KapStone Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year Results
NORTHBROOK, Ill., Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation (NYSE:KS) today reported preliminary results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2015.
As compared to 2014's fourth quarter, results for 2015's fourth quarter are below:
As compared to the year ended December 31, 2014, results for the year ended December 31, 2015:
Roger W. Stone, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "2015 was another transformational year for KapStone with the successful integration of Victory Packaging, and we are right on target for achieving our synergies. Our corrugated products volume grew over three percent year-over-year. However, the year also provided many challenges for us, including the impact of a stronger U.S. dollar resulting in lower export containerboard and extensible grade paper prices with increased competition in certain export markets.
"Fourth quarter was particularly disappointing due primarily to December's results. Seasonally weaker demand resulted in an eight-day market shutdown at our Longview mill and box plant, and product mix deteriorated. Our results were further negatively impacted by poor start-ups after Longview's outage and at Charleston after completion of a machine upgrade. Together, the market and maintenance downtimes resulted in a loss of 41,000 tons in the fourth quarter with an estimated EBITDA impact of $10 to $12 million. Although operationally our Charleston mill weathered the 1,000-year storm very well, fiber prices in the region soared but are expected to gradually be reduced as the region dries out.
"KapStone's strength continues to be its operating free cash flows which generated $54 million in the fourth quarter despite economic and operational challenges. The strong cash flows were used to make a $52 million debt prepayment."
Fourth Quarter Operating Highlights
Consolidated net sales of $764 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 were over $200 million higher than 2014, reflecting $242 million of revenues for Victory Packaging which we acquired in June 2015. During the current quarter, we experienced continued price pressure on exports and increased competition which resulted in our decision to take 27,000 tons of market-related downtime at our Longview mill. The Company sold 658,000 tons of paper during the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to 687,000 tons a year earlier. The Company's average mill selling price of $646 per ton in the fourth quarter of 2015 decreased by $31 per ton compared to the fourth quarter of 2014 due to the combined impact of lower export and domestic containerboard prices, a weaker Euro and a less favorable product mix. Average mill selling prices decreased $25 per ton from the third quarter of 2015, reflecting the seasonally less favorable product mix and continued lower export containerboard prices and the partial impact of a west coast domestic containerboard price reduction.
Operating income of $29 million for the 2015 fourth quarter decreased by $33 million, or 54 percent, compared to the 2014 fourth quarter. Financial performance in the current quarter was down from 2014 mainly due to lower export and domestic containerboard prices, the weaker Euro, higher planned maintenance outage costs, market-related downtime at the Longview mill, lower mill productivity, and higher depreciation charges offset by the Victory Packaging acquisition and related synergy benefits from increased integration with our mill and plant system.
Interest expense was $9 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, up $2 million from a year ago as a result of additional borrowings to finance the Victory Packaging acquisition and higher interest rates. At December 31, 2015, the average interest rate on our debt was 2.0 percent compared to 1.8 percent at the end of 2014 with the increase driven by the recent increase in interest rates. Due to a $52 million debt prepayment in December 2015, the Company incurred a $0.6 million loss on debt extinguishment. In the fourth quarter of 2014, $150 million of debt prepayments resulted in a loss on debt extinguishment of $3 million.
The effective income tax rate for both the 2015 and 2014 fourth quarters was 34.6 percent.
Full Year Operating Highlights
Consolidated net sales for the year ended December 31, 2015, were $2,789 million, an increase of 21 percent, compared to 2014 sales of $2,301 million. The increase was primarily due to the seven months of Victory Packaging results as the acquisition occurred on June 1, 2015, partially offset by lower volume and selling prices and a stronger U.S. dollar.
Operating income of $199 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 was lower than 2014's $300 million by 34%. The decrease was due to lower selling prices, a less favorable product mix, a stronger U.S. dollar, lower productivity, inflation on compensation and benefits and fiber prices, and higher depreciation charges partially offset by seven months of operating results for Victory Packaging and related synergies with KapStone's mill and plant system, and lower incentive compensation.
Interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2015 was $34 million, up $2 million from a year ago mainly due to the partial-year effect of borrowings relating to the Victory Packaging acquisition. Interest rates in both years were about 1.8 percent. Amortization of debt issuance costs were about $6 million for 2015 and 2014. Loss on debt extinguishment totaled $1 million in 2015 compared to $6 million in 2014 reflecting lower voluntary debt prepayments in 2015.
The effective income tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2015 was 34.2 percent compared to 34.0 percent for 2014. The effective cash tax rate in 2015 was approximately 35 percent.
Cash Flow and Working Capital
Cash and cash equivalents decreased by $1 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2015, from September 30, 2015 to $7 million. The Company generated $86 million of net cash from operating activities during the fourth quarter and made a $52 million voluntary debt prepayment. Capital expenditures in the fourth quarter reached $32 million.
For the year ended December 31, 2015, cash and cash equivalents decreased by $22 million from December 31, 2014 reflecting cash provided by operating activities of $262 million, cash used for capital expenditures of $127 million, $617 million paid for the Victory Packaging acquisition and $460 million of cash provided by financing activities. Major capital expenditure projects for 2015 included paper machine upgrades at the Charleston and Longview mills, a new corrugator at the Company's Aurora, Illinois box plant and other corrugating plant upgrades.
At December 31, 2015, the Company had approximately $404 million of working capital and $477 million of revolver borrowing capacity.
In summary, Stone commented, "Our cash flow generation is strong. We are well-poised and determined to achieve our synergy target with Victory and to steer through the global economic issues facing us in order to grow profitably."
KapStone will host a conference call at 11 a.m. ET, Wednesday, February 10, 2016, to discuss the Company's financial results for the 2015 fourth quarter. All interested parties are invited to listen and may do so by either accessing a simultaneous broadcast webcast on KapStone's website, http://www.kapstonepaper.com, or for those unable to access the webcast, the following dial-in numbers are available:
A presentation to be viewed in conjunction with the call will also be available on our website, http://www.kapstonepaper.com, in the "Investors" section.
Replay of the webcast will be available for 30 days on the Company's website following the call.
About the Company
Headquartered in Northbrook, IL, KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation is the fifth largest producer of containerboard and corrugated packaging products and is the largest kraft paper producer in the United States. The Company has four paper mills, 21 converting plants and 60 distribution centers. The business has approximately 6,400 employees.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This press release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures, including "EBITDA", "Adjusted EBITDA", "Adjusted Net Income", and "Adjusted Diluted EPS" to measure our operating performance. Management uses these measures to focus on the on-going operations, and believes it is useful to investors because they enable them to perform meaningful comparisons of past and present operating results. The Company believes that EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA provide useful information to investors because they improve the comparability of the financial results between periods and provide for greater transparency to key measures used to evaluate the performance and liquidity of the Company. Management uses EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA for evaluating the Company's performance against competitors and as a primary measure for employees' incentive programs. Reconciliations of Net Income to EBITDA, EBITDA to Adjusted EBITDA, Net Income to Adjusted Net Income, Basic EPS to Adjusted Basic EPS, and Diluted EPS to Adjusted Diluted EPS are included in the financial schedules contained in this press release. However, these measures should not be construed as an alternative to any other measure of performance determined in accordance with GAAP.
Statements in this news release that are not historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can often be identified by words such as "may," "will," "should," "would,' "expect," "project," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "believe," "estimate," "potential," "outlook," or "continue," the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. These statements reflect management's current views and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, many of which are beyond the Company's control that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to: (1) industry conditions; (2) market and economic factors; (3) results of legal proceedings and compliance costs; (4) the ability to achieve and effectively manage growth; (5) the ability to pay the Company's debt obligations; (6) the ability to carry out the Company's strategic initiatives and manage associated costs; (7) managing labor relations and (8) realizing the synergies and benefits of the Victory Packaging acquisition. Further information on these and other risks and uncertainties is provided under Part I, Item 1A "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, under Part II, Item 1.A. "Risk Factors" in the Company's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended June 30, 2015 and September 30, 2015, and elsewhere in reports that the Company files with the SEC. These filings can be found on KapStone's Web site at http://www.kapstonepaper.com and the SEC's Web site at www.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements included herein speak only as of the date hereof and the Company disclaims any obligation to revise or update such statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or circumstances.
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SOURCE KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation