EnerVest Energy and Oil Sands Total Return Trust
TSX : EOS.UN

EnerVest Energy and Oil Sands Total Return Trust

March 24, 2008 09:30 ET

EnerVest Energy and Oil Sands Total Return Trust Announces Financial Results for the Year Ended December 31, 2007

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 24, 2008) -

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

EnerVest Oil Sands Management Inc. (TSX:EOS.UN), the Administrator of EnerVest Energy and Oil Sands Total Return Trust ("EnerVest"), is pleased to announce the financial results for the year ended December 31, 2007. The following is an excerpt from the management report of fund performance and annual financial statements of EnerVest for the year ended December 31, 2007. The management report of fund performance and annual financial statements can be found on our website at www.enervest.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Management Report of Fund Performance

Results of Operations

The past year marked the fifth successive year of an overall increase in global equities. The subprime mortgage crisis worsened during the second half of 2007 and resulted in billions of dollars in write-downs. The subsequent global credit crisis that ensued was not anticipated. Concerns that this will lead to a significant slowdown in the United States and an ensuing slowdown in Canada are being weighed against the relief that lower interest rates will bring.

EnerVest's portfolio was well positioned for the challenges of a global credit crisis, royalty regime change, and future economic uncertainty. EnerVest's returns were 31.2% and 31.6% based on its market price and net asset value per unit, respectively, far outperforming the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Trust Index and S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index returns of 3.3% and 11.2% . EnerVest's return was one of the highest of all Canadian closed-end funds operating for the full year. This performance is attributed to individual security selection. Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. was the major contributor to EnerVest's performance in 2007. EnerVest acquired this private company during its early growth stage and its stock price tripled during 2007. EnerVest has divested a portion of its position in order to reduce concentration in the portfolio and fund redemptions.

Royalty trusts remained active acquirers in 2007, completing transactions of $12.4 billion, which was roughly 31.8% of total energy transactions in 2007. While robust, this is lower than in the previous two years as a direct result of the Tax Fairness Plan which has limited both the life of the current income trust structure and growth prospects on acquisitions. In October 2007, oil & gas trusts were dealt another blow as Alberta unveiled the new royalty regime which resulted in an immediate sell off and a sharp decline in the sector. More mergers are expected as the industry digests the new royalty structure. This activity should continue until the Tax Fairness Plan goes into effect in 2011.

Portfolio

At December 31, 2007, Oil Sands Related Issuers were 64.1% of the portfolio based on net assets and net of liabilities, up from 61.8% at December 31, 2006. Oil and Gas Issuers comprised 35.6% of the portfolio, virtually unchanged from 35.9% at December 31, 2006. Private companies were approximately 34.4% of the portfolio, the majority attributable to the remaining position in Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.

Financial Performance

Investment revenues totalled $3.2 million for 2007, virtually all from distribution income on portfolio holdings. Distributions from portfolio assets are currently yielding 6.3% annually, down from the 7.0% yield at December 31, 2006 as a result of an increase in oil sands related companies relative to royalty trusts; yields from oil sands related companies are typically lower than royalty trusts. Total expenses for the year were $1.7 million, the largest being administration and service fees of $564,937 and interest of $490,272. Net investment income was $1.5 million for the year.

Realized losses on dispositions totalled $172,399. The portfolio had unrealized gains of $8.9 million during the year, the majority on the appreciation of Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. and Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd. Return of capital on distributions received totalled $256,115.

The increase in net assets from operations for the year was $10.0 million, or $2.18 per unit. On November 15, 2007, EnerVest paid $13.7 million for the redemption of 1.5 million units, approximately 31.5% of the then current number of units outstanding, at a redemption price of $9.10 per unit. During 2007, EnerVest paid $1.7 million under its mandatory repurchase program for the purchase and cancellation of 209,133 units. Opening net assets decreased by $222,984 due to a fair value adjustment to revalue December 31, 2006 investments to bid prices as required under a new accounting standard. Costs of $174,594 were incurred under the warrants offering in October. In total, net assets decreased by $8.0 million during the year. As at December 31, 2007, EnerVest's net assets were $29.7 million or $9.22 per unit, compared to net assets at December 31, 2006 of $37.7 million or $7.64 per unit, an increase of $1.58 per unit.

On April 30, 2007, EnerVest entered into a $12.5 million 364-day revolving term credit facility with the Bank of Montreal, replacing the then existing credit facility. The new facility is secured by a first-ranking and exclusive charge on EnerVest's portfolio. Advances under the credit facility can be made by way of prime loans, US base rate loans, LIBOR loans, bankers' acceptances, or any combination thereof. During 2007, both prime loans and bankers' acceptances were used. For each bankers' acceptance, the cost of borrowing equals the discount to the face value of the bankers' acceptance plus a stamping fee. The maximum borrowings during 2007 totalled $11.2 million while the minimum amount drawn was $5.0 million. As at December 31, 2007, $7.4 million was outstanding, representing 24.9% of EnerVest's net assets or 19.9% of total assets (as defined under the credit facility). Such borrowing is limited to 25% of the value of total assets after giving effect to the leverage.

Cash Distributions

EnerVest distributed $0.50 per unit during 2007, consistently distributing $0.0417 per unit per month. Distributions are paid to unitholders of record as of the last trading day of the month.

Recent Developments

Industry and Market Activity

The Canadian oil sands continue to attract significant investment from companies worldwide despite cost escalation and longer development plans. This should continue since the oil sands represent the second largest oil reserves worldwide and are located in one of the most politically stable countries. Though the royalty changes were viewed as detrimental, Alberta continues to provide the lowest risk in terms of reserves in the world. The oil sands, in particular, received much more modest changes than the review panel had originally proposed.

Opportunities exist for companies of all sizes from exploration and execution to end stage production. Small companies with strong technical expertise can create value in a relatively short time period. Once discovery is made, companies can create value through successful development of the project. Because of high capital costs, large companies are usually needed either as a partner or to acquire the project, especially in integrated mining projects. Smaller in-situ projects can be financed independently by smaller companies. As drilling rates continue to ease, costs are expected to drop and capital efficiency should improve in 2008.

The land rush of the past few years has left very few quality leases available through land sales which may lead to increased merger and acquisition activity or joint ventures for companies still seeking to enter the region. Integration may be a key driver of this activity as companies look to reduce the risks of general marketing and supply issues, as well as heavy oil differentials which have been widening with increasing oil prices.

Emerging oil sands companies could offer upside potential to investors as they have significantly lagged the performance of established producers over the last few quarters. They are also attractive takeover targets as their valuations are more attractively priced than larger integrated and exploration and producing competitors. The fourth quarter saw increased merger and acquisition activity, witnessing a number of consolidations within the royalty trust sector and junior exploration and production companies. This activity is expected to continue in 2008 as trusts look for accretive acquisitions of assets at improved metrics prior to the 2011 Tax Fairness Plan implementation deadline.

In times of bear or volatile markets, investors tend to flock to bonds and distribution paying stocks. On a risk adjusted basis, trusts are trading at yields not seen since 2003. If the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of Canada continue to cut interest rates to mitigate a downturn in the economy, these risk adjusted yields will continue to improve and these stocks will increase their appeal to investors.

Though natural gas prices were depressed throughout 2007 due to excess storage levels and pressure from liquefied natural gas imports, prices have recently risen in response to colder winter weather and the resulting depleting storage levels. Valuations generally look favourable in gas-weighted trusts, but winter weather will remain the short-term catalyst to sector performance. Crude oil prices have risen to record levels and traded over US $100 per barrel recently. However, further retraction in the United States and global growth will make it difficult for commodity prices to remain at these levels.

Accounting Changes

On April 1, 2005, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants ("CICA") issued new financial reporting standards for the accounting and disclosure of financial instruments. Of importance to investment funds are new definitions and requirements for determining the fair value of financial instruments, particularly investments. Since current securities regulations require that investment funds calculate Net Asset Value Per Share ("NAVPS") in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"), these new standards impact the way in which net asset value is determined. For securities quoted on an open market, the new standards require the use of bid prices as opposed to the closing prices previously used. Bid prices are normally less than closing prices which will result in lower net asset values. Under the old rules, transaction costs such as broker commissions could be added to the cost base of investments purchased and deducted from the proceeds of investments sold. The new rules require that these costs be expensed. These new standards were effective for fiscal years beginning on or after October 1, 2006, therefore effective January 1, 2007 for EnerVest. Securities regulators have granted relief from the requirement to calculate NAVPS in accordance with GAAP. This relief is in effect until the date on which legislation with respect to calculating net asset value for purposes other than financial statements is changed. The Canadian Securities Administrators have proposed amendments to National Instrument 81-106 Investment Fund Continuous Disclosure, Form 81-106F1, Companion Policy 81-106CP, and other related consequential amendments, which modify the requirements regarding the calculation of net asset value following the introduction of the new accounting standards. Specifically it allows for investment funds to have two different net asset values: one for financial statements using bid prices (referred to as "net assets" or "net assets per unit"); and another for all other purposes using closing prices (referred to as "net asset value" or "net asset value per unit"). During the temporary relief period, EnerVest calculates NAVPS under the old method, specifically using closing rather than bid prices, for all purposes other than financial statements. This Management Report of Fund Performance has been completed based on the proposed amendments and the 2007 annual financial statements have been presented in accordance with the new accounting rules.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

The following tables show selected key financial information about EnerVest and are intended to help you understand EnerVest's financial performance since inception.



EnerVest's Net Assets per Unit (1)
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2007 2006
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Net assets, beginning of period $ 7.64 $ 10.00
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Increase (decrease) from operations:
Total revenue 0.69 0.53
Total expenses (0.36) (0.21)
Realized losses (0.04) (0.28)
Unrealized gains (losses) 1.94 (1.44)
Return of capital (0.05) (0.04)
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Total increase (decrease) from operations (2) : 2.18 (1.44)
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Distributions:
From net investment income (0.34) (0.31)
Return of capital (0.16) (0.02)
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Total distributions (3) (0.50) (0.33)
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Net assets, at December 31 $ 9.22 $ 7.64
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(1) This information is derived from EnerVest's audited annual financial
statements. The net assets per unit presented in the financial
statements differs from the net asset value calculated for fund pricing
purposes. An explanation of these differences can be found in the notes
to the financial statements.
(2) Net assets and distributions are based on the actual number of units
outstanding at the relevant time. The increase/decrease from operations
is based on the weighted average number of units outstanding over the
financial period.
(3) Distributions were paid in cash, reinvested in additional units of
EnerVest, or both.
(4) This schedule is not a reconciliation of net assets since it does not
reflect unitholder transactions as shown on the Statement of Changes in
Net Assets. Columns may therefore not add.


Ratios and Supplemental Data
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2007 2006
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Total net asset value (1) (5) $ 29,807,838 $ 37,714,203
Number of units outstanding (1) 3,224,309 4,934,828
Management expense ratio ("MER") excluding
issue costs and interest (2) 2.61% 2.43%
MER including issue costs and interest (2) 4.37% 10.75%
Trading expense ratio (3) 0.52% 0.47%
Portfolio turnover rate (4) 18.14% 26.79%
Net asset value per unit (5) $9.24 $7.64
Closing market price $8.35 $6.95
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(1) This information is provided as at December 31 of the year shown.
(2) Management expense ratio is based on total expenses (excluding
commissions and other portfolio transaction costs) for the stated period
and is expressed as an annualized percentage of daily average net asset
value during the period. The MER has been presented excluding and
including the cost of issuance of EnerVest units and interest expense on
the credit facility.
(3) The trading expense ratio represents total commissions and other
portfolio transaction costs expressed as an annualized percentage of
daily average net asset value during the period.
(4) EnerVest's portfolio turnover rate indicates how actively EnerVest's
portfolio advisor manages its portfolio investments. A portfolio
turnover rate of 100% is equivalent to EnerVest buying and selling all
of the securities in its portfolio once in the course of the year. The
higher a fund's portfolio turnover rate in a year, the greater the
trading costs payable by the fund in the year and the greater the chance
of an investor receiving taxable capital gains in the year. There is not
necessarily a relationship between a high turnover rate and the
performance of a fund.
(5) The net asset value and net asset value per unit calculated for fund
pricing purposes differs from the net assets and net assets per unit
presented in the financial statements. An explanation of these
differences can be found in the notes to the financial statements.


PAST PERFORMANCE

The performance data provided assumes that all distributions made by EnerVest in the periods shown were reinvested in additional units of EnerVest and does not take into account sales, distribution or other optional charges that would have reduced returns or performance. Past performance does not necessarily indicate how EnerVest will perform in the future.

Annual Compound Returns

The below table shows annual compound returns for the periods ended December 31, 2007 for EnerVest based on market price and net asset value and compared to the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Trust and Capped Energy Indices.



EnerVest S&P/TSX
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Capped
Based on Based on Energy Capped
Market Net Asset Trust Energy
Price Value Index (1) Index(2)
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One year 31.2% 31.6% 3.3% 11.2%
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Since Inception (2.9)% 6.4% (6.3)% 1.1%
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(1) The S&P/TSX Capped Energy Trust Index, a subset of the S&P/TSX Income
Trust Index, is composed of income trusts whose primary business is
related to the exploration, extraction or production of natural
resources.
(2) The S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index is composed of firms whose primary
business is related to the exploration, extraction or production of
natural resources.


EnerVest's portfolio is predominately oil sands related. There is no known index with a similar portfolio composition mix to which our performance can be easily compared. EnerVest's portfolio consists mainly of royalty trusts making it most comparable to the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Trust. Compared to a 3.3% increase in this index, EnerVest's return based on its net assets was 31.6% . Based on its market price, EnerVest's return was 31.2%, one of the highest of all Canadian closed-end funds operating for the full year, largely due to the significant appreciation of Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.



SUMMARY OF INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

Portfolio Breakdown

Oil Sands Related Issuers 80.17%
Oil and Gas Issuers 44.50%
Cash 0.32%
Liabilities, net of Other Assets (24.99%)
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Net Asset Value 100.00%


Top 25 Holdings

Issuer Name % of Net Assets
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Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. 19.25%
Canadian Oil Sands Trust 8.44%
Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd. 8.20%
Crescent Point Energy Trust 7.72%
Black Diamond Income Fund 6.57%
Daylight Resources Trust 6.33%
Baytex Energy Trust 5.10%
Canadian Natural Resources Limited 4.87%
Progress Energy Trust 4.73%
Range Royalty Limited Partnership 4.56%
Oil Sands Underground Mining Corp. 4.54%
OPTI Canada Inc. 4.23%
Bonavista Energy Trust 4.11%
True Energy Trust 3.88%
Royal Utilities Income Fund 3.23%
North West Upgrading Inc. 3.21%
Enerplus Resources Fund 3.08%
Suncor Energy Inc. 2.53%
Wajax Income Fund 2.47%
Fort Chicago Energy Partners L.P. 2.18%
Fairborne Energy Ltd. 2.09%
Cross Oilsands Contracting Ltd. 1.94%
Finning International Inc. 1.92%
UTS Energy Corporation 1.81%
Deepwell Energy Services Trust 1.76%


Statements of Net Assets
December 31, 2007 and 2006
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2007 2006
$ $
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ASSETS
Investments 37,083,694 47,741,024
Cash 95,604 881,665
Distributions receivable 187,649 303,906
Prepaid interest 130,698 72,515
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37,497,645 48,999,110
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LIABILITIES
Credit facility 7,400,000 10,500,000
Liability for purchase of portfolio assets - 499,800
Distributions payable 134,454 205,782
Accounts payable to the Administrator 234,133 79,325
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7,768,587 11,284,907

NET ASSETS 29,729,058 37,714,203
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UNITS ISSUED AND OUTSTANDING 3,224,309 4,934,828
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NET ASSETS PER UNIT $9.22 $7.64
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Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income
For the Year Ended December 31, 2007 and the Period from Inception on
February 22, 2006 to December 31, 2006
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2007 2006
$ $
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INVESTMENT REVENUES
Distribution income 3,153,177 2,627,019
Interest income 21,214 28,891
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3,174,391 2,655,910
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EXPENSES
Administration and service fees 564,937 450,281
Interest on credit facility 490,292 329,653
Brokerage commissions 197,269 -
General and administrative 133,397 73,259
Directors' fees 66,375 61,834
Legal fees 58,629 11,592
Trustees' fees 47,445 38,354
Goods and services tax 43,958 38,730
Audit fees 36,134 26,442
Unitholder reporting costs 26,444 25,121
Custodial fees 3,080 6,031
Independent Review Committee fees and expenses 2,468 -
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1,670,428 1,061,297
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NET INVESTMENT INCOME 1,503,963 1,594,613
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GAIN ON INVESTMENTS
Net realized loss on sale of portfolio assets (172,399) (1,423,435)
Net change in unrealized portfolio gains (losses) 8,884,011 (7,231,006)
Return of capital (256,115) (183,308)
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8,455,497 (8,837,749)
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INCREASE (DECREASE) IN NET ASSETS FROM OPERATIONS 9,959,460 (7,243,136)
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WEIGHTED AVERAGE UNITS OUTSTANDING 4,576,539 5,019,168
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INCREASE (DECREASE) IN NET ASSETS FROM OPERATIONS
PER UNIT $2.18 ($1.44)
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Statements of Changes in Net Assets
For the Year Ended December 31, 2007 and the Period from Inception on
February 22, 2006 to December 31, 2006
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2007 2006
$ $
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CASH FLOW FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES
Net investment income 1,503,963 1,594,613
Cash proceeds on disposition of portfolio assets 27,578,963 14,009,139
Purchase of portfolio assets (8,689,120) (70,587,912)
Net change in non-cash working capital items (286,918) 202,704
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20,106,888 (54,781,456)
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CASH FLOW FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES
Cash proceeds on issuance of units - 50,595,180
Compensation paid on issuance of units - (3,025,993)
Offering costs on warrants issued (174,594)
Redemptions (13,662,613) -
Repurchase of units (1,656,526) (940,987)
Drawings on credit facility 3,100,000 12,500,000
Repayments on credit facility (6,200,000) (2,000,000)
Cash distributions to unitholders (2,299,216) (1,465,079)
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(20,892,949) 55,663,121
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(DECREASE) INCREASE IN CASH (786,061) 881,665

CASH, BEGINNING OF PERIOD 881,665 -
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CASH, END OF YEAR 95,604 881,665
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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
Interest paid 548,475 402,168
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Statement of Investment Portfolio
December 31, 2007
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Average %
Units / Cost Fair Value of Net
Shares $ $ Assets
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OIL SANDS RELATED ISSUERS (80.30%)

Energy
Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.(i),
Warrants 850,000 - 5,737,500 19.30%
Canadian Natural Resources Limited 20,000 1,348,004 1,450,800 4.88%
Canadian Oil Sands Trust 65,000 2,050,124 2,513,550 8.45%
Oil Sands Underground Mining
Corp.(i) 166,700 500,100 1,351,937 4.55%
OPTI Canada Inc. 76,000 1,617,992 1,260,840 4.24%
Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd 42,000 664,805 2,445,240 8.23%
Suncor Energy Inc. 7,000 659,980 755,370 2.54%
UTS Energy Corporation 100,000 753,910 538,000 1.81%
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7,594,915 16,053,237 54.00%
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Energy Equipment and Services
Cross Oilsands Contracting Ltd.(i) 142,800 499,800 571,200 1.92%
Cross Oilsands Contracting Ltd.
(i), Warrants 14,280 - 7,140 0.02%
Deepwell Energy Services Trust,
Cl. B 100,000 990,090 521,000 1.75%
Empire Industries Ltd. 1,000,000 450,000 430,000 1.45%
Engineered Drilling Solutions
Inc.(i) 200,000 400,000 266,000 0.89%
North West Upgrading Inc.(i) 225,000 900,000 956,250 3.22%
North West Upgrading Inc.(i),
Warrants 112,500 - - 0.00%
Sikanni Services Ltd. 1,235,000 708,026 197,600 0.66%
Sikanni Services Ltd., Warrants 617,500 32,975 - 0.00%
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3,980,891 2,949,190 9.91%
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Industrials
Black Diamond Income Fund 160,000 1,437,919 1,956,800 6.58%
Finning International Inc. 20,000 393,500 572,800 1.93%
Wajax Income Fund 23,000 929,190 737,150 2.48%
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2,760,609 3,266,750 10.99%
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Utilities
Fort Chicago Energy Partners L.P.,
Cl. A 60,000 702,964 649,800 2.19%
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702,964 649,800 2.19%
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Materials
Royal Utilities Income Fund 90,000 893,643 953,100 3.21%
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893,643 953,100 3.21%
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OIL AND GAS ISSUERS (44.44%)

Energy
Baytex Energy Trust 80,000 1,735,214 1,512,000 5.09%
Bonavista Energy Trust 43,000 1,467,527 1,220,340 4.10%
Crescent Point Energy Trust 92,804 1,970,134 2,291,331 7.71%
Daylight Resources Trust 260,850 4,571,773 1,875,512 6.31%
Enerplus Resources Fund 23,000 1,354,172 914,480 3.08%
Fairborne Energy Ltd. 95,000 1,427,207 618,450 2.08%
Focus Energy Trust 30,000 755,977 501,600 1.69%
Progress Energy Trust 130,000 2,216,656 1,406,600 4.73%
Range Royalty Limited
Partnership(i),Cl. B S1 85,000 1,496,000 1,360,000 4.57%
True Energy Trust 345,600 2,150,501 1,154,304 3.88%
Vault Energy Trust 100,000 568,537 357,000 1.20%
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19,713,698 13,211,617 44.44%
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35,646,720 37,083,694 124.74%
BROKERAGE COMMISSIONS (56,763) - 0.00%
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TOTAL INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO 35,589,957 37,083,694 124.74%
CASH & CASH EQUIVALENTS 95,604 0.32%
LIABILITIES, NET OF OTHER ASSETS (7,450,240) (25.06%)
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NET ASSETS 29,729,058 100.00%
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(i) Indicates private company


EnerVest is an actively managed closed-end trust which invests in a diversified portfolio of: (i) companies and income trusts involved directly and indirectly in the Canadian oil sands; and (ii) traditional oil and gas royalty trusts. EnerVest's investment objectives are to maximize total return through capital appreciation in the portfolio and to provide Unitholders with a consistent monthly cash distribution.

This news release contains certain forward looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control, including the impact of general economic conditions in Canada and the United States, industry conditions, changes in laws and regulations, including the Canadian Income Tax Act, fluctuations in interest rates, commodity prices and foreign exchange, stock market volatility, and market valuations of portfolio holdings. Our actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward looking statements and, accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of these events anticipated by the forward looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do, what benefits, including the amount of proceeds, that we will derive therefrom.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

Contact Information

  • EnerVest Oil Sands Management Inc.
    Kevin W. Wolfe
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    (403) 571-5550 or Toll Free: 1-800-459-3384
    (403) 571-5554 (FAX)
    or
    EnerVest Oil Sands Management Inc.
    Sean J. H. Morgan
    Chief Financial Officer
    (403) 571-5550 or Toll Free: 1-800-459-3384
    (403) 571-5554 (FAX)
    or
    EnerVest Oil Sands Management Inc.
    Kristie Allen
    Investor Relations
    (403) 571-5550 or Toll Free: 1-800-459-3384
    (403) 571-5554 (FAX)
    or
    EnerVest Oil Sands Management Inc.
    Linda Koroluk
    Investor Relations
    (403) 571-5550 or Toll Free: 1-800-459-3384
    (403) 571-5554 (FAX)
    or
    EnerVest Oil Sands Management Inc.
    Suite 2800, 700-9th Avenue S.W.
    Calgary, Alberta, T2P 3V4
    Email: info@enervest.com
    Website: www.enervest.com