U.S. Geothermal Inc.
TSX : GTH
NYSE MKT : HTM

U.S. Geothermal Inc.

August 11, 2015 16:25 ET

U.S. Geothermal Inc. Reports First Six Months 2015 Results, Updates 2015 Guidance, and Provides Project Update

BOISE, IDAHO--(Marketwired - Aug. 11, 2015) - U.S. Geothermal Inc. (TSX:GTH)(NYSE MKT:HTM) -

Mid-Year Highlights

  • Steady consolidated Revenue, Net Income and EBITDA for First Six Months
  • U.S. Geothermal's Net Income, As Adjusted up 329% and Net Income up 167%
  • Significant advancement of 2 development projects
  • 2015 Guidance is reaffirmed and tightened
  • Board of Directors approves stock repurchase program
  • Board of Directors examining strategic alternatives
Summary of First Six Months 2015 Financial Results: Six Months Ended June 30
(in millions, except per share amounts)
2015 2014
Operating Revenue $ 14.34 $ 14.35
Adjusted EBITDA $ 7.35 $ 7.17
EBITDA $ 6.59 $ 6.35
Net Income $ 1.22 $ 1.24
Net Income Attributable to US Geothermal $ 0.50 $ 0.19
Per Share $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Net Income Attributable to US Geothermal, As Adjusted* $ 0.80 $ 0.19
Per Share, As Adjusted* $ 0.01 $ 0.00
* Refer to Table 1 for further detail of Net Income, As Adjusted. Refer to Appendix for further detail on Adjusted EBITDA and EBITDA.
2015 Full Year Guidance (in millions):
2015
Operating Revenue $ 29 - 33
Adjusted EBITDA $ 16 - 19
EBITDA $ 14 - 17
Net Income $ 3 - 6

U.S. Geothermal Inc. (the "Company"), a leading and profitable renewable energy company focused on the development, production, and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, announced today its financial and operating results for the First Six Months ending June 30, 2015 (the "First Six Months"), updated guidance for 2015, and highlighted notable achievements for the First Six Months. This earnings release should be read in conjunction with U.S. Geothermal's financial statements, and management's discussion and analysis ("MD&A") and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which are available on the Company's website at www.usgeothermal.com and have been posted at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website at www.sec.gov and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Operating Revenue for the First Six Months was $14.34 million, compared to $14.35 million for the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA for the First Six Months was $7.35 million, compared to $7.17 million for the prior year period, while EBITDA was $6.59 million for the First Six Months compared to $6.35 million for the prior year. Net Income for the First Six Months was $1.22 million, compared to $1.24 million in the prior year period. Net Income attributable to U.S. Geothermal as adjusted for the First Six Months was $0.80 million, or $0.01 per share, compared to $0.19 million, or $0.00 per share in the prior year period.

"We are very pleased with the high availability of our operating plants during this second quarter, with corresponding financial results fully meeting our expectations," said Dennis Gilles, U.S. Geothermal's Chief Executive Officer. "With two strong quarters delivered, in spite of the unseasonably warm weather experienced during this first half of the year, we are well positioned for achieving the financial results provided as guidance. This continuing strong operational and financial performance supports continued growth of the company; both from developing our internal project pipeline and through strategic acquisitions."

Updated Guidance and Earning Call Information

U.S. Geothermal updates 2015 full-year guidance for Operating Revenue estimated between $29 and $33 million, Adjusted EBITDA estimated at between $16 and $19 million, EBITDA estimated between $14 and $17 million, and Net Income as Adjusted of between $3 and $6 million.

U.S. Geothermal Inc. will host a telephone conference call for investors and analysts on Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT) to discuss their First Six Months results, which were filed after the Market Close on Tuesday August 11th, 2015.

The conference call may be accessed by dialing (877) 407-8133 in the United States and Canada, or (201) 689-8040 internationally. A simultaneous webcast of the conference call will be provided through: http://www.investorcalendar.com/IC/CEPage.asp?ID=174236

Notable Achievements for First Six Months include:

  • Operations: Delivered annual average availabilities for the First Six Months for each plant (excluding planned maintenance hours) as follows: Raft River - 99.8%, San Emidio - 98.8%, Neal Hot Springs - 97.3%.
  • Completed planned annual maintenance outages at all three operating facilities including a major overhaul (once in 7 years) at Raft River.
  • Generated fleet wide total 168,874 megawatt-hours for the period, as compared to 173,268 megawatt-hours in prior year.
  • Completed flow test of three major steam wells at WGP Geysers project confirming steam drilled and available for approximately 30 megawatts.
  • Worked with the Guatemalan Ministry of Energy and Mines to finalize approval of a modified project construction schedule for the El Ceibillo project. Received approval on July 21, 2015.
  • Drilled and tested the first and second water supply wells at Neal Hot Springs to support the potential hybrid cooling project.
  • Received permits for the temperature gradient wells at San Emidio for Phase II, and began drilling.
  • Finalized settlement agreement with Neal Hot Springs equipment supplier Turbine Air Systems.
  • Cash Management:
    • Received combined $6.8 million cash flow from Operating Activities
    • Ended the Quarter with $230.8 million in Total Assets, Cash and Cash Equivalents of $12.8 million, and Restricted Cash of $22.0 million
    • Reduced long-term debt by $2.0 million.
  • The Board of Directors of the Company has approved a stock repurchase program which allows up to $2.0 million of the Company's outstanding common stock to be repurchased from the open market on the NYSE MKT through the end of July 2016. Additionally a Special Committee of the Board has been formed to consider other strategic alternatives to increase stockholder value. The Special Committee of the Board has selected Marathon Capital to serve as its financial advisor.

    OPERATIONS

    Our three operating plants produced 168,874 megawatt-hours during the First Six Months, which compares to 173,268 megawatt-hours during the same period of 2014, a 2.5% reduction in generation. Historically warm temperatures across the west continued through the second quarter and reduced generation during the period. Planned annual maintenance outages for all three facilities also took place during the second quarter, including a major overhaul at Raft River.

    Neal Hot Springs, Oregon

    All three units operated smoothly, with first and second quarter availabilities of 96.9% and 97.6% respectively for the facility, outside of planned second quarter annual maintenance hours. Generation for the First Six Months was 90,732 megawatt-hours, compared to 96,676 megawatt-hours for the prior year period. The reduction in generation is primarily due to Neal being impacted by higher than average ambient temperatures, with June temperatures 12 degrees above the 10 year average.

    Under the terms of our Power Purchase Agreement ("PPA"), the average contract price for 2015 is $106.79 per megawatt-hour. January, February and June were paid at the average contract price, while March, April and May were paid at a seasonally adjusted price of $78.28 per megawatt-hour.

    A settlement was reached with our Equipment Supply contractor, Turbine Air Systems, and five of their key equipment suppliers. The settlement agreement provided a cash payment to the project company, USG Oregon LLC, a commitment to finalize equipment repairs and upgrades, and an extended warranty for equipment that is repaired or replaced.

    San Emidio, Nevada

    Plant performance was again exceptional, with first and second quarter availabilities of 99.9% and 97.6% respectively, outside of planned second quarter annual maintenance. Total generation for the First Six Months was 40,246 megawatt hours, which compares to 36,799 megawatt-hours for the prior year period.

    Under the terms of our PPA, generation during 2015 will be paid at the average contract price of $92.08 per megawatt-hour. There is no seasonal adjustment under this PPA.

    Raft River, Idaho

    Plant performance was also exceptional, with first and second quarter availabilities of 99.7% and 99.97% respectively, outside of planned second quarter annual maintenance. Total generation for the First Six Months was 37,895 megawatt-hours which compares to 39,683 megawatt-hours for the prior year period. Raft River took an extended major overhaul of 12.6 days for its first planned turbine rebuild after more than 7 years of operation.

    Under the terms of our PPA, January, February and June were paid at the average contract price for 2015 of $62.00 per megawatt-hour, while March, April and May were paid at the seasonally adjusted price of $45.57. In addition to the price paid for energy, Raft River currently receives $4.75 per megawatt-hour under a separate contract for the sale of Renewable Energy Credits, with the Company preferentially receiving 70% of the REC income.

    DEVELOPMENT

    WGP Geysers, California (30 MW)

    Flow tests on the three largest production wells was completed in June. An independent, world recognized geothermal consulting firm designed and monitored these tests. The results were very encouraging, with all three wells producing steam at flow rates at or above previous results from 2008 and 2009 when the wells were first drilled, confirming that the wells are open, available for production, and able to generate enough steam for approximately 30 megawatts (MW). The consulting firm has received all of the test data and steam analysis, and is now analyzing the results and preparing a reservoir report that can be used to guide final development of the project. Upon completion of the reservoir report and power plant optimization work, the final size of the new plant will be determined.

    Engineering optimization of the power plant design is continuing with a focus on an innovative hybrid plant design that includes both water and air cooling. This design will dramatically increase the volume of water available for injection back into the reservoir, providing long term stable steam production, and will result in increased power generation over the life of the project. A new Conditional Use permit has been submitted to Sonoma County, reflecting this modified cooling plan.

    Our transmission interconnection application with the California Independent System Operator was accepted in the Independent Study process and will continue through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) mandated evaluation procedure.

    Discussions with numerous potential off-takers for the power from our power plant occurred this quarter, with high interest expressed by a number of them for base load, renewable power to replace fossil fuel based power generation that is being phased out of their portfolios.

    El Ceibillo, Guatemala (25-50 MW)

    The modified development schedule was formally approved and signed by the Minister of the Guatemalan Ministry of Energy and Mines in July 2015. Now that the modified schedule has received final approval, we commenced drilling well EC-2, to test a high temperature anomaly defined by the 2014 temperature gradient drilling program. We are also planning well EC-3 which is targeted at a shallow, highly permeable zone that was found during that same 2014 temperature gradient program. With the schedule modification now in place, which provides a reasonable time frame for development of the project, we will reestablish our discussions and negotiations for a PPA.

    San Emidio Phase II, Nevada (11 MW)

    Permitting for an expanded, deep temperature gradient drilling program was approved by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. A drill rig has been mobilized and drilling is underway. Results from the recent OW drilling program combined with 1970s era, shallow temperature gradient data, indicate a high temperature trend into this south-west zone. Geophysical surveys have also identified structural trends in this area.

    NV Energy has awarded all 200 megawatts of renewable energy in their recent Request for Proposal (RFP) to solar projects in southern Nevada, near their current load demand.

    Neal Hot Springs, Oregon (3+ MW)

    Drilling of the first water supply well, which was intended to be used for hybrid cooling, was completed and tested. It was found to communicate directly with surface water which is not allowed under Oregon law, thereby making the well unavailable to use for hybrid cooling. A second well has been drilled at a different location and much deeper, and is now being tested to determine whether it communicates with surface water, and if not then to determine if the aquifer can provide enough water to support the installation of the hybrid cooling system. The ability to use water cooling during the 5-6 months of summer and fall would increase power generation, when current air cooling results in a significant reduction in plant output. Our target is to increase the annual average generation of the plant from the design rate of 22 megawatts up to the contract limit of 25 annual average megawatts.

    Crescent Valley, Nevada (25+ MW)

    Planning for a temperature gradient well drilling program is currently underway.

    MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

    Our focus on M&A activities remains very active. We are continuing due diligence on a number of excellent opportunities that encompass operating projects, advanced development projects and green field opportunities.

    LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

    The U.S. Senate Energy committee has approved a broad energy bill which includes a number of long sought after amendments that are favorable to geothermal development. Additionally the U.S. Senate Finance committee has approved language that would extend the 30% Investment Tax Credit to geothermal projects that start construction before December 31, 2016. Both bills are headed to the full Senate and House for voting.

    APPENDIX

    The below table summarizes revenues for 2015 and 2014, and reflects the seasonal variability by quarter of our generation and corresponding revenues, as well as the year over year comparison of revenues for the 4 quarters of each year.

    Operating Revenue by Quarter:
    (in millions)
    Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
    2015 $ 8.47 $ 5.86 $ tbd $ tbd
    2014 $ 8.50 $ 5.85 $ 6.74 $ 9.91

    Reconciliation of EBITDA:

    EBITDA is calculated as net income before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, and is not a measurement of financial performance or liquidity under generally accepted accounting principles in the United States. EBITDA is presented as a metric commonly used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of a company's ability to service and/or incur debt.

    Adjusted EBITDA reflects EBITDA adjusted to exclude discretionary exploration costs, non-cash stock compensation as well as the value assigned to stock options granted, and write-off of discontinued exploration activities.

    First Six Months Financial Results: Six Months Ended June 30
    (in millions) 2015 2014
    Net Income (Loss) $ 1.22 $ 1.24
    Interest $ 1.93 $ 1.99
    Income Taxes $ 0.30 $ 0.00
    Depreciation & Amortization $ 3.14 $ 3.12
    EBITDA $ 6.59 $ 6.35
    Exploration costs, Asset impairment, Stock based comp. $ 0.76 $ 0.82
    Adjusted EBITDA $ 7.35 $ 7.17
    Full Year Guidance (in millions): 2015
    Net Income (Loss) $ 3.0 - 6.0
    Interest $ 3.7
    Income Taxes $ 1.1
    Depreciation & Amortization $ 6.5
    EBITDA $ 14.3 - 17.3
    Exploration costs and Stock based compensation $ 2.0
    Adjusted EBITDA $ 16.3 - 19.3
    Table 1: Net Income, As Adjusted Six Months Ended June 30
    (in millions, except per share amounts) 2015 2014
    Net Income Attributable to US Geothermal $ 0.50 $ 0.19
    Tax Expense offset by Deferred Tax Asset $ 0.30 $ N/A
    Net Income Attributable to US Geothermal, As Adjusted $ 0.80 $ 0.19
    Per Share, As Adjusted $ 0.01 $ 0.00

    Net Income Attributable to US Geothermal during the First Six Months was $0.50 million, compared to $0.19 million in the prior year period. As detailed in Table 1, Net Income Attributable to US Geothermal, As Adjusted was $0.80 million for the First Six Months, compared to $0.19 million in the prior year period. The year-over-year change was driven largely by:

    • Recognition of $0.30 million Income Tax Expense which is offset by Deferred Tax Asset
    • Increase in earnings at San Emidio of $0.37 million, net of tax, due to increased plant revenue and decreased maintenance expense

    Please visit our Website at: http://www.usgeothermal.com

    About U.S. Geothermal Inc.:

    U.S. Geothermal Inc. is a leading and profitable renewable energy company focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy. The company is currently operating geothermal power projects Neal Hot Springs, Oregon, San Emidio, Nevada and Raft River, Idaho for a total power generation of approximately 45 MWs. The company is also developing projects at: the Geysers, California; a second phase project at San Emidio, Nevada; the El Ceibillo project located near Guatemala City, Guatemala; and at Crescent Valley, Nevada. U.S. Geothermal's growth strategy is to reach 200 MWs of generation by 2020 through a combination of internal development and strategic acquisitions.

    The information provided in this news release may contain forward-looking statements within the definition of the Safe Harbor provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned to review the risk factors identified by the company in its filings with US and Canadian securities agencies. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, without limitation, statements relating to the future operating or financial performance of U.S. Geothermal, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as "expects", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "potential", "possible", and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions, or results "will", "may", "could", or "should" occur or be achieved. These forward-looking statements may include statements regarding anticipated financial results for 2015, perceived merit of properties; interpretation of the results of well tests; project development; resource megawatt capacity; capital expenditures; timelines; strategic plans, the availability of strategic alternatives, the level and timing of stock repurchases, if any; or other statements that are not statements of fact. Forward-looking statements involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from U.S. Geothermal's expectations include the uncertainties involving the availability of financing in the debt and capital markets; uncertainties involved in the interpretation of results of well tests; the need for cooperation of government agencies in the development and operation of properties; the need to obtain permits and governmental approvals; risks of construction; unexpected cost increases, which could include significant increases in estimated capital and operating costs; and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in U.S. Geothermal's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities regulatory authorities and in other U.S. Geothermal reports and documents filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time. Forward-looking statements are based on management's expectations, beliefs and opinions on the date the statements are made. U.S. Geothermal Inc. assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if management's expectations, beliefs, or opinions, or other factors, should change.

    The NYSE MKT and the TSX do not accept responsibility for the adequacy of this release.

    Contact Information

    • U.S. Geothermal Inc.
      Saf Dhillon
      Investor Relations
      866-687-7059
      208-424-1030 (FAX)
      saf@usgeothermal.com