- 3Q 2017 Net Income of $259 Million
- 3Q 2017 Adjusted EBITDA of $1.101 Billion
- 3Q 2017 Cash Distribution Coverage Ratio of 1.17x; 1.24x Year-to-Date
- Placed 4 Transco Expansions (Gulf Trace, Hillabee Phase 1, Dalton Expansion, and New York Bay Expansion) Into Service to Date in 2017; Design Capacity Up 25%
- Williams Partners Continues to Significantly Improve Credit Profile; Net Debt (Long-term Debt Less Cash) Reduced by $3 Billion Since Jan. 1, 2017
- Achieved Key Milestones for Atlantic Sunrise Project
TULSA, Okla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) today announced its financial results for the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2017.
|Summary Financial Information||3Q||YTD|
|Amounts in millions, except per-unit amounts. Per unit amounts are reported on a diluted basis. All amounts are attributable to Williams Partners L.P.||2017||2016||2017||2016|
|Cash Flow from Operations||$||596||$||685||$||2,103||$||2,351|
|Net income (loss)||$||259||$||326||$||1,213||$||286|
|Net income (loss) per common unit||$||0.27||$||0.42||$||1.26||($0.32||)|
|Non-GAAP Measures (1)|
|DCF attributable to partnership operations||$||669||$||795||$||2,119||$||2,271|
|Cash distribution coverage ratio||1.17||x||1.08||x||1.24||x||1.04||x|
(1) Adjusted EBITDA, distributable cash flow (DCF) and cash coverage ratio are non-GAAP measures. Reconciliations to the most relevant measures included in GAAP are attached to this news release.
Third-Quarter 2017 Financial Results
Williams Partners reported unaudited third-quarter 2017 net income attributable to controlling interests of $259 million, a $67 million decrease from third-quarter 2016. The unfavorable change was driven primarily by the absence of results associated with the Geismar olefins facility, which was sold July 6, 2017, and the partnership’s former Canadian business, which was sold in September 2016. In addition, results were negatively impacted by impairments of certain assets, largely offset by the gain related to the sale of the Geismar facility.
Year-to-date, Williams Partners reported unaudited net income attributable to controlling interests of $1.213 billion, a $927 million improvement over the same nine-month reporting period in 2016. The favorable change was driven primarily by increased fee-based revenues from expansion projects, and gains on the sale of assets and equity investments. These favorable results were partially offset by higher impairment losses on assets between the periods and the decrease related to the previously mentioned sales of the Geismar olefins facility and the partnership’s former Canadian operations.
Williams Partners reported third-quarter 2017 Adjusted EBITDA of $1.101 billion, an $88 million decrease from third-quarter 2016. The unfavorable change was driven primarily by the absence of $101 million of Adjusted EBITDA contribution from the NGL & Petchem Services segment associated with the previously described assets sold. Williams Partners’ current businesses increased Adjusted EBITDA by approximately $13 million including an unfavorable impact of approximately $8 million from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Year-to-date, Williams Partners reported Adjusted EBITDA of $3.322 billion, an $8 million increase over the corresponding nine-month reporting period in 2016. The comparison includes an approximately $110 million decrease from the NGL & Petchem Services segment associated with the previously described assets that were sold. Williams Partners’ current businesses increased Adjusted EBITDA by approximately $118 million during the period. Favorable results included increased fee-based revenues, improved commodity margins, lower selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses and increased proportional EBITDA from joint ventures. Partially offsetting the increases were higher operating and maintenance (O&M) expenses.
Distributable Cash Flow and Distributions
For third-quarter 2017, Williams Partners generated $669 million in distributable cash flow (DCF) attributable to partnership operations, compared with $795 million in DCF attributable to partnership operations for third-quarter 2016. DCF was unfavorably impacted by the change in Adjusted EBITDA described above. DCF for third-quarter 2017 was also reduced by $59 million for the removal of non-cash deferred revenue amortization associated with the fourth-quarter 2016 contract restructurings in the Barnett Shale and Mid-Continent region. Partially offsetting the unfavorable change was a $37 million decrease in interest expense. For third-quarter 2017, the cash distribution coverage ratio was 1.17x.
Year-to-date, Williams Partners generated $2.119 billion in DCF attributable to partnership operations, an unfavorable change of $152 million compared with the same period in 2016. DCF for 2017 was reduced by $175 million for the non-cash deferred revenue amortization associated with the previously described contract restructurings. Also contributing to the unfavorable change was a $35 million increase in maintenance capital expenditures. Partially offsetting the unfavorable change was an $83 million decrease in interest expense. The cash distribution coverage for the nine-month reporting period was 1.24x.
Williams Partners recently announced a regular quarterly cash distribution of $0.60 per unit, payable Nov. 10, 2017, to its common unitholders of record at the close of business on Nov. 3, 2017.
Alan Armstrong, chief executive officer of Williams Partners’ general partner, made the following comments:
“The large-scale, competitive positions we’ve established continue to generate long-term value as evidenced once again this quarter as we maintained our strong results with year-to-date Adjusted EBITDA comparable to 2016 results despite the impact of two hurricanes and the sale of over $3 billion in assets. We’ve substantially reduced our direct exposure to commodities and, as a result, our current businesses’ steady growth is being driven by consistent fee-based revenue growth.
“Our strategic focus on natural gas volumes continues to deliver results. So far in 2017, we’ve placed four of our ‘Big 5’ Transco expansion projects into service including Gulf Trace, Hillabee Phase 1, Dalton Expansion and New York Bay Expansion with the fifth of the ‘Big 5’ expansions – the Virginia Southside II project – expected to be placed in service during fourth-quarter 2017. The incremental capacity from the fully-contracted Transco expansion projects going in service so far this year reflects a 25 percent increase in Transco’s design capacity. And, year-to-date, Transco’s transportation revenues have increased $74 million, a 7 percent increase over last year.
“Our existing asset footprint and the efficient incremental expansions available to us have also been highlighted in our Northeast G&P and West segments. Our recently announced agreement to expand our services in the Northeast for our valued customer, Southwestern Energy, showcases how well-positioned our Northeast G&P segment is to serve the growing gas production in the Marcellus and Utica. We are also positioned to capture growth in the Haynesville where in August, we completed the Springridge South plant expansion, and in Wyoming where we are able to bring more volumes onto our Wamsutter system after placing our Chain Lake compressor station into service in October to meet the growing demand of a customer.
“I’m also extremely pleased that even as we continue to deliver on our growth strategy by successfully executing on expansion projects across our operational map, we have strengthened our balance sheet and credit profile, significantly reducing our debt and continued to lower expenses. Year-to-date in 2017, total adjusted SG&A expenses have been reduced by about $40 million when compared to the same period in 2016.”
Business Segment Results
Effective, Jan. 1, 2017, Williams Partners implemented certain changes in its reporting segments as part of an operational realignment. As a result beginning with the reporting of first-quarter 2017 financial results, Williams Partners operations were comprised of the following reportable segments: Atlantic-Gulf, West, Northeast G&P, and NGL & Petchem Services. As of July 7, 2017, following the completed sale of Williams Partners’ ownership interest in the Geismar olefins plant on July 6, 2017, the partnership’s NGL & Petchem Services segment no longer contained any operating assets.
|Amounts in millions||3Q 2017||3Q 2016||YTD 2017||YTD 2016|
|NGL & Petchem Services||1,084||(1,083||)||1||70||32||102||1,165||(1,092||)||73||(194||)||377||183|
|Definitions of modified EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA and schedules reconciling these measures to net income are included in this news release.|
This segment includes the partnership’s interstate natural gas pipeline, Transco, and significant natural gas gathering and processing and crude oil production handling and transportation assets in the Gulf Coast region, including a 51 percent interest in Gulfstar One (a consolidated entity), which is a proprietary floating production system, and various petrochemical and feedstock pipelines in the Gulf Coast region, as well as a 50 percent equity-method investment in Gulfstream, a 41 percent interest in Constitution (a consolidated entity) which is under development, and a 60 percent equity-method investment in Discovery.
The Atlantic-Gulf segment reported Modified EBITDA of $430 million for third-quarter 2017, compared with $423 million for third-quarter 2016. Adjusted EBITDA decreased by $3 million to $431 million for the same time period. The increase in Modified EBITDA was driven primarily by $46 million increased fee-based revenues from Transco expansion projects brought online. Partially offsetting the increase were $29 million increased O&M expenses primarily associated with Transco’s integrity and pipeline maintenance programs. Proportional EBITDA from joint ventures decreased by $11 million. The total unfavorable impact to Atlantic-Gulf in third-quarter 2017 related to hurricanes was over $6 million.
Year-to-date, Atlantic-Gulf reported Modified EBITDA of $1.334 billion, an increase of $169 million over the same nine-month reporting period in 2016. Adjusted EBITDA increased $139 million to $1.346 billion. Fee-based revenues increased $199 million due primarily to higher volumes from Gulfstar One and Transco expansion projects placed in service. Partially offsetting these improvements were $56 million increased O&M expenses due primarily to higher costs associated with Transco’s integrity and pipeline maintenance programs, the segment’s offshore business, and costs associated with several of Transco’s expansion projects.
This segment includes the partnership’s interstate natural gas pipeline, Northwest Pipeline, and natural gas gathering, processing, and treating operations in New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming, as well as the Barnett Shale region of north-central Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale region of south Texas, the Haynesville Shale region of northwest Louisiana, and the Mid-Continent region which includes the Anadarko, Arkoma, Delaware and Permian basins. This reporting segment also includes an NGL and natural gas marketing business, storage facilities, and an undivided 50 percent interest in an NGL fractionator near Conway, Kansas, and a 50 percent equity-method investment in OPPL. The partnership completed the disposal of its 50 percent equity-method investment in a Delaware Basin gas gathering system in the Mid-Continent region during first-quarter 2017.
The West segment reported Modified EBITDA of ($615) million for third-quarter 2017, compared with $363 million for third-quarter 2016. Adjusted EBITDA decreased by $7 million to $426 million. The unfavorable change in Modified EBITDA was driven primarily by a $1.019 billion impairment of certain gathering operations in the Mid-Continent region. The unfavorable change also includes $11 million in decreased proportional EBITDA from joint ventures, due in part to the partnership’s sale of its interests in certain non-operated Delaware Basin assets in first-quarter 2017. Partially offsetting these decreases were $19 million higher fee-based revenues, a $21 million increase in commodity margins and a $12 million decline in O&M and SG&A expenses. Adjusted EBITDA excludes the previously mentioned impairment charge and is further adjusted for estimated minimum volume commitments. As a result, Adjusted EBITDA reflects $33 million of lower fee-based revenues. The West segment also experienced unfavorable impacts from Hurricane Harvey of more than $1 million during third-quarter 2017.
Year-to-date, the West segment reported Modified EBITDA of $126 million, a decrease of $876 million from the same nine-month period in 2016. Adjusted EBITDA decreased by $70 million to $1.187 billion. The unfavorable change in Modified EBITDA reflected the impairment in the Mid-Continent region described in the above paragraph. The unfavorable change also includes $21 million in decreased proportional EBITDA of joint ventures, due in part to the partnership’s sale of its interests in certain non-operated Delaware Basin assets in first-quarter 2017. Partially offsetting the decreases were $59 million in reduced O&M and SG&A expenses and $38 million in improved commodity margins. Revenues reflect an increase from the amortization of deferred revenue from 2016 contract restructurings largely offset by lower rates associated with those restructurings and lower volumes driven by natural declines. Adjusted EBITDA excludes the previously mentioned impairment charge and is further adjusted for estimated minimum volume commitments. As a result, Adjusted EBITDA reflects $141 million of lower fee-based revenues.
This segment includes the partnership’s natural gas gathering and processing, compression and NGL fractionation businesses in the Marcellus Shale region primarily in Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia and Utica Shale region of eastern Ohio, as well as a 66 percent interest in Cardinal (a consolidated entity), a 62 percent equity-method investment in UEOM, a 69 percent equity-method investment in Laurel Mountain, a 58 percent equity-method investment in Caiman II, and Appalachia Midstream Services, LLC, which owns an approximate average 66 percent equity-method investment in multiple gas gathering systems in the Marcellus Shale (Appalachia Midstream Investments).
The Northeast G&P segment reported Modified EBITDA of $115 million for third-quarter 2017, compared with $214 million for third-quarter 2016. Adjusted EBITDA increased by $26 million to $246 million. The unfavorable change in Modified EBITDA reflected a $115 million impairment of certain gathering operations in the Marcellus South. This impairment charge is excluded from Adjusted EBITDA. The current year benefited from a $30 million increase in proportional EBITDA of joint ventures due largely to the partnership’s increase in ownership in two Marcellus shale gathering systems in first-quarter 2017. Fee-based revenues were stable between the two periods due to increases in the Susquehanna that offset decreases in the Utica.
Year-to-date, the Northeast G&P segment reported Modified EBITDA of $588 million, a decrease of $68 million over the corresponding nine-month period in 2016. Adjusted EBITDA increased by $54 million to $721 million. The unfavorable change in Modified EBITDA reflected the impairment in the Marcellus South region described in the above paragraph. This impairment charge is excluded from Adjusted EBITDA. The current year benefited from a $51 million increase in proportional EBITDA of joint ventures due largely to the previously described increase in ownership in two Marcellus shale gathering systems. Fee-based revenues were stable between the two periods due to increases in the Susquehanna and Ohio River systems that offset decreases in the Utica.
NGL & Petchem Services
On Jan. 1, 2017, this segment included the partnership’s 88.46 percent undivided interest in an olefins production facility in Geismar, Louisiana, along with a refinery grade propylene splitter. On July 6, 2017, the partnership announced that it had completed the sale of all of its membership interest in the Geismar olefins production facility and associated complex. On June 30, 2017 the partnership completed the sale of the refinery grade propylene splitter. Prior to September 2016, this reporting segment also included an oil sands offgas processing plant near Fort McMurray, Alberta, and an NGL/olefin fractionation facility, which were subsequently sold. As of July 7, 2017, this segment no longer contained any operating assets.
The NGL & Petchem Services segment reported Modified EBITDA of $1.084 billion for third-quarter 2017, compared with $70 million for third-quarter 2016. Adjusted EBITDA decreased by $101 million to $1 million. The improvement in Modified EBITDA was driven primarily by the $1.095 billion gain resulting from the sale of the partnership’s interest in the Geismar olefins facility on July 6, 2017. This gain is excluded from Adjusted EBITDA. The current year was also impacted by the absence of EBITDA associated with assets recently sold by the partnership as described in the above paragraph.
Year-to-date, the NGL & Petchem Services segment reported Modified EBITDA of $1.165 billion, an improvement of $1.359 billion over the same nine-month reporting period in 2016. Adjusted EBITDA decreased $110 million to $73 million. The improvement in Modified EBITDA was driven primarily by the $1.095 billion gain resulting from the sale of the partnership’s interest in the Geismar olefins facility on July 6, 2017, and the absence of a $341 million impairment of our former Canadian operations in 2016. These items are excluded from Adjusted EBITDA. The current year was also impacted by the absence of EBITDA associated with the previously described assets that were recently sold by the partnership.
Atlantic Sunrise Update
On Sept. 18, 2017 Williams Partners reported that construction is now underway in Pennsylvania on the greenfield portion of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project – an expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline to connect abundant Marcellus gas supplies with markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. The partnership anticipates pipeline and compressor station construction to last approximately 10 months, weather permitting. Additionally, Williams Partners also placed a portion of the project into early service on Sept. 1, 2017, providing 400,000 dth/day of firm transportation service on Transco’s existing mainline facilities to various delivery points as far south as Choctaw County, Alabama. The partial service milestone is the result of recently completed modifications to existing Transco facilities in Virginia and Maryland designed to further accommodate bi-directional flow on the existing Transco pipeline system.
Additional Notable Recent Accomplishments
On Oct. 12, 2017, Williams Partners announced the execution of agreements with Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE: SWN) (“Southwestern”) to expand its services to Southwestern in the Appalachian Basin of West Virginia where Williams Partners has established a strong operational footprint. The agreements call for Williams Partners to deliver gas processing, fractionation, and liquids handling services in Southwestern’s Wet Gas Acreage in the Marcellus and Upper Devonian Shale along with gas gathering services for Southwestern in its South Utica Dry Gas Acreage. Williams Partners will provide Southwestern with 660 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of processing capacity to serve a 135,000-acre dedication in Southwestern’s Wet Gas Acreage in the Marcellus and Upper Devonian Shale in Marshall and Wetzel counties in West Virginia. As a result of this agreement, Williams Partners expects to further build out its Oak Grove processing facility for Southwestern’s expanding production of wet gas. The Oak Grove processing facility has the ability to expand by an additional 1.8 Bcf/d of gas processing capacity.
On Oct. 9, 2017, Williams Partners announced that it has placed into service an expansion of its Transco pipeline system to increase natural gas delivery capacity to New York City by 115,000 dekatherms per day in time for the 2017/2018 heating season. The New York Bay Expansion provides additional firm transportation capacity for much-needed incremental natural gas supplies to National Grid, the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S. The company provides service to 1.8 million customers in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island. The New York Bay Expansion is the fourth of Williams Partners’ projected five fully-contracted Transco expansion projects to be placed into service this year, combining with Gulf Trace, Hillabee Phase 1 and the Dalton Expansion to add more than 2.5 million dekatherms per day capacity to the Transco pipeline system so far in 2017. The partnership continues to target a fourth-quarter 2017 in-service date for its fifth Transco expansion this year – the Virginia Southside II project.
Williams Partners’ Credit Profile Improvement including Debt Reduction Update
The partnership continued to strengthen its balance sheet and credit profile during the quarter with nearly $2.1 billion of debt reduction. As of the end of third-quarter 2017, the partnership had total debt of $16.5 billion. Year-to-date, cash and cash equivalents increased by $1.02 billion to $1.17 billion, which the partnership intends to use primarily to fund growth capital expenditures and long-term investments.
The Guidance previously provided at our Analyst Day event on May 11, 2017, remains unchanged. The partnership plans to announce its 2018 Guidance as part of the release of its fourth-quarter 2017 financial results.
Williams Partners’ Third-Quarter 2017 Materials to be Posted Shortly; Q&A Webcast Scheduled for Tomorrow
Williams Partners’ third-quarter 2017 financial results package will be posted shortly at www.williams.com. Note: the analyst package is included at the back of this news release.
Williams Partners and Williams will host a joint Q&A live webcast on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time (8:30 a.m. Central Time). A limited number of phone lines will be available at (877) 830-2641. International callers should dial (785) 424-1809. The conference ID is 8089866. The link to the webcast, as well as replays of the webcast, will be available for at least 90 days following the event at www.williams.com.
The partnership plans to file its third-quarter 2017 Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week. Once filed, the document will be available on both the SEC and Williams Partners websites.
Definitions of Non-GAAP Measures
This news release may include certain financial measures – Adjusted EBITDA, distributable cash flow and cash distribution coverage ratio – that are non-GAAP financial measures as defined under the rules of the SEC.
Williams Partners L.P.
Keith Isbell, 918-573-7308
Brett Krieg, 918-573-4614