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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  Century Aluminum Company    CENX

CENTURY ALUMINUM COMPANY

(CENX)
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CENTURY ALUMINUM : Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. (form 10-Q)

11/05/2020 | 04:13pm EST
This Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") provides information that
management believes is relevant to an assessment and understanding of the
consolidated financial condition and results of operations of Century Aluminum
Company and should be read in conjunction with the accompanying consolidated
financial statements and related notes thereto. This MD&A contains
"forward-looking statements" - see "Forward-Looking Statements" above.
Overview
We are a global producer of primary aluminum with aluminum reduction facilities,
or "smelters," in the United States and Iceland. The key determinants of our
results of operations and cash flow from operations are as follows:
•the price of primary aluminum, which is based on the London Metal Exchange
("LME") and other exchanges, plus any regional premiums and value-added product
premiums;
•the cost of goods sold, the principal components of which are electrical power,
alumina, carbon products and labor, which in aggregate represent more
than 75% of our cost of goods sold; and
•our production volume.
Recent Developments
On October 20, 2020, we issued a notice to employees at our Mt. Holly, South
Carolina aluminum smelter of our intent to curtail the Mt. Holly plant
operations by no later than December 31, 2020, when our current power contracts
at Mt. Holly expire, if we are unable to secure a competitively priced power
arrangement to deliver energy to the plant. The announcement was made pursuant
to the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. If a decision
is made to curtail the Mt. Holly facility, we would be subject to various costs
and it could cause us to write down the book value of the Mt. Holly facility.
COVID-19 Update
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken a number of actions to
protect the health and well-being of our employees and to prevent the spread of
COVID-19 within our operations. As a result, our plants have not experienced any
disruption in operations as a result of the pandemic, and we continue to sell
all of our metal essentially as it is cast.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the broader economy, however, resulted in
decreased prices for our product. For example, the LME price for primary
aluminum averaged $1,494 per tonne for the three months ended June 30, 2020 and
$1,592 per tonne for the six months ended June 30, 2020, as compared to an
average of $1,792 for 2019. We have recently continued to see some improvement
in the global economy resulting in an increase in the price for our product. For
example, the LME price for primary aluminum averaged $1,706 for the three months
ended September 30, 2020 and $1,803 per tonne for October 2020. However, because
we sell our product on a one- to three-month lag to current prices, our results
reflect the LME price on this one to three month lag basis. Customer demand for
value-added aluminum products and, in turn, the product premium we receive for
such products, also have generally returned to first quarter levels after having
been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have taken actions to
mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including reducing
discretionary spending, optimizing working capital and deferring non-essential
capital projects. Decreases in the prices of our products have also been
partially offset by decreases in the prices of our key cost inputs.
The potential future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, results of
operations and financial performance is difficult to predict and will depend on
future developments, and such effects could exist for an extended period of
time. See   Item 1A. Risk Factors   in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 and   Part II, Item 1A. Risk Factors   of
our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for additional information on the potential
risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results of Operations
The following discussion for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020
reflects restart activity at Hawesville and no change in production capacities
at our other operating facilities.
Our net sales are impacted primarily by the LME price for aluminum, regional and
value-added premiums, and the volume and product mix of aluminum we ship during
the period. In general, our results reflect the LME and regional premium pricing
on an approximately one to three month lag basis reflecting contractual terms
with our customers.
Electrical power, alumina, carbon products and labor are the principal
components of our cost of goods sold. In general, our results reflect the market
cost of alumina on an approximately three-month lag reflecting the terms of our
alumina contracts and inventory levels.
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                                    Three months ended September 30,            Nine months ended September 30,
                                        2020                    2019                    2020                    2019
                                                           (in millions, except per share data)
NET SALES:
Related parties                 $           235.8          $     282.3          $           792.4          $      898.7
Other customers                             157.1                155.7                      423.6                 502.5
Total net sales                             392.9                438.0                    1,216.0               1,401.2
Gross profit (loss)                         (27.1)               (13.7)                     (35.3)                (30.6)
Net income (loss)                           (58.2)               (20.7)                     (87.8)                (76.0)
EARNINGS (LOSS) PER COMMON
SHARE:
Basic and Diluted               $           (0.65)         $     (0.23)         $           (0.98)         $      (0.86)

SHIPMENTS - PRIMARY ALUMINUM(1)


                                United States                                     Iceland                                       Total
                                              Net Sales (in                                Net Sales (in                               Net Sales (in
                         Tonnes                 millions)               Tonnes               millions)               Tonnes              millions)
      2020

3rd Quarter                118,835           $      221.8                84,187           $      138.4               203,022           $     360.2
2nd Quarter                130,645           $      246.6                79,664           $      145.9               210,309           $     392.5
1st Quarter                129,114           $      273.8                73,791           $      141.0               202,905           $     414.8

      Total                378,594           $      742.2               237,642           $      425.3               616,236           $   1,167.5

      2019

3rd Quarter                119,916           $      272.0                78,627           $      152.1               198,543           $     424.1
2nd Quarter                125,154           $      295.0                78,226           $      157.7               203,380           $     452.7
1st Quarter                130,043           $      313.3                76,408           $      159.3               206,451           $     472.6
      Total                375,113                  880.3               233,261                  469.1               608,374               1,349.4


  (1) Excludes scrap aluminum and alumina sales.
Net sales (in millions)                2020           2019

Three months ended September 30, $ 392.9$ 438.0 Nine months ended September 30, $ 1,216.0$ 1,401.2



Net sales (excluding alumina sales) decreased by $63.9 million for the three
months ended September 30, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, primarily
driven by unfavorable LME and regional premium price realizations of $65.1
million.

Net sales decreased by $185.2 million for the nine months ended September 30,
2020 compared to the same period in 2019, primarily driven by unfavorable LME
and regional premium price realizations of $175.4 million.
Gross profit (loss) (in millions)     2020         2019
Three months ended September 30,    $ (27.1)$ (13.7)
Nine months ended September 30,     $ (35.3)$ (30.6)


Gross loss increased by $13.4 million for the three months ended September 30,
2020 compared to the same period in 2019 primarily due to unfavorable LME and
regional premium price realizations of $65.1 million and unfavorable operating
expenses of $8.9 million, partially offset by favorable raw material price
realizations of $64.4 million.

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Gross loss for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 increased by $4.7
million compared to the same period in 2019 primarily due to unfavorable LME and
regional premium price realizations of $175.4 million and unfavorable operating
expenses of $20.6 million, partially offset by favorable raw material and power
price realizations of $192.7 million.

Selling, general and administrative expenses (in millions) 2020

2019

Three months ended September 30,                               $ 11.0$ 11.6
Nine months ended September 30,                                $ 31.7

$ 38.2

Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased by $0.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 primarily driven by a decrease in compensation costs.


Selling, general and administrative expenses for the nine months ended September
30, 2020 decreased by $6.5 million compared to the same period in 2019 primarily
driven by a decrease in compensation costs.
Net gain (loss) on forward and derivative contracts (in millions)      2020 

2019

Three months ended September 30,                                     $ (9.4)$ 10.3
Nine months ended September 30,                                      $ 

(1.9) $ 10.7




For the three months ended September 30, 2020, net gain on forward and
derivative contracts decreased by $19.7 million compared to that for the three
months ended September 30, 2019. The period to period change is primarily due to
increases in LME and MWP prices from June 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020, as
compared to those from June 30, 2019 to September 30, 2019.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2020, net gain on our forward and
derivative contracts decreased by $12.6 million compared to that for the nine
months ended September 30, 2019. The decrease in gain relates to the impact of
increases in LME and MWP prices.
Income tax benefit (expense) (in millions)     2020       2019
Three months ended September 30,             $ (0.3)$ 1.3
Nine months ended September 30,              $  1.6$ 5.7


We have a valuation allowance against all of our U.S. and certain foreign
deferred tax assets. The period to period change is primarily due to the change
in earnings at our foreign entities that are not subject to a valuation
allowance. See   Note 7. Income Taxes   to the consolidated financial statements
included herein for additional information.

Liquidity and Capital Resources
Liquidity
Our principal sources of liquidity are available cash and cash flow from
operations. We also have access to our existing revolving credit facilities and
have raised capital in the past through public equity and debt markets. We
regularly explore various other financing alternatives. Our principal uses of
cash include the funding of operating costs (including post-retirement
benefits), debt service requirements, capital expenditures, investments in our
growth activities and in related businesses, working capital and other general
corporate requirements.
We believe that cash provided from operations and financing activities will be
adequate to cover our operations and business needs over the next 12 months. As
of September 30, 2020, we had cash and cash equivalents of approximately $81.4
million and unused availability under our revolving credit facilities of $88.0
million, resulting in a total liquidity position of approximately $169.4
million.
                                       42
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Adverse changes in the price of aluminum or our principal costs of production
could materially impact our ability to generate and raise cash. Furthermore, the
COVID-19 pandemic could continue to impact the economy which may impact the
price of our products as well as our ability to access capital and/or the terms
under which we can do so. As noted above, we have taken preemptive action to
preserve our liquidity and manage our cash flow. Such actions include reducing
discretionary spending, optimizing working capital and deferring non-essential
capital projects. To preserve liquidity in light of the uncertainty in the
global markets due to COVID-19, in March 2020, we drew down a total of $90.0
million under our U.S. and Iceland revolving credit facilities. In the third
quarter, we repaid $40.0 million on our U.S. revolving credit facility. As of
September 30, 2020, the remaining outstanding borrowings on the U.S. and Iceland
revolving credit facilities were $50.0 million. We also effectively extended the
maturities of our principal debt obligations. On July 1, 2020, we issued $250.0
million in aggregate principal amount of our 2025 Notes and used the proceeds,
together with cash on hand, to purchase all 2021 Notes tendered in a tender
offer and to redeem all 2021 Notes that were not tendered. In connection with
the offering of the 2025 Notes, we also entered into Amendment No.1 to our U.S.
revolving credit facility extending the maturity date to May 16, 2023. As the
impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and our operations is fluid and
constantly evolving, we will continue to assess a variety of measures to improve
our financial performance and liquidity. See   Item 1A. Risk Factors   in our
Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 and
  Part II, Item 1A. Risk Factors   of our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the
three months ended March 31, 2020 for additional information.
Available Cash
Our available cash and cash equivalents balance at September 30, 2020 was $81.4
million compared to $38.9 million at December 31, 2019.
Sources and Uses of Cash
Our statements of cash flows are summarized below:
                                                                   Nine 

months ended September 30,

                                                                      2020                   2019
                                                                            (in millions)
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities            $          33.3          $      (4.4)
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities                      (11.4)               (29.4)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities                       23.5                 17.4
Change in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash           $          

45.4 $ (16.4)




The increase in net cash provided by operating activities was primarily driven
by improvements in working capital. The improvements in working capital were
primarily attributable to lower raw material prices, timing of raw material
receipts and the timing of trade receivable collection.

The decrease in net cash used in investing activities was primarily due to
higher spending on capital projects during the nine months ended September 30,
2019, driven by a higher level of capital investments in the Hawesville restart
project during that period, as compared to the nine months ended September 30,
2020.

The increase in net cash provided by financing activities was primarily due to
outstanding borrowings on our U.S. revolving credit facility and Iceland
revolving credit facility at September 30, 2020 compared to September 30, 2019,
partially offset by payments on our Hawesville Term Loan. Borrowings on our
revolving credit facilities are available, if needed, for working capital
requirements, general corporate or other purposes.
Availability Under Our Credit Facilities
The U.S. revolving credit facility, dated May 2018, provides for borrowings of
up to $175.0 million in the aggregate including up to $110.0 million under a
letter of credit sub-facility, and also includes an uncommitted accordion
feature whereby borrowers may increase the capacity of the U.S. revolving credit
facility by up to $50.0 million, subject to agreement with the lenders. The U.S.
revolving credit facility matures on May 16, 2023.
Any letters of credit issued and outstanding under the U.S. revolving credit
facility reduce our borrowing availability on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
                                       43
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We have also entered into, through our wholly-owned subsidiary Nordural
Grundartangi ehf ("Grundartangi"), a $50.0 million revolving credit facility,
dated November 2013, as amended. The Iceland revolving credit facility matures
in November 2022.
The availability of funds under our credit facilities is limited by a specified
borrowing base consisting of certain accounts receivable, inventory and
qualified cash deposits which meet the lenders' eligibility criteria. Increases
in the price of aluminum and/or restarts of previously curtailed operations, for
example, increase our borrowing base by increasing our accounts receivable and
inventory balances; decreases in the price of aluminum and/or curtailment of
production capacity would decrease our borrowing base by reducing our accounts
receivable and inventory balances. As of September 30, 2020, our U.S. revolving
credit facility had a borrowing base of $124.6 million, $5.0 million in
borrowings and $36.6 million in letters of credit outstanding. Of the
outstanding letters of credit, $15.7 million related to our domestic power
commitments and the remainder secured certain debt and workers' compensation
commitments. As of September 30, 2020, our Iceland revolving credit facility had
a borrowing base of $50.0 million and $45.0 million in borrowings.
As of September 30, 2020, our credit facilities had $88.0 million of net
availability after consideration of our outstanding borrowings and letters of
credit. We may borrow and make repayments under our credit facilities in the
ordinary course based on a number of factors, including the timing of payments
from our customers and payments to our suppliers.
Our credit facilities contain customary covenants, including restrictions on
mergers and acquisitions, indebtedness, affiliate transactions, liens, dividends
and distributions, dispositions of collateral, investments and prepayments of
indebtedness, including, a springing financial covenant that requires us to
maintain a fixed charge coverage ratio of at least 1.0 to 1.0 any time
availability under the U.S. revolving credit facility is less than or equal to
the lower of $17.5 million or 10% of the borrowing base but not less than $12.5
million. We intend to maintain availability to comply with these levels any time
we would not meet the ratio, which could limit our ability to access the full
amount of our availability under our U.S revolving credit facility. Our Iceland
revolving credit facility also contains a covenant that requires Grundartangi to
maintain a minimum equity ratio. As of September 30, 2020, we were in compliance
with all such covenants or maintained availability above such covenant triggers.
Senior Secured Notes
We have $250.0 million aggregate principal of senior secured notes that will
mature in June 2025 (the "2025 Notes"), unless earlier refinanced in accordance
with their terms. Interest on the 2025 Notes is payable semi-annually on January
1 and July 1 of each year, beginning on January 1, 2021, at a rate of (i) 10.00%
per annum in cash and (ii) 2.00% per annum in the form of additional notes or in
cash, at Century's option. The indenture governing the 2025 Notes contains
customary covenants which may limit our ability, and the ability of certain of
our subsidiaries, to: (i) incur additional debt; (ii) incur additional liens;
(iii) pay dividends or make distributions in respect of capital stock;
(iv) purchase or redeem capital stock; (v) make investments or certain other
restricted payments; (vi) sell assets; (vii) issue or sell stock of certain
subsidiaries; (viii) enter into transactions with shareholders or affiliates;
and (ix) effect a consolidation or merger.
We applied the net proceeds from the offering of the 2025 Notes described above,
together with cash on hand, toward payment of the total consideration amount to
holders whose 2021 Notes were accepted and purchased in the tender offer and to
fund the redemption of any remaining 2021 Notes. As a result, the Company's and
the guarantors' obligations under the indenture governing the 2021 Notes have
been fully discharged.
Hawesville Term Loan
On April 29, 2019, we entered into a term loan agreement with Glencore Ltd.
pursuant to which the Company borrowed $40.0 million (the "Hawesville Term
Loan"). Borrowings under the Hawesville Term Loan were used to partially finance
the second phase of the Hawesville restart project. The Hawesville Term Loan
matures on December 31, 2021, and is to be repaid in twenty-four (24) equal
monthly installments of principal that began on January 31, 2020. The Hawesville
Term Loan bears interest, due monthly, at a floating rate equal to LIBOR plus
5.375% per annum. The Hawesville Term Loan is not secured by any collateral.
Contingent Commitments
We have a contingent obligation in connection with the "unwind" of a contractual
arrangement between Century Aluminum of Kentucky ("CAKY"), Big Rivers and a
third party and the execution of a long-term cost-based power contract with
Kenergy, a member of a cooperative of Big Rivers in July 2009. This contingent
obligation consists of the aggregate payments made to Big Rivers by the third
party on CAKY's behalf in excess of the agreed upon base amount under the
long-term cost-based power contract with Kenergy. As of September 30, 2020, the
principal and accrued interest for the contingent obligation was $26.3 million,
which was fully offset by a derivative asset. We may be required to make
installment payments for the contingent obligation in the future. These payments
are contingent based on the LME price of primary aluminum and
                                       44
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the level of Hawesville's operations. Based on the LME forward market at
September 30, 2020 and management's estimate of the LME forward market beyond
the quoted market period, we believe that we will not be required to make
payments on the contingent obligation during the term of the agreement, which
expires in 2028. There can be no assurance that circumstances will not change,
thus accelerating the timing of such payments.
Employee Benefit Plan Contributions
In 2013, we entered into a settlement agreement with the Pension Benefit
Guarantee Corporation ("PBGC") regarding an alleged "cessation of operations" at
our Ravenswood facility. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, we will make
additional contributions (above any minimum required contributions) to our
defined benefit pension plans totaling approximately $17.4 million. Under
certain circumstances, in periods of lower primary aluminum prices relative to
our cost of operations, we are able to defer one or more of these payments, but
would then be required to provide the PBGC with acceptable security for deferred
payments. We did not make any contributions in the three month periods ended
September 30, 2020 and 2019. We have elected to defer certain payments under the
PBGC agreement and have provided the PBGC with the appropriate security. The
remaining contributions under this agreement are approximately $9.6 million.
Section 232 Aluminum Tariff
On March 23, 2018, the U.S. implemented a 10% tariff on imported primary
aluminum products into the U.S. These tariffs are intended to protect U.S.
national security by incentivizing the restart of primary aluminum production in
the U.S., reducing reliance on imports and ensuring that domestic producers,
like Century, can supply all the aluminum necessary for critical industries and
national defense.  In addition to primary aluminum products, the tariffs also
cover certain other semi-finished products. All imports that directly compete
with our products are covered by the tariff, with the exception of imports from
Australia, Argentina, Canada and Mexico or imports that receive a product
exclusion from the Department of Commerce.
Other Items

In March 2018, we announced our intention to return our Hawesville smelter,
which since 2015 had been operating at approximately 40% capacity, to full
production and upgrade its existing reduction technology. The first phase of the
project, which involved the restart of the three potlines and approximately
150,000 tonnes of production capacity that had been curtailed in 2015, was
successfully completed on budget and ahead of schedule in early 2019. The second
phase of the project involves the rebuilding of the pots associated with the
100,000 tonnes of production from the two potlines that had continued to operate
past their expected life cycle and the implementation of certain new technology
across all production. These two potlines were taken out of production in
February and September 2019, respectively. The rebuild of the first of these
potlines was completed in the second quarter of 2020. With the restart of this
potline, the Hawesville smelter is currently operating at approximately 80%
production capacity with total project costs to date of approximately $107.4
million. The rebuild of the fifth and final potline and the completion of the
technology upgrades is expected to be completed over the next several years
subject to market conditions.
In May 2018, we temporarily curtailed one potline at our Sebree aluminum smelter
due to an equipment failure. Sebree was returned to full capacity by the end of
the third quarter of 2018.  We expect that all losses arising from the Sebree
equipment failure will be covered under our insurance policies, less $7.0
million in deductibles. As of September 30, 2020, we have received $19.1 million
in insurance proceeds to offset against such losses.

In November 2009, Century Aluminum of West Virginia ("CAWV") filed a class
action complaint for declaratory judgment against the United Steel, Paper and
Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers
International Union ("USW"), the USW's local and certain CAWV retirees,
individually and as class representatives ("CAWV Retirees"), seeking a
declaration of CAWV's rights to modify/terminate retiree medical benefits.
Later in November 2009, the USW and representatives of a retiree class filed a
separate suit against CAWV, Century Aluminum Company, Century Aluminum Master
Welfare Benefit Plan, and various John Does with respect to the foregoing. On
August 18, 2017, the District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
approved a settlement agreement in respect of these actions. Under the terms of
the settlement agreement, CAWV agreed to make payments into a trust for the
benefit of the CAWV Retirees in the aggregate amount of $23.0 million over the
course of ten years. Upon approval of the settlement, we paid $5.0 million to
the aforementioned trust in September 2017 and agreed to pay the remaining
amounts under the settlement agreement in annual increments of $2.0 million for
nine years. At September 30, 2020, we had $2.0 million in other current
liabilities and $7.3 million in other liabilities related to this agreement.
We are a defendant in several actions relating to various aspects of our
business. While it is impossible to predict the ultimate disposition of any
litigation, we do not believe that any of these lawsuits, either individually or
in the aggregate, will have a material adverse effect on our financial
condition, results of operations or liquidity. See   Note 10. Commitments and
Contingencies   to the consolidated financial statements included herein for
additional information.
                                       45
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Capital Resources
We intend to finance our future capital expenditures from available cash, cash
flow from operations and if necessary, borrowing under our existing revolving
credit facilities. For major investment projects we would likely seek financing
from various capital and loan markets, and may potentially pursue the formation
of strategic alliances. We may be unable, however, to issue additional debt or
equity securities, or enter into other financing arrangements on attractive
terms, or at all, due to a number of factors including a lack of demand,
unfavorable pricing, poor economic conditions, unfavorable interest rates, or
our financial condition or credit rating at the time. Future uncertainty in the
U.S. and international markets and economies may adversely affect our liquidity,
our ability to access the debt or capital markets and our financial condition.
Capital expenditures incurred for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 were
$7.2 million, excluding expenditures of $4.7 million associated with the restart
project at Hawesville. We estimate our total capital spending in 2020, excluding
the Hawesville restart project, will be approximately $10.0 million related to
ongoing investment projects at our plants.
                                       46

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