U.S. Silica Holdings Fourth Quarter Results Strong

U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. announced a net loss of $6.9 million or $0.09 per basic and diluted share for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016, compared with a net loss of $15.3 million or $0.29 per basic and diluted share for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2015. The fourth quarter results were negatively impacted by $2.6 million of business development-related expenses, including acquisition-related costs for Sandbox and NBR Sands. Excluding these expenses, net of $1.0 milliontax effect, EPS was $(.07) per basic share for the quarter.

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Hi-Crush Frac Sand Volumes Up for Quarter; Down for Year

Hi-Crush Partners LP reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 results. Revenues for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016, totaled $67.3 million on sales of 1,358,511 tons of frac sand. This compares to $46.6 million of revenues on sales of 1,082,974 tons of frac sand in the third quarter of 2016.

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Frac Sand Market Projected to Expand

According to the study “World Industrial Silica Sand Market” by the Freedonia Group, although the hydraulic fracturing industry has struggled for the past year or so, it will remain the fastest growing market for silica sand on a global basis through 2020. Given silica sand's importance in industrial applications, however, there are other stories about the mineral that are worth telling, particularly in regions outside North America.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

• Oil prices rose on February 23 after U.S. data showed a surprise decline in inventories, suggesting that a global glut may be ending after moves by OPEC to cut production. Benchmark Brent crude oil was up $1.05 a barrel, or 1.9 percent, at $56.89, recovering from a drop of 82 cents. U.S. light crude rose $1, or 1.9 percent to $54.59 a barrel. It fell 74 cents in the previous session.

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