrogen fertilizer plant generally undergoes a facility turnaround every two years. The turnaround generally lasts between 13 and 15 days each turnaround year and costs approximately $3.0 million to $5.0 million per turnaround. The nitrogen fertilizer plant underwent a turnaround in the fourth quarter of 2012, as discussed further below.

Factors Affecting Comparability of Our Financial Results

Our historical results of operations for the periods presented may not be comparable with prior periods or to our results of operations in the future for the reasons discussed below.


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2012 Turnaround

Our nitrogen fertilizer plant undergoes a planned maintenance turnaround every two years. Turnarounds are a standard procedure that involves a planned shutdown and inspection of our major processing units in order to refurbish, repair and maintain our units as needed. Turnarounds are required to mitigate other unplanned shutdowns that could greatly impact operations if a diligent planned maintenance does not occur as needed. Turnaround expenses are expensed when incurred in direct operating expenses. Operating income is impacted negatively by both the expenses associated with the scheduled turnaround and the lost revenue we would have generated had the nitrogen fertilizer plant not been shut down. The downtime associated with the turnaround will have a significant unfavorable impact to our revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012. We began a turnaround on October 3, 2012, with ammonia production resuming on October 23, 2012 and UAN production resuming on October 25, 2012. The total 2012 turnaround expense is estimated at approximately $4.9 million, of which $0.2 million was recognized in the quarter ended September 30, 2012. The remaining turnaround expenses will be recognized in the fourth quarter of 2012.

September 2010 UAN Vessel Rupture

On September 30, 2010, our nitrogen fertilizer plant experienced an interruption in operations due to a rupture of a high-pressure UAN vessel. All operations at our nitrogen fertilizer facility were immediately shut down. No one was injured in the incident.

Total gross costs related to the incident were approximately $11.5 million for repairs and maintenance and other associated costs. Of the costs incurred, approximately $4.7 million were capitalized. Approximately $8.0 million of insurance proceeds were received related to the property damage insurance claim. The Partnership received approximately $4.3 million in 2010, approximately $2.7 million in 2011 and approximately $1.0 million in 2012 related to the property damage insurance claim. We also recognized income of approximately $3.4 million during 2011 from insurance proceeds received related to our business interruption policy. As of September 30, 2012, the Partnership had received the final insurance payments under applicable insurance policies and those insurance policy claims are closed.

Fertilizer Plant Property Taxes

CRNF received a ten year property tax abatement from Montgomery County, Kansas in connection with the construction of the nitrogen fertilizer plant that expired on December 31, 2007. In connection with the expiration of the abatement, the county reassessed CRNF's nitrogen fertilizer plant and classified the nitrogen fertilizer plant as almost entirely real property instead of almost entirely personal property. The reassessment resulted in an increase in CRNF's annual property tax expense by an average of approximately $10.7 million per year for the years ended December 31, 2008 and December 31, 2009, $11.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 and $11.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2011. CRNF did not agree with the county's classification of its nitrogen fertilizer plant and protested the classification and resulting valuation for each of those years to the Kansas Court of Tax Appeals, or COTA. However, CRNF has fully accrued and paid the property taxes the county claims are owed for the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 and has estimated and accrued for property tax for the first nine months of 2012. This property tax expense is reflected as a direct operating expense in the financial results. In February, 2011, CRNF tried the 2008 case to COTA and in January 2012, COTA issued its decision holding that CRNF's fertilizer plant was almost entirely real property instead of almost entirely personal property. CRNF disagreed with the ruling and filed a petition for reconsideration with COTA (which was denied) and then filed an appeal to the Kansas Court of Appeals. CRNF is also protesting the valuation of the CRNF fertilizer plant for tax years 2009 through 2012, which cases remain pending before COTA. If CRNF is successful in having the nitrogen fertilizer plant reclassified as personal property, in whole or in part, then a portion of the


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accrued and paid property tax expenses would be refunded to CRNF, which could have a material positive effect on the results of operations. If CRNF is not successful in having the nitrogen fertilizer plant reclassified as personal property, in whole or in part, then CRNF expects that it will continue to pay property taxes at elevated rates.

Distributions to Unitholders

It is our policy to make cash distributions of all available cash we generate each quarter. Available cash for each quarter will be determined by the board of directors of our general partner following the end of such quarter and will generally equal our cash flow from operations for the quarter, less cash needed for maintenance capital expenditures, debt service and other contractual obligations and reserves for future operating or capital needs that the board of directors of our general partner deems necessary or appropriate. Additionally, the Partnership also retains the cash on hand associated with prepaid sales at each quarter end, which is recorded on the balance sheet as deferred revenue, for future distributions to common unitholders as it is recognized into income. The board of directors of our general partner may modify our cash distribution policy at any time, and our partnership agreement does not require us to make distributions at all.

Credit Facility

On April 13, 2011, CRNF, as borrower, and the Partnership, as guarantor, entered into a credit facility with a group of lenders. The credit facility includes a term loan facility of $125.0 million and a revolving credit facility of $25.0 million with an uncommitted incremental facility of up to $50.0 million. There is no scheduled amortization and the credit facility matures in April 2016. The average interest rate for the term loan for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 was 3.94%. See Note 12 to our financial statements for more information regarding the credit facility. In periods prior to the Initial Public Offering, we did not incur interest expense.

Interest Rate Swap

Our profitability and cash flows are affected by changes in interest rates, specifically LIBOR and prime rates. The primary purpose of our interest rate risk management activities is to hedge our exposure to changes in interest rates by using interest rate derivatives to convert some or all of the interest rates we pay for our $125.0 million of term loan borrowings from a floating rate to a fixed rate.

On June 30 and July 1, 2011, CRNF entered into two Interest Rate Swap agreements with J. Aron; the Interest Rate Swap agreements commenced on August 12, 2011. We have determined that the Interest Rate Swaps qualify as a hedge for hedge accounting treatment. The impact recorded for the three months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011 was $0.2 million and $0.1 million, respectively, in interest expense. For the nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, interest expense was $0.7 million and $0.1 million, respectively. For the three months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011 the Partnership recorded a decrease in fair market value on the Interest Rate Swap agreements of $0.1 million and $2.4 million, respectively. For the nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011 the Partnership recorded a decrease in fair market value on the Interest Rate Swap agreements of $0.6 million and $2.4 million, respectively.

Results of Operations

The following tables summarize the financial data and key operating statistics for CVR Partners and our operating subsidiary for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011. The following data should be read in conjunction with our condensed consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this Form 10-Q. All information in "Management's Discussion


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and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," except for the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2011, is unaudited.

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