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Ecovyst Reports Strong Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Results as Growth Momentum Boosted Profitability

·17 min read

Expect 16% Adjusted EBITDA Growth in 2022 at Guidance Mid-Point

Full Year 2021 Results & Highlights

  • Sales of $611.2 million, up 23% year-over-year;

  • Net income of $1.8 million with diluted income per share of $0.01. Adjusted net income of $69.6 million with Adjusted diluted income per share of $0.51;

  • Adjusted EBITDA of $227.6 million, up 18% year-over-year;

  • Net cash from operations of $129.9 million, Adjusted Free Cash Flow of $93.2 million, and reduced net debt leverage ratio to 3.3x at year-end;

  • Successful Transformation Complete – Launched Ecovyst as a High Growth, Pure-Play Catalysts and Services Company;

  • Sales growth in catalyst used for renewable fuels nearly tripled from the prior year;

Fourth Quarter 2021 Results & Highlights

  • Sales of $170.2 million, up 37% year-over-year;

  • Net income of $7.8 million with diluted income per share of $0.06. Adjusted net income of $22.9 million with Adjusted diluted income per share of $0.17;

  • Adjusted EBITDA of $63.2 million, up 38% year-over-year;

  • Adjusted EBITDA margins of 30.6%, up 60 bps year-over-year (inclusive of 280 bps negative impact from sulfur cost pass through) as price more than offset higher costs, demonstrating resilient profitability;

2022 Financial Outlook

  • Sales of $730 million to $750 million1, up 21% from 2021 at the mid-point of the range;

  • Sales of $150 million to $160 million for proportionate 50% share of Zeolyst Joint Venture, which is excluded from GAAP Sales;

  • Adjusted EBITDA of $260 million to $270 million, up 16% from 2021 at the mid-point of the range;

  • Adjusted Free Cash Flow of $115 million to $125 million;

1Sales outlook for 2022 includes approximately $60 million of higher sales related to the pass through of higher sulfur costs, which negatively impact Adjusted EBITDA margin by over 200 basis points, but do not negatively impact Adjusted EBITDA.

Ecovyst results reflect continuing operations for the Ecoservices and Catalyst Technologies businesses, renamed from Refining Services and Catalysts, respectively. Financial results are on a continuing operations basis, which excludes the Performance Materials and Performance Chemicals businesses from all quarterly and yearly results presented, unless otherwise indicated.

Financial results and outlook include non-GAAP financial measures. These non-GAAP measures are more fully described and are reconciled from the respective measures determined under GAAP in "Presentation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" and the attached appendix.

MALVERN, Pa., February 25, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ecovyst Inc. (NYSE:ECVT) ("Ecovyst" or the "Company") today reported results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2021.

For the fourth quarter, sales of $170.2 million increased 37%, primarily by higher pricing to cover increased costs (inclusive of 14% from sulfur cost pass through) and stronger volumes, reflecting higher polyethylene catalyst and virgin acid demand as well as a broad-based rebound in demand across most other product categories. Net income was $7.8 million, a decrease of 83%, or $38 million, with $0.06 diluted income per share and Adjusted net income was $22.9 million with Adjusted diluted income per share of $0.17. Adjusted EBITDA totaled $63.2 million, an increase of 38%, or $17.3 million, driven by increased volumes, along with favorable earnings from the Zeolyst JV on higher demand for hydrocracking catalyst, and favorable product mix. Higher variable costs from inflationary items such as sulfur, natural gas, and logistics were offset by quarterly price adjustments with contracted customers. Adjusted EBITDA margins of 30.6% increased 60 bps versus the prior year period as stronger volume and price more than offset higher variable costs and the margin impact from the pass through of higher sulfur costs.

For the year, sales of $611.2 million increased 23%, a result of strong demand for polyethylene catalyst and higher regeneration services volume along with higher pricing (inclusive of 10% from sulfur cost pass through). The global macroeconomic recovery supported demand growth across both businesses. Net income was $1.8 million, a decrease of 97%, or $53 million, with $0.01 diluted income per share. Adjusted net income was $69.6 million with Adjusted diluted income per share of $0.51 per share. Adjusted EBITDA totaled $227.6 million, an increase of 18% year-over-year, or $35.0 million, driven by stronger volumes across the portfolio and favorable product mix. These factors more than offset headwinds from higher variable cost and elevated fixed costs driven by Winter Storm Uri in early 2021. Adjusted EBITDA margins of 30.7% are inclusive of 220 bps margin headwind from the pass through of higher sulfur costs.

"2021 was a highly successful and transformational year as the Ecovyst team achieved remarkable financial performance and delivered on our strategic vision to create a Simpler + Stronger enterprise," said Belgacem Chariag, Ecovyst Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are dedicated to the growth and success of our customers through operational excellence, customer centricity, and our innovation engine focused on sustainable solutions, which together enabled significant growth in 2021. Momentum built through the year and boosted profitability to pre-pandemic levels. Adjusted EBITDA in the second-half grew 40% compared to the first half, representative of the earnings potential of this high-quality portfolio, and demonstrating our resilience to inflating raw material and logistic costs. We enter 2022 with a compelling strategy, supportive secular trends, and confidence in our ability to achieve another year of strong earnings growth and cash generation."

Review of Segment Results and Business Trends

The macroeconomic recovery gained momentum throughout 2021 and drove improved demand across most product categories, end-uses, and customers. Sequential quarterly sales continued to improve resulting in a strong second half of 2021. Inflationary factors increased through the year, namely from higher sulfur and energy costs, but customer contractual pass through mechanisms preserved earnings in Ecoservices, while targeted price increases addressed cost pressures in Catalyst Technologies.

Ecoservices

Our regeneration services support the production of alkylate, a high value gasoline component critical for meeting stringent gasoline standards and for producing premium grade gasoline. Tightening gasoline standards and growing demand for premium grade gasoline to power fuel efficient engines is supporting high alkylation utilization rates. Increased mining for metals and minerals to support low carbon technologies as well as strong demand for construction related materials is benefiting virgin sulfuric acid. Sustainability trends continue to favor the treatment services business because customers are seeking more sustainable waste solutions as offered by Ecoservices.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2021, sales of $142.0 million increased 38%. Sales increased on higher volumes of virgin sulfuric acid, favorable virgin sulfuric acid pricing, including pass-through of higher sulfur costs of approximately $17 million, as well as pass-through of higher labor and energy indexed costs in regeneration services. Adjusted EBITDA of $52.3 million increased 29% as a result of higher volume, favorable pricing and the benefit of the Chem32 acquisition that closed in March 2021 .

For the year, sales of $500.5 million increased 25%. With the onset of the global pandemic, demand for regeneration services was impacted by lower refinery utilization rates as fewer miles driven resulted in high gasoline inventories. Demand for regeneration services increased in 2021 as the recovery from the global pandemic resulted in higher demand for alkylate used to produce premium grade gasoline. Virgin sulfuric acid volumes improved slightly as the pandemic impact on industrial and automotive applications early in the year gave way to a recovery in the second half of the year. Adjusted EBITDA of $177.7 million increased 13.0% due to higher overall volumes, favorable pricing, improved cost efficiencies, and the benefit of the Chem32 acquisition.

Catalyst Technologies

Polyethylene demand remained resilient, driven by the growing consumer demand for films and packaging. Higher refinery utilization rates are expected to continue to increase catalyst demand for both traditional and renewable fuels as overall energy demand was strong during the beginning of 2022. Our catalyst sales into renewable diesel nearly tripled from the prior year. Emission control catalyst demand is expected to improve throughout 2022 as production of heavy duty diesel vehicles is anticipated to increase to satisfy pent up demand.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2021, Silica Catalysts sales of $28.2 million increased 35%. Polyethylene catalyst sales were strong in the fourth quarter with sales up over 20% driven by higher demand and share gains. Pricing was a favorable contributor as actions taken to offset inflationary pressure were realized in the quarter. Zeolyst JV sales of $36.3 million increased 26% driven largely by strong hydrocracking sales following improvements in refinery utilization. Catalyst Technologies Adjusted EBITDA of $23.4 million increased 58% driven primarily by volume growth and favorable mix.

For the year, Silica Catalysts sales of $110.7 million increased 18%, benefiting from higher sales volumes for polyethylene catalysts. Zeolyst JV sales of $131.3 million increased slightly on improved volumes. Strong demand for catalyst used in renewable fuels and emission control were partially offset by lower specialty and hydrocracking catalyst on timing of customer fixed bed change-outs. Adjusted EBITDA of $88.0 million increased 18% driven by the higher volumes and favorable mix.

Executing on our ESG Ambitions

We are focused on implementing and accelerating sustainability initiatives. We tailor our products for the specific needs of our customers and support them in addressing their technical and operational challenges. Through close collaboration with our global customers, we have been long standing suppliers of sustainability products and services, helping to address tightening global regulatory standards and changing consumer preferences.

For example, we continue to develop products that improve air quality through lower sulfur and NOx emissions in fuels. We are focused on the development of catalysts that help make plastics stronger and lighter enabling the recycling of mixed plastics to complete the plastics circularity curve. We also help enable higher alkylation for improved fuel economy and transform biomass into biofuels and synthetic rubber for green tires.

We also set clear and aggressive targets to address our own footprint related to GHG emissions, waste management, and product sustainability. With greater focus and resources, Ecovyst has expanded and accelerated the commercialization of its portfolio of sustainable products and solutions. Our innovation investment ratio, defined as the weighted average sustainability impact our projects will have on the environment, on new sustainable products is 85% in 2021, and we anticipate further advancement in the future. Fundamental to our future is the fact that approximately 75% of our end use sales for the year ended December 31, 2021 served consumer demand for more sustainable products and services.

Cash Flows and Balance Sheet

For the year ended December 31, 2021, consolidated cash flows from operating activities decreased $93.7 million to $129.9 million, compared to $223.6 million for the same period in 2020.

At December 31, 2021, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $140.9 million and total debt outstanding of $895.5 million. The net debt to Adjusted EBITDA ratio was 3.3x as of December 31, 2021.

Conference Call and Webcast Details

On Friday, February 25, 2022, Ecovyst management will release its fourth quarter and full year 2021 results from continuing operations during a conference call and audio-only webcast scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

Investors may listen to the conference call live via telephone by dialing 1 (866) 342-8591 (domestic) or 1 (203) 518-9713 (international) and use the participant code ECVTQ421.

An audio-only live webcast of the conference call and presentation materials can be accessed at https://investor.ecovyst.com. A replay of the conference call/webcast will be made available at https://investor.ecovyst.com/events-presentations.

Investor Contact:
Christopher M. Evans
(484) 617-1225
Chris.Evans@ecovyst.com

General Investor Inquiries:
InvestorRelations@ecovyst.com

About Ecovyst Inc.

Ecovyst Inc. and subsidiaries is a leading integrated and innovative global provider of specialty catalysts and services. We support customers globally through our strategically located network of manufacturing facilities. We believe that our products, which are predominantly inorganic, and services contribute to improving the sustainability of the environment.

We have two uniquely positioned specialty businesses: Ecoservices provides sulfuric acid recycling to the North American refining industry for the production of alkylate and provides on-purpose virgin sulfuric acid for water treatment, mining, and industrial applications; and; Catalyst Technologies provides finished silica catalysts and catalyst supports necessary to produce high strength and high stiffness plastics and, through its Zeolyst joint venture, supplies zeolites used for catalysts that remove nitric oxide from diesel engine emissions as well as sulfur from fuels during the refining process. For more information, see our website at https://www.ecovyst.com.

Presentation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In addition to the results provided in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") throughout this press release, the Company has provided non-GAAP financial measures — Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, Adjusted free cash flow, Adjusted net income, Adjusted EPS, Adjusted diluted EPS, and net debt (collectively, "Non-GAAP Financial Measures") — which present results on a basis adjusted for certain items. The Company uses these Non-GAAP Financial Measures for business planning purposes and in measuring its performance relative to that of its competitors. The Company believes that these Non-GAAP Financial Measures are useful financial metrics to assess its operating performance from period-to-period by excluding certain items that the Company believes are not representative of its core business. These Non-GAAP Financial Measures are not intended to replace, and should not be considered superior to, the presentation of the Company’s financial results in accordance with GAAP. The use of the Non-GAAP Financial Measures terms may differ from similar measures reported by other companies and may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures. These Non-GAAP Financial Measures are reconciled from the respective measures under GAAP in the appendix below.

The Company is not able to provide a reconciliation of the company’s non-GAAP financial guidance to the corresponding GAAP measures without unreasonable effort because of the inherent difficulty in forecasting and quantifying certain amounts necessary for such a reconciliation such as certain non-cash, nonrecurring or other items that are included in net income and EBITDA as well as the related tax impacts of these items and asset dispositions / acquisitions and changes in foreign currency exchange rates that are included in cash flow, due to the uncertainty and variability of the nature and amount of these future charges and costs.

Zeolyst Joint Venture

The company’s zeolite catalysts product group operates through its Zeolyst Joint Venture, which is accounted for as an equity method investment in accordance with GAAP. The presentation of the Zeolyst Joint Venture’s sales represents 50% of the sales of the Zeolyst Joint Venture. The Company does not record sales by the Zeolyst Joint Venture as revenue and such sales are not consolidated within the company’s results of operations. However, the company’s Adjusted EBITDA reflects the share of earnings of the Zeolyst Joint Venture that have been recorded as equity in net income from affiliated companies in the company’s consolidated statements of income for such periods and includes Zeolyst Joint Venture adjustments on a proportionate basis based on the company’s 50% ownership interest. Accordingly, the company’s Adjusted EBITDA margins are calculated including 50% of the sales of the Zeolyst Joint Venture for the relevant periods in the denominator.

Note on Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the information contained in this press release constitutes "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "seeks," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "projects" and similar references to future periods. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding our business, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our future results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies, capital allocation program, product and service offerings, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on such items, expected demand trends and our 2022 financial outlook. Our actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. We caution you, therefore, against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. They are neither statements of historical fact nor guarantees or assurances of future performance. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, regional, national or global political, economic, business, competitive, market and regulatory conditions, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, tariffs and trade disputes, currency exchange rates and other factors, including those described in the sections titled "Risk Factors" and "Management Discussion & Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our filings with the SEC, which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. Factors or events that could cause our actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of them. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

ECOVYST INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

(on a continuing operations basis)

Three months ended
December 31,

%

Years ended
December 31,

%

2021

2020

Change

2021

2020

Change

(in millions, except percentages, share and per share amounts)

Sales

$

170.2

$

124.1

37.1

%

$

611.2

$

495.9

23.3

%

Cost of goods sold

115.7

86.4

33.9

%

434.5

345.0

25.9

%

Gross profit

54.5

37.5

45.3

%

176.7

150.9

17.1

%

Selling, general and administrative expenses

29.0

20.0

45.0

%

97.8

81.5

20.0

%

Other operating expense, net

7.5

6.5

15.4

%

24.3

17.8

36.5

%

Operating income

18.0

11.0

63.6

%

54.6

51.6

5.8

%

Equity in net income from affiliated companies

(7.0

)

(1.1

)

536.4

%

(27.7

)

(21.0

)

31.9

%

Interest expense, net

8.8

9.5

(7.4

)%

37.0

50.4

(26.6

)%

Debt extinguishment costs

8.5

(100.0

)%

26.9

25.0

7.6

%

Other (income) expense, net

1.4

(4.8

)

(129.2

)%

4.5

(5.0

)

(190.0

)%

Income (loss) before income taxes

14.8

(1.1

)

NM

13.9

2.2

531.8

%

Provision (benefit) for income taxes

7.0

(47.1

)

(114.9

)%

12.1

(52.1

)

(123.2

)%

Effective tax rate

47.3

%

4,281.8

%

87

%

(2,351

)%

Net income

7.8

46.0

(83.0

)%

1.8

54.3

(96.7

)%

Net income per share:

Basic income per share - continuing operations

$

0.06

$

0.34

$

0.01

$

0.40

Diluted income per share - continuing operations

$

0.06

$

0.34

$

0.01

$

0.40

Weighted average shares outstanding:

Basic

136,256,601

135,406,081

136,167,384

135,528,977

Diluted

137,528,028

136,284,272

137,708,931

136,450,953

ECOVYST INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(in millions, except share and per share amounts)

December 31,
2021

December 31,
2020

ASSETS

Cash and cash equivalents

$

140.9

$

113.4

Accounts receivables, net

80.8

45.9

Inventories, net

53.8

52.8

Prepaid and other current assets

16.2

11.5

Current assets held for sale

205.1

Total current assets

291.7

428.7

Investments in affiliated companies

446.1

458.1

Property, plant and equipment, net

596.2

591.7

Goodwill

406.1

391.6

Other intangible assets, net

145.6

137.4

Right-of-use lease assets

30.1

28.9

Other long-term assets

15.4

12.5

Long-term assets held for sale

1,149.4

Total assets

$

1,931.2

$

3,198.3

LIABILITIES

Current maturities of long-term debt

$

9.0

$

Accounts payable

51.9

38.1

Operating lease liabilities—current

8.3

6.7

Accrued liabilities

75.9

48.5

Current liabilities held for sale

108.5

Total current liabilities

145.1

201.8

Long-term debt, excluding current portion

872.8

1,400.4

Deferred income taxes

126.7

126.2

Operating lease liabilities—noncurrent

21.7

22.0

Other long-term liabilities

24.2

15.3

Long-term liabilities of held for sale

155.4

Total liabilities

1,190.5

1,921.1

Commitments and contingencies

EQUITY

Common stock ($0.01 par); authorized shares 450,000,000; issued shares 137,820,971 and 137,102,143 on December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively; outstanding shares 136,938,758 and 136,318,557 on December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively

1.4

1.4

Preferred stock ($0.01 par); authorized shares 50,000,000; no shares issued or outstanding on December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively

Additional paid-in capital

1,073.4

1,477.9

Accumulated deficit

(315.7

)

(175.8

)

Treasury stock, at cost; shares 882,213 and 783,586 on December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively

(12.6

)

(11.1

)

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

(5.8

)

(15.3

)

Total Ecovyst Inc. equity