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TravelCenters of America Inc. Announces First Quarter 2021 Financial Results

posted on May 03, 2021
tags business wire

Net Loss of $5.7 Million Improved $12.8 Million for the 2021 First Quarter Over Prior Year Period

Net Loss Per Share of Common Stock Attributable to Common Stockholders of $0.40 Improved $1.83 for the 2021 First Quarter Over Prior Year Period

Adjusted EBITDA Increased 106.9% for the 2021 First Quarter Over Prior Year Period

Adjusted EBITDAR Increased 19.5% for the 2021 First Quarter Over Prior Year Period

WESTLAKE, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TravelCenters of America Inc. (Nasdaq: TA) today announced financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021.

Jonathan M. Pertchik, TA’s CEO, made the following statement regarding the 2021 first quarter results:

Our improved operating results in the first quarter demonstrate the early progress of our Transformation Plan, despite the continuing adverse impact of the pandemic on our full service restaurants and gasoline volumes. We reduced our net loss from $18.5 million to $5.7 million and more than doubled adjusted EBITDA from $13.8 million to $28.6 million compared to the prior year first quarter, with the improvement driven primarily by a $12.4 million increase in nonfuel gross margin and a $9.3 million reduction in site level operating expense. Our discipline in rationalizing and managing expenses continues to be a primary factor in delivering improved results, helping to drive a 230 basis point improvement in adjusted EBITDAR margin versus the prior year first quarter.

While diesel fuel sales volume increased 13.6% over the prior year first quarter, overall fuel gross margin decreased 5.5% because of low volatility in the diesel fuel market that began during the fourth quarter and persisted into early March of 2021 as well as lower gasoline volume as a result of reduced four wheel traffic. Total nonfuel revenues increased 5.4% over the prior year first quarter, driven by significant growth in store and retail services, truck service and diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF. Excluding full service restaurants, many of which remain closed due to governmental mandates and our own precautions and decisions, total nonfuel revenues increased 12.0% over the prior year first quarter.

We continue to move forward with our expansive capital plan, which focuses on improving the customer experience through remedial site improvements, reimagined restaurant offerings, information technology upgrades and increased availability of biodiesel and DEF. We also recently announced our commitment to sustainability and alternative energy with the creation of a new business division, eTA, to serve the changing needs of our customers and their energy requirements. With eTA we plan to be a leader in the area of sustainability and alternative energy in the travel center industry. We were recently awarded a California Energy Commission grant and are developing collaborative relationships with groups in both electric and hydrogen vehicles.”

Reconciliations to GAAP:

Adjusted net loss, adjusted net loss per share of common stock attributable to common stockholders, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDAR and adjusted EBITDAR margin are non-GAAP financial measures. The U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, financial measures that are most directly comparable to the non-GAAP measures disclosed herein are included in the supplemental tables below.

First Quarter 2021 Highlights:

  • Cash and cash equivalents of $520.0 million and availability under TA’s revolving credit facility of $84.3 million for total liquidity of $604.3 million as of March 31, 2021.
  • The following table presents detailed results for TA’s fuel sales for the 2021 and 2020 first quarters.

(in thousands, except per gallon amounts)

Three Months Ended

March 31,

 

 

2021

 

2020

 

Change

Fuel sales volume (gallons):

 

 

 

 

 

Diesel fuel

487,219

 

 

429,022

 

 

13.6

%

Gasoline

56,553

 

 

59,764

 

 

(5.4

)%

Total fuel sales volume

543,772

 

 

488,786

 

 

11.2

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fuel gross margin

$

77,430

 

 

$

81,955

 

 

(5.5

)%

Fuel gross margin per gallon

$

0.142

 

 

$

0.168

 

 

(15.5

)%

  • The following table presents detailed results for TA’s nonfuel revenues for the 2021 and 2020 first quarters.

(in thousands, except percentages)

Three Months Ended

March 31,

 

 

2021

 

2020

 

Change

Nonfuel revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

Store and retail services

$

171,772

 

 

$

151,818

 

 

13.1

%

Truck service

171,131

 

 

153,967

 

 

11.1

%

Restaurant

73,869

 

 

94,212

 

 

(21.6

)%

Diesel exhaust fluid

31,142

 

 

25,010

 

 

24.5

%

Total nonfuel revenues

$

447,914

 

 

$

425,007

 

 

5.4

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nonfuel gross margin

$

275,692

 

 

$

263,288

 

 

4.7

%

Nonfuel gross margin percentage

61.6

%

 

61.9

%

 

(30

) pts

  • Net loss of $5.7 million improved $12.8 million, or 69.0%, and adjusted net loss of $5.3 million improved $7.1 million, or 57.5%, as compared to the prior year period.
  • Operating margin increased to 0.4% from negative 1.3% from the prior year period.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $28.6 million increased $14.8 million, or 106.9%, as compared to the prior year period.
  • Adjusted EBITDAR of $92.5 million increased $15.1 million, or 19.5%, as compared to the prior year period.
  • Adjusted EBITDAR margin increased to 17.6% from 15.3% for the prior year period.

QSL Business Sale

On April 21, 2021, TA completed the sale of its Quaker Steak & Lube, or QSL, business, which includes 41 of its standalone restaurants, for $5.0 million, excluding costs to sell and certain closing adjustments.

Growth and Cost Control Strategies

During the 2020 second quarter, TA commenced a strategic transformation, or its Transformation Plan, consisting of numerous initiatives across its organization for the purpose of expanding its travel center network, improving and enhancing operational efficiencies and profitability, strengthening its financial position and in support of its core mission to “Return every traveler to the road better than they came.” Among these initiatives was a corporate restructuring that resulted in immediate selling, general and administrative expense savings and included significant leadership appointments of qualified candidates who bring new and valuable experiences as well as initiative, critical skills and new visions and approaches to TA’s business. Key among these initiatives was the creation of a centralized procurement group to drive economies of scale in pricing, increased leverage in vendor negotiations and ultimately lead to substantial purchasing savings and a streamlined operation. Other key initiatives are focused in areas of liquidity, expanding TA’s franchise base, increasing diesel fuel and gasoline gross margin and fuel sales volume, increasing market share in the truck service business, improving merchandising and increasing gross margin in store and retail services, improving operating effectiveness in TA’s food service offerings and improving information technology systems, while focusing on opportunities to rationalize and control costs.

Since the beginning of 2019, TA has entered into franchise agreements covering 38 travel centers to be operated under its travel center brand names; four of these franchised travel centers began operations during 2019, 10 began operations during 2020, one began operations during the 2021 first quarter, one began operations in the 2021 second quarter to date and TA expects the remaining 22 to open by the 2022 second quarter.

TA’s capital expenditures plan for 2021 contemplates aggregate investments in the range of $175.0 million to $200.0 million targeted towards improving and growing TA’s core travel center business. The 2021 capital expenditures plan includes projects to upgrade TA’s travel center locations and technology systems infrastructure as well as growth initiatives. Approximately half of TA’s capital expenditure plan for 2021 is focused on growth initiatives that TA expects will meet or exceed TA’s 15% to 20% cash on cash return hurdle.

Importantly, TA is committed to embracing environmentally friendly sources of energy and have formed a new business division, eTA, that will seek to deliver sustainable and alternative energy to the marketplace and focus on partnering with the public sector, private companies and customers to facilitate industry transformation. This business division will extend TA’s commitment to providing the widest range of non-fuel offerings across its sites. Recent accomplishments include continued expansion of TA’s biodiesel blending capabilities and availability of DEF at the pump. Moreover, TA has hired a senior leader and has begun to onboard additional dedicated internal resources, as well as create relationships within the supply, storage and distribution chain, with respect to its alternative energy initiative. TA believes its large, well-located sites and its focus as a pure supplier may provide TA with the opportunity to make both fossil and, eventually, non-fossil fuels available and to potentially balance or adjust its product and service offerings as it may determine and subject to availability.

Conference Call

On May 4, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, TA will host a conference call to discuss its financial results and other activities for the three months ended March 31, 2021. Following management’s remarks, there will be a question and answer period.

The conference call telephone number is 877-329-4614. Participants calling from outside the United States and Canada should dial 412-317-5437. No pass code is necessary to access the call from either number. Participants should dial in about 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the call. A replay of the conference call will be available for about a week after the call. To hear the replay, dial 412-317-0088. The replay pass code is 10153756.

A live audio webcast of the conference call will also be available in a listen only mode on TA’s website at www.ta-petro.com. To access the webcast, participants should visit TA’s website about five minutes before the call. The archived webcast will be available for replay on TA’s website for about one week after the call. The transcription, recording and retransmission in any way of TA’s first quarter conference call is strictly prohibited without the prior written consent of TA. The Company’s website is not incorporated as part of this press release.

About TravelCenters of America Inc.

TA’s nationwide business includes travel centers located in 44 U.S. states and in Canada and standalone truck service facilities located in three states. TA’s travel centers operate under the “TravelCenters of America,” “TA,” “TA Express,” “Petro Stopping Centers” and “Petro” brand names and offer diesel fuel and gasoline, restaurants, truck repair services, travel/convenience stores and other services designed to provide attractive and efficient travel experiences to professional drivers and other motorists. TA’s standalone truck service facilities operate under the “TA Truck Service” brand name.

 

TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (UNAUDITED)

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

 

 

Three Months Ended

March 31,

 

2021

 

2020

Revenues:

 

 

 

Fuel

$

1,077,258

 

 

$

874,929

 

Nonfuel

447,914

 

 

425,007

 

Rent and royalties from franchisees

3,924

 

 

3,412

 

Total revenues

1,529,096

 

 

1,303,348

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of goods sold (excluding depreciation):

 

 

 

Fuel

999,828

 

 

792,974

 

Nonfuel

172,222

 

 

161,719

 

Total cost of goods sold

1,172,050

 

 

954,693

 

 

 

 

 

Site level operating expense

227,230

 

 

236,564

 

Selling, general and administrative expense

35,930

 

 

37,228

 

Real estate rent expense

63,869

 

 

63,588

 

Depreciation and amortization expense

23,829

 

 

28,560

 

 

 

 

 

Income (loss) from operations

6,188

 

 

(17,285

)

 

 

 

 

Interest expense, net

11,384

 

 

7,456

 

Other expense, net

1,397

 

 

541

 

Loss before income taxes

(6,593

)

 

(25,282

)

Benefit for income taxes

850

 

 

6,741

 

Net loss

(5,743

)

 

(18,541

)

Less: net income for noncontrolling interest

76

 

 

20

 

Net loss attributable to common stockholders

$

(5,819

)

 

$

(18,561

)

 

 

 

 

Net loss per share of common stock attributable to common stockholders:

 

 

 

Basic and diluted

$

(0.40

)

 

$

(2.23

)

 

 

 

 

Weighted average vested shares of common stock

14,227

 

 

7,905

 

Weighted average unvested shares of common stock

344

 

 

407

 

These financial statements should be read in conjunction with TA’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, to be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA INC.

RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

(in thousands, unless indicated otherwise)

TA believes the non-GAAP financial measures presented in the tables below are meaningful supplemental disclosures. Management uses these measures in developing internal budgets and forecasts and analyzing TA’s performance and believes that they may help investors gain a better understanding of changes in TA’s operating results and its ability to pay rent or service debt when due, make capital expenditures and expand its business. These non-GAAP financial measures also may help investors to make comparisons between TA and other companies and to make comparisons of TA’s financial and operating results between periods.

The non-GAAP financial measures TA presents should not be considered as alternatives to net loss attributable to common stockholders, net loss, income (loss) from operations, operating margin, total fuel gross margin and nonfuel revenues or net loss per share of common stock attributable to common stockholders as an indicator of TA’s operating performance or as a measure of TA’s liquidity. Also, the non-GAAP financial measures TA presents may not be comparable to similarly titled amounts calculated by other companies.

TA believes that adjusted net loss, adjusted net loss per share of common stock attributable to common stockholders, EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA are meaningful disclosures that may help investors to better understand TA’s financial performance by providing financial information that represents the operating results of TA’s operations without the effects of items that do not result directly from TA’s normal recurring operations and may allow investors to better compare TA’s performance between periods and to the performance of other companies. TA calculates EBITDA as net loss before interest, income taxes and depreciation and amortization expense, as shown below. TA calculates adjusted EBITDA by excluding items that it considers not to be normal, recurring, cash operating expenses or gains or losses.

In addition, TA believes that, because it leases a majority of its travel centers, presenting adjusted EBITDAR and adjusted EBITDAR margin may help investors compare the value of TA against companies that own and finance ownership of their properties with debt financing, since these measures eliminate the effects of variability in leasing methods and capital structures. These measures may also help investors evaluate TA’s valuation if it owned its leased properties and financed that ownership with debt, in which case the interest expense TA incurred for that debt financing would be added back when calculating EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDAR and adjusted EBITDAR margin are presented solely as valuation measures and should not be viewed as measures of overall operating performance or considered in isolation or as an alternative to net loss because they exclude the real estate rent expense associated with TA’s leases and they are presented for the limited purposes referenced herein. TA calculates EBITDAR as net loss before interest, income taxes, real estate rent expense and depreciation and amortization expense and adjusted EBITDAR by excluding items that it considers not to be normal, recurring, cash operating expenses or gains or losses. TA calculates adjusted EBITDAR margin as adjusted EBITDAR as a percentage of total fuel gross margin and nonfuel revenues.

TA believes that net loss is the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure to adjusted net loss, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDAR and net loss per share of common stock attributable to common stockholders is the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure to adjusted net loss per share of common stock attributable to common stockholders.

The following tables present the reconciliations of the non-GAAP financial measures to the respective most directly comparable GAAP financial measures for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020.

Calculation of adjusted net loss:

 

Three Months Ended

March 31,

 

2021

 

2020

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