Valero Energy Reports Third Quarter 2020 Results

  • Oct 22, 2020
  • Business Wire

SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO, “Valero”) today reported a net loss attributable to Valero stockholders of $464 million, or $1.14 per share, for the third quarter of 2020 compared to net income of $609 million, or $1.48 per share, for the third quarter of 2019. Excluding the adjustments shown in the accompanying earnings release tables, the adjusted net loss attributable to Valero stockholders was $472 million, or $1.16 per share, for the third quarter of 2020, compared to third quarter 2019 adjusted net income attributable to Valero stockholders of $642 million, or $1.55 per share. Third quarter 2020 adjusted results primarily exclude the benefit from an after-tax lower of cost or market, or LCM, inventory valuation adjustment of $250 million and an after-tax loss of $218 million for an expected LIFO liquidation.

The refining segment reported a $629 million operating loss for the third quarter of 2020 compared to operating income of $1.1 billion for the third quarter of 2019. Excluding the LCM inventory valuation adjustment, the expected LIFO liquidation adjustment, and other operating expenses, the third quarter 2020 adjusted operating loss was $575 million. Refinery throughput volumes averaged 2.5 million barrels per day in the third quarter of 2020, which was 428 thousand barrels per day lower than the third quarter of 2019.

“As the global economy recovers, we are pleased to see a demand recovery for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel in the third quarter” said Joe Gorder, Valero Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our unmatched execution, while being the lowest cost producer, and ample liquidity continue to position us well to manage a low margin environment.”

The renewable diesel segment reported $184 million of operating income for the third quarter of 2020 compared to $65 million for the third quarter of 2019. After adjusting for the retroactive blender’s tax credit, renewable diesel operating income was $123 million for the third quarter of 2019. Renewable diesel sales volumes averaged 870 thousand gallons per day in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 232 thousand gallons per day versus the third quarter of 2019. The third quarter of 2019 results and volumes were impacted by the planned downtime of the Diamond Green Diesel (DGD) plant for maintenance. DGD set a record for sales volumes in the third quarter of 2020.

The ethanol segment reported $22 million of operating income for the third quarter of 2020, compared to a $43 million operating loss for the third quarter of 2019. Third quarter 2020 adjusted operating income was $36 million. Ethanol production volumes averaged 3.8 million gallons per day in the third quarter of 2020, which was 206 thousand gallons per day lower than the third quarter of 2019. The increase in operating income was attributed primarily to higher margins resulting from lower corn prices.

General and administrative expenses were $186 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to $217 million in the third quarter of 2019. The effective tax rate for the third quarter of 2020 was 47 percent, which was primarily impacted by an expected U.S. federal tax net operating loss that will be carried back to 2015 when the U.S. federal statutory tax rate was 35 percent.

Capital investments totaled $517 million in the third quarter of 2020, of which $205 million was for sustaining the business, including costs for turnarounds, catalysts and regulatory compliance. Excluding capital investments attributable to our partner’s 50 percent share of DGD and those related to other variable interest entities, capital investments attributable to Valero were $393 million.

Net cash provided by operating activities was $165 million in the third quarter of 2020. Included in this amount was a $246 million favorable impact from working capital, as well as our joint venture partner’s share of DGD’s net cash provided by operating activities, excluding changes in its working capital. Excluding these items, adjusted net cash used by operating activities was $177 million.

Valero returned $399 million to stockholders through dividends in the third quarter of 2020, resulting in a year-to-date total payout ratio of 165 percent of adjusted net cash provided by operating activities. The year-to-date total payout ratio is higher than our long-term target due to the adverse economic impact of COVID-19.

Valero continues to target a long-term total payout ratio between 40 and 50 percent of adjusted net cash provided by operating activities. Valero defines total payout ratio as the sum of dividends and stock buybacks divided by net cash provided by operating activities adjusted for changes in working capital and DGD’s net cash provided by operating activities, excluding changes in its working capital, attributable to our joint venture partner’s ownership interest in DGD.

“The guiding principles underpinning our capital allocation strategy remain unchanged,” said Gorder. “There has been absolutely no change in our strategy, which prioritizes our investment grade ratings, sustaining investments and honoring our dividend.”

Valero ended the third quarter of 2020 with $15.2 billion of total debt and finance lease obligations and $4.0 billion of cash and cash equivalents. The debt to capitalization ratio, net of cash and cash equivalents, was 36 percent as of September 30, 2020.

Capital investments attributable to Valero are forecasted at $2.0 billion per year in 2020 and 2021, of which approximately 60 percent is for sustaining the business and approximately 40 percent is for growth projects. Approximately 40 percent of Valero’s 2020 and 2021 growth capital is allocated to expanding the renewable diesel business.

The new St. Charles Alkylation Unit, which is designed to convert low-value feedstocks into a premium alkylate product, is on track to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year. The Diamond Pipeline expansion and the Pembroke Cogen project are expected to be completed in 2021 and the Port Arthur Coker project is expected to be completed in 2023.

Valero and its joint venture partner in DGD continue to pursue growth in the low-carbon renewable diesel business. The DGD plant expansion is still expected to be completed in 2021, and as previously announced, DGD continues to make progress on the advanced engineering and development cost review for a potential new 400 million gallons per year renewable diesel plant at Valero’s Port Arthur, Texas facility. If the project is approved, operations are expected to commence in 2024, increasing DGD’s production capacity to over 1.1 billion gallons annually.

“We remain steadfast in the execution of our strategy, pursuing excellence in operations, investing in earnings growth with lower volatility and honoring our commitment to shareholder returns,” said Gorder.

Valero’s senior management will hold a conference call at 10 a.m. ET today to discuss this earnings release and to provide an update on operations and strategy.

Valero Energy Corporation, through its subsidiaries (collectively, “Valero”), is an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels and petrochemical products. Valero is a Fortune 50 company based in San Antonio, Texas, and it operates 15 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3.2 million barrels per day and 14 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of approximately 1.73 billion gallons per year. The petroleum refineries are located in the United States (U.S.), Canada and the United Kingdom (U.K.), and the ethanol plants are located in the Mid-Continent region of the U.S. Valero is also a joint venture partner in Diamond Green Diesel, which operates a renewable diesel plant in Norco, Louisiana. Diamond Green Diesel is North America’s largest biomass-based diesel plant. Valero sells its products in the wholesale rack or bulk markets in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland and Latin America. Approximately 7,000 outlets carry Valero’s brand names. Please visit www.valero.com for more information.

Homer Bhullar, Vice President – Investor Relations, 210-345-1982

Eric Herbort, Senior Manager – Investor Relations, 210-345-3331

Gautam Srivastava, Manager – Investor Relations, 210-345-3992

Lillian Riojas, Executive Director – Media Relations and Communications, 210-345-5002

Statements contained in this release that state the company’s or management’s expectations or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The words “believe,” “expect,” “should,” “estimates,” “intend,” “target,” “will,” “plans,” and other similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. It is important to note that actual results could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements based on numerous factors, including those outside of the company’s control, such as delays in construction timing and other factors, including but not limited to the impacts of COVID-19. For more information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed or forecasted, see Valero’s annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on Valero’s website at www.valero.com.

The global pandemic has significantly reduced global economic activity and resulted in airlines dramatically cutting back on flights and a decrease in motor vehicle use. As a result, there has also been a decline in the demand for, and thus also the market prices of, crude oil and certain of our products, particularly our refined petroleum products. Many uncertainties remain with respect to COVID-19, including its resulting economic effects and any future recovery, and we are unable to predict the ultimate economic impacts from COVID-19, how quickly national economies can recover once the pandemic subsides, or whether any recovery will ultimately experience a reversal or other setbacks. However, the adverse impact of the economic effects on us has been and will likely continue to be significant. We believe we have proactively addressed many of the known impacts of COVID-19 to the extent possible and will strive to continue to do so, but there can be no guarantee that these measures will be fully effective. For more information, see our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This earnings release and the accompanying earnings release tables include references to financial measures that are not defined under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). These non-GAAP measures include adjusted net income (loss) attributable to Valero stockholders, adjusted earnings (loss) per common share – assuming dilution, refining margin, renewable diesel margin, ethanol margin, adjusted refining operating income (loss), adjusted renewable diesel operating income, adjusted ethanol operating income (loss), adjusted net cash provided by operating activities, and capital investments attributable to Valero. These non-GAAP financial measures have been included to help facilitate the comparison of operating results between periods. See the accompanying earnings release tables for a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures to their most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures. Note (g) to the earnings release tables provides reasons for the use of these non-GAAP financial measures.

Lower of cost or market (LCM) inventory valuation adjustment (c)

depreciation and amortization expense reflected below)

Interest and debt expense, net of capitalized interest

Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests (b)

Net income (loss) attributable to Valero Energy Corporation

Weighted-average common shares outstanding (in millions)

Earnings (loss) per common share – assuming dilution

RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO MOST COMPARABLE AMOUNTS

Reconciliation of net income (loss) attributable to Valero

Energy Corporation stockholders to adjusted net income

Net income (loss) attributable to Valero Energy Corporation

Last-in, first-out (LIFO) liquidation adjustment (a)

Income tax benefit related to the LIFO liquidation

Income tax benefit related to the change in estimated

2019 blender’s tax credit attributable to Valero Energy

Income tax expense related to 2019 blender’s tax credit

2019 blender’s tax credit attributable to Valero Energy

Reconciliation of earnings (loss) per common share –

assuming dilution to adjusted earnings (loss) per common

Earnings (loss) per common share – assuming dilution (f)

2019 blender’s tax credit attributable to Valero Energy

RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO MOST COMPARABLE AMOUNTS

Reconciliation of operating income (loss) by segment to

segment margin, and reconciliation of operating income

(loss) by segment to adjusted operating income (loss) by

RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO MOST COMPARABLE AMOUNTS

Reconciliation of operating income (loss) by segment to

segment margin, and reconciliation of operating income

(loss) by segment to adjusted operating income (loss) by

RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO MOST COMPARABLE AMOUNTS

Reconciliation of refining segment operating income (loss) to refining margin (by region), and reconciliation of refining segment operating income (loss) to adjusted refining

RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP MEASURES TO MOST COMPARABLE AMOUNTS

Reconciliation of refining segment operating income (loss)

to refining margin (by region), and reconciliation of

refining segment operating income (loss) to adjusted

refining segment operating income (loss) (by region) (h)

amortization expense reflected below) per barrel of

Depreciation and amortization expense per barrel of

Adjusted refining operating income (loss) per barrel of

amortization expense reflected below) per gallon of sales

Depreciation and amortization expense per gallon of sales

Adjusted renewable diesel operating income per gallon

amortization expense reflected below) per gallon of production

Depreciation and amortization expense per gallon of production

Adjusted ethanol operating income (loss) per gallon of production

amortization expense reflected below) per barrel of

Depreciation and amortization expense per barrel of

Adjusted refining operating income (loss) per barrel of

amortization expense reflected below) per barrel of

Depreciation and amortization expense per barrel of

Adjusted refining operating income (loss) per barrel of

amortization expense reflected below) per barrel of

Depreciation and amortization expense per barrel of

amortization expense reflected below) per barrel of

Depreciation and amortization expense per barrel of

Adjusted refining operating income (loss) per barrel of

Brent less West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil

Brent less Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI) crude oil

Natural gas (dollars per million British Thermal Units)

Conventional Blendstock of Oxygenate Blending (CBOB)

California Air Resources Board (CARB) diesel less ANS

California Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (dollars per metric ton)

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soybean oil (dollars per

Cash and cash equivalents included in current assets

Current portion of debt and finance lease obligations

Debt and finance lease obligations, less current portion

activities to adjusted net cash provided by (used in)

Diamond Green Diesel LLC’s (DGD) adjusted net cash

provided by operating activities attributable to our joint venture partner’s ownership interest in DGD

Reconciliation of total capital investments to capital

Capital expenditures (excluding variable interest entities

Deferred turnaround and catalyst cost expenditures

Deferred turnaround and catalyst cost expenditures

DGD’s capital investments attributable to our joint

Cost of materials and other for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 includes a charge of $326 million for the impact of an expected liquidation of LIFO inventory layers attributable to our refining segment. Our inventory levels have decreased throughout the first nine months of 2020 due to lower demand for our products resulting from the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 on our business. Because these impacts are ongoing, we expect that our inventory levels at December 31, 2020 will remain below their December 31, 2019 levels.

Cost of materials and other for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 includes a benefit of $82 million and $237 million, respectively, related to the blender’s tax credit attributable to renewable diesel volumes blended during those periods. The legislation authorizing the credit through December 31, 2022 was passed and signed into law in December 2019, and that legislation also applied retroactively to volumes blended during 2019 (2019 blender’s tax credit). The entire 2019 blender’s tax credit was recognized by us in December 2019 because the law was enacted in that month, but the benefit attributable to volumes blended during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019 was $62 million and $211 million, respectively.

Periods to which Blender’s Tax Credit is Attributable

The market value of our inventories accounted for under the LIFO method fell below their historical cost on an aggregate basis as of March 31, 2020. As a result, we recorded an LCM inventory valuation adjustment of $2.5 billion in March 2020. The market value of our LIFO inventories improved due to the subsequent recovery in market prices, which resulted in a reversal of $2.2 billion in the three months ended June 30, 2020 and the remaining amount in the three months ended September 30, 2020. Of the $313 million benefit recognized in the three months ended September 30, 2020, $296 million and $17 million is attributable to our refining and ethanol segments, respectively. The LCM inventory valuation adjustment for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 reflects a net benefit of $19 million due to the foreign currency translation effect of the portion of the LCM inventory valuation adjustment attributable to our international operations.

Depreciation and amortization expense for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 includes $30 million in accelerated depreciation related to a change in the estimated useful life of one of our ethanol plants.

“Other income, net” for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 includes a $22 million charge from the early redemption of $850 million of our 6.125 percent senior notes due February 1, 2020.

Common equivalent shares have been excluded from the computation of loss per common share — assuming dilution and adjusted loss per common share — assuming dilution for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, as the effect of including such shares would be antidilutive.

We use certain financial measures (as noted below) in the earnings release tables and accompanying earnings release that are not defined under U.S. GAAP and are considered to be non-GAAP measures.

We have defined these non-GAAP measures and believe they are useful to the external users of our financial statements, including industry analysts, investors, lenders, and rating agencies. We believe these measures are useful to assess our ongoing financial performance because, when reconciled to their most comparable U.S. GAAP measures, they provide improved comparability between periods after adjusting for certain items that we believe are not indicative of our core operating performance and that may obscure our underlying business results and trends. These non-GAAP measures should not be considered as alternatives to their most comparable U.S. GAAP measures nor should they be considered in isolation or as a substitute for an analysis of our results of operations as reported under U.S. GAAP. In addition, these non-GAAP measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies because we may define them differently, which diminishes their utility.

– LIFO liquidation adjustment – Generally, the LIFO inventory valuation method provides for the matching of current costs with current revenues. However, a LIFO liquidation results in a portion of our current-year cost of sales being impacted by historical costs, which obscures our current-year financial performance. Therefore, we have excluded the historical cost impact from adjusted net income (loss) attributable to Valero Energy Corporation stockholders. See note (a) for additional details.

– Change in estimated useful life – The accelerated depreciation recognized as a result of a change in the estimated useful life of one of our ethanol plants (see note (d)) is not indicative of our ongoing operations.

– LCM inventory valuation adjustment – The LCM inventory valuation adjustment, which is described in note (c), is the result of the market value of our inventories as of March 31, 2020 falling below their historical cost, with the decline in market value resulting from the decline in product market prices associated with the negative economic impacts from COVID-19. As market prices improved over the subsequent months, we reversed the writedown. The adjustment obscures our financial performance because it results in cost of sales reflecting something other than current costs; therefore, we have excluded the adjustment from adjusted net income (loss) attributable to Valero Energy Corporation stockholders.

– 2019 blender’s tax credit attributable to Valero Energy Corporation stockholders – The 2019 blender’s tax credit was recognized by us in December 2019, but it is attributable to volumes blended throughout 2019. Therefore, the adjustment reflects the portion of the 2019 blender’s tax credit that is associated with volumes blended during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019. See note (b) for additional details.

– Loss on early redemption of debt – The penalty and other expenses incurred in connection with the early redemption of our 6.125 percent senior notes due February 1, 2020 (see note (e)) are not associated with the ongoing costs of our borrowing and financing activities.

–Changes in current assets and current liabilities – Current assets net of current liabilities represents our operating liquidity. We believe that the change in our operating liquidity from period to period does not represent cash generated by our operations that is available to fund our investing and financing activities.

–DGD’s adjusted net cash provided by operating activities attributable to our joint venture partner’s ownership interest in DGD – We are a 50/50 joint venture partner in DGD and consolidate DGD’s financial statements; as a result, all of DGD’s net cash provided by operating activities (or operating cash flow) is included in our consolidated net cash provided by operating activities.

DGD’s partners use DGD’s operating cash flow (excluding changes in its current assets and current liabilities) to fund its capital investments rather than distribute all of that cash to themselves. Nevertheless, DGD’s operating cash flow is effectively attributable to each partner and only 50 percent of DGD’s operating cash flow should be attributed to our net cash provided by operating activities. Therefore, we have adjusted our net cash provided by operating activities for the portion of DGD’s operating cash flow attributable to our joint venture partner’s ownership interest because we believe that it more accurately reflects the operating cash flow available to us to fund our investing and financing activities. The adjustment is calculated as follows (in millions):

DGD’s partners use DGD’s operating cash flow (excluding changes in its current assets and current liabilities) to fund its capital investments rather than distribute all of that cash to themselves. Because DGD’s operating cash flow is effectively attributable to each partner, only 50 percent of DGD’s capital investments should be attributed to our net share of total capital investments. We also exclude the capital expenditures of our other consolidated VIEs because we do not operate those VIEs. We believe capital investments attributable to Valero is an important measure because it more accurately reflects our capital investments.

The refining segment regions reflected herein contain the following refineries: U.S. Gulf Coast- Corpus Christi East, Corpus Christi West, Houston, Meraux, Port Arthur, St. Charles, Texas City, and Three Rivers Refineries; U.S. Mid-Continent- Ardmore, McKee, and Memphis Refineries; North Atlantic- Pembroke and Quebec City Refineries; and U.S. West Coast- Benicia and Wilmington Refineries.

Primarily includes petrochemicals, gas oils, No. 6 fuel oil, petroleum coke, sulfur, and asphalt.

Valero uses certain operating statistics (as noted below) in the earnings release tables and the accompanying earnings release to evaluate performance between comparable periods. Different companies may calculate them in different ways.

All per barrel of throughput, per gallon of sales, and per gallon of production amounts are calculated by dividing the associated dollar amount by the throughput volumes, sales volumes, and production volumes for the period, as applicable.

Throughput volumes, sales volumes, and production volumes are calculated by multiplying throughput volumes per day, sales volumes per day, and production volumes per day (as provided in the accompanying tables), respectively, by the number of days in the applicable period. We use throughput volumes, sales volumes, and production volumes for the refining segment, renewable diesel segment, and ethanol segment, respectively, due to their general use by others who operate facilities similar to those included in our segments. We believe the use of such volumes results in per unit amounts that are most representative of the product margins generated and the operating costs incurred as a result of our operation of those facilities.