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VTNR > SEC Filings for VTNR > Form 10-Q on 14-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for VERTEX ENERGY INC.



Quarterly Report

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


This Report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the following words: "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "ongoing," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time the statements are made and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from the information expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this Report. These factors include:

risks associated with our outstanding credit facility, including amounts owed, restrictive covenants and security interests thereon;
the level of competition in our industry and our ability to compete;
our ability to respond to changes in our industry;
the loss of key personnel or failure to attract, integrate and retain additional personnel;
our ability to protect our intellectual property and not infringe on others' intellectual property;
our ability to scale our business;
our ability to maintain supplier relationships and obtain adequate supplies of feedstocks;
our ability to obtain and retain customers;
our ability to produce our products at competitive rates;
our ability to execute our business strategy in a very competitive environment;
trends in, and the market for, the price of oil and gas and alternative energy sources;
our ability to maintain our relationship with KMTEX, Ltd.;
the impact of competitive services and products;
our ability to maintain insurance;
pending and potential future litigation, judgments and settlements;
rules and regulations making our operations more costly or restrictive;
changes in environmental and other laws and regulations and risks associated with such laws and regulations;
economic downturns both in the United States and globally;
risk of increased regulation of our operations and products;
negative publicity and public opposition to our operations;
disruptions in the infrastructure that we and our partners rely on;
an inability to identify attractive acquisition opportunities, successfully negotiate acquisition terms or effectively integrate acquired companies or businesses;
interruptions at our facilities;
unexpected changes in our anticipated capital expenditures resulting from unforeseen required maintenance, repairs, or upgrades;
our ability to effectively manage our growth;
the lack of capital available on acceptable terms to finance our continued growth; and
other risk factors included under "Risk Factors" below and in our Annual Report on Form 10-K.

You should read the matters described in "Risk Factors" below and disclosed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed with the Commission on March 29, 2012, and the other cautionary statements made in this Report as being applicable to all related forward-looking statements wherever they appear in this Report. We cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements in this Report will prove to be accurate and therefore prospective investors are encouraged not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Other than as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, even though our situation may change in the future.

Please see the "Glossary of Selected Terms" incorporated by reference hereto as Exhibit 99.1, for a list of abbreviations and definitions used throughout this Report.

In this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, we may rely on and refer to information regarding the refining, re-refining, used oil and oil and gas industries in general from market research reports, analyst reports and other publicly available information. Although we believe that this information is reliable, we cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of this information, and we have not independently verified any of it.

Corporate History of the Registrant:

Vertex Energy, Inc. (the "Company," "we," "us," and "Vertex") was formed as a Nevada corporation on May 14, 2008. Pursuant to an Amended and Restated Agreement and Plan of Merger dated May 19, 2008, by and between Vertex Holdings, L.P. (formerly Vertex Energy, L.P.), a Texas limited partnership ("Holdings"), us, World Waste Technologies, Inc., a California corporation ("WWT" or "World Waste"), Vertex Merger Sub, LLC, a California limited liability company and our wholly-owned subsidiary ("Merger Subsidiary"), and Benjamin P. Cowart, our Chief Executive Officer, as agent for our shareholders (as amended from time to time, the "Merger Agreement"). Effective on April 16, 2009, World Waste merged with and into Merger Subsidiary, with Merger Subsidiary continuing as the surviving corporation and becoming our wholly-owned subsidiary (the "Merger"). In connection with the Merger, (i) each outstanding share of World Waste common stock was cancelled and exchanged for 0.10 shares of our common stock; (ii) each outstanding share of World Waste Series A preferred stock was cancelled and exchanged for 0.4062 shares of our Series A preferred stock; and (iii) each outstanding share of World Waste Series B preferred stock was cancelled and exchanged for 11.651 shares of our Series A preferred stock.

Additionally, as a result of the Merger, as the successor entity of World Waste, we assumed World Waste's filing obligations with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our common stock began trading on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol "VTNR.OB" effective May 4, 2009. The previous trading symbol on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board was "WDWT.OB". Finally, as a result of the Merger, the common stock of World Waste was effectively reversed one for ten (10) as a result of the exchange ratios set forth in the Merger, and unless otherwise noted, the impact of such effective reverse stock split, created by the exchange ratio set forth above, is retroactively reflected throughout this report. Effective July 23, 2012, we were automatically delisted from the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board due to the fact that no market maker quoted our common stock for a period of more than 4 days. We may take steps in the future to re-quote our common stock on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board. Our common stock currently trades on the OTCQB market.

Recent Acquisition

On September 11, 2012, but effective as of August 31, 2012, we acquired 100% of the outstanding equity interests of Vertex Acquisition Sub, LLC (the "Acquisition" and "Acquisition Sub"), a special purpose entity consisting of substantially all of the assets of Holdings and real-estate properties of B & S Cowart Family L.P. ("B&S LP"). Prior to closing the Acquisition, Holdings contributed to Acquisition Sub substantially all of its assets and liabilities relating to the business of transporting, storing, processing and re-refining petroleum products, crudes and used lubricants, including all of the outstanding equity interests in Holdings' wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, Cedar Marine Terminals, L.P. ("CMT"), Crossroad Carriers, L.P. ("Cross Road"), Vertex Recovery L.P. ("Vertex Recovery") and H&H Oil, L.P. ("H&H Oil"), and B&S LP contributed real estate associated with the operations of H&H Oil.

Cedar Marine Terminals, L.P. CMT operates a 19-acre bulk liquid storage facility on the Houston Ship Channel. The terminal serves as a truck-in, barge-out facility and provides throughput terminal operations. CMT is also the site of our Thermal Chemical Extraction Process ("TCEP") technology assets.

Crossroad Carriers, L.P. Crossroad is a third-party common carrier that provides transportation and logistical services for liquid petroleum products, as well as other hazardous materials and waste streams.

Vertex Recovery L.P. Vertex Recovery collects and recycles used oil and residual materials from large regional and national customers throughout the US and Canada. It facilitates its services through a network of independent recyclers and franchise collectors.

H&H Oil, L.P. H&H Oil collects and recycles used oil and residual materials from customers based in Austin, Baytown, San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas.

Through the Acquisition we have executed on our vertical integration strategy by entering the used motor oil and petroleum by-product collection market. The Acquisition also establishes our own re-refinery and transportation fleet, which we previously managed on an outsourced basis. We believe the Acquisition is strategic because it provides us the following benefits:

Access to feedstock at the point of generation;

Expansion of total feedstock supply volume and diversification of our supplier network;

Operation of our own re-refinery and transportation fleet;

Ownership of the TCEP intellectual property;

Enhances our size, scale and asset base;

Expected to increase cash flow and improve operating margins; and

Eliminates related-party transactions between the Company and Holdings.

We paid the following consideration for 100% of the equity interests in Acquisition Sub (the "Purchase Price"): (i) to Holdings, (a) $14.8 million in cash and assumed debt; and (b) 4,545,455 million restricted shares of our common stock; and (ii) to B&S LP, $1.7 million cash consideration, representing the appraised value of certain real estate contributed by B&S LP to Acquisition. Additionally, for each of the three one-year periods following the closing date of the transaction, Holdings will be eligible to receive earn-out payments of $2.23 million, up to $6.7 million in the aggregate (the "Earn-Out Payments"), contingent on the combined company achieving EBITDA targets of $10.75 million, $12.0 million and $13.5 million, respectively, in those periods. $1.0 million of the purchase price will be held in escrow for 18 months to satisfy indemnity claims. We borrowed the funds used to acquire Acquisition Sub with the Credit Facility and Notes described in greater detail below under "Liquidity and Capital Resources".

We had numerous relationships and related-party transactions with Holdings and its subsidiaries prior to the closing of the Acquisition, including the lease of a storage facility, subletting of office space, operating agreement for Holdings' TCEP facility on our behalf, transportation of feedstock to re-refiners and our storage facility, and delivery from the TCEP re-refinery to end customers. The closing of the Acquisition eliminates these related-party transactions moving forward. The description of our operations below reflects the closing of the Acquisition, unless otherwise stated or the discussion requires otherwise.

Pro forma Financial Information Reflecting the Holdings Acquisition

The following unaudited pro forma results of operations for the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively, assumes that the Acquisition was completed at the beginning of the periods presented. The pro forma results include adjustments to reflect revenue and cost of revenue eliminations that took place between Vertex Energy, Inc. and the Acquisition Sub. In addition the pro forma results include adjustments to reflect costs deemed to be non-recurring in nature related to the acquisition.

                                                             Three Months Ended September 30,
                                                                 2012                  2011
Pro forma revenues                                         $      37,837,297       $  32,473,821
Pro forma cost of revenues                                 $      33,096,661       $  27,395,280
Pro forma gross profit                                     $       4,740,636       $   5,078,541
Pro forma selling, general and administrative expenses     $         810,355       $   2,367,317
Pro forma net income                                       $       3,930,281       $   2,711,224

Earning per Common Share
  Basic                                                    $            0.32       $        0.30
  Diluted                                                  $            0.24       $        0.17

The pro forma financial information presented above for the three months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, and below for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, is not necessarily indicative of either the results of operations that would have occurred had the Acquisition been effective as of July 1, 2012
(as to the information presented for the three months ended September 30, 2012)
or January 1, 2012 (as to the information presented for the nine months ended September 30, 2012), or of future operations of the Company.

                                                             Nine Months Ended September 30,
                                                                 2012                  2011
Pro forma revenues                                         $     109,943,118       $ 84,504,495
Pro forma cost of revenues                                 $      96,490,677       $ 69,756,473
Pro forma gross profit                                     $      13,452,441       $ 14,748,022
Pro forma selling, general and administrative expenses     $       5,534,074       $  7,067,962
Pro forma net income                                       $       7,918,367       $  7,680,060

Earning per Common Share
  Basic                                                    $            0.79       $       0.88
  Diluted                                                  $            0.55       $       0.53

Description of Business Activities:

We are an environmental services company that recycles industrial waste streams and off-specification commercial chemical products. Our primary focus is recycling used motor oil and other petroleum by-products. We are engaged in operations across the entire petroleum recycling value chain including collection, aggregation, transportation, storage, refinement, and sales of aggregated feedstock and re-refined products to end users. Our Company operates in two divisions. Our Black Oil division collects and purchases used motor oil directly from third-party generators, aggregates used motor oil from an established network of local and regional collectors, and sells used motor oil to our customers for use as a feedstock or replacement fuel for industrial burners. Our Refining and Marketing division aggregates and manages the re-refinement of used motor oil and other petroleum by-products and sells the re-refined products to our customers. We operate a refining facility that uses our proprietary TCEP technology and we also utilize third-party processing facilities.

Black Oil Division

Our Black Oil division is engaged in the collection, aggregation, and sale of used motor oil, as well as related transportation and storage activities. We collect and purchase used oil directly from generators such as oil change service stations, automotive repair shops, manufacturing facilities, petroleum refineries, and petrochemical manufacturing operations. We own a fleet of 13 collection vehicles which routinely visit generators to collect and purchase used motor oil. We also aggregate used oil from a diverse network of approximately 50 suppliers who operate similar collection businesses to ours. In 2011, H&H Oil collected approximately 9 million gallons of used motor oil directly from third-party generators. We acquired H&H Oil as a result of the closing of the Acquisition (described above). Excluding volume we purchased from H&H Oil, we aggregated approximately 27.4 million gallons of used oil in 2011 through our network of local and regional third-party collectors.

We manage the logistics of transport, storage and delivery of used oil to our customers. We own a fleet of 7 transportation trucks and more than 90 aboveground storage tanks with over 4.5 million gallons of storage capacity. These assets are used by both the Black Oil Division and the Refining and Marketing Division. In addition, we also utilize third parties for the transportation and storage of used oil feedstocks. Typically, we sell used oil to our customers in bulk to ensure efficient delivery by truck, rail, or barge. In many cases, we have contractual purchase and sale agreements with our suppliers and customers, respectively. We believe these contracts are beneficial to all parties involved because it ensures that a minimum volume is purchased from collectors and generators, a minimum volume is sold to our customers, and we are able to minimize our inventory risk by a spread between the costs to acquire used oil and the revenues received from the sale and delivery of used oil.

Refining and Marketing Division

Our Refining and Marketing division is engaged in the aggregation of feedstock, re-refining it into higher value end products, and selling these products to our customers, as well as related transportation and storage activities. We aggregate a diverse mix of feedstock including used motor oil, petroleum distillates, transmix and other off-specification chemical products. These feedstock streams are purchased from pipeline operators, refineries, chemical processing facilities and third-party providers, and are also transferred from our Black Oil division. We operate our own re-refining operations at the Cedar Marine Terminal facility, which we acquired through the Acquisition, and have a toll-based processing arrangement in place with KMTEX, Ltd. ("KMTEX") to re-refine feedstock streams, under our direction, into various end products that we specify. While our contractual agreement with KMTEX expired on June 30, 2011, we believe that we will be able to renew or extend such agreement in the future, as the parties have continued to operate under the terms of the agreement subsequent to its expiration. In connection with and pursuant to our arrangement with KMTEX, we pay KMTEX certain monthly tank rental fees, truck and rail car fees, and processing fees based on the weight of the material processed by KMTEX, as well as certain disposal fees and other fees.

We use our proprietary TCEP technology to re-refine used oil into marine fuel cutterstock and a higher-value feedstock for further processing. KMTEX uses industry standard processing technologies to re-refine our feedstocks into pygas, gasoline blendstock and marine fuel cutterstock. We sell all of our re-refined products directly to end-customers or to processing facilities for further refinement.

Biomass Renewable Energy

We are also continuing to work on joint development commercial projects which focus on the separation of municipal solid waste into feedstocks for energy production. We are very selective in choosing opportunities that we believe will result in value for our shareholders. We can provide no assurance that the ongoing venture will successfully bring any projects to a point of financing or successful construction and operation.

Thermal Chemical Extraction Process

We own the intellectual property for our patent-pending TCEP technology. TCEP is a technology which uses thermal and chemical dynamics to extract impurities from used oil which increases the value of the feedstock. We currently sell the TCEP final product as fuel oil cutterstock. We intend to continue to develop the TCEP technology and design with the goal of producing additional re-refined products including lubricating base oil.

We currently estimate the cost to construct a new, fully-functional, commercial facility using our TCEP technology, with annual processing capacity of between 25 and 30 million gallons at another location would be approximately $2.5 to $5.0 million, which could fluctuate based on throughput capacity. The facility infrastructure would require additional capitalized expenditures which would depend on the location and site specifics of the facility.

Strategy and Plan of Operations

The principal elements of our strategy include:

Expand Feedstock Supply Volume. We intend to expand our feedstock supply volume by growing our collection and aggregation operations. We plan to increase the volume of feedstock we collect directly by developing new relationships with generators and working to displace incumbent collectors; increasing the number of collection personnel, vehicles, equipment, and geographical areas we serve; and acquiring collectors in new or existing territories. We intend to increase the volume of feedstock we aggregate from third-party collectors by expanding our existing relationships and developing new vendor relationships. We believe that our ability to acquire large feedstock volumes will help to cultivate new vendor relationships because collectors often prefer to work with a single, reliable customer rather than manage multiple relationships and the uncertainty of excess inventory.

Broaden Existing Customer Relationships and Secure New Large Accounts. We intend to broaden our existing customer relationships by increasing sales of used motor oil and re-refined products to these accounts. In some cases, we may also seek to serve as our customers' primary or exclusive supplier. We also believe that as we increase our supply of feedstock and re-refined products that we will secure larger customer accounts that require a partner who can consistently deliver high volumes.

Re-Refine Higher Value End Products. We intend to develop, lease, or acquire technologies to re-refine our feedstock supply into higher-value end products, including assets or technologies which complement TCEP. Currently, we are using TCEP to re-refine used oil feedstock into cutterstock for use in the marine fuel market. We believe that the expansion of our TCEP facilities and our technology, and investments in additional technologies, will enable us to upgrade feedstock into end products, such as lubricating base oil, that command higher market prices than the current re-refined products we produce.

Expand TCEP Re-Refinement Capacity. We intend to expand our TCEP capacity by building additional TCEP facilities to re-refine feedstock. We believe the TCEP technology has a distinct competitive advantage over conventional re-refining technology because it produces a high-quality, fuel oil product, and the capital expenditures required to build a TCEP plant are significantly lower than a comparable conventional re-refining facility. By continuing the transition from our historical role as a value-added logistics provider to operating as a re-refiner, we believe we will be able to leverage our feedstock supply network and aggregation capabilities to upgrade a larger percentage of our feedstock inventory into higher value end products which we believe should lead to increased revenue and gross margins. We intend to build TCEP facilities near the geographic location of substantial feedstock sources that we have relationships with through our existing operations or from an acquisition. By establishing TCEP facilities near proven feedstock sources, we seek to lower our transportation costs and lower the risk of operating plants at low capacity.

Pursue Selective Strategic Relationships Or Acquisitions. We plan to grow market share by consolidating feedstock supply through partnering with or acquiring collection and aggregation assets. Such acquisitions and/or partnerships could increase our revenue and provide better control over the quality and quantity of feedstock available for resale and/or upgrading as well as providing additional locations for the implementation of TCEP. In addition, we intend to pursue further vertical integration opportunities by acquiring complementary recycling and processing technologies where we can realize synergies by leveraging our customer and vendor relationships, infrastructure, and personnel, and by eliminating duplicative overhead costs.

Alternative Energy Project Development. We will continue to evaluate and potentially pursue various alternative energy project development opportunities. These opportunities may be a continuation of the projects sourced originally by World Waste and/or may include new projects initiated by us.

In connection with the above elements of our business strategy, in order to further strengthen our foothold in the collection and re-refining business, improve profitability and simplify related party transactions, the Company acquired substantially all of the assets and liabilities of Holdings, effective August 31, 2011, on September 11, 2012 in connection with the Acquisition, described above.


Description of Material Financial Line Items:


We generate revenues from two existing operating divisions as follows:

BLACK OIL - Revenues for our Black Oil division are comprised primarily of feedstock sales (used motor oil) which are purchased from generators of used motor oil such as oil change shops and garages, as well as a network of local and regional suppliers. Volumes are consolidated for efficient delivery and then sold to third-party re-refiners and fuel oil blenders for the export market.

REFINING AND MARKETING - The Refining and Marketing division generates revenues relating to the sales of finished products. The Refining and Marketing division gathers hydrocarbon streams in the form of petroleum distillates, transmix and other chemical products that have become off-specification during the transportation or refining process. These feedstock streams are purchased from pipeline operators, refineries, chemical processing facilities and third-party providers, and then processed at a third-party facility under our direction. The end products are typically three distillate petroleum streams (gasoline blendstock, pygas and fuel oil cutterstock), which are sold to major oil companies or to large petroleum trading and blending companies. The end products are delivered by barge and truck to customers. In addition, the Refining and Marketing division purchases black oil which is then re-refined through TCEP. The finished product is then sold by barge as a fuel oil cutterstock and a feedstock component for major refineries.

Our revenues are affected by changes in various commodity prices including crude oil, natural gas and #6 oil.

Cost of Revenues

BLACK OIL - Cost of revenues for our Black Oil division are comprised primarily of feedstock purchases from a network of providers. Other cost of revenues . . .

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