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Methanex (MEOH) Q2 Loss Lower than Expected, Sales Beat

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Chemical maker Methanex CorporationMEOH recorded net loss (attributable to Methanex shareholders) of $3 million or 8 cents per share in the second quarter of 2016 as against a profit of $104 million or $1.15 per share logged a year ago.

Adjusted loss (barring one-time items other than stock-based compensation) came in at 26 cents per share for the quarter. Loss per share was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 27 cents.

Methanex's adjusted loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization was $38 million in the quarter, reflecting a decline of roughly 70.5% from $129 million recorded a year ago. This was attributable to lower average realized prices of methanol in the quarter, more than offsetting higher production.

Furthermore, revenues fell roughly 26.6% year over year to $468 million in the reported quarter, but beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $423 million.

Average realized price was $223 per ton in the quarter, down roughly 36.3% from $350 per ton a year ago. Total production was 1,770,000 tons, marking a 38.2% rise from 1,281,000 tons in the prior-year quarter. Methanex-produced methanol sales volumes rose 40.4% year over year to 1,689,000 tons.

Shares of Methanex closed roughly 2.6% lower at $27.86 on Jul 28.

Production Summary

New Zealand: Methanex produced 577,000 tons in the second quarter of 2016, up 18.5% from 487,000 tons produced a year ago. The production was strong at full to close capacity here.

United States: Methanex's Geismar facilities produced 527,000 tons in second-quarter 2016, compared to 276,000 tons produced a year ago. The strong quarter reflects a relatively new catalyst in the facilities.

Trinidad: Methanex's fully-owned Titan facility produced 181,000 tons in the quarter, down from 183,000 tons produced a year ago. The Atlas facility, in which the company holds a 63.1% interest, produced 236,000 tons, stable year over year. In the reported quarter, the Atlas facility returned operation levels to normal after last quarter.

Egypt: The facility produced 106,000 tons (Methanex share of 53,000 tons) compared to 16,000 tons (Methanex share of 8,000 tons) produced in the prior-year quarter. The plant resumed operations in early May after discontinuing it in early March due to natural gas supply restrictions. The plant may have to be closed down again in the summer months when electricity demand in the area is at its peak.

The Egypt facility has been facing restrictions since mid-2012, with these becoming more significant since 2014. The government is working on measures to address the problem. Until then, the company will continue facing limited production at the plant.

Medicine Hat, Canada: The facility produced 123,000 tons in the quarter, up 141.2% from 51,000 tons produced a year ago. A mechanical problem at the plant led to a production loss of 40,000 tons in the quarter.

Chile: During the reported quarter, 73,000 tons were produced in the region, supported fully by natural gas supplies from Chile. This represents a 62.8% increase from 40,000 tons produced in the prior-year quarter. The company believes there is enough gas available in Chile to operate at reduced rates through the remainder of the southern hemisphere winter.

The Chile I facility was shut down at the beginning of July for planned maintenance. The facility is expected to resume operations in August.

Financials

Consolidated cash flows from operating activities fell around 58.5% year over year to $34 million in the reported quarter. Higher sales volume and inventory led to an increase in working capital resulting in higher cash flows. Cash and cash equivalents were $239 million as of Jun 30, 2016, down 6.3% from the year-ago period. Long-term debt was $1,501.5 million, up 0.9% year over year.

Methanex's board paid a quarterly dividend of 27.5 cents per share to stockholders, amounting to a total of $25 million.

Outlook

Methanex is optimistic about global demand which rebounded in the second quarter. Demand growth was led by Asia and remained stable in Europe and the Americas. The company reached a settlement to terminate the natural gas delivery obligations of Petrobras Argentina S.A. pursuant to a long-term natural gas supply agreement in Chile during the quarter. The company will be able to take advantage of the expected rise in m ethanol prices with its increased production.

Capital expenditure for the rest of 2016 is estimated to be $25 million, including maintenance, turnarounds and catalyst changes in existing operations.

METHANEX CORP Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

METHANEX CORP Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | METHANEX CORP Quote

Zacks Rank

Methanex currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Some better-ranked companies in the chemical space include Axiall Corporation AXLL , Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. SHECY and Stepan Company SCL , all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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