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The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read together with the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes included in Part I, Item 1 of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q as well as the consolidated financial statements, the accompanying notes and the related Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations ("MD&A"), contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 (the "2021 Annual Report").

Adjusted EBITDA and segment contribution margin as used herein are non-GAAP measures. For a detailed description of Adjusted EBITDA and segment contribution margin and reconciliations to their most comparable GAAP measures, please see the discussion below under "How We Evaluate Our Business."

Forward Looking Statements

This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act") and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as

amended. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements give our current expectations and projections relating to our financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business. These statements may include words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "plan," "intend," "believe," "may," "will," "should," "could," "can have," "likely" and other words and terms of similar meaning.

For example, all statements we make relating to our estimated and projected costs; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our future plans and results of operations; reserve and finished products estimates; demand for our products; the strategies of our customers; anticipated expenditures, cash flows, growth rates and financial results; our plans and objectives for future operations, growth or initiatives; strategies and their anticipated effect on our performance and liquidity; and the expected outcome or impact of pending or threatened litigation are forward-looking statements.

All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that we expect, including but not limited to: global economic conditions; fluctuations in demand for commercial silica, diatomaceous earth, perlite, clay and cellulose; fluctuations in demand for frac sand or the development of either effective alternative proppants or new processes to replace hydraulic fracturing; changes in production spending by companies in the oil and gas industry and changes in the level of oil and natural gas exploration and development; general economic, political and business conditions in key regions of the world; ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our customers and end users of our products; pricing pressure; weather and seasonal factors; the cyclical nature of our customers' business; our inability to meet our financial and performance targets and other forecasts or expectations; our substantial indebtedness and pension obligations, including restrictions on our operations imposed by our indebtedness; operational modifications, delays or cancellations; prices for electricity, natural gas and diesel fuel; our ability to maintain our transportation network; changes in government regulations and regulatory requirements, including those related to mining, explosives, chemicals, and oil and gas production; silica-related health issues and corresponding litigation; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and our most recent Forms 10-K, 10-Q, and 8-K filed with or furnished to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC").

We derive many of our forward-looking statements from our operating budgets and forecasts, which are based on many detailed assumptions. While we believe that our assumptions are reasonable, we caution that it is very difficult to predict the impact of the known factors described above, and it is impossible for us to anticipate all factors that could affect our actual results. As a result, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and you should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements we make. If one or more of the risks described above or other risks or uncertainties materialize (or the consequences of any such development changes), or should our underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual outcomes may vary materially from those reflected in our forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q are made only as of the date hereof. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update publicly or revise such statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us, or persons acting on our behalf, are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements as well as other cautionary statements that are made from time to time in our other filings with the SEC, and our other public communications.


We are a global performance materials company and a leading producer of commercial silica used in the oil and gas industry and in a wide range of industrial applications. In addition, through our subsidiary EP Minerals, LLC ("EPM"), we are an industry leader in the production of industrial minerals, including diatomaceous earth, clay (calcium bentonite and calcium montmorillonite) and perlite.

During our 122-year history, we have developed core competencies in mining, processing, logistics and materials science that enable us to produce and cost-effectively deliver over 600 diversified product types to customers across our end markets. As of March 31, 2022, we operated 24 production facilities across the United States. We control 483 million tons of reserves of commercial silica, which we believe can be processed to make 193 million tons of finished products that meet API frac sand specifications, and 82 million tons of reserves of diatomaceous earth, perlite, and clays.

Our operations are organized into two reportable segments based on end markets served and the manner in which we analyze our operating and financial performance: (1) Oil & Gas Proppants and (2) Industrial & Specialty Products. We believe our segments are complementary because our ability to sell to a wide range of customers across end markets in these segments allows us to maximize recovery rates in our mining operations and optimize our asset utilization.

Recent Trends and Outlook

Oil and gas proppants end market trends

Our operations in our Oil & Gas Proppants segment are materially dependent on the levels of activity in natural gas and oil exploration, development and production, which are affected by trends in natural gas and oil prices. In recent years, natural gas and oil prices and, therefore, the level of exploration, development and production activity, have experienced significant volatility.

During 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic repercussions, coupled with an inadequate supply response and exacerbated by the lack of global storage capacity, resulted in a precipitous decline in crude oil prices. Demand for our proppant and logistics services declined as our customers reduced their capital budgets and drilling operations in response to lower oil prices. During 2021, crude oil prices rebounded from 2020, with the West Texas Intermediate price of crude oil increasing 55% during the year. This resulted in strong well completion activity and improved pricing for our Oil & Gas Proppants segment. Strong customer demand and favorable pricing in this segment have continued through the first quarter of 2022.

Sales increased by 11% or $17.6 million in our Oil & Gas Proppants segment during the three months ended March 31, 2022 compared to the three months ended December 31, 2021. This was due primarily to higher energy prices and a rebound in overall well completion activity. Our results for the three month period ended March 31, 2022 in this segment are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the full year ending December 31, 2022.

Amounts in thousands, except per ton

        data                                    Three Months Ended                              Percentage Change
                                                March 31,                 December 31,                                   March 31, 2022 vs.
        Oil & Gas Proppants                       2022                        2021                                       December 31, 2021
        Sales                                $    176,244                $    158,606                                                   11  %
        Tons Sold                                   3,060                       3,096                                                   (1) %
        Average Selling Price per Ton        $      57.60                $      51.23                                                   12  %

If oil and gas drilling and completion activity does not grow, or if frac sand supply remains greater than demand, then we may sell fewer tons, sell tons at lower prices, or both. If we sell less frac sand or sell frac sand at lower prices, our revenue, net income, cash generated from operating activities, and liquidity would be adversely affected, and we could incur material asset impairments. If these events occur, we may evaluate further actions to reduce cost and improve liquidity.

Industrial and specialty products end market trends

Demand in the industrial and specialty products end markets has been relatively stable in recent years and is primarily influenced by key macroeconomic drivers such as housing starts, population growth, light vehicle sales, beer and wine production, repair and remodel activity and industrial production. The primary end markets served by our Industrial & Specialty Products segment are building and construction products, fillers and extenders, filtration, glassmaking, absorbents, foundry, and sports and recreation. We have been increasing our value-added product offerings in the industrial and specialty products end markets organically as well as through acquisitions, such as White Armor and EPM. Additionally, we have increased our focus on the alternative energy markets and products necessary for the supply chains of solar panels, renewable diesel and wind turbines. Sales of these new higher margin products have increased our Industrial & Specialty Products segment's profitability.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe economic, market and other disruptions worldwide, which began to affect our Industrial & Specialty Products segment in the second quarter of 2020. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, we may continue to experience adverse impacts in this segment as a result of any long-term impacts resulting from the pandemic in the relevant markets.

Review of Strategic Alternatives

On October 6, 2021, we announced that we had initiated a review of strategic alternatives for our Industrial & Specialty Products ("ISP") segment to maximize value for shareholders and other stakeholders. We stated that a "range of options are under consideration, including a potential sale or separation of the ISP segment." There can be no assurance the review of strategic alternatives will result in any transaction, and the process of exploring strategic alternatives will involve the dedication of significant resources and the incurrence of significant costs and expenses.

Our Business Strategy

The key drivers of our growth strategy include:

increasing our presence and new product development in specialty products end markets;

optimizing our product mix and further developing value-added capabilities to maximize margins;

effectively positioning our Oil & Gas Proppants facilities to optimally serve our customers;

optimizing our supply chain network and leveraging our logistics capabilities to meet our customers' needs;

evaluating both Greenfield and Brownfield expansion opportunities and other acquisitions;

maintaining financial strength and flexibility; and

pursuing strategic alternatives including, but not limited to, a sale or separation of the ISP business.

How We Generate Our Sales


We derive our product sales by mining and processing minerals that our customers purchase for various uses. Our product sales are primarily a function of the price per ton and the number of tons sold. We primarily sell our products through individual purchase orders executed under short-term price agreements or at prevailing market rates. The amount invoiced reflects the price of the product, transportation, surcharges, and additional handling services as applicable, such as storage, transloading the product from railcars to trucks and last mile logistics to the customer site. We invoice most of our product customers on a per shipment basis, although for some larger customers we consolidate invoices weekly or monthly. Standard collection terms are net 30 days, although extended terms are offered in competitive situations.


We derive our service sales primarily through the provision of transportation, equipment rental, and contract labor services to companies in the oil and gas industry. Transportation services typically consist of transporting customer proppant from storage facilities to proximal well-sites and are contracted through work orders executed under established pricing agreements. The amount invoiced reflects transportation services rendered. Equipment rental services provide customers with use of either dedicated or nonspecific wellhead proppant delivery equipment solutions for contractual periods defined either through formal lease agreements or executed work orders under established pricing agreements. The amounts invoiced reflect the length of time the equipment set was utilized in the billing period. Contract labor services provide customers with proppant delivery equipment operators through work orders executed under established pricing agreements. The amounts invoiced reflect the amount of time our labor services were utilized in the billing period. We typically invoice our customers on a weekly or monthly basis; however, some customers receive invoices upon well-site operation completion. Standard collection terms are net 30 days, although extended terms are offered in competitive situations.

Our ten largest customers accounted for 40% and 42% of total sales for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. No customers accounted for 10% or more of our total sales for the three months ended March 31, 2022 or 2021. At March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, none of our customers' accounts receivable represented 10% or more of our total trade accounts receivable.

For a limited number of customers, we sell under long-term, minimum purchase supply agreements. These agreements define, among other commitments, the volume of product that our customers must purchase, the volume of product that we must provide and the price that we will charge and that our customers will pay for each product. Prices under these agreements are generally fixed and subject to certain contractual adjustments. Sometimes these agreements may undergo negotiations regarding pricing and volume requirements, particularly in volatile market conditions. When these negotiations occur, we may deliver sand at prices or at volumes below the requirements in our existing supply agreements. An executed order specifying the type and quantity of product to be delivered, in combination with the noted agreements, comprise our contracts in these arrangements. Selling more tons under supply contracts enables us to be more efficient from a production, supply chain and logistics standpoint. As discussed in Part I, Item 1A., Risk Factors of our 2021 Annual Report, these customers may not continue to purchase the same levels of product in the future due to a variety of reasons, contract requirements notwithstanding.

As of March 31, 2022, we had seven minimum purchase supply agreements in the Oil & Gas Proppants segment with initial terms expiring between 2022 and 2034. As of March 31, 2021, we had 11 minimum purchase supply agreements in the Oil & Gas Proppants segment with initial terms expiring between 2021 and 2034. Collectively, sales to customers with minimum purchase supply agreements accounted for 31% and 55% of Oil & Gas Proppants segment sales during the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively.

In the industrial and specialty products end markets we have not historically entered into long-term minimum purchase supply agreements with our customers because of the high cost to our customers of switching providers. We may periodically do so when capital or other investment is required to meet customer needs. Instead, we often enter into supply agreements with our customers with targeted volumes and terms of one to five years. Prices under these agreements are generally fixed and subject to annual increases.

The Costs of Conducting Our Business

The principal expenses involved in conducting our business are transportation costs, labor costs, electricity and drying fuel costs, and maintenance and repair costs for our mining and processing equipment and facilities. Transportation and related costs include freight charges, fuel surcharges, transloading fees, switching fees, railcar lease costs, demurrage costs, storage fees and labor costs. Our operating costs can vary significantly based on the volume of product produced and current economic conditions. We benefit from owning the majority of the mineral deposits that we mine and having long-term mineral rights leases or supply agreements for our other primary sources of raw material, which limits royalty payments.

Additionally, we incur expenses related to our corporate operations, including costs for sales and marketing; research and development; and the finance, legal, human resources, information technology, and environmental, health and safety functions of our organization. These costs are principally driven by personnel expenses.

How We Evaluate Our Business

Our management team evaluates our business using a variety of financial and operating metrics. We evaluate the performance of our two segments based on their tons sold, average selling price and contribution margin earned. Additionally, we consider a number of factors in evaluating the performance of our business as a whole, including total tons sold, average selling price, total segment contribution margin, and Adjusted EBITDA. We view these metrics as important factors in evaluating our profitability and review these measurements frequently to analyze trends and make decisions, and we believe the presentation of these metrics provides useful information to our investors regarding our financial condition and results of operations for the same reasons.

Segment Contribution Margin

Segment contribution margin, a non-GAAP measure, is a key metric that management uses to evaluate our operating performance and to determine resource allocation between segments. Segment contribution margin excludes selling, general, and administrative costs, corporate costs, plant capacity expansion expenses, and facility closure costs.

Segment contribution margin is not a measure of our financial performance under GAAP and should not be considered as an alternative or superior to measures derived in accordance with GAAP. Our measure of segment contribution margin is not necessarily comparable to other similarly titled captions of other companies due to potential inconsistencies in the methods of calculation. For more information about segment contribution margin, including a reconciliation of this measure to its most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, net income (loss), see Note S - Segment Reporting to our Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements in Part I, Item 1. of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, is included in this report because it is a key metric used by management to assess our operating performance and by our lenders to evaluate our covenant compliance. Adjusted EBITDA excludes certain income and/or costs, the removal of which improves comparability of operating results across reporting periods. Our target performance goals under our incentive compensation plan are tied, in part, to our Adjusted EBITDA.

Adjusted EBITDA is not a measure of our financial performance or liquidity under GAAP and should not be considered as an alternative or superior to net income (loss) as a measure of operating performance, cash flows from operating activities as a measure of liquidity or any other performance measure derived in accordance with GAAP. Additionally, Adjusted EBITDA is not intended to be a measure of free cash flow for management's discretionary use, as it does not consider certain cash requirements such as interest payments, tax payments and debt service requirements. Adjusted EBITDA contains certain other limitations, including the failure to reflect our cash expenditures, cash requirements for working capital needs and cash costs to replace assets being depreciated and amortized, and excludes certain charges that may recur in the future. Management compensates for these limitations by relying primarily on our GAAP results and by using Adjusted EBITDA only supplementally. Our measure of Adjusted EBITDA is not necessarily comparable to other similarly titled captions of other companies due to potential inconsistencies in the methods of calculation.

The following table sets forth a reconciliation of net income (loss), the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, to Adjusted EBITDA:

                                                                           Three Months Ended
         (amounts in thousands)                                                 March 31,
                                                                           2022           2021
         Net loss attributable to U.S. Silica Holdings, Inc.           $   (8,393)     $ (20,778)
         Total interest expense, net of interest income                    17,153         15,803
         Provision for taxes                                               (6,969)        (4,354)
         Total depreciation, depletion and amortization expenses           37,749         41,348
         EBITDA                                                            39,540         32,019
         Non-cash incentive compensation (1)                                4,657          4,574
         Post-employment expenses (excluding service costs) (2)              (701)           363
         Merger and acquisition related expenses (3)                        1,868            194
         Plant capacity expansion expenses (4)                                 46             41
         Contract termination expenses (5)                                  6,500              -
         Goodwill and other asset impairments (6)                               -             38
         Business optimization projects (7)                                    11             39
         Facility closure costs (8)                                           490            502
         Other adjustments allowable under the Credit Agreement (9)           492            546
         Adjusted EBITDA                                               $   52,903      $  38,316

(1) Reflects equity-based and other equity-related compensation expense.

(9) Reflects miscellaneous adjustments permitted under the Credit Agreement, such as recruiting fees and relocation costs. The three months ended March 31, 2022 also included costs related to weather events and supplier and logistical issues of $0.8 million, severance restructuring of $0.1 million, an adjustment to non-controlling interest of $0.1 million, partially offset by proceeds of the sale of assets of $0.5 million. The three months ended March 31, 2021 also included $0.8 million related to expenses incurred with severe winter storms during the first quarter, partially offset by $0.1 million for a measurement period adjustment related to the Arrows Up bargain purchase.

. . .

Apr 29, 2022


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