SDLP - Seadrill Partners LLC Announces First Quarter 2019 Results

  • Operating revenue of $203.7 million. 
  • Operating income of $34.9 million. 
  • Net loss of $51.3 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $109.0 million. 
  • Cash and cash equivalents of $772.9 million.
  • Economic utilization of 97%. 
  • Order backlog of $755 million as of May 23, 2019.
  • 1 cent per common unit distribution for the first quarter of 2019.
Financial Results Overview
Total operating revenues for the first quarter were $203.7 million (4Q18: $219.6 million). The decrease was primarily due to a full quarter of idle time for the West Aquarius and slightly lower utilization on our working fleet, partially offset by the West Vencedor commencing operations in January and the West Capella operating for a full quarter.

Total operating expenses for the first quarter were $169.5 million (4Q18: $167.3 million). The increase was primarily related to West Capella and West Vencedor operations, partially offset by lower costs for the West Aquarius while idle. During the quarter, we re-categorized $3.3 million of certain general and administrative expenses to vessel and rig operating expenses which had no impact on total operating expenses. 
Operating income was $34.9 million (4Q18: $49.1 million). The decrease was primarily due to the revenue and cost movements mentioned above, partially offset by the write off of $3.2 million in goodwill related to the early adoption of an accounting standard update in the fourth quarter not being repeated in the current quarter.
Net financial items resulted in an expense of $74.5 million (4Q18: expense of $83.8 million). The decrease in the expense was primarily due to a lower loss on the mark to market valuation of derivatives of $11.7 million (4Q18: loss of $21.4 million).
Loss before taxes was $39.6 million (4Q18: loss of $34.7 million). 
Income tax expense was $11.7 million (4Q18: expense of $73.3 million). The decrease was primarily due to an uncertain tax position recorded in the fourth quarter relating to changes in US tax legislation not being repeated in the current quarter. This uncertain position continues to be evaluated and the US Department of Treasury is expected to provide additional guidance. In advance of receiving further guidance, the Company is considering approaches that may mitigate a portion of the uncertain position and no cash payment is expected at this stage.
The decrease in tax expense for the quarter was partly offset by the impact of a separate provision of the US tax reform, commonly referred to as BEAT. In the first quarter we recognized an income tax expense of approximately $7 million related to BEAT. Based on the current legislation in effect, we expect the full year 2019 BEAT impact to be approximately $20 million. Our US drilling contracts include a change in tax law provision, which we believe makes the BEAT liability reimbursable.
Net loss was $51.3 million (4Q18: net loss of $108.0 million). Seadrill Partners LLC Members had a net loss for the quarter of $25.1 million (4Q18: net loss of $59.1 million). 
There was no Distributable Cash Flow for the first quarter and the quarterly distribution was maintained at 1 cent per common unit.