Logo of jester cap with thought bubble.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

Delek Logistics Partners (NYSE:DKL)
Q4 2019 Earnings Call
Feb 26, 2020, 8:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Delek Logistics fourth-quarter earnings conference call. [Operator instructions] Please be advised that today's conference is being recorded. [Operator instructions] I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, speaker Blake Fernandez. Thank you.

Please go ahead, sir.

Blake Fernandez -- Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Market Intelligence

Thank you, and good morning. I would like to thank everyone for joining us on this webcast to discuss Delek Logistics Partners' fourth-quarter 2019 financial results. Joining me on today's call will be Uzi Yemin, our general partner's chairman and CEO; and Assi Ginzburg, CFO; as well as other members of our management team. As a reminder, this conference call may contain forward-looking statements as that term is defined under federal securities laws.

For this purpose, any statements made during this call that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words, believes, anticipates, plans, expects, and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. You are cautioned that these statements may be affected by important factors set forth in our filings with the SEC and our latest earnings release. As a result, actual operations or results may differ materially from the results discussed in forward-looking statements.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In addition to reporting financial results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, we report certain non-GAAP financial results. Investors are encouraged to review the reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to the comparable GAAP results, which can be found in the press release, which is posted on the Investor Relations section of our website. On today's call, Assi will begin with a financial overview.

Then I will review results. Then Uzi will offer a few closing strategic remarks. With that, I will turn the call over to Assi.

Assi Ginzburg -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Blake. Our fourth-quarter performance on a year-over-year basis benefited from improved results from the Paline Pipeline, East Texas marketing and our Gathering asset. Our DCF was approximately $33 million in the fourth-quarter 2019, compared to $27.6 million in the fourth-quarter 2018. Our DCF coverage ratio was 1.08 times for the fourth-quarter 2019, compared to 1.04 times in the prior-year period.

EBITDA was $43 million, which represents a 6.1% increase over the prior-year period. Excluding $7.1 million of spill-related costs, EBITDA increased 23.5% over the prior-year period. Based on our performance and outlook, we increased our quarterly distribution to $0.885 per limited partner unit for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2019. This distribution was paid on February 12, 2020 and represent the 1% increase from third-quarter 2019.

This is our 28th consecutive quarterly increase and is 9.3% higher than our fourth-quarter 2018 distribution. At December 31, 2019, DKL had approximately $262 million of available capacity on our $850 million credit facility. Our total debt was approximately $833 million, and total leverage ratio of 5.25 times is currently allowable under our credit facility and a decrease from 4.6 times in the prior quarter. Now I will turn the call over to Blake to discuss the results.

Blake Fernandez -- Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Market Intelligence

Thanks, Assi. For the fourth-quarter 2019, Delek Logistics reported net income attributable to all partners of $21.6 million, which compares to $21.3 million in the prior year period. Limited partners' interest in net income in the fourth quarter was $12.8 million or $0.52 per unit, compared to $14.2 million or $0.58 per unit in the prior year. Our Pipelines and Transportation segment for fourth-quarter 2019 contribution margin was $25.2 million, compared to $26.3 million in the fourth-quarter 2018.

This decrease was primarily attributable to spill-related costs. Excluding those costs, the contribution margin would have increased year over year due to strong performance from our Gathering assets. The Paline Pipeline also benefited from a higher tariff after the incentive rate expired at the end of February 2019 and subsequently reset to a higher tariff in July 2019. Operating expenses increased to $18.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 10.9% in the prior-year period, primarily due to the aforementioned spill-related costs.

We expect operating expenses in the first quarter of 2020 to return to more normalized levels. In our Wholesale Marketing and Terminalling segment, the contribution margin was $17.3 million in the fourth quarter of this year, which was a decrease from $18.8 million in the prior year. This decrease was due to a lower gross margin in our West Texas operations. Operating expenses of $3.6 million were lower than the prior-year period.

Our West Texas wholesale gross margin was $3.12 per barrel in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to $4.60 per barrel in the fourth quarter of last year. Throughput in West Texas was 9,972 barrels per day, compared to 12,900 barrels per day in the prior-year period. During the fourth quarter of 2019, our equity income from joint venture crude oil pipelines was approximately $5 million, compared to net income of $1.5 million in the prior-year period. Capital expenditures were approximately $4 million in the fourth quarter of '19, including $335,000 of discretionary spending and $3.6 million of sustaining maintenance.

In fourth quarter of 2018, total capital expenditures were $4.1 million. For full-year 2019, our total gross capital expenditures were $10 million. For full-year 2020, our total gross capital expenditure forecast is $22.7 million, which includes $4.8 million of discretionary and $17.9 million of maintenance capital. With that, I will turn the call over to Uzi for his closing comments.

Uzi Yemin -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Blake. Good morning, everybody. Last year, we enjoyed strong performance at DKL, which underpinned distribution growth of over 10% for the entire year. The Gathering assets performed well, and the Pipelines and Transportation segment had a solid contribution despite remediation work and expenses.

Moving into 2020, we expect increased cash flow generation in the second half of the year from the Red River Pipeline expenditure. Additionally, we're looking at simplifying the capital structure and preparing the balance sheet for potential asset drop-down opportunities from our sponsor, DK. With an outlook for continued growth, we expect a 5% increase in our LP distribution in 2020 while maintaining appropriate distribution coverage and flexibility. Finally, as you probably read, Assi Ginzburg, our CFO, has decided to move back with his family to Israel -- actually move back to his family in Israel after 15 years being with our company.

And I'd like to take the opportunity here to thank him for his great friendship, great distribution to our company and just say the fact that Delek US or DK couldn't be what they are without Assi involved in it. Thank you, and good luck, Assi. With that, I'd like to open the call for questions.

Questions & Answers:


Operator

[Operator instructions] No question at this time. Please continue, presenters.

Uzi Yemin -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I'd like to thank everybody around the table here for their contribution. I'd like to thank our employees for another wonderful year where EBITDA growth was enormous. That was a year that we introduced more and more, I would call it, lines of business into DKL, and we are on our way to the target of $350 million to $390 million EBITDA.

I also would like to thank investors for their trust in us, and our board of directors. Have a nice day. We'll talk to you soon.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 10 minutes

Call participants:

Blake Fernandez -- Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Market Intelligence

Assi Ginzburg -- Chief Financial Officer

Uzi Yemin -- Chief Executive Officer

More DKL analysis

All earnings call transcripts