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10-Q: FERRELLGAS PARTNERS L P

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(EDGAR Online via COMTEX) -- ITEM 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Overview

Our management's discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations relates to Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership.

Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. and Ferrellgas Finance Corp. have nominal assets, do not conduct any operations and have no employees other than officers. Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. serves as co-issuer and co-obligor for debt securities of Ferrellgas Partners, while Ferrellgas Finance Corp. serves as co-issuer and co-obligor for debt securities of the operating partnership. Accordingly, and due to the reduced disclosure format, a discussion of the results of operations, liquidity and capital resources of Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. and Ferrellgas Finance Corp. is not presented.

In this Item 2 of the Quarterly Report on Form 10�Q, unless the context indicates otherwise:

� "us," "we," "our," "ours," "consolidated," or "Ferrellgas" are references exclusively to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. together with its consolidated subsidiaries, including Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp., Ferrellgas, L.P. and Ferrellgas Finance Corp., except when used in connection with "common units," in which case these terms refer to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. without its consolidated subsidiaries;

� "Ferrellgas Partners" refers to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. itself, without its consolidated subsidiaries;

� the "operating partnership" refers to Ferrellgas, L.P., together with its consolidated subsidiaries, including Ferrellgas Finance Corp.;

� our "general partner" (i) with respect to Ferrellgas Partners refers to Ferrellgas, Inc. and (ii) with respect to the operating partnership refers to

� "Ferrell Companies" refers to Ferrell Companies, Inc., the sole shareholder or sole member, as applicable, of our general partners;

� "unitholders" refers to holders of common units of Ferrellgas Partners;

� "GAAP" refers to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States;

� "retail sales" refers to Propane and other gas liquid sales: Retail - Sales to End Users or the volume of propane sold primarily to our residential, industrial/commercial and agricultural customers;

� "wholesale sales" refers to Propane and other gas liquid sales: Wholesale - Sales to Resellers or the volume of propane sold primarily to our portable tank exchange customers and bulk propane sold to wholesale customers;

� "other gas sales" refers to Propane and other gas liquid sales: Other Gas Sales or the volume of bulk propane sold to other third-party propane distributors or marketers and the volume of refined fuel sold;

� "propane sales volume" refers to the volume of propane sold to our retail sales and wholesale sales customers;

� "Notes" refers to the notes of the condensed consolidated financial statements of Ferrellgas Partners or the operating partnership, as applicable; and

� "fiscal 2021" means the fiscal year ended July 31, 2021, "fiscal 2020" means the fiscal year ended July 31, 2020, "fiscal 2019" means the fiscal year ended July 31, 2019, and "fiscal 2018" means the fiscal year ended July 31, 2018.

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Ferrellgas Partners is a holding entity that conducts no operations and has two direct subsidiaries, Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. and the operating partnership. Ferrellgas Partners' only assets are its approximate 99% limited partnership interest in the operating partnership and its 100% equity interest in Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. The common units of Ferrellgas Partners are traded on the OTC Pink Market and our activities are primarily conducted through the operating partnership.

The operating partnership was formed on April 22, 1994, and accounts for substantially all of our consolidated assets, sales and operating earnings, except for interest expense related to the senior notes co-issued by Ferrellgas Partners and Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp.

Our general partner performs all management functions for us and our subsidiaries and holds an approximate 1% general partner interest in Ferrellgas Partners and an approximate 1% general partner interest in the operating partnership. The parent company of our general partner, Ferrell Companies, beneficially owns approximately 23.4% of our outstanding common units. Ferrell Companies is owned 100% by an employee stock ownership trust.

We file annual, quarterly, and current reports and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). You may read and download our SEC filings over the Internet from several commercial document retrieval services as well as at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov . Our SEC filings are also available on our website at www.ferrellgas.com at no cost as soon as reasonably practicable after our electronic filing or furnishing thereof with the SEC. Please note that any Internet addresses provided in this Quarterly Report on Form 10�Q are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be hyperlinks. Accordingly, no information found and/or provided at such Internet addresses is intended or deemed to be incorporated by reference herein.

The following is a discussion of our historical financial condition and results of operations and should be read in conjunction with our audited historical consolidated financial statements and accompanying Notes thereto included in our Annual Report on Form 10�K for fiscal 2019 and in our unaudited historical condensed consolidated financial statements and accompanying Notes thereto included elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10�Q.

The discussions set forth in the "Results of Operations" and "Liquidity and Capital Resources" sections generally refer to Ferrellgas Partners and its consolidated subsidiaries. However, in these discussions there exists one material difference between Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership:

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements

Statements included in this report include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are identified as any statement that does not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements often use words such as "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "plan," "projection," "forecast," "strategy," "position," "continue," "estimate," "expect," "may," "will," or the negative of those terms or other variations of them or comparable terminology. These statements often discuss plans, strategies, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future and are based upon the beliefs and assumptions of our management and on the information currently available to them. In particular, statements, express or implied, concerning our future operating results or our ability to generate sales, income or cash flow are forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. You should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by these forward-looking statements. Many of the factors that will affect our future results are beyond our ability to control or predict. Some of the risk factors that may affect our business, financial condition or results of operations include:

� the effect of weather conditions on the demand for propane;

� the prices of wholesale propane, motor fuel and crude oil;

� disruptions to the supply of propane;

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� competition from other industry participants and other energy sources;

� energy efficiency and technology advances;

� adverse changes in our relationships with our national tank exchange customers;

� significant delays in the collection of accounts or notes receivable;

� customer, counterparty, supplier or vendor defaults;

� changes in demand for, and production of, hydrocarbon products;

� disruptions to railroad operations on the railroads we use;

� increased trucking and rail regulations;

� inherent operating and litigation risks in gathering, transporting, handling and storing propane;

� our inability to complete acquisitions or to successfully integrate acquired operations;

� costs of complying with, or liabilities imposed under, environmental, health and safety laws;

� the impact of pending and future legal proceedings;

� the interruption, disruption, failure or malfunction of our information technology systems including due to cyber-attack;

� the impact of changes in tax law that could adversely affect the tax treatment of Ferrellgas Partners for federal income tax purposes;

� economic and political instability, particularly in areas of the world tied to the energy industry;

� disruptions in the capital and credit markets;

� access to available capital to meet our operating requirements up to and including the refinancing of maturing debt instruments; and

� the impact of the inclusion in the report of our auditor of an "emphasis of matter" paragraph regarding substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern.

When considering any forward-looking statement, you should also keep in mind the risk factors set forth in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" of our Annual Report on Form 10�K for fiscal 2019. Any of these risks could impair our business, financial condition or results of operations. Any such impairment may affect our ability to make distributions to our unitholders or pay interest on the principal of any of our debt securities. In addition, the trading price of our securities could decline as a result of any such impairment.

Except for our ongoing obligations to disclose material information as required by federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or risk factors after the date of this Quarterly Report on Form 10�Q.

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Recent developments

COVID-19

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has been declared by the World Health Organization as a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern," continues to spread and severely impact the economy of the United States and other countries around the world. COVID-19 poses the risk that we or our employees, contractors, suppliers, customers and other business partners may be prevented from or limited in conducting business activities for an indefinite period of time. The outbreak of COVID-19 has already resulted in significant governmental measures being implemented to control the spread of the virus, including quarantines, travel restrictions, manufacturing restrictions, declarations of national emergency and states of emergency, business shutdowns and restrictions on the movement of people throughout the United States and the world. While some of our business operations and support systems are deemed essential in many jurisdictions, we are continuing to assess the impact that COVID-19 may have on our results of operations and financial condition and cannot at this time accurately predict what effects these conditions will have on our operations and sales due to uncertainties relating to the ultimate geographic spread of the virus, the severity of the disease, the duration of the outbreak and the length of the travel restrictions and business closures imposed by governments in different jurisdictions. Additionally, initiatives we have implemented or may implement to slow and/or reduce the impact of COVID-19, such as using staggered start times for drivers, may increase our operating expenses and reduce the efficiency of our operations. Any of the foregoing events or other unforeseen consequences of public health epidemics may have further adverse impacts on U.S. and global economic conditions, including a general slowdown in the U.S. economy, which could decrease demand for our products and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Senior secured notes

On April 16, 2020, the operating partnership issued $700.0 million aggregate principal amount of 10.00% senior secured first lien notes due 2025, $575.0 million of which was issued at par and $125.0 million of which was issued at 103% of par. The operating partnership utilized a portion of the net proceeds of that offering to repay all $283.9 million of the outstanding borrowings under its Senior Secured Credit Facility, together with $3.1 million of accrued interest and a $17.5 million prepayment premium and terminated that facility. Additionally, the operating partnership used a portion of the net proceeds from that offering to cash collateralize all of the letters of credit outstanding under the Senior Secured Credit Facility and to make a cash deposit of $11.5 million with the administrative agent under the Senior Secured Credit Facility, which may be used by the administrative agent to pay contingent obligations arising under the Financing Agreement that governed the Senior Secured Credit Facility. To the extent the cash deposit is not used to pay any such contingent obligations, it will be returned to the operating partnership in certain circumstances. The operating partnership intends to use the remaining net proceeds for general corporate purposes.

Amendment to accounts receivable securitization facility

On April 10, 2020, the operating partnership entered into a ninth amendment to the agreement governing its accounts receivable securitization facility (as amended, the "Purchase Agreement"), which amended and restated the amortization event related to the Senior Secured Leverage Ratio (as defined in the Purchase Agreement) of the operating partnership and the definition of "Consolidated Total Secured Debt" in the Purchase Agreement to, among other matters, provide that obligations with respect to cash collateralized letters of credit are excluded from Consolidated Total Secured Debt and, therefore, from the calculation of the Senior Secured Leverage Ratio, beginning with the fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2020. The ninth amendment also amended the Purchase Agreement to (i) increase the interest rate applicable margin by 0.5% to 2.5% (or 4.5% while an amortization event under the Purchase Agreement exists) and

Debt and interest expense reduction strategy

We continue to pursue a strategy to further reduce our debt and interest expense. Additional opportunities include the generation of additional cash flows through accretive acquisitions, continued restructuring or refinancing of existing indebtedness, selling additional assets, maintaining the suspension of Ferrellgas Partners' common unit distributions, issuing equity or executing one or more debt exchanges. We expect to maintain our debt and interest expense reduction strategy until our consolidated leverage ratio reaches a level that we deem appropriate for our business.

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Ferrellgas Partners has $357.0 million in unsecured notes due June 15, 2020 that are classified as current in its condensed consolidated financial statements. Ferrellgas Partners' ability to restructure, refinance or otherwise satisfy these notes is directly impacted by the cash flows of Ferrellgas, L.P. The ability of Ferrellgas Partners to restructure or refinance these notes is uncertain considering the level of other outstanding indebtedness.

During fiscal 2019, we engaged Moelis & Company LLC as our financial advisor and the law firm of Squire Patton Boggs LLP to assist us with our ongoing process to address our upcoming debt maturities.

Financial covenants

The indenture governing the outstanding notes of Ferrellgas Partners and the indentures governing the operating partnership's indebtedness contain various covenants that limit our ability to, among other things, make restricted payments and incur additional indebtedness. Our general partner believes that the most restrictive of these covenants are the restricted payments covenants discussed below.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., the master limited partnership

The indenture governing the outstanding notes of Ferrellgas Partners due June 15, 2020 contains a covenant that restricts the ability of Ferrellgas Partners to make certain restricted payments, including distributions on its common units. Under this covenant, subject to the limited exception described below, Ferrellgas Partners may not make a restricted payment unless its consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio (defined in the indenture generally to mean the ratio of trailing four quarters consolidated EBITDA to consolidated interest expense, both as adjusted for certain, specified items) is at least 1.75x, on a pro forma basis giving effect to the restricted payment and, if applicable, certain other specified events. As of April 30, 2020, Ferrellgas Partners' consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio was 1.35x.

If the consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio is below 1.75x, Ferrellgas Partners may make restricted payments of up to $50.0 million in total over a sixteen quarter period. As a result of distributions paid to common unitholders in September 2017, December 2017, March 2018, June 2018 and September 2018, while this ratio was less than 1.75x, Ferrellgas Partners has used substantially all of its capacity under the limited exception and therefore is currently restricted by this covenant from making future restricted payments, including distributions to common unitholders. Accordingly, no distributions have been or will be paid to common unitholders for the three months ended April 30, 2020, and the general partner expects that this covenant will continue to prohibit Ferrellgas Partners from making common unit distributions unless and until the outstanding notes of Ferrellgas Partners due 2020 are restructured, refinanced or otherwise satisfied. While there can be no assurance of success, as part of our debt and interest expense reduction strategy, we are presently considering potential solutions to address the upcoming maturity of the outstanding notes of Ferrellgas Partners due 2020. The potential solutions include, among others, restructuring, refinancing or a transaction to exchange new notes for some or all of these notes.

Ferrellgas, L.P., the operating partnership

Similar to the indenture governing the outstanding notes of Ferrellgas Partners, the indentures governing the outstanding notes of the operating partnership contain covenants that restrict the ability of the operating partnership to make certain restricted payments, including distributions to Ferrellgas Partners. Under these covenants in the indentures governing the operating partnership's unsecured notes, subject to the limited exceptions described below, the operating partnership may not make a restricted payment unless its consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio (defined in the indentures generally to mean the ratio of trailing four quarters consolidated EBITDA to consolidated interest expense, both as adjusted for certain, specified items) is at least 1.75x, on a pro forma basis giving effect to the restricted payment and, if applicable, certain other specified events. As of April 30, 2020, the operating partnership's consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio was 1.67x.

Under the covenants in the indentures governing the operating partnership's unsecured notes, if the consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio is below 1.75x, the operating partnership may still make restricted payments in limited amounts determined under the indentures governing the operating partnership's notes. The distributions made by the operating partnership on June 15, 2019 and December 15, 2019 for payment of interest on Ferrellgas Partners' unsecured senior notes due June 2020 were made from capacity under the limited exception to the ratio requirement under the indentures governing the operating partnership's unsecured notes.

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The indenture governing the operating partnership's senior secured first lien notes due 2025 contains a similar but, in some respects, different restricted payments covenant. The covenant in the secured notes indenture provides for the same 1.75x consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio test as the unsecured notes indentures and a limited exception when that ratio is below 1.75x. In addition, the secured notes indenture also provides that, subject to a separate limited exception, described below, the operating partnership generally may not make a restricted payment unless the operating partnership's consolidated leverage ratio (defined in the secured notes indenture generally to mean the ratio of consolidated total debt to trailing four quarters consolidated EBITDA, both as adjusted for certain, specified items) is no greater than 5.5x, on a pro forma basis giving effect to the restricted payment and, if applicable, certain other specified events. The consolidated leverage ratio test applies regardless of whether the operating partnership's consolidated fixed coverage ratio is at least 1.75x or below 1.75x. As of April 30, 2020, the operating partnership's consolidated leverage ratio was substantially in excess of 5.5x. Additionally, the secured notes indenture provides for restricted payments under its limited exception to the consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio test that is less than the capacity available under the similar exception in the unsecured notes indentures. However, the secured notes indenture contains a separate exception to both the consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio test and the consolidated leverage ratio test that can be utilized to make certain specified restricted payments in a limited amount when the operating partnership does not meet either the consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio test or the consolidated leverage ratio test. This separate exception under the secured notes indenture currently has capacity for such specified restricted payments that is substantially the same as the capacity under the most restrictive of the operating partnership's unsecured notes indentures.

As described above, Ferrellgas Partners' unsecured notes due 2020 mature on June 15, 2020, and the outstanding principal amount of those notes is due to be paid on that date, together with accrued interest to the maturity date. Although the operating partnership has some capacity to make distributions under the operating partnership's unsecured and secured notes indentures, this capacity will not allow the operating partnership to make distributions to Ferrellgas Partners sufficient to pay the principal of and accrued interest on Ferrellgas Partners' unsecured senior notes due 2020 due at the maturity of those notes. Additionally, the restrictions in these indentures currently limit the ability of the operating partnership to make distributions to Ferrellgas Partners to enable it to pay cash distributions to its unitholders.

Distributions

As discussed above, no distributions will be paid to common unitholders in June 2020 for the three months ended April 30, 2020, and the general partner expects that Ferrellgas Partners will continue to be prohibited from making common unit distributions unless and until the outstanding notes of Ferrellgas Partners due 2020 are restructured, refinanced or otherwise satisfied.

How We Evaluate Our Operations

We evaluate our overall business performance based primarily on a metric we refer to as "Adjusted EBITDA", which is not defined by GAAP and should not be considered an alternative to earnings measures defined by GAAP. We do not utilize depreciation, depletion and amortization expense in our key measures because we focus our performance management on cash flow generation and our revenue generating assets have long useful lives. For the definition of Adjusted EBITDA and a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., the most directly comparable GAAP measure, see the subheading "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below.

Based on our propane sales volumes in fiscal 2019, we believe that we are the second largest retail marketer of propane in the United States and a leading national provider of propane by portable tank exchange. We serve residential, industrial/commercial, portable tank exchange, agricultural, wholesale and other customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Our operations primarily include the retail distribution and sale of propane and related equipment and supplies with concentrations in the Midwest, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest regions of the United States.

We use information on temperatures to understand how our results of operations are affected by temperatures that are warmer or colder than normal. Normal temperatures computed by us are the average of the last 10 years of information published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Based on this information we calculate a ratio of actual heating degree days to normal heating degree days. Heating degree days are a general indicator of weather impacting propane usage.

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Weather conditions have a significant impact on demand for propane for heating purposes primarily during the months of November through March (the "winter heating season"). Accordingly, the volume of propane used by our customers for this purpose is directly affected by the severity of the winter weather in the regions we serve and can vary substantially from year to year. In any given region, sustained warmer-than-normal temperatures will tend to result in reduced propane usage, while sustained colder-than-normal temperatures will tend to result in greater usage. Although there is a strong correlation between weather and customer usage, general economic conditions in the United States and the wholesale price of propane can have a significant impact on this correlation. Additionally, there is a natural time lag between the onset of cold weather and increased sales to customers. If the United States were to experience a cooling trend we could expect nationwide demand for propane to increase which could lead to greater sales, income and liquidity availability. Conversely, if the United States were to experience a continued warming trend, we could expect nationwide demand for propane for heating purposes to decrease which could lead to a reduction in our sales, income and liquidity availability as well as impact our ability to maintain compliance with our debt covenants.

We employ risk management activities that attempt to mitigate price risks related to the purchase, storage, transport and sale of propane generally in the contract and spot markets from major domestic energy companies. We attempt to mitigate these price risks through the use of financial derivative instruments and forward propane purchase and sales contracts. We enter into propane sales commitments with a portion of our customers that provide for a contracted price agreement for a specified period of time. These commitments can expose us to product price risk if not immediately hedged with an offsetting propane purchase commitment.

Our open financial derivative propane purchase commitments are designated as hedges primarily for fiscal 2020 and 2021 sales commitments and, as of April 30, 2020, we have experienced net mark-to-market losses of approximately $20.8 . . .

Jun 04, 2020

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