Eagle Materials Inc. reported financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 ended June 30, 2014. Notable items for the quarter include (all comparisons, unless otherwise noted, are with the prior year's first quarter):
- Record first-quarter revenues of $266.3 million, up 17 percent.
- Record first-quarter cement sales volumes of 1.3 million tons.
- Net earnings per diluted share of $0.75, up 25 percent.
- Receipt of the final permit enabling operation of its frac sand mine in northern Illinois.
First quarter earnings before interest and income taxes increased 21 percent to $59.8 million, as first quarter sales volumes improved across nearly all businesses. In addition, sales prices improved in all businesses. These results reflect improving, early-cycle construction fundamentals in the United States, according to the company.
The company also received the final permit necessary to begin operating its frac sand mine in Utica, Ill., during the first quarter. The first shipments of raw sand from the mine to its 1.5 million-ton processing facility at Corpus Christi, Texas, are expected to occur no later than fiscal third quarter.
Its Oil and Gas Proppants segment reported first quarter revenues of $11.2 million and an operating loss of $0.6 million. During this year's first quarter, the company continued to process and sell purchased sand in Corpus Christi awaiting the opening of its mine in Illinois. With the receipt of the final permit necessary to start-up the mine, the company expects to be able to sell its own sand through its Corpus Christi facility no later than fiscal third quarter, primarily into Eagle Ford shale-drilling applications.
Operating earnings from its Cement segment for the first quarter were $20.5 million, an 8 percent increase from the same quarter a year ago. The earnings increase was driven by record first quarter cement sales volumes and a 5 percent increase in average net cement sales prices, partially offset by $5.2 million of costs associated with a shift to the first quarter of the annual maintenance outages at its Kansas City and Tulsa cement plants, which had last occurred in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.
While underlying demand for the company’s cement continues to recover, extraordinary rail congestion associated with the harsh winter weather adversely impacted the timing of cement shipments during the first quarter.
Cement revenues for the first quarter, including joint venture and intersegment revenues, totaled $127.9 million, 9 percent greater than the same quarter last year. Cement sales volumes for the quarter were 1.3 million tons, 4 percent higher than the same quarter a year ago. The average net sales price for this quarter was $90.66 per ton, 5 percent higher than the same quarter last year.
Its Concrete and Aggregates segment reported operating earnings of $1.4 million for the first quarter, a 34 percent improvement from the same quarter a year ago, reflecting improved concrete and aggregates pricing along with improved concrete sales volumes.
Its Gypsum Wallboard and Paperboard segment reported first quarter operating earnings of $45.0 million, up 27 percent from the same quarter last year. Improved Gypsum Wallboard net sales prices and increased Gypsum Wallboard and Paperboard sales volumes were the primary drivers of the quarterly earnings increase.