October 21, 2008

Century Aluminum Reports Third Quarter 2008 Earnings

MONTEREY, CA, Oct 21, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Century Aluminum Company (NASDAQ: CENX) reported net income of $37.0 million ($0.59 per basic and $0.57 per diluted common share) for the third quarter of 2008. The reported earnings per share data reflect, as prescribed by GAAP, net income allocable to common shareholders without effect for the July 2008 issuance of preferred shares. These results were negatively impacted by a net after-tax charge of $50.4 million for mark-to-market adjustments on forward contracts that do not qualify for cash flow hedge accounting. Quarterly results were positively impacted by a $3.3 million tax benefit related to the release of tax reserves no longer required. For a full reconciliation of earnings per share allocable to common and preferred shareholders, see the attached Exhibit A.

In the third quarter of 2007, the company reported net income of $7.5 million ($0.18 per basic and $0.17 per diluted common share), which included an after-tax charge of $46.2 million for mark-to-market adjustments on forward contracts that do not qualify for cash flow hedge accounting.

Recent highlights included:

--  Operating performance was strong at all primary aluminum facilities.
--  Direct and toll shipments of primary aluminum totaled a record 203,618
    tonnes, up nearly three percent from the previous quarter.
--  Construction continues at the company's greenfield smelter project at
    Helguvik, Iceland. The company is closely monitoring and evaluating the
    project in light of the disruptions in global financial markets.
--  In early July, Century settled all of its remaining fixed price
    aluminum financial sales contracts. The company made the final payment
    under the deferred settlement amount on October 1.


Sales in the third quarter of 2008 were $552.2 million, compared with $454.4 million in the third quarter of 2007. Shipments of primary aluminum for the quarter totaled 203,618 tonnes compared with 195,540 tonnes in the year-ago quarter, reflecting the impact of the Grundartangi expansion to 260,000 tonnes, which was completed in the fourth quarter of 2007.

For the first nine months of 2008, the company reported a net loss of $198.2 million ($4.57 per basic and diluted common share). The reported earnings per share data reflect, as prescribed by GAAP, net loss allocable to common shareholders without effect for the July 2008 issuance of preferred shares. These results were negatively impacted by a net after-tax charge of $466.2 million for mark-to-market adjustments on forward contracts that do not qualify for cash flow hedge accounting. Results for the nine month period were positively impacted by net tax benefits of $15.9 million for various non-recurring items. For a full reconciliation of earnings per share allocable to common and preferred shareholders, see the attached Exhibit A.

Net income for the first nine months of 2007 was $11.1 million ($0.31 per basic and $0.29 per diluted common share), which included an after-tax charge of $172.1 million for mark-to-market adjustments on forward contracts that do not qualify for cash flow hedge accounting.

Sales in the first nine months of 2008 were $1,568.6 million compared with $1,366.0 million in the same period of 2007. Shipments of primary aluminum for the first nine months of 2008 were 601,511 tonnes compared with 568,812 tonnes for the comparable 2007 period.

"We had a busy and productive quarter," commented Logan W. Kruger, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our operations continue to turn in sound performance, with our plants in Iceland and in the U.S. shipping well above their rated capacities. We made good progress on the new, fifteen-year, market-based power contract for our Hawesville smelter; this process is in its final stages. The team leading the construction at Helguvik has maintained the project on time and on budget.

Mr. Kruger continued, "We are carefully managing the business in this environment of unprecedented dislocations in the global financial markets. We have suspended discretionary spending. The operations at our Grundartangi smelter, which is a primarily dollar based business with little exposure to economic conditions in Iceland, are performing normally. We have stabilized Nordural's cash management activities, and continue to believe our cash held in Iceland is secure. The performance of our team in Iceland has been exemplary; the quality of our team is one of the many reasons we believe Iceland will continue to be an attractive business environment over the long-term.

"We are assessing the status of the Helguvik project across multiple fronts," concluded Mr. Kruger. "We continue to be confident that the smelter will be world class in terms of construction cost, productivity, conversion cost and environmental performance. In addition, the economic activity the project will create will be beneficial to Iceland during these volatile times. In the current environment, we have ceased making any new capital commitments and are reducing project spending. We believe the potential exists for a prudent way forward over time, but will soberly evaluate the feasibility of all elements of the project during the near term."

Century Aluminum Company owns primary aluminum capacity in the United States and Iceland, as well as an interest in alumina and bauxite assets in the United States and Jamaica. Century's corporate offices are located in Monterey, California.

Century Aluminum's quarterly conference call is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Eastern time today. To listen to the conference call and to view related presentation materials, go to www.centuryaluminum.com and click on the conference call link on the homepage.

Cautionary Statement

This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws. The company has based its forward-looking statements on current expectations and projections about the future; however, these statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, any of which could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those expressed in its forward-looking statements. More information about these risks, uncertainties and assumptions can be found in the risk factors and forward-looking statements cautionary language contained in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims, any obligation to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date such forward-looking statements are made.

Certified Advisors for the First North market of the OMX Nordic Exchange Iceland hf. for Global Depositary Receipts in Iceland:

Helga Gunnarsdottir, Director-Corporate Finance, New Landsbanki Islands hf.

Olafur Finsen, Senior Legal Advisor-Corporate Finance, New Landsbanki Islands hf.

                         Century Aluminum Company
                  Consolidated Statements of Operations
                 (in Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)
                                (Unaudited)
                           Three months ended         Nine months ended
                              September 30              September 30
                        ------------------------  ------------------------
                            2008         2007         2008         2007
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
NET SALES:
   Third-party
    customers           $   426,771  $   360,336  $ 1,203,696  $ 1,112,072
   Related parties          125,468       94,035      364,882      253,961
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
                            552,239      454,371    1,568,578    1,366,033
COST OF GOODS SOLD          430,256      369,875    1,194,376    1,062,493
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
GROSS PROFIT                121,983       84,496      374,202      303,540
SELLING, GENERAL AND
 ADMINISTRATIVE
 EXPENSES                    11,253       13,372       43,970       40,784
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
OPERATING INCOME            110,730       71,124      330,232      262,756
INTEREST EXPENSE - Net       (4,434)      (2,657)     (12,043)     (19,126)
INTEREST EXPENSE -
 RELATED PARTIES               (998)           -         (998)           -
NET LOSS ON FORWARD
 CONTRACTS                  (79,103)     (75,041)    (731,195)    (279,897)
OTHER EXPENSE - Net          (1,370)        (131)      (1,597)      (3,426)
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
INCOME (LOSS) BEFORE
 INCOME TAXES AND
 EQUITY IN EARNINGS OF
 JOINT VENTURES              24,825       (6,705)    (415,601)     (39,693)
INCOME TAX BENEFIT            9,641       10,438      204,971       39,396
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
INCOME (LOSS) BEFORE
 EQUITY IN EARNINGS OF
 JOINT VENTURES              34,466        3,733     (210,630)        (297)
EQUITY IN EARNINGS OF
 JOINT VENTURES               2,507        3,737       12,466       11,351
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
NET INCOME (LOSS)       $    36,973  $     7,470  $  (198,164) $    11,054
                        ===========  ===========  ===========  ===========
EARNINGS (LOSS) PER
 COMMON SHARE
   Basic - Net income
    (loss)              $      0.59  $      0.18  $     (4.57) $      0.31
   Diluted - Net income
    (loss)              $      0.57  $      0.17  $     (4.57) $      0.29
WEIGHTED AVERAGE COMMON
 SHARES OUTSTANDING
   Basic                     47,720       40,957       43,317       35,927
   Diluted                   49,975       43,459       43,317       38,246
Percentage of Net
 Income (Loss)
 Allocated to Common
 Shareholders                 76.73%         100%         100%         100%
                         Century Aluminum Company
                        Consolidated Balance Sheets
                          (Dollars in Thousands)
                                (Unaudited)
                                              September 30,  December 31,
ASSETS                                            2008           2007
                                              -------------  -------------
Current Assets:
   Cash                                       $     129,055  $      60,962
   Restricted cash                                   10,583            873
   Short-term investments                            29,285        280,169
   Accounts receivable - net                        115,854         93,451
   Due from affiliates                               36,463         26,693
   Inventories                                      211,255        175,101
   Prepaid and other current assets                  33,275         40,091
   Deferred taxes - current portion                  60,299         69,858
                                              -------------  -------------
      Total current assets                          626,069        747,198
Property, plant and equipment - net               1,300,932      1,260,040
Intangible asset - net                               36,296         47,603
Goodwill                                             94,844         94,844
Deferred taxes - less current portion               581,405        321,068
Due from affiliates - less current portion            9,353              -
Other assets                                        145,918        107,518
                                              -------------  -------------
      Total                                   $   2,794,817  $   2,578,271
                                              =============  =============
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
Current Liabilities:
   Accounts payable, trade                    $     106,908  $      79,482
   Due to affiliates                                104,303        216,754
   Accrued and other current liabilities             86,184         60,482
   Accrued employee benefits costs - current
    portion                                          11,662         11,997
   Convertible senior notes                         175,000        175,000
   Industrial revenue bonds                           7,815          7,815
                                              -------------  -------------
      Total current liabilities                     491,872        551,530
                                              -------------  -------------
Senior unsecured notes payable                      250,000        250,000
Accrued pension benefit costs - less current
 portion                                             14,876         14,427
Accrued postretirement benefits costs - less
 current portion                                    193,536        184,853
Due to affiliates - less current portion                  -        913,683
Other liabilities                                    52,886         39,643
Deferred taxes                                       69,561         62,931
                                              -------------  -------------
      Total noncurrent liabilities                  580,859      1,465,537
                                              -------------  -------------
Shareholders' Equity:
   Preferred stock (one cent par value,
    5,000,000 shares authorized; 155,800
    shares outstanding at September 30, 2008 and
    none at December 31, 2007)                            2              -
   Common stock (one cent par value, 100,000,000
    shares authorized; 49,048,396
    shares outstanding at September 30, 2008 and
    40,988,058 at December 31, 2007)                    490            410
   Additional paid-in capital                     2,239,005        857,787
   Accumulated other comprehensive loss             (73,785)       (51,531)
   Accumulated deficit                             (443,626)      (245,462)
                                              -------------  -------------
      Total shareholders' equity                  1,722,086        561,204
                                              -------------  -------------
      Total                                   $   2,794,817  $   2,578,271
                                              =============  =============
                         Century Aluminum Company
                  Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
                          (Dollars in Thousands)
                                (Unaudited)
                                                      Nine months ended
                                                        September 30,
                                                       2008        2007
                                                    ----------  ----------
CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:
   Net income (loss)                                $ (198,164) $   11,054
   Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to
    net cash used in operating activities:
     Unrealized net loss on forward contracts          605,105     201,999
     Depreciation and amortization                      62,912      57,735
     Deferred income taxes                            (198,352)    (38,822)
     Pension and other postretirement benefits          11,677       6,499
     Stock-based compensation                           12,034       3,765
     Excess tax benefits from share based
      compensation                                        (657)       (516)
     (Gain) loss on disposal of assets                     248         (49)
     Non-cash loss on early extinguishment of debt           -       2,461
     Purchase of short-term trading securities         (97,532)   (645,909)
     Sale of short-term trading securities             348,416     387,182
     Undistributed earnings of joint ventures          (12,466)    (11,351)
     Change in operating assets and liabilities:
        Accounts receivable - net                      (22,403)     13,244
        Due from affiliates                             (9,771)      9,849
        Inventories                                    (36,119)    (20,990)
        Prepaid and other current assets                  (389)     (1,988)
        Accounts payable, trade                         15,266      11,849
        Due to affiliates                             (695,720)     12,018
        Accrued and other current liabilities          (28,523)    (52,289)
        Other - net                                     (5,001)     13,519
                                                    ----------  ----------
     Net cash used in operating activities            (249,439)    (40,740)
                                                    ----------  ----------
CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:
   Purchase of property, plant and equipment           (26,738)    (13,693)
   Nordural expansion                                  (53,397)    (79,560)
   Investments in and advances to joint ventures       (36,973)          -
   Proceeds from sale of property, plant and
    equipment                                               47         543
   Restricted cash deposits                             (9,710)      3,744
                                                    ----------  ----------
     Net cash used in investing activities            (126,771)    (88,966)
                                                    ----------  ----------
CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:
   Borrowings of long-term debt                              -      30,000
   Repayment of long-term debt                               -    (349,436)
   Excess tax benefits from share based
    compensation                                           657         516
   Issuance of common stock - net of issuance costs    443,646     417,037
                                                    ----------  ----------
     Net cash provided by financing activities         444,303      98,117
                                                    ----------  ----------
NET INCREASE (DECREASE) IN CASH                         68,093     (31,589)
CASH, BEGINNING OF PERIOD                               60,962      96,365
                                                    ----------  ----------
CASH, END OF PERIOD                                 $  129,055  $   64,776
                                                    ==========  ==========
                         Century Aluminum Company
                          Selected Operating Data
                                (Unaudited)
                       SHIPMENTS - PRIMARY ALUMINUM
                           Direct (1)                   Toll
                     -------------------------- --------------------------
                     Metric   (000)             Metric   (000)     (000)
                      Tons    Pounds   $/Pound   Tons    Pounds   Revenue
                     -------  -------  --------  ------  -------  ---------
2008
3rd Quarter          135,200  298,065  $   1.36  68,418  150,835  $ 148,227
2nd Quarter          131,639  290,214  $   1.37  66,533  146,681  $ 147,128
1st Quarter          133,004  293,223  $   1.17  66,717  147,086  $ 127,177
2007
3rd Quarter          134,494  296,509  $   1.13  61,046  134,583  $ 120,554
2nd Quarter          132,496  292,104  $   1.19  56,154  123,798  $ 117,667
1st Quarter          131,568  290,057  $   1.15  53,054  116,964  $ 114,383
(1) Does not include Toll shipments from Nordural Grundartangi
                                EXHIBIT A
                         Century Aluminum Company
    Reconciliation of Earnings Per Share to Adjusted Earnings Per Share
                  (in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)
                                (Unaudited)
                      Third Quarter 2008                  YTD
                  --------------------------  ----------------------------
                          Diluted   Diluted             Diluted   Diluted
                   $MM     Shares     EPS       $MM      Shares     EPS
                  ------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
Net income (loss)
 as reported      $ 37.0      50.0  $   0.57  $ (198.2)     43.3  $  (4.57)
Adjusted net
 income
 calculation:
Net income (loss)
 allocated to
 common
 shareholders     $ 28.4      50.0  $   0.57  $ (198.2)     43.3  $  (4.57)
Net income (loss)
 allocated to
 preferred
 shareholders        8.6      14.5                   -       4.8         -
                  ------  --------            --------   -------
Net income (loss) $ 37.0      64.5            $ (198.2)     48.1
After tax net
 loss on forward
 contracts          50.4         -      0.79     466.2         -     10.76
Tax changes         (3.3)        -     (0.05)    (15.9)        -     (0.37)
Dilutive effect        -         -         -         -       2.8     (0.87)
                  ------  --------  --------  --------   -------  --------
Adjusted net
 income           $ 84.1      64.5  $   1.31  $  252.1      50.9  $   4.95
                  ======  ========  ========  ========   =======  ========
The Company's management believes the presentation of adjusted net income
and associated adjusted earnings per share data are useful measures that
help investors evaluate the Company's earnings per share based on total
common stock, common stock equivalents and preferred shares outstanding
during the period.  The Company's calculation of adjusted net income and
associated adjusted earnings per share may not be comparable to similarly
titled measures reported by other companies due to differences in the
components used in the calculation.  Adjusted net income and associated
adjusted earnings per share should not be considered as a substitute for
net income and earnings per share as determined in accordance with GAAP.

Contacts:
Mike Dildine (media)
831-642-9364
Shelly Lair (investors)
831-642-9357


SOURCE: Century Aluminum Company


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