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Marlin Midstream Partners, LP Reports First Quarter 2014 Financial Results

HOUSTON, April 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marlin Midstream Partners, LP (Nasdaq:FISH), a Delaware limited partnership ("Marlin" or "the Partnership"), today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014.

For the first quarter of 2014, net income totaled $5.1 million, $0.29 per limited partner unit, and adjusted EBITDA1 was $8.7 million. Distributable cash flow1 for the first quarter of 2014 was $7.8 million resulting in a coverage ratio1 of 1.22x for the period.

"We are pleased with the results of operations for the start of 2014 as we experienced strong gross margin and distributable cash flow for the first quarter," said Chairman and CEO W. Keith Maxwell III. "With a consistently strong coverage ratio well ahead of our target for the past several quarters since our IPO, we increased our first quarter dividend by 1.4% to $0.355 per unit, or $1.42 per unit on an annualized basis. We will continue to focus on generating stable distributable cash flows from our existing assets as well as executing on growth opportunities to steadily increase distributions to our unitholders. We are targeting an annual adjusted EBITDA growth of 8 to 10 percent that we believe will come from both strategic dropdown transactions from our sponsor and from organic opportunities."

1 Please see the tables at the end of this press release for a reconciliation of non-GAAP to GAAP measures and calculation of the coverage ratio.

Summary First Quarter 2014 Financial Results

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2014, Marlin reported gross margin of $14.6 million compared to gross margin of $5.0 million, for the first quarter of 2013. The gross margin increase is attributable to the new crude oil logistics business segment and related contracts as well as the new gathering and processing contract entered into with Associated Energy Services, LP ("AES") at the closing of Marlin's IPO on July 31, 2013.

For the midstream natural gas gathering and processing segment, gross margin was $11.2 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014. This compares to gathering and processing segment gross margin of $5.0 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013.

For the crude oil logistics segment, gross margin was $3.4 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014. Marlin's crude oil logistics assets became fully operational at July 31, 2013. As such, there are no material results of operations or material assets related to this segment for the periods prior to the IPO.

On April 17, 2014, the board of directors of Marlin's general partner declared a quarterly cash distribution of $0.355 per unit to its partners for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014. This distribution represents an increase of 1.4% over the quarterly distribution of $0.35 per unit ($1.40 per unit on an annualized basis) previously paid for the prior quarter ended December 31, 2013. The quarterly distribution will be paid on May 6, 2014 to unitholders of record as of May 1, 2014.

Conference Call and Webcast

Marlin will host a conference call to discuss first quarter 2014 results at 12:00 p.m. CT (1:00 p.m. ET) on Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Interested parties can listen to a live webcast of the call from the Events & Presentations page of the Marlin Investor Relations website at An archived replay of the webcast will be available for 12 months following the live presentation.

The call can be accessed live over the telephone by dialing 1-877-941-1466, or 1-480-629-9821 for international callers. The passcode for the call is 4679992. A telephonic replay of the call will be available through May 8, 2014 and can be accessed by dialing 1-800-406-7325, or 1-303-590-3030 for international callers, with conference ID number 4679992.

About Marlin

Marlin is a fee-based, growth oriented Delaware limited partnership formed to develop, own, operate and acquire midstream energy assets. Marlin currently provides natural gas gathering, transportation, treating and processing services, NGL transportation services and crude oil transloading services. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Marlin's assets include two related natural gas processing facilities located in Panola County, Texas, a natural gas processing facility located in Tyler County, Texas, two natural gas gathering systems connected to its Panola County processing facilities, two NGL transportation pipelines that connect its Panola County and Tyler County processing facilities to third party NGL pipelines and two crude oil transloading facilities containing five crude oil transloaders.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements concerning Marlin's operations, economic performance and financial condition. These statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology including "may," "will," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," or other similar words. These statements discuss future expectations, contain projections of results of operations or financial condition or include other "forward-looking" information. Although Marlin believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, the Partnership can give no assurance that such expectations will be realized.

These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include, but are not limited to, the following risks and uncertainties:

  • the volume of natural gas we gather and process and the volume of NGLs we transport;
  • the volume of crude oil that we transload;
  • the level of production of crude oil and natural gas and the resultant market prices of crude oil, natural gas and NGLs;
  • the level of competition from other midstream natural gas companies and crude oil logistics companies in our geographic markets;
  • the level of our operating expenses;
  • regulatory action affecting the supply of, or demand for, crude oil or natural gas, the transportation rates we can charge on our pipelines, how we contract for services, our existing contracts, our operating costs or our operating flexibility;
  • capacity charges and volumetric fees that we pay for NGL fractionation services;
  • realized pricing impacts on our revenues and expenses that are directly subject to commodity price exposure;
  • the creditworthiness and performance of our customers, suppliers and contract counterparties, and any material nonpayment or non-performance by one or more of these parties;
  • damage to pipelines, facilities, plants, related equipment and surrounding properties caused by hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires, severe weather, explosions and other natural disasters and acts of terrorism including damage to third party pipelines or facilities upon which we rely for transportation services;
  • outages at the processing or fractionation facilities owned by us or third parties caused by mechanical failure and maintenance, construction and other similar activities;
  • leaks or accidental releases of products or other materials into the environment, whether as a result of human error or otherwise;
  • the level and timing of our expansion capital expenditures and our maintenance capital expenditures;
  • the cost of acquisitions, if any;
  • the level of our general and administrative expenses, including reimbursements to our general partner and its affiliates for services provided to us;
  • our debt service requirements and other liabilities;
  • fluctuations in our working capital needs;
  • our ability to borrow funds and access capital markets;
  • restrictions contained in our debt agreements;
  • the amount of cash reserves established by our general partner;
  • other business risks affecting our cash levels; and
  • other factors discussed below and elsewhere in "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, as amended, and in our other public filings and press releases.

Such risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Except as required by law, Marlin undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. 

Gross Margin, Adjusted EBITDA and Distributable Cash Flow

Marlin uses gross margin, or revenues less cost of revenues, as the primary performance measure. Gross margin represents our profitability with minimal exposure to commodity price fluctuations, which we believe are not significant components of our operations. Marlin also uses adjusted EBITDA to analyze its performance and defines it as net income (loss) before interest expense (net of amounts capitalized) or interest income, income tax, non-cash equity based compensation, depreciation expense and any gain/loss from interest rate derivatives. Although Marlin has not quantified distributable cash flow on a historical basis, since the closing of the IPO Marlin now computes and presents this measure, defined as adjusted EBITDA plus interest income, less cash paid for interest expense, income tax, and maintenance capital expenditures.

Gross margin, adjusted EBITDA and distributable cash flow are non-GAAP supplemental financial measures that management and external users of Marlin's condensed consolidated and combined financial statements, such as industry analysts, investors, commercial banks and others, may use to assess:

  • the financial performance of Marlin's assets without regard to financing methods, capital structure or historical cost basis;
  • the ability of Marlin's assets to generate earnings sufficient to support the decision to make cash distributions to the unitholders and our general partner;
  • the ability to fund capital expenditures and incur and service debt;
  • Marlin's operating performance and return on capital as compared to those of other companies in the midstream energy sector, without regard to financing or capital structure; and
  • the attractiveness of capital projects and acquisitions and the overall rates of return on alternative investment opportunities.

Marlin's partnership agreement requires that, within 45 days after the end of each quarter, all of Marlin's available cash be distributed to unitholders of record on the applicable record date. 

Note Regarding Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Gross margin, adjusted EBITDA, and distributable cash flow are not financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP. Marlin believes that the presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures will provide useful information to investors in assessing Marlin's financial condition and results of operations. The GAAP measure most directly comparable to gross margin is operating income. The GAAP measure most directly comparable to adjusted EBITDA and distributable cash flow is net income. These measures should not be considered as an alternative to operating income, net income, or any other measure of financial performance presented in accordance with GAAP. Each of these non-GAAP financial measures has important limitations as an analytical tool because it excludes some but not all items that affect net income. You should not consider these non-GAAP financial measures in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of Marlin's results as reported under GAAP. Additionally, because each of these non-GAAP financial measures may be defined differently by other companies in the industry, Marlin's definition of them may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies, thereby diminishing their utility.

(in thousands, except unit amounts)
 March 31, 2014December 31, 2013
Cash and cash equivalents$1,877$3,157
Accounts receivable4,5702,969
Accounts receivable—affiliates3,4493,632
Prepaid assets213330
Other current assets285285
Total current assets10,77810,694
TOTAL ASSETS$177,513$174,142
Accounts payable$3,631$2,791
Accrued liabilities1,8432,131
Accounts payable—affiliates4,2621,552
Long-term incentive plan payable - affiliates1212,752
Total current liabilities9,8579,226
Long-term incentive plan payable - affiliates495291
Deferred taxes9275
Long-term debt5,0004,000
Total liabilities15,44413,592
Common units (8,877,357 and 8,724,545 issued and outstanding at March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013, respectively)144,718142,587
Subordinated units (8,724,545 issued and outstanding at March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013)16,67017,258
General partner units (356,104 issued and outstanding at March 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013)681705
Total partners' capital162,069160,550


(in thousands, except per unit amounts)
 Three Months Ended March 31,
Natural gas, NGLs and condensate revenue$3,605$3,164
Gathering, processing, transloading and other revenue6,6834,295
Gathering, processing, transloading and other revenue—affiliates8,53044
Total Revenues18,8187,503
Cost of natural gas, NGLs and condensate revenue1,2581,076
Cost of natural gas, NGLs and condensate revenue—affiliates2,9501,452
Operation and maintenance2,3813,657
Operation and maintenance—affiliates1,935248
General and administrative7321,084
General and administrative—affiliates1,765341
Property and other taxes299233
Depreciation expense2,1441,984
Total operating expenses13,46410,075
Operating income5,354(2,572)
Interest expense, net of amounts capitalized(155)(1,341)
Loss on interest rate swap(10)
Net income (loss) before tax5,199(3,923)
Income tax expense6911
Net income (loss)5,130(3,934)
Net income for the three-months ended March 31, 2014:$5,130 
Less: general partner interest in net income$(103) 
Limited partner interest in net income$5,027 
Net income per limited partner unit - basic$0.29 
Net income per limited partner unit - diluted$0.28 
(in thousands)
 Three Months Ended March 31,
Net income (loss)$5,130$(3,934)
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash flows provided by operating activities:  
Depreciation expense2,1441,984
Amortization of deferred financing costs72167
Equity-based compensation1,246
Deferred taxes18
Unrealized loss on derivatives(8)
Changes in assets and liabilities:  
(Increase) decrease in accounts receivable(1,601)3,856
(Increase) decrease in accounts receivable—affiliates183(23)
Increase in inventory(62)(33)
(Increase) decrease in prepaid assets117(7)
Increase in other current assets(624)
Decrease in other assets14
Increase in accounts payable1481,687
Decrease in accrued liabilities(288)(477)
Increase (decrease) in accounts payable—affiliates1,755(3,209)
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities8,862(607)
Purchases of property, plant and equipment(4,811)(3,264)
Net cash used in investing activities(4,811)(3,264)
Capital contributions324
Borrowing of long-term debt6,5003,000
Repayments on long-term debt(5,500)(2,063)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities(5,331)1,261
CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS—Beginning of Period3,1575,555
CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS—End of Period$1,877$2,945
Supplemental Cash Flow Information:  
Cash paid for interest$87$1,499
Accrual of Construction-in-progress and capital expenditures$2,098$4,018


The Partnership's revenues are derived from two operating segments: gathering and processing, and crude oil logistics.   These segments, along with our corporate segment, are monitored separately by management for performance and are consistent with internal financial reporting. These segments have been identified based on the differing products and services, regulatory environment, and expertise required for their respective operations. 

The following table presents financial information by segment: 

Three months ended March 31, 2014:
 Gathering &Crude OilCorporate andMarlin Midstream
In ThousandsProcessingLogisticsConsolidationPartners, LP
Total Revenues$15,402$3,416$—$18,818
Cost of revenues4,2084,208
Gross Margin11,1943,41614,610
Operation and maintenance3,5733573864,316
General and administrative2,4972,497
Other operating expenses2,4432,443
Operating income5,1783,059(2,883)5,354
Interest expense, net of amounts capitalized(155)(155)
Income tax expense(69)(69)
Net income (loss)$5,178$3,059$(3,107)$5,130


Management uses a variety of financial and operating metrics to analyze performance. These metrics are significant factors in assessing the results of operations and profitability and include: (i) gross margin; (ii) volume commitments and throughput volumes (including gathering, plant, and transloader throughput); (iii) operation and maintenance expenses; (iv) adjusted EBITDA; and (v) distributable cash flow.


In Thousands, except volume dataThree Months Ended March 31,
Gross Margin$14,610$4,975
Gas volumes (MMcf/d) (2)214 
Transloading volumes (Bbls/d) (2)18,980 
Adjusted EBITDA$8,744$(588)
Distributable Cash Flow (1)$7,774 
(1) We will distribute available cash within 45 days after the end of the quarter, beginning with the quarter ending September 30, 2013.
(2) Volumes reflect the minimum volume commitment under our fee-based contracts or actual throughput, whichever is greater, for the post-IPO period.

Gross margin is calculated as follows: 

In ThousandsThree Months Ended March 31,
Total operating income (loss)$5,354$(2,572)
 Operation and maintenance2,3813,657
 Operation and maintenance-affiliates1,935248
 General and administrative7321,084
 General and administrative-affiliates1,765341
 Property and other taxes299233
 Depreciation expense2,1441,984
Gross Margin$14,610$4,975

Adjusted EBITDA is calculated as follows: 

In ThousandsThree Months Ended March 31,
Net income (loss)$5,130$(3,934)
Interest expense, net of amounts capitalized1551,341
Income tax6911
Equity based compensation1,246
Loss on interest rate swap10
Depreciation expense2,1441,984
Adjusted EBITDA$8,744$(588)

Distributable cash flow is calculated as follows: 

Distributable cash flow for the three months ended March 31, 2014:
In Thousands 
Net income$ 5,130
Equity based compensation1,246
Interest expense, net of amounts capitalized155
Depreciation expense2,144
Income tax69
Adjusted EBITDA8,744
Maintenance capital expenditures(796)
Cash interest expense(105)
Income tax(69)
Distributable cash flow$ 7,774
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