United States Lime & Minerals Inc's Earnings Slump as Customers Spending is Reigned In

By Markets Fool.com

United States Lime & Minerals Inc recently reported its second-quarter results. A nearly unprecedented amount of rain washed out customer demand leading to revenue and earnings declining year-over-year. That said, with better weather in the forecast for the balance of the year the company expects an uptick in demand, which should improve future results.

Continue Reading Below

A look at the numbers
For the quarter US Lime reported $32.5 million in revenue, which was down 16.1% from the second quarter of last year. Driving this decline was a 14.8% reduction in the company's core lime and limestone operations as revenue fell to $31.8 million in the quarter. Meanwhile, revenue from the company's natural gas interests plunged50.5% to just $0.7 million.

The weather is receiving most of the blame as rainfall in the company's construction market areas was the highest it has been in more than 100 years. However, that wasn't the only thing that reigned in customer spending as demand from steel customers was down due to decreased steel production while its oil and gas customers were affected by reduced drilling activity. Meanwhile, the company's natural gas segment was hit by the one-two punch of lower production and a lower realized price for natural gas.

As a result of these weaknesses the company's gross profit slipped 32.7% from $10.4 million in the year-ago quarter to just $7 million this quarter. Meanwhile, net income dropped to just $2.6 million, or $0.46 per share, which was 55.3% lower than the year ago quarter. That said, the company did have some higher one-time expenses in the quarter. US Lime repaid $15.4 million on a term loan in the quarter, which necessitated that it repay interest rate hedges. This pushed its interest expense higher during the quarter, although with the repurchase future interest expenses will be reduced. Further, the company also terminated a pension plan, resulting in higher costs during the quarter.

A look at outlook
So far 2015 has been a tough year for US Lime as the weather along with weakness in the oil and gas market have affected results. That being said, the company expects much better weather conditions in the second half of the year, which should boost demand for its lime and limestone products from construction customers. Further, the company has used its strong cash flow to cut its future interest expenses, which provides a boost to cash flow in the future.

Investor takeaway
US Lime's customers were plagued with a variety of issues during the quarter, including another quarter of bad weather, which muted its result. However, with the weather outlook brighter for the second half of the year the company expects demand for its products to pick up.

Continue Reading Below

The article United States Lime & Minerals Inc's Earnings Slump as Customers Spending is Reigned In originally appeared on Fool.com.

Matt DiLallo has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends U.S. Lime and Minerals. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.