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Why Is USA Compression (USAC) Up 6.2% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for USA Compression Partners (USAC - Free Report) . Shares have added about 6.2% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is USA Compression due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

USA Compression Q4 Earnings and Revenues Miss Estimates

USA Compression Partners reported fourth-quarter 2020 net loss per common unit of 14 cents, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 12 cents and the year-ago loss of a penny. The unfavourable comparisons reflected lower utilization.

Revenues of $158.4 million were 11.1% below the year-ago quarter and missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $159 million due to lower-than-expected revenue-generating horsepower capacity, which, at 3,004,069 horsepower, fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 3,009,000 horsepower.

Adjusted EBITDA was down 10% to $98.3 million. Moreover, the partnership's distributable cash flow fell from $58 million in the prior-year quarter to $50.5 million.

The partnership reported operating cash flow of $97.5 million in the quarter. This marked an increase from the $91.7 million that it had generated in the prior-year quarter. Also, gross operating margin, at 68.4%, marked an improvement over the year-ago period's 68.2%.

In the fourth quarter, the partnership's revenue-generating horsepower capacity decreased 9.2% from last year's corresponding period to 3,004,069 horsepower. Further, the average monthly revenue per horsepower fell to $16.55 from $16.82 in the fourth quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, USA Compression Partners' average quarterly horsepower utilization rate came in at 83%, down from 93.9% in the year-ago period.

DCF, Capex & Balance Sheet

USA Compression Partners reported that its DCF available to limited partners for the fourth quarter totaled $50.5 million (providing 0.99X distribution coverage), down 13% from the year-ago level. Notably, on Jan 14, the partnership announced fourth-quarter cash distribution of 52.50 cents per unit ($2.10 on an annualized basis).

USA Compression Partners spent $10.9 million on growth capex. The partnership's maintenance capex consisted of $5.4 million.

As of Dec 31, 2020, the partnership had $1.9 billion in net long-term debt. Net debt-to-capitalization was approximately 85.1%.


For 2021, USA Compression Partners is projecting full-year DCF between $193 million and $213 million. Meanwhile it sees adjusted EBITDA of $385-$405 million.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Analysts were quiet during the last two month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.

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