AdvanSix Inc. (NYSE:ASIX) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Nov 02, 2018 • 09:00 am ET

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AdvanSix Inc. (NYSE:ASIX) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the AdvanSix Third Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in a listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) After today's presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. (Operator Instructions). Please note, today's event is being recorded.

At this time, I'd like to turn the conference call over to Mr. Adam Kressel, Director of IR. Sir, please go ahead.

Executive
Adam Kressel

Thank you Jamie, and good morning. And welcome to AdvanSix's third quarter 2018 earnings conference call. With me here today are President and CEO, Erin Kane; and SVP and CFO, Michael Preston. This call and webcast, including any non-GAAP reconciliations, are available on our website at investors.advansix.com.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

This morning, we'll review our financial results for the third quarter 2018 and share with you our outlook for our key product lines and end markets. Finally, we'll leave time for your questions at the end.

So with that, I'll turn the call over to AdvanSix' President and CEO, Erin Kane.

Executive
Erin Kane

Thanks Adam, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us and for your continued interest in AdvanSix. As you saw in our press release, AdvanSix navigated through the third quarter, which was characterized by dynamic end markets, a significant planned plant turnaround at our Hopewell facility and a rising input in energy environment. While we didn't operate to our expectations, we did generate strong cash flow and continue to advance our programs for long-term value creation.

Mike will detail the full results in a moment, but I'd like to highlight the following. Sales were up about 1% with higher raw material pass-through pricing, largely offset by lower volume. EBITDA was approximately $20 million in the quarter, which included a roughly $30 million pretax income impact from the third quarter 2018 plant turnaround. And our cash generation continues to improve with cash flow from operations increasing 34% in the quarter. In addition, we repurchased about 26 million of shares through late-October or roughly one-third of our authorization announced in May, reflecting our maturing capital allocation strategy and confidence and continued cash flow performance.

From an industry perspective, we saw the relatively stable and generally favorable industry conditions for global caprolactam and nylon, and a year-over-year strengthening performance in our ammonium sulfate product line, as expected in domestic fill sales be offset by the ongoing challenging industry dynamics in acetone.

Our operational excellence in safe and stable production discipline are critical to our performance. Although plant utilization rates in the quarter were lower than anticipated, we remain confident in our proactive mechanical integrity programs and reliability improvements to drive sustained output. In addition, safety performance and compliance are core to how we operate. We're in the process of finalizing our inaugural sustainability report and look forward to sharing that with you, and our commitment and many ongoing initiatives here at AdvanSix.

In October, we hit our two-year mark as a public company. It has been an exciting time since our spin-off and we continue to