Century Reports First Quarter 2012 Results

MONTEREY, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 04/24/12 -- Century Aluminum Company (NASDAQ: CENX) reported a net loss of $3.9 million ($0.04 per basic and diluted common share) for the first quarter of 2012. Financial results were negatively impacted by an unrealized loss on forward contracts of $5.0 million primarily related to the mark to market of aluminum price protection options. Cost of sales for the quarter included a $17.1 million benefit for lower of cost or market inventory adjustments.

For the first quarter of 2011, Century reported net income of $25.0 million ($0.25 per basic and diluted common share). Financial results were negatively impacted by an unrealized loss on forward contracts of $4.7 million primarily related to the mark to market of aluminum price protection options. Changes to the Century of West Virginia retiree medical benefits program increased quarterly results by $9.4 million with an associated discrete tax benefit of $2.1 million. Cost of sales for the quarter included a $6.4 million charge for the restart of a curtailed potline at the Hawesville, Kentucky smelter.

Sales for the first quarter of 2012 were $326.2 million, compared with $326.3 million for the first quarter of 2011. Shipments of primary aluminum for the 2012 first quarter were 159,967 tonnes, compared with 144,178 tonnes shipped in the year-ago quarter.

"The macroeconomic picture continues to defy a simple characterization," commented Michael A. Bless, President and Chief Executive Officer. "While the pace of end demand growth in key developing markets has slowed, absolute conditions remain reasonable. Given the risk of shock from the Eurozone, coupled with tight financing markets, we continue to note that customers remain wary of making long-term commitments. The aluminum price has been trading at a level that, in our opinion, is not sustainable. While the industry has seen some abatement in the cost of commodity raw materials, the price of electric power in most developed and developing markets renders a significant amount of existing capacity marginally economic or worse. Addressing this issue, over the short- and longer-term, will determine the longevity of a meaningful portion of our industry's existing capacity.

"Century has executed well in this environment," continued Bless. "Our safety performance has been good; importantly, we are making progress on changing the manner in which we think about safe and environmentally sound operations. Hawesville continues at effective full production; as predicted, conversion costs have improved. We are spending significant effort aimed at the uneconomic cost of the plant's electric power. The process supporting the potential restart of Ravenswood is on track; while significant work remains, we are optimistic about the prospects of restarting this plant. Grundartangi had an excellent quarter; the team was able to make up for the modest production lost during the serious power outage in January. Regarding Helguvik, during the next few months, we will have several critical discussions which will determine the timing of the restart of major project activity."

Century Aluminum Company owns primary aluminum capacity in the United States and Iceland. Century's corporate offices are located in Monterey, California. More information can be found at www.centuryaluminum.com.

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.

Certified Advisors for the First North market of the OMX Nordic Exchange Iceland hf. for Global Depositary Receipts in Iceland:
Atli B. Gudmundsson, Senior Manager -- Corporate Finance, NBI hf.
Steingrimur Helgason, Director -- Corporate Finance, NBI hf.

Cautionary Statement This press release and comments made by Century management on the quarterly conference call contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements about future, not past, events and involve certain important risks and uncertainties, any of which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties may include, without limitation, declines in aluminum prices or increases in our operating costs; worsening of global financial and economic conditions; increases in global aluminum inventories and the addition of new or restarted global aluminum production capacity; additional delays in the completion of our Helguvik, Iceland smelter; and our ability to successfully progress the potential restart of our Ravenswood smelter. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, without limitation, statements regarding future aluminum prices, future industry production capacity and power rates, our ability to successfully progress the potential restart of our Ravenswood smelter and restart major construction activity at Helguvik. More information about these risks, uncertainties and assumptions can be found in the risk factors and forward-looking statements cautionary language contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not undertake, and specifically disclaim, any obligation to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of future events or circumstances.

                          Century Aluminum Company
                   Consolidated Statements of Operations
                  (in Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)

                                                     Three months ended
                                                          March 31,
                                                     2012          2011
                                                 ------------  ------------
  Third-party customers                          $    188,839  $    188,312
  Related parties                                     137,351       138,025
                                                 ------------  ------------
                                                      326,190       326,337

COST OF GOODS SOLD                                    304,973       284,021
                                                 ------------  ------------

GROSS PROFIT                                           21,217        42,316

OTHER OPERATING EXPENSES (INCOME) - NET                 3,721        (5,884)
                                                 ------------  ------------

OPERATING INCOME                                        9,037        37,591

INTEREST EXPENSE - THIRD PARTY - NET                   (5,840)       (6,622)
INTEREST INCOME - RELATED PARTY                            60           113
NET LOSS ON FORWARD CONTRACTS                          (5,159)       (4,809)
OTHER INCOME - NET                                        306           677
                                                 ------------  ------------

IN EARNINGS OF JOINT VENTURES                          (1,596)       26,950

INCOME TAX EXPENSE                                     (2,933)       (3,123)
                                                 ------------  ------------

 VENTURES                                              (4,529)       23,827

EQUITY IN EARNINGS OF JOINT VENTURES                      641         1,219
                                                 ------------  ------------

NET INCOME (LOSS)                                $     (3,888) $     25,046
                                                 ============  ============

Net Income (Loss) Allocated to Common
 Shareholders                                    $     (3,888) $     23,005

  Basic and Diluted                              $      (0.04) $       0.25

  Basic                                                88,727        92,965
  Diluted                                              88,727        93,297

                          Century Aluminum Company
                        Consolidated Balance Sheets
                           (Dollars in Thousands)

                                                   March 31,   December 31,
ASSETS                                               2012          2011
                                                 ------------  ------------
Current Assets:
  Cash and cash equivalents                      $    182,545  $    183,401
  Accounts receivable - net                            50,531        47,647
  Due from affiliates                                  39,217        44,665
  Inventories                                         170,302       171,961
  Prepaid and other current assets                     43,850        40,646
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Total current assets                              486,445       488,320
Property, plant and equipment - net                 1,206,731     1,218,225
Other assets                                          104,875       104,549
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Total                                        $  1,798,051  $  1,811,094
                                                 ============  ============

Current Liabilities:
  Accounts payable, trade                        $     74,986  $     86,172
  Due to affiliates                                    41,544        41,904
  Accrued and other current liabilities                48,917        40,776
  Accrued employee benefits costs - current
   portion                                             16,188        16,698
  Industrial revenue bonds                              7,815         7,815
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Total current liabilities                         189,450       193,365
                                                 ------------  ------------

Senior notes payable                                  249,769       249,512
Accrued pension benefits costs - less current
 portion                                               68,271        70,899
Accrued postretirement benefits costs - less
 current portion                                      128,919       128,078
Other liabilities                                      39,466        40,005
Deferred taxes                                         90,919        90,958
                                                 ------------  ------------
  Total noncurrent liabilities                        577,344       579,452
                                                 ------------  ------------

Shareholders' Equity:
  Series A preferred stock (one cent par value,
   5,000,000 shares authorized; 80,696 and
   80,718 shares issued and outstanding at March
   31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively)            1             1
  Common stock (one cent par value, 195,000,000
   shares authorized; 93,236,177 issued and
   88,449,656 outstanding as of March 31, 2012;
   93,230,848 shares issued and 88,844,327
   outstanding as of December 31, 2011)                   932           932
  Additional paid-in capital                        2,506,987     2,506,842
  Treasury stock, at cost                             (49,924)      (45,891)
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss               (133,832)     (134,588)
  Accumulated deficit                              (1,292,907)   (1,289,019)
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Total shareholders' equity                      1,031,257     1,038,277
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Total                                        $  1,798,051  $  1,811,094
                                                 ============  ============

                          Century Aluminum Company
                   Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
                           (Dollars in Thousands)

                                                     Three months ended
                                                          March 31,
                                                     2012          2011
                                                 ------------  ------------
  Net income (loss)                              $     (3,888) $     25,046
  Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to
   net cash provided by (used in) operating
    Unrealized net loss on forward contracts            4,955         4,715
    Accrued and other plant curtailment costs -
     net                                                1,374        (9,624)
    Lower of cost or market inventory adjustment      (17,051)         (139)
    Depreciation and amortization                      15,027        15,930
    Debt discount amortization                            256           821
    Pension and other postretirement benefits          (1,138)      (11,064)
    Stock-based compensation                              145           488
    Undistributed earnings of joint ventures             (641)       (1,219)
    Change in operating assets and liabilities:
      Accounts receivable - net                        (2,884)        7,520
      Due from affiliates                                (249)        8,766
      Inventories                                      18,710        (7,924)
      Prepaid and other current assets                 (5,366)      (29,901)
      Accounts payable, trade                         (11,442)       (4,730)
      Due to affiliates                                  (360)       (2,722)
      Accrued and other current liabilities             7,003         3,405
      Other - net                                         447        (2,998)
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Net cash provided by (used in) operating
     activities                                         4,898        (3,630)
                                                 ------------  ------------

  Purchase of property, plant and equipment            (2,899)       (3,128)
  Nordural expansion                                   (1,946)       (4,051)
  Investments in and advances to joint ventures          (100)            -
  Payment received on advances from joint
   ventures                                             3,166             -
  Proceeds from sale of property, plant and
   equipment                                               58             -
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Net cash used in investing activities              (1,721)       (7,179)
                                                 ------------  ------------

  Borrowing under revolving credit facility            18,076             -
  Repayment under revolving credit facility           (18,076)            -
  Repurchase of common stock                           (4,033)            -
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Net cash used in financing activities              (4,033)            -
                                                 ------------  ------------

CHANGE IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS                      (856)      (10,809)

                                                 ------------  ------------

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS, END OF PERIOD         $    182,545  $    293,487
                                                 ============  ============

                           Century Aluminum Company
                           Selected Operating Data

                        SHIPMENTS - PRIMARY ALUMINUM

                               Direct (1)                    Toll
                       -------------------------- --------------------------
                        Metric    (000)            Metric    (000)    (000)
                         Tons    Pounds   $/Pound   Tons    Pounds   Revenue
                       -------- -------- -------- -------- -------- --------
1st Quarter              94,087  207,426     1.06   65,880  145,240  106,416

1st Quarter              80,479  177,426     1.17   63,699  140,432  117,658

(1) Does not include Toll shipments from Nordural Grundartangi

Lindsey Berryhill (media)

Shelly Harrison (investors)

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