Eagle Materials
EAGLE MATERIALS INC (Form: 10-K, Received: 05/24/2017 17:06:03)

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT

Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the Fiscal Year Ended

March 31, 2017

Commission File No. 1-12984

 

EAGLE MATERIALS INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

(State of Incorporation)

75-2520779

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

3811 Turtle Creek Blvd, Suite 1100, Dallas, Texas 75219

(Address of principal executive offices)

(214) 432-2000

(Registrant’s telephone number)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock (par value $.01 per share)

 

New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    YES       NO  

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    YES       NO  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.     YES        NO  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).     YES        NO  

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer        

 

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

 

Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).     YES        NO  

The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by nonaffiliates of the Company at September 30, 2016 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was approximately $3.6 billion.

As of May 22, 2017, the number of outstanding shares of common stock was:

 

Class

 

Outstanding Shares

Common Stock, $.01 Par Value

 

48,537,741

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders of Eagle Materials Inc. to be held on August 3, 2017 are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Report.

 

 

 

 

 

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Page

 

 

 

PART I

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

 

1

 

 

Overview

 

1

 

 

Industry Segment Information

 

2

 

 

Employees

 

18

 

 

Where You Can Find More Information

 

19

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

 

19

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

28

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

28

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

29

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

30

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

31

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

 

33

Item 7.

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

34

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

55

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

56

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

96

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

96

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

97

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

98

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

98

Item 12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

98

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

99

Item 14.

 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

99

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

99

 

 

 

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

100

 

 

 

INDEX TO EXHIBITS

 

102

 

 

 

 

 


P ART I

I TEM 1.

BUSINESS

Overview

Eagle Materials Inc., through its subsidiaries, (the “Company” or “EXP” which may be referred to as “we”, “our” or “us”) is a leading supplier of construction products, building materials, and materials used for oil and natural gas extraction in the United States.  Our construction products are used in residential, industrial, commercial and infrastructure construction and include cement, slag, concrete and aggregates.  Our building materials are sold into similar markets and include gypsum wallboard.  Our basic materials used for oil and natural gas extraction include frac sand and oil well cement. Our products are commodities that are essential in commercial and residential construction, public construction projects, projects to build, expand and repair roads and highways and in natural gas and oil extraction. Demand for these products is generally cyclical and seasonal, depending on economic and geographic conditions. Our operations are geographically diverse, providing us with regional economic diversification.

The Company was founded in 1963 as a building materials subsidiary of Centex Corporation (“Centex”), and we operated as a public company under the name Centex Construction Products, Inc. from April 1994 to January 30, 2004, at which time Centex completed a tax-free distribution of its shares to its shareholders and the company was renamed Eagle Materials Inc. (NYSE – EXP).

Our goal, through continuous improvement, is to be the lowest cost producer in each of the markets in which we compete. As such, we will continue to focus on reducing costs and improving our operations, recognizing that being a low-cost producer is a key to our success.

We also continue to focus on growth through acquisitions and the organic development of our asset network, in ways that align with our return on investment profitability objectives. We have completed the following acquisitions during the past two years:

On February 10, 2017, the Company completed the acquisition of the following assets (the “Fairborn Acquisition”) of CEMEX Construction Materials Atlantic LLC (“the Seller”) (i) a cement plant located in Fairborn, Ohio, (ii) a cement distribution terminal located in Columbus, Ohio, and (iii) certain other properties and assets used by the Seller in connection with the foregoing (collectively, the “Fairborn Business”).  The purchase price (the “Fairborn Purchase Price”) in the Fairborn Acquisition was approximately $400.5 million.  In addition, the Company assumed certain liabilities and obligations of the Seller relating to the Fairborn Business, including contractual obligations, reclamation obligations and various other liabilities and obligations arising out of or relating to the Fairborn Business. The Company funded the payment of the Fairborn Purchase Price and expenses incurred in connection with the Fairborn Acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and borrowings under the Company’s existing bank credit facility. The result of operations for the Fairborn Business are included in our operating results from February 10, 2017 to March 31, 2017.

On July 10, 2015, we completed the acquisition of a 0.6 million ton per year Granulated Ground Blast Furnace Slag (“Slag”) plant in South Chicago (the “Skyway Plant”) from Holcim (US) Inc. (the “Skyway Acquisition”).  Among other applications, Slag is used in conjunction with Portland cement to make a lower permeability concrete.  The Skyway Plant purchases its primary raw material, slag, pursuant to a long-term supply agreement with a third party.  The purchase price (the “Skyway Purchase Price”) for the Skyway Acquisition was approximately $29.9 million, net of $2.5 million which was refunded in two installments in January 2016 and 2017. We funded the payment of the Skyway Purchase Price and expenses incurred in connection with the Skyway Acquisition with operating cash flow.  We also assumed certain liabilities, including contractual obligations, related to the Skyway Plant. 

1

 


I ndustry Segment Information

Our operations are organized into five segments: Cement, Concrete and Aggregates, Gypsum Wallboard, Recycled Paperboard and Oil and Gas Proppants.  Although we have five segments, we participate in three businesses.  Our Cement and Concrete and Aggregates segments participate in the construction products sector, our Gypsum Wallboard and Recycled Paperboard segments participate in the building materials sector and our Oil and Gas Proppants segment participates in the oil and gas exploration sector. A further description of these business segments can be found on pages 3-19.

We operate seven cement plants (one of which belongs to our joint venture company), one slag grinding facility and seventeen cement distribution terminals.  Our 5.2 million tons of clinker capacity is approximately 5% of total U.S. clinker capacity.  Our cement companies focus on the U.S. heartland in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Ohio and Nevada, as well as the Chicago, Illinois metropolitan area.  Our joint venture also owns a minority interest in an import terminal in Houston, Texas and can purchase up to 495,000 short tons annually from this cement terminal.  Slag is ground in the greater Chicago, Illinois area and sold primarily in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas.

We have three concrete and aggregates businesses, which consist of seventeen concrete batching plants and four aggregates facilities.  The concrete and aggregates business is more local in their operations, and serve the areas immediately surrounding Austin, Texas, the greater Kansas City area and north of Sacramento, California.  Demand for cement, concrete and aggregates may fluctuate more widely because local and regional markets and economies can be more sensitive to changes than the national market, as well as being more susceptible to seasonal impact due to adverse weather.  

We operate five gypsum wallboard plants, including one plant, in Bernalillo, New Mexico, that has been idled since 2009.  Gypsum wallboard is distributed throughout the U.S. with particular emphasis in the geographic markets nearest to our production facilities, which are in Albuquerque and Bernalillo, New Mexico; Gypsum, Colorado; Duke, Oklahoma; and Georgetown, South Carolina. We are planning to restart our Bernalillo plant during fiscal 2018, and anticipate running this plant as necessary to meet customer demand. We also operate a recycled paperboard business which sells internally to our wallboard business as well as to external customers.  Our paperboard plant is located in Lawton, Oklahoma. Our gypsum wallboard and paperboard operations are more national in scope and shipments of wallboard and paper are made throughout the continental U.S., except for the northeast, and therefore are more impacted by national trends.

We operate three frac sand wet processing facilities, three frac sand drying facilities and six frac sand trans-load locations.  During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, we idled our Corpus Christi, Texas frac sand processing plant and our Kenedy, Texas and Fowlerton, Texas trans-load facilities, along with our Utica, Illinois frac sand mine.  We intend to re-open the idled facilities when market conditions improve. Frac sand and oil well cement is currently sold into shale deposit zones across the United States. Demand for oil and gas proppants is impacted primarily by rig counts and well completion activity.

Demand continues to increase for our construction products and building materials businesses, as underlying economic fundamentals in the U.S. continued to improve during calendar 2016. Cement consumption in the United States, as estimated by the Portland Cement Association, increased approximately 2% to 101.0 million short tons in calendar 2016, compared to 99.0 million short tons in calendar 2015, with imported cement consumption increasing to approximately 14% of total sales in calendar 2016, compared to 13% in calendar 2015. Consistent with the increase in cement consumption nationally, our cement sales volumes increased 2% in fiscal 2017 compared to fiscal 2016.  

Demand for gypsum wallboard continues to improve as well, as industry shipments of gypsum wallboard increased to 24.7 billion square feet in calendar 2016, compared to 22.0 billion square feet in calendar 2015, primarily due to increases in single family and multi-family housing starts during calendar 2016 compared to calendar 2015.

2

 


Drilling and completion activity for oil and gas began declining in calendar 2015, and declined thr oughout calendar 2016, primarily due to the decrease in oil and gas prices during the year, and increased supply of oil.  These conditions adversely impacted drilling activity during calendar 2016, which reduced demand for our frac sand products and oil we ll cement.  This demand has also had a downward impact on the price of frac sand, which has declined since the peak in 2014.  Conditions have started to improve, and we have seen an increase in demand during the first quarter of calendar 2017, although it is too early to determine if the recovery will continue through calendar 2017.

Cement, SlaG, CONCRETE AND AGGREGATES Operations

Company Operations

Cement and Slag . Cement is the basic binding agent for concrete, a primary construction material.  Slag is used in concrete mix designs to improve the durability of concrete and reduce future maintenance costs. The principal sources of demand for cement and slag are infrastructure, commercial construction and residential construction.

The manufacture of portland cement primarily involves extracting, crushing, grinding and blending of limestone and other raw materials into a chemically proportioned mixture which is then burned in a rotary kiln at extremely high temperatures to produce an intermediate product called clinker.  The clinker is cooled and mixed with a small amount of gypsum to the consistency of face powder to produce finished cement. All of our cement plants utilize dry process technology and, at present, approximately 80% of our clinker capacity is from preheater or preheater/pre-calciner kilns.

Slag granules are obtained from a steel company and ground in our grinding facility.  Slag is used in concrete mix designs to improve the durability of concrete which should reduce future maintenance costs.  

The following table sets forth certain information regarding our cement plants (tons are in thousands of short tons):

 

Plant Location

 

Owned or

Leased

Reserves

 

Rated

Annual

Clinker

Capacity  (1)

 

 

Annual Grinding Capacity

 

 

Manufacturing

Process

 

Number

of Kilns

 

Kiln

Dedication

Date

 

Estimated

Minimum

Limestone

Reserves  (2)

 

 

Estimated

Minimum

Limestone

Reserves

(Years) (3)

 

Fiscal 2017

Tons

Mined

 

Buda, TX

 

Owned

 

 

1,300

 

(4)

 

1,435

 

 

Dry – 4 Stage Preheater/

Pre-calciner

 

1

 

1983

 

 

228,000

 

 

50+

 

 

1,855

 

LaSalle, IL

 

Owned

 

 

1,000

 

 

 

1,100

 

 

Dry – 5 Stage Preheater/Pre-calciner

 

1

 

2006

 

 

33,770

 

 

29

 

 

1,170

 

Sugar Creek, MO

 

Owned

 

 

1,000

 

 

 

1,100

 

 

Dry – 5 Stage Preheater/Pre-calciner

 

1

 

2002

 

 

120,250

 

 

50+

 

 

1,115

 

 

 

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

51,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laramie, WY

 

Owned

 

 

650

 

 

 

800

 

 

Dry – 2 Stage Preheater

 

1

 

1988

 

 

104,600

 

 

50+

 

 

865

 

 

 

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

101,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dry – Long Dry Kiln

 

1

 

1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tulsa, OK

 

Owned

 

 

650

 

 

 

900

 

 

Dry – Long Dry Kiln

 

2

 

1961

 

 

40,500

 

 

43

 

 

745

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1964

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fernley, NV

 

Owned

 

 

500

 

 

 

550

 

 

Dry – Long Dry Kiln

 

1

 

1964

 

 

14,300

 

 

50+

 

 

705

 

 

 

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dry – 1 Stage Preheater

 

1

 

1969

 

 

70,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairborn, Ohio

 

Owned

 

 

730

 

 

 

980

 

 

Dry - 4 Stage Preheater

 

1

 

1974

 

30,600

 

 

30

 

 

50

 

Total-Gross

 

 

 

 

5,830

 

 

 

6,865

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total-Net (5)

 

 

 

 

5,180

 

 

 

6,150

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

One short ton equals 2,000 pounds.

(2)

Years of limestone reserves calculated using annual rated capacity

(3)

All limestone reserves are considered to be probable under the definition provided by Industry Guide 7.

(4 )

The amount shown represents 100% of plant capacity and production. This plant is owned by a separate limited partnership in which the Company has a 50% interest.  

(5 )

Net of partner’s 50% interest in the Buda, Texas plant.

3

 


All of our cement subsidiaries are wholly-owned except the Buda, Texas plant (the “Joint Venture”) , which is owned by Texas Lehigh Cement Company LP, a limited partnership joint venture owned 50% by us and 50% by Lehigh Cement Company LLC, a subsidiary of Heidelberg Cement AG. Our LaSalle, Illinois plant operates under the name Illinois Cement Company; the Laramie, Wyoming plant operates under the name Mo untain Cement Company; the Fernley, Nevada plant operates under the name Nevada Cement Company; our Fairborn, Ohio plant operates under the name Fairborn Cement Company and our Sugar Creek, Missouri and Tulsa, Oklahoma plants operate under the name Central Plains Cement Company.  We also have a slag grinding facility located in Chicago, Illinois that operates under the name Skyway Cement Company and has capacity to grind 600,000 tons of slag per year.

Our cement production, including our 50% share of the cement Joint Venture production, totaled 4.5 million and 4.2 million short tons in fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2016, respectively. Total net cement sales, including our 50% share of cement sales from the Joint Venture, were 4.9 million and 4.8 million short tons in fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2016, respectively.

Concrete and Aggregates . Readymix concrete is a versatile, low-cost building material used in almost all construction. The production of readymix concrete involves the mixing of cement, sand, gravel, or crushed stone and water to form concrete, which is then sold and distributed to numerous construction contractors. Concrete is produced in batch plants and transported to the customer’s job site in mixer trucks.

The construction aggregates business consists of the mining, extraction, production and sale of crushed stone, sand, gravel and lightweight aggregates such as expanded clays and shales. Construction aggregates of suitable characteristics are employed in virtually all types of construction, including the production of readymix concrete and asphaltic mixes used in highway construction and maintenance.

We produce and distribute readymix concrete from company-owned sites north of Sacramento, California; Austin, Texas and the greater Kansas City area. The following table sets forth certain information regarding these operations:

 

Location

 

Number   of Plants

 

 

Number of Trucks

 

Northern California

 

 

3

 

 

 

25

 

Austin, Texas

 

 

7

 

 

 

85

 

Kansas City Area

 

 

8

 

 

 

99

 

Total

 

 

18

 

 

 

209

 

 

We conduct aggregate operations near our concrete facilities in northern California; Austin, Texas and the greater Kansas City area. Aggregates are obtained principally by mining and extracting from quarries owned or leased by the Company. The following table sets forth certain information regarding these operations :

 

Location

 

Owned or

Leased

 

Types of Aggregates

 

Estimated

Annual

Production

Capacity

(Thousand

tons)

 

 

Estimated

Minimum

Reserves

(Thousand

Tons) (1)

 

 

Estimated

Minimum

Reserves

(Years)

 

 

Fiscal 2017

Tons Mined

(Thousand

Tons)

 

Northern California

 

Owned

 

Sand and Gravel

 

 

4,000

 

 

 

914,000

 

 

100+

 

 

 

1,060

 

Austin, Texas

 

Owned

 

Limestone

 

 

3,000

 

 

 

4,300

 

 

 

25

 

 

 

2,160

 

 

 

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

69,300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kansas City Area

 

Owned

 

Limestone

 

 

700

 

 

 

57,000

 

(2)

50+

 

 

 

585

 

 

(1)

All reserves are considered to be probable under the definition of Industry Guide 7.

(2)

Includes reserves located in our underground mine that we believe can be economically used for aggregate supply.

Our total net aggregate sales were 3.6 million and 3.0 million tons in fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2016, respectively. Total aggregates production was 3.7 million tons and 3.4 million tons for fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2016, respectively.

4

 


A por tion of our total aggregates production is used internally by our readymix concrete operations in Texas, the greater Kansas City area and California.

Raw Materials and Fuel Supplies

Cement and Slag . The principal raw material used in the production of portland cement is calcium carbonate in the form of limestone. Limestone is obtained principally through mining and extraction operations conducted at quarries that we own or lease and are located in close proximity to our plants. We believe that the estimated recoverable limestone reserves owned or leased by us will permit each of our plants to operate at our present production capacity for at least 30 years. Other raw materials used in substantially smaller quantities than limestone are sand, clay, iron ore and gypsum. These materials are readily available and can either be obtained from Company-owned or leased reserves or purchased from outside suppliers.

Coal and petroleum coke are the primary fuels used in our cement plants, but the plants are equipped to burn natural gas, if necessary. The cost of fuel declined in fiscal 2017, compared to fiscal 2016, primarily due to the decline in the price of coal and petroleum coke, and increased use of petroleum coke and alternative fuels as a percentage of total fuel. The Tulsa plant currently burns fuel quality wastes, as well as coal and petroleum coke, and the Sugar Creek plant currently burns alternative fuels and petroleum coke. When we acquired Sugar Creek and Tulsa in late 2012, both plants had existing alternative fuels programs managed by a company that supplies alternative fuels and materials to the cement plants. In keeping with Eagle’s commitment to sustainability and to cost management, we continued these programs to manage our alternative fuels and materials at those plants.

We have a long-term supply agreement with a steel manufacturer to supply granules necessary for the grinding of slag.  This agreement allows for the purchases of 550,000 tons per year.

Electric power is also a major cost component in the manufacturing process for both cement and slag, and we have sought to diminish overall power costs by adopting interruptible power supply agreements at certain locations. These agreements may expose us to some production interruptions during periods of power curtailment.

Concrete and Aggregates . We supply from our cement plants, including our Joint Venture, approximately 100%, 65% and 30% of the cement requirements for our greater Kansas City, northern California and Austin, Texas concrete operations. We internally supply approximately 10%, 40% and 80%, respectively, of our aggregates requirements for greater Kansas City, northern California and Austin, Texas concrete operations. We obtain the balance of our cement and aggregates requirements from multiple outside sources in each of these areas.

We mine and extract limestone, sand and gravel, the principal raw materials used in the production of aggregates, from quarries owned or leased by us and located near our plants. The quarry serving our northern California business is estimated to contain over nine hundred million tons of sand and gravel reserves. The quarry serving our Austin, Texas market is covered by a lease which expires in 2060. Based on its current production capacity, we estimate our northern California and Austin, Texas quarries contain over 100 years and approximately 25 years of reserves, respectively. Our quarries in the Kansas City market currently have approximately 50 years of reserves, and we are actively seeking additional more economical reserves to extend the life of the quarry.

Sales and Distribution

Cement and Slag . The principal sources of demand for cement and slag are infrastructure, commercial construction and residential construction, with public works infrastructure comprising over 50% of total demand. Cement consumption increased approximately 2% during calendar 2016 from calendar 2015, and the Portland Cement Association forecasts cement consumption will increase another approximately 4% in calendar 2017. Demand for cement is seasonal, particularly in northern states where inclement winter weather often affects construction activity. Cement sales are generally greater from spring through the middle of autumn than during the remainder of the year. The impact to our business of regional construction cycles may be mitigated to some degree by our geographic diversification. Demand for slag has increased as the availability of fly ash has decreased due to the conversion of power plants to natural gas from coal.  

5

 


The following table sets forth certain information regarding the geographic areas served by each of our cement and slag plants and the location of our distribution terminals in each area. We have a total of 1 7 cement sto rage and distribution terminals that are strategically located to extend the sales areas of our plants.

 

Plant Location

 

Type of Plant

 

Principal Geographic Areas

 

Distribution Terminals

Buda, Texas

 

Cement

 

Texas and western Louisiana

 

Corpus Christi, Texas; Houston, Texas;

Roanoke (Fort Worth), Texas; Waco, Texas;

Houston Cement Company (Joint Venture), Houston, Texas

LaSalle, Illinois

 

Cement

 

Illinois and southern Wisconsin

 

Hartland, Wisconsin

Sugar Creek, Missouri

 

Cement

 

Western Missouri, eastern

Kansas and northern Nebraska

 

Sugar Creek, Missouri; Iola, Kansas;

Wichita, Kansas; Omaha, Nebraska;

Pleasant Hill, Iowa

Laramie, Wyoming

 

Cement

 

Wyoming, Utah, Colorado

and western Nebraska

 

Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado;

North Platte, Nebraska

Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

Cement

 

Oklahoma, western Arkansas

and southern Missouri

 

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Springfield, Missouri

Fernley, Nevada

 

Cement

 

Northern Nevada and northern

California

 

Sacramento, California

Fairborn, Ohio

 

Cement

 

Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky

 

Columbus, Ohio

Chicago, Illinois

 

Slag

 

Greater Chicago area, Illinois,

Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio,

Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas

 

Kansas City, Missouri; Cincinnati, Ohio (1);

Des Moines, Iowa (1); St. Paul, Minnesota (1);

Tarentum, Pennsylvania (1)

 

 

(1)

These facilities are currently being leased.

Cement and slag is distributed directly to our customers mostly through customer pickups, as well as by common carriers from our plants or distribution terminals. We transport cement and slag by barge and rail to our storage and distribution terminals. No single customer accounted for 10% or more of our cement segment sales during fiscal 2017. Sales are made on the basis of competitive prices in each market and, as is customary in the industry, we do not typically enter into long-term sales contracts or have a significant level of order backlog.  Cement and slag are generally sold to companies in private industry that contract with state and local entities for infrastructure and other public works projects.

Four of our slag terminals are currently being leased from the former owner of the Skyway Plant.  The initial term of the lease was one year from the date of purchase, and included the option to extend the term for two one year periods. We exercised both options for all locations.

The cement industry is extremely competitive as a result of multiple domestic suppliers and the importation of foreign cement through various terminal operations. Approximately 75% of the U.S. cement industry is owned by foreign international companies. Competition among producers and suppliers of cement is based primarily on price, with consistency of quality and service to customers being important but of lesser significance. Price competition among individual producers and suppliers of cement within a geographic area is intense because of the fungible nature of the product. Because of cement’s low value-to-weight ratio, the relative cost of transporting cement on land is high and limits the geographic area in which each company can market its products profitably. The low value-to-weight ratio generally limit shipments by truck to a 150 mile radius of the plants and up to 300 miles by rail; therefore, the U.S. cement industry is fragmented into regional geographic areas rather than a single national selling area.  No single cement company has a distribution of plants extensive enough to serve all geographic areas, so profitability is sensitive to shifts in the balance between regional supply and demand.

Cement imports into the U.S. occur primarily to supplement domestic cement production or to supply a particular region. Cement is typically imported into deep water ports or transported on the Mississippi River system near major population centers to take advantage of lower waterborne freight costs versus higher truck and rail transportation costs that U.S. based manufacturers incur to deliver into the same areas.

6

 


The Portland Cement Association estimates that impo rts represented approximately 14 % of cement used in the U.S. during calendar year 201 6, and approximately 12 % in calendar year 2 015 . Based on the normal distribution of cement into the market, we believe that no less than approximately 5% to 10% of the total consumption will consistently be served by imported cement.

Concrete and Aggregates . Demand for readymix concrete and aggregates largely depend on local levels of construction activity. Construction activity is also subject to weather conditions, the availability of financing at reasonable rates and overall fluctuations in local economies, and therefore tends to be cyclical. We sell readymix concrete to numerous contractors and other customers in each plant’s marketing area. Our batch plants in Austin, the greater Kansas City area and northern California are strategically located to serve each marketing area. Concrete is delivered from the batch plants primarily by company-owned trucks.

We sell aggregates to building contractors and other customers engaged in a wide variety of construction activities. Aggregates are delivered from our aggregate plants by common carriers and customer pick-up. None of our customers accounted for 10% or more of our segment revenues during fiscal 2017. We are continuing our efforts to secure a rail link from our principal aggregates deposit north of Sacramento, California to supply extended markets in northern California.

Both the concrete and aggregates industries are highly fragmented, with numerous participants operating in each local area. Because the cost of transporting concrete and aggregates is very high relative to product values, producers of concrete and aggregates typically can profitably sell their products only in areas within 50 miles of their production facilities. Barriers to entry in each industry are low, except with respect to environmental permitting requirements for new aggregates production facilities and zoning of land to permit mining and extraction of aggregates.

Environmental Matters

Cement . Our cement operations are subject to numerous federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to health, safety and the environment. Some of these laws, such as the federal Clean Air Act and the federal Clean Water Act (and analogous state laws) impose environmental permitting requirements and govern the nature and amount of emissions that may be generated when conducting particular operations. Some laws, such as the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) (and analogous state laws) impose obligations to clean up or remediate spills of hazardous materials into the environment. Other laws require us to reclaim certain land upon completion of extraction and mining operations in our quarries. We believe that we have obtained all the material environmental permits that are necessary to conduct our operations. We further believe that we are conducting our operations in substantial compliance with these permits. In addition, none of our manufacturing sites is listed as a CERCLA “Superfund” site.

Eight environmental issues involving the cement manufacturing industry deserve special mention.

The first environmental issue involves cement kiln dust or CKD. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has been evaluating the regulatory status of CKD under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) for a number of years. In 1999, the EPA proposed a rule that would allow states to regulate properly-managed CKD as a non-hazardous waste under state laws and regulations governing solid waste. In contrast, CKD that was not properly managed would be treated as a hazardous waste under RCRA. In 2002, the EPA confirmed its intention to continue to exempt properly-managed CKD from the hazardous waste requirements of RCRA. The agency announced that it would collect additional data over the next three to five years to determine if the states’ regulation of CKD is effective. Although the EPA had previously indicated that it continues to consider an approach whereby it would finalize its 1999 proposal to exempt properly-managed CKD wastes and establish protective CKD management standards, as of May 1, 2017, the EPA still has not finalized the 1999 proposal. It is uncertain whether or when this proposal will be finalized. Nevertheless, in the interim many state environmental agencies have been using the EPA’s 1999 proposed CKD management standards as general industry guidelines.

Currently, substantially all CKD produced in connection with our ongoing operations is recycled, and therefore such CKD is not viewed as a waste under RCRA. However, CKD was historically collected and stored on-site at our Illinois, Nevada, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming cement plants and at a former plant site in Corpus Christi, Texas, which is no longer producing cement. If either the EPA or the states decide to reclassify or impose

7

 


new management standards on this CKD at some point in the future, we could incur additional costs to comp ly with those requirements with respect to our historically collected CKD. CKD that comes in contact with water might produce a leachate with an alkalinity high enough to be classified as hazardous and might also leach certain hazardous trace metals therei n.

The second environmental issue involves the historical disposal of refractory brick containing chromium. Such refractory brick was formerly used widely in the cement industry to line cement kilns. We currently do not use refractory brick containing chromium, and we crush substantially all of our refractory brick which is then used as raw feed in the kiln.

The third environmental issue involves the potential regulation of our emission of greenhouse gasses (“GHGs”), including carbon dioxide, under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”). The consequences of GHG emission reduction regulations for our cement operations will likely be significant because (1) the cement manufacturing process requires the combustion of large amounts of fuel to generate very high kiln temperatures, and (2) the production of carbon dioxide is a byproduct of the calcination process, whereby carbon dioxide is removed from calcium carbonate to produce calcium oxide.

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA , 127 S. Ct. 1438 (2007), that GHGs are “air pollutants” and, thus, potentially subject to regulation under the CAA, the EPA has taken steps to regulate GHG emissions from mobile and certain stationary sources. On September 22, 2009, the EPA issued a “Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases” final rule, which took effect December 29, 2009. This rule established a comprehensive scheme requiring operators of stationary sources in the United States emitting more than established annual thresholds of GHGs to monitor and report their GHG emissions annually on a facility-by-facility basis. On December 15, 2009, the EPA published a final rule finding that current and projected concentrations of six key GHGs in the atmosphere threaten public health and welfare. Based on this finding, on May 7, 2010, the EPA promulgated a final rule establishing GHG emission standards for new motor vehicles under Title II of the CAA. According to the EPA, the motor vehicle rule triggered construction and operating permit requirements for large stationary sources of GHGs, including cement plants, under Title I of the CAA. On May 13, 2010, the EPA promulgated a final rule, known as the “Tailoring Rule,” addressing the thresholds at which stationary sources of GHGs trigger prevention of significant deterioration (“PSD”) and Title V permitting requirements. PSD review requires an analysis of possible GHG controls and, potentially, the installation of GHG controls or emissions limitations.

On June 23, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion with respect to the Tailoring Rule holding that the EPA can require PSD controls for GHG emissions only for sources subject to PSD review based on another pollutant.   Util. Air Regulatory Grp. v. E.P.A, 134 S. Ct. 2427 (2014). Following the Supreme Court decision, the EPA issued a memorandum clarifying that the EPA intends to continue to apply PSD requirements to GHG emissions if a source emits or has the potential to emit 75,000 tons per year (‘tpy”) or more of GHGs until the EPA establishes a de minimis threshold for GHG emissions below which a source would not be subject to GHG PSD permitting requirements.  The EPA announced its intention to propose a rule addressing the de minimis threshold for GHG PSD permitting in the summer of 2016.  The EPA failed to propose such rule. Until the EPA issues a final rule addressing the de minimis threshold for GHG emissions, any major modification of our existing plants or construction of a new plant that triggers PSD review for non-GHG emissions also would trigger PSD review for GHG emissions if the proposed major modification or construction would result in a GHG emission increase of at least 75,000 tpy.

In October 2015, the EPA published a rule establishing guidelines for states to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel power plants (the “Clean Power Plan”).  The Clean Power Plan established national performance rates for steam generating units and stationary combustion turbines as well as state emission reduction goals based on the application of the performance rates to a state’s unique generation mix. Numerous states and industry petitioners are challenging the Clean Power Plan on multiple grounds.  On February 9, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Clean Power Plan while the litigation is pending.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) held oral argument on the challenges to the Clean Power Plan on June 2, 2016.  No opinion in that case has been forthcoming.  On April 28, 2017, at the request of

8

 


the U.S. EPA, the D.C. Circuit issued a per curiam order holding the case in abeyance for sixty days to allow the U.S. EPA to d etermine whether to reconsider the Clean Power Plan.  EPA must file status reports on its deliberations every 30 days.  EPA has indicated that it intends to significantly amend or repeal the Clean Power Plan.  That will require EPA to propose a new rule th at likely will take several years to finalize.  In the interim, the Clean Power Plan is unlikely to be implemented.   In the future, it is likely that the EPA will propose performance standards for GHG emissions for other sectors, including cement manufactu ring, so the ultimate outcome of the Clean Power Plan could affect the timing and form of standards for cement plants.  

Several states have individually implemented measures to reduce emissions of GHGs, primarily through the planned development of GHG inventories or registries or regional GHG “cap and trade” programs. California’s AB 32 program is the most advanced of such state initiatives, with regulations affecting all major sources of GHGs. States also have joined together to form regional initiatives to reduce GHG emissions.

It is not possible at this time to predict how any future legislation that may be enacted or final EPA regulations that may be adopted to address GHG emissions would impact our business. However, any imposition of raw materials or production limitations, fuel-use or carbon taxes, or emission limitations or reductions could have a significant impact on the cement manufacturing industry and a material adverse effect on us and our results of operations.

The fourth environmental issue is the EPA’s promulgation on September 9, 2010 of final regulations establishing national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants for portland cement plants (“PC NESHAP”) pursuant to Section 112 of the CAA. For specific hazardous air pollutants (“HAPs”), the final rule requires cement plants to meet certain emission and operating standards. The rule sets limits on mercury emissions from existing Portland cement kilns and increases the stringency of emission limits for new kilns. The rule sets emission limits for total hydrocarbons, and also sets emission limits for particulate matter as a surrogate for non-volatile metal HAPS, from cement kilns of all sizes, and reduces hydrochloric acid emissions from kilns that are large emitters. As a result of industry challenges to the regulations, the EPA issued a revised rule on February 12, 2013. The revised rule made two notable changes to the 2010 HAP regulations. First, the rule established less stringent emission standards for total hydrocarbons and particulate matter. Second, the rule extended the deadline for existing sources to comply with the HAP regulations to September 9, 2015. We do not believe we are placed at a competitive disadvantage by the revised rule.

A fifth environmental issue involves excess emissions that may occur during periods of startup, shutdown or malfunction.  In June 2015, the EPA issued a rule requiring revisions to 36 state implementation plans (“SIPs”) that allowed exemptions or contained affirmative defenses to excess emissions during periods of startup, shutdown or malfunction (“SSM rule”).  The SIP revisions were submitted to the EPA in November 2016. The states required to revise their SIPs include states where the company has operations, such as Illinois, Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas.  Under the revised SIPs, companies would be required to comply with their emissions limits at all times, including during startup, shutdown and malfunctions.  States and members of industry have challenged the SSM rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  

On April 24, 2017, at the request of the EPA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ("D.C. Circuit") issued an order holding in abeyance the consolidated challenges to the EPA’s final rule concerning how provisions in the EPA-approved SIPs treat excess emissions during periods of startup, shutdown or malfunction. The order also cancels oral argument, which was scheduled for May 8, 2017. In its motion, EPA argued that oral argument should be delayed in light of the recent change in Administration. According to the motion, the EPA "intends to closely review the SSM rule, and the prior positions taken by the Agency with respect to the SSM rule may not necessarily reflect its ultimate conclusions after that review is complete." The EPA’s motion was opposed by environmental groups, who argued that the EPA failed to establish the "extraordinary cause" required for postponement. The D.C. Circuit’s order requires the EPA to file status reports on the Agency’s review of the SSM Rule at 90-day intervals. It further mandates that the parties file motions to govern future proceedings within 30 days of the EPA notifying the court and the parties what action it has or will be taking with respect to the SSM rule.  As a result, we cannot predict how or whether the SSM rule will be changed.

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The sixth environmental issue is the EPA’s promulgation pursuant to Section 129 of the CAA of revised regulations for Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration (“CISWI”) units. Clean Air Act Section 129 requires the EPA to set standards for solid waste incineration units.  Affec ted sources must comply with the revised CISWI regulations the earlier of 3 years after State CISWI plan approval, or 5 years from the date of the final rule on reconsideration. On June 23, 2016, the EPA published a final rule reconsidering four provisions of the February 2013 final CISWI rule, including relaxing the particulate matter standard for solid waste-burning kilns and eliminating the affirmative defense to penalties for non-compliance during well documented malfunction events.  On January 11, 2017 , the EPA published a proposed plan that would implement the previously promulgated limits for existing CISWI in states that have not submitted and received approval for a state implementation plan. The proposed federal plan would require owners or operato rs of impacted CISWI units to come into compliance by February 7, 2018.  Currently, the EPA has not approved any state implementation plans.  Compared to the PC NESHAP, the CISWI regulations contain requirements for more pollutants and the requirement for dioxin/furans for existing and new sources is somewhat more stringent.

Whether a facility is a CISWI unit regulated under Section 129 of the Clean Air Act or a cement plant regulated under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act hinges on whether it combusts “solid waste” as that term is defined under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. On March 21, 2011 (and also revised on February 7, 2013), the EPA finalized the Identification of Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials that Are Solid Waste (“NHSM”) rule. The NHSM rule’s primary purpose is to provide the definition of solid waste that is used to determine if a cement kiln is regulated under CISWI regulations or the PC NESHAP regulations. The rule lays out processing and legitimacy criteria that are used to determine if a non-traditional fuel is a solid waste. Combustion of a solid waste triggers applicability of the CISWI requirements. On July 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an opinion in U.S. Sugar v. EPA , No. 11-1108, largely upholding the 2011 and 2013 CISWI rules.  

At some of our operations, kilns are or will be using non-hazardous secondary materials as a replacement for traditional fuels used in the manufacturing process. These kiln systems are capable of beneficially utilizing a wide array of NHSM and may be subject to the CISWI requirements, depending on whether these materials are identified as “solid wastes” under the NHSM rule. The EPA issued a rule clarifying the definition of “solid waste” and establishing a uniform recycling standard for all hazardous secondary materials recycling on January 13, 2015, which became effective on July 13, 2015. Solid waste-burning kilns must meet the CISWI emission and operating standards. Non-waste burning kilns must prove any alternative fuels used are not solid wastes. We do not believe we would be placed at a competitive disadvantage by either the NHSM or the CISWI rule.

The seventh environmental issue is a revision to the Hazardous Waste Combustor National Emission Standards for Hazardous Waste Standards (“HWC NESHAP”). The Tulsa, Oklahoma cement facility utilizes hazardous waste as fuel and is required to meet the emission and operating standards of the HWC NESHAP. This facility has demonstrated and remains in compliance with all of the requirements of the current HWC NESHAP regulation. On October 12, 2005, as a result of ongoing litigation, the EPA promulgated final HWC regulations, with compliance required for all facilities by 2008. On October 28, 2008, the EPA promulgated a final rule addressing eight issues for which the EPA granted reconsideration.  The final rule on reconsideration did not change the compliance date for existing sources established by the 2005 rule.  Environmental and industry organizations filed lawsuits in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the 2005 and 2008 regulations. The EPA subsequently agreed to revise the HWC NESHAP standards in accordance with an agreement with litigants, and the court remanded, without vacatur, the 2005 and 2008 regulations to the EPA for further consideration. The EPA has not indicated when it will issue a proposed rule amending the regulations. It is not possible to predict at this time the stringency or impact of revised HWC NESHAP regulations or timing required for compliance.

We believe that our current procedures and practices in our operations, including those for handling and managing hazardous materials, are consistent with industry standards and are in substantial compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations. Nevertheless, because of the complexity of our operations and the environmental laws to which we are subject, there can be no assurance that past or future operations will not result in violations, remediation costs or other liabilities or claims. Moreover, we cannot predict what environmental laws will be enacted or adopted in the future or how such future environmental laws or regulations will be administered

10

 


or interpreted. Compliance with more stringent environmental laws, or stricter interpretation of existing environmental laws, cou ld necessitate significant capital outlays.

The eighth environmental issue is the EPA’s ongoing review and implementation of the national ambient air quality standards (“NAAQS”) for ozone.  In October 2015, the EPA strengthened the ozone NAAQS by lowering the primary and secondary standards from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb.  As a result of this change, the EPA is required to make attainment/nonattainment designations for the revised standards by October 2017.  We are currently reviewing this final rule and cannot at this time predict the impact it may have on our operations.  Nonattainment designations in or surrounding our areas of operations could have a material impact on our consolidated financial results. On April 11, 2017, at EPA’s request, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an order holding consolidated challenges to the 2015 ozone NAAQS in abeyance, and canceling oral argument in the challenges.  In requesting to hold the case in abeyance, EPA explained that the new Administration was planning to review the 2015 Ozone NAAQS “to determine whether the Agency should reconsider the rule or some part of it.”  The order requires EPA to file status reports on the Agency’s review of the NAAQS at 90-day intervals.

Concrete and Aggregates . The concrete and aggregates industry is subject to environmental regulations similar to those governing our cement operations.

Capital Expenditures

Cement and Slag. We had capital expenditures related to compliance with environmental regulations applicable to our cement operations of $6.2 million during fiscal 2017 and anticipate spending an additional $14.2 million during fiscal 2018 at this time.

Concrete and Aggregates. We had capital expenditures related to compliance with environmental regulations applicable to our concrete and aggregates operations of $0.6 million during fiscal 2017. We anticipate spending approximately $0.1 million in fiscal 2018 at this time.

Gypsum Wallboard and RECYCLED PAPERBOARD Operations

Company Operations

Gypsum Wallboard . Gypsum wallboard is used to finish the interior walls and ceilings in residential, commercial and industrial structures. Our gypsum wallboard business is marketed under the name American Gypsum.

There are four primary steps in the gypsum wallboard manufacturing process: (1) gypsum is mined and extracted from the ground (or, in the case of synthetic gypsum, received from a power generation company); (2) the gypsum is then calcined and converted into plaster; (3) the plaster is mixed with various other materials and water to produce a mixture known as slurry, which is extruded between two continuous sheets of recycled paperboard on a high-speed production line and allowed to harden; and (4) the sheets of gypsum wallboard are then cut to appropriate lengths, dried and bundled for sale.

We currently own five gypsum wallboard manufacturing facilities; however, we idled our gypsum manufacturing facility in Bernalillo, New Mexico in December 2009, due to cyclical low wallboard demand. We are planning to restart our Bernalillo plant during fiscal 2018, and anticipate running this plant as necessary to meet customer demand.  

 

 

 

 

 

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The following table sets forth certain information regarding our plants:

 

Location

 

Owned or

Leased

Reserves (7)

 

Approximate

Annual

Gypsum

Wallboard

Capacity

(MMSF) (1)

 

 

Estimated

Minimum

Gypsum

Reserves

(Thousand

Tons) (3)

 

 

 

Estimated

Minimum

Gypsum

Reserves

(years) (2)

 

 

 

Fiscal 2017

Tons Mined

(Thousand   Tons )

 

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

Owned

 

 

425

 

 

 

10,490

 

(4)

 

50+

 

(4)

 

 

415

 

 

 

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

55,560

 

(4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bernalillo, New Mexico (6)

 

 

 

 

550

 

 

 

 

 

(4)

 

50+

 

(4)

 

 

 

Gypsum, Colorado

 

Owned

 

 

700

 

 

 

13,100

 

 

 

 

21

 

 

 

 

475

 

Duke, Oklahoma

 

Owned

 

 

1,300

 

 

 

21,220

 

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

 

730

 

 

 

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,925

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Georgetown, South Carolina (5)

 

 

 

 

900

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

51

 

(5)

 

 

 

Total

 

 

 

 

3,875

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

Million Square Feet (“MMSF”), based on anticipated product mix.

(2)

At 100% capacity utilization.

(3)

All gypsum tons are deemed probable under the definition provided by Industry Guide 7.

(4)

The same reserves serve both New Mexico plants.

(5)

We have a sixty-year supply agreement with Santee Cooper for synthetic gypsum that expires in 2068.

(6)

This plant was idled in December 2009.

(7)

Owned reserves include mining claims.

Our gypsum wallboard production totaled 2,539 MMSF in fiscal 2017 and 2,406 MMSF in fiscal 2016. Total gypsum wallboard sales were 2,483 MMSF in fiscal 2017 and 2,394 MMSF in fiscal 2016.

Recycled Paperboard . Our recycled paperboard manufacturing operation, which we refer to as Republic Paperboard Company, is located in Lawton, Oklahoma, and has a technologically advanced paper machine designed primarily for gypsum liner production. The paper’s uniform cross-directional strength and finish characteristics facilitate the efficiencies of new high-speed wallboard manufacturing lines and improve the efficiencies of the slower wallboard manufacturing lines. Although the machine was designed primarily to manufacture gypsum liner products, we are also able to manufacture several alternative products, including containerboard grades and lightweight packaging grades. To maximize manufacturing efficiencies, namely machine width, recycled industrial paperboard grades are produced.

Our paper machine allows the paperboard operation to manufacture high-strength gypsum liner that is approximately 10-15% lighter in basis weight than generally available in the U.S. The low-basis weight product utilizes less recycled fiber to produce paper that, in turn, requires less energy (natural gas) to evaporate moisture from the board during the gypsum wallboard manufacturing process. The low-basis weight paper also reduces the overall finished board weight, providing wallboard operations with more competitive transportation costs for both the inbound and outbound segments.

Raw Materials and Fuel Supplies

Gypsum Wallboard . We mine and extract natural gypsum rock, the principal raw material used in the manufacture of gypsum wallboard, from mines and quarries owned, leased or subject to mining claims owned by the Company and located near our plants. Certain of our New Mexico reserves are under lease with the Pueblo of Zia. Gypsum ore reserves at the Gypsum, Colorado plant are contained within a total of 115 placer claims encompassing 2,300 acres. Included in this are 94 unpatented mining claims where mineral rights can be developed upon completion of permitting requirements. We currently own land containing gypsum in the area of Duke, Oklahoma, with additional reserves controlled through a lease agreement. Other gypsum deposits are located near the plant in Duke, which we believe may be obtained at reasonable cost when needed. We are currently in the ninth year of a sixty-year supply agreement (original twenty-year term with two twenty-year extension options) with a public utility in South Carolina for synthetic gypsum, which we use at our Georgetown, South Carolina plant. If the

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utility is unable to generate the agreed-upon amount of gypsum, it is responsible for provi ding gypsum from a third party to fulfill its obligations.

Through our modern low cost paperboard mill we manufacture sufficient quantities of paper necessary for our gypsum wallboard production. Paper is a significant cost component in the manufacture of gypsum wallboard, currently representing approximately one-third of our cost of production.

Our gypsum wallboard manufacturing operations use natural gas and electrical power. A significant portion of the Company’s natural gas requirements for our gypsum wallboard plants are currently provided by three gas producers under gas supply agreements expiring in May 2018 for New Mexico and October 2017 for South Carolina and Oklahoma. If the agreements are not renewed, we anticipate being able to obtain our gas supplies from other suppliers at competitive prices. Electrical power is supplied to our New Mexico plants at standard industrial rates by a local utility. Our Albuquerque plant utilizes an interruptible power supply agreement, which may expose it to some production interruptions during periods of power curtailment. Power for our Gypsum, Colorado facility is generated at the facility by a cogeneration power plant that we own. Currently, the cogeneration power facility supplies power and waste hot gases for drying to the gypsum wallboard plant. We do not sell any power to third parties. Gas costs represented approximately 7% of our production costs in fiscal 2017.

Recycled Paperboard . The principal raw materials are recycled paper fiber (recovered waste paper), water and specialty paper chemicals. The largest waste paper source used by the operation is old cardboard containers (known as OCC). A blend of high grades (white papers consisting of ink-free papers such as news blank and unprinted papers) is used in the gypsum liner facing paper, white top linerboard and white bag liner grades.

We believe that an adequate supply of OCC recycled fiber will continue to be available from sources located within a reasonable proximity of the paper mill. Although we have the capability to receive rail shipments, the vast majority of the recycled fiber purchased is delivered via truck. Prices are subject to market fluctuations based on generation of material (supply), demand and the presence of the export market. The current outlook for fiscal 2018 is for waste paper prices, namely OCC, to increase approximately 10% over fiscal 2017 prices. Current gypsum liner customer contracts include price escalators that partially offset/compensate for changes in raw material fiber prices. The chemicals used in the paper making operation, including size, retention aids, biocides and bacteria controls, are readily available from several manufacturers at competitive prices.

The manufacture of recycled paperboard involves the use of large volumes of water in the production process. We have an agreement with the City of Lawton municipal services for supply of water to our manufacturing facility. Electricity, natural gas and other utilities are available to us at either contracted rates or standard industrial rates in adequate supplies. These utilities are subject to standard industrial curtailment provisions.

Paperboard operations are generally large consumers of energy, primarily natural gas and electricity. During fiscal 2017, natural gas and electricity costs were lower compared to fiscal 2016. The reduced costs were the result of both lower energy prices and lower usage rates. We expect natural gas and electricity pricing to remain fairly consistent in fiscal 2018. Electricity is supplied to the paper mill by Public Service of Oklahoma (PSO). This power company is working to switch its fuel source dependency to natural gas, which could impact our electricity rates in future years. Oklahoma is a regulated state for electricity services and all rate change requests must be presented to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for review and approval before implementation.

Sales and Distribution

Gypsum Wallboard . The principal sources of demand for gypsum wallboard are (i) residential construction, (ii) repair and remodeling, (iii) non-residential construction, and (iv) other markets such as exports and manufactured housing.  We estimate that residential and repair and remodel construction accounted for more than 85% of calendar 2016 industry sales. Demand for gypsum wallboard remains highly cyclical; and closely follows construction industry cycles, particularly housing construction. Demand for wallboard can be seasonal and is generally greater from spring through the middle of autumn.

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We sell gypsum wallboard to numerous building materials dealers, gypsum wallboard specialty distributors, lumber yards, home cen ter chains and other customers located throughout the United States, with the exception of the northeast. Gypsum wallboard is sold on a delivered basis, mostly by truck. We generally utilize third-party common carriers for deliveries. Two customers account ed for approximately 25% of our gypsum wallboard segment sales during fiscal 201 7 .

Although gypsum wallboard is distributed principally in local areas, certain industry producers (including the Company) have the ability to ship gypsum wallboard by rail outside their usual regional distribution areas to regions where demand is strong. We own approximately 100 railcars for transporting gypsum wallboard. In addition, in order to facilitate distribution in certain strategic areas, we maintain a distribution center in New Mexico. Our rail distribution capabilities permit us to service customers in markets on both the east and west coasts, except for the northeast. Approximately 10% of our wallboard volume sold was delivered via rail.

There are seven manufacturers of gypsum wallboard in the U.S. operating a total of approximately 60 plants. We estimate that the three largest producers - USG Corporation, National Gypsum Company and Koch Industries - account for approximately 60% of gypsum wallboard sales in the U.S. Due to the commodity nature of the product, competition is based principally on price, which is highly sensitive to changes in supply and demand. Product quality and customer service are also important to the customer.

Total wallboard rated production capacity in the United States is currently estimated at approximately 33.0 billion square feet per year; however, certain lines have been curtailed and plants closed or idled. It is possible that previously closed plants or lines could be brought back into service. The Gypsum Association, an industry trade group, estimates that total calendar 2016 gypsum wallboard shipments by U.S. manufacturers were approximately 24.7 billion square feet.

Recycled Paperboard. Our manufactured recycled paperboard products are sold to gypsum wallboard manufacturers and other industrial users. During fiscal 2017, approximately 35% of the recycled paperboard sold by our paper mill was consumed by the Company’s gypsum wallboard manufacturing operations. We also have contracts with two other gypsum wallboard manufacturers that represent approximately 50% of our total segment revenue with the remaining volume shipped to other gypsum liner manufacturers and bag producers.  The current contracts with other gypsum wallboard manufacturers expire in one and six years.  The loss of either of these contracts or a termination or reduction of their current production of gypsum wallboard, unless replaced by a commercially similar arrangement, could have a material adverse effect on the Company.

Environmental Matters

Gypsum Wallboard . The gypsum wallboard industry is subject to numerous federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to health, safety and the environment. Some of these laws, such as the federal Clean Air Act and the federal Clean Water Act (and analogous state laws), impose environmental permitting requirements and govern the nature and amount of emissions that may be generated when conducting particular operations. Some laws, such as CERCLA (and analogous state laws), impose obligations to clean up or remediate spills of hazardous materials into the environment. Other laws require us to reclaim certain land upon completion of extraction and mining operations in our quarries. None of our gypsum wallboard operations is the subject of any local, state or federal environmental proceedings or inquiries. We do not, and have not, used asbestos in any of our gypsum wallboard products.

On April 17, 2015, the EPA published its final rule addressing the storage, reuse and disposal of coal combustion products, which include fly ash and flue gas desulfurization gypsum (“synthetic gypsum”). We use synthetic gypsum in wallboard manufactured at our Georgetown, South Carolina plant. The rule, which applies only to electric utilities and independent power producers, establishes standards for the management of coal combustion residuals (“CCRs”) under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, or RCRA, which is the Subtitle that regulates non-hazardous wastes. The rule imposes requirements addressing CCR surface impoundments and landfills, including location restrictions, design and operating specifications, groundwater monitoring requirements, corrective action requirements, recordkeeping and reporting obligations, and closure

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requirements. Beneficial encapsulated uses of CCRs, including synthetic gypsum, are exempt from regulation. The rule became effective on October 14, 2015 . Given the EPA’s decision to continue to allow CCR to be used in synthetic gypsum and to regulate CCR under the non-hazardous waste sections of RCRA, we do not expect the rule to materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In October 2015, the EPA strengthened the national ambient air quality standards (“NAAQS”) for ozone by lowering the primary and secondary standards from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb.  As a result of this change, the EPA is required to make attainment/nonattainment designations for the revised standards by October 2017.  Nonattainment designations in or surrounding our areas of operations could have a material impact on our consolidated financial results.  

Our gypsum wallboard manufacturing process combusts natural gas. It is possible that GHG emissions from our manufacturing could become subject to regulation under the CAA. For a more detailed discussion of this issue, see the “Environmental Matters” section of our cement business description on pages 8-12.

Although our gypsum wallboard operations could be adversely affected by federal, regional or state climate change initiatives, at this time, it is not possible to accurately estimate how future laws or regulations addressing GHG emissions would impact our business. However, any imposition of raw materials or production limitations, fuel-use or carbon taxes or emission limitations or reductions could have a significant impact on the gypsum wallboard manufacturing industry and a material adverse effect on the financial results of our operations.

Capital Expenditures

Gypsum Wallboard and Recycled Paperboard. There were no capital expenditures related to compliance with environmental regulations applicable to our gypsum wallboard and recycled paperboard operations during fiscal 2017. We anticipate capital expenditures of approximately $0.3 million related to our gypsum wallboard operations during fiscal 2018.

OIL AND GAS PROPPANTS OPERATIONS

Company Operations

We currently own two frac sand mines, three frac sand wet processing plants and three frac sand drying facilities. Our frac sand mines and wet plants are in New Auburn, Wisconsin and Utica, Illinois. Our frac sand drying facilities are currently in New Auburn, Wisconsin and Corpus Christi, Texas, as outlined in the table below. Sand is processed into various mesh sizes and marketed primarily to oil service companies.  We distribute sand through the following trans-load facilities to complement our production operations: El Reno, Oklahoma; Cotulla, Texas; Odessa, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Pecos, Texas; Kenedy, Texas; and Fowlerton, Texas.  

We are currently planning the build out of our Utica, Illinois facility.  This build out will include the addition of a dry plant and distribution system.  We estimate that this build out will cost approximately $70.0 million and will be completed in the summer of 2018.

The following table provides information regarding our frac sand production facilities at March 31, 2017:

 

Wet Plant Location

 

Owned or

Leased

Reserves

 

Estimated

Annual Wet

Production

Capacity

(Thousand

tons) (3)

 

 

Estimated

Minimum

Reserves

(Thousand

Tons) (1)

 

 

Estimated

Minimum

Reserves

(Years)

 

 

 

Fiscal 2016

Tons Mined

(Thousand

Tons) (2)

 

New Auburn, Wisconsin

 

Owned

 

 

2,800

 

 

 

32,000

 

 

 

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(2)

 

 

360

 

 

 

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

7,660

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utica, Illinois

 

Owned

 

 

2,200

 

 

 

139,900

 

 

50+

 

 

 

 

 

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Dry Plant Location

 

Dry Plant

Capacity

(Thousand

Tons)

 

New Auburn, Wisconsin (two lines)

 

 

1,900

 

Corpus Christi, Texas

 

 

1,500

 

 

(1)

All sand tons are deemed to be probable under the definition provided by Industry Guide 7.

(2)

We have an option to purchase property that, if purchased, will increase our estimated minimum reserves to approximately 20 years.

(3)

Represents throughput capacity.

As a result of the decline in oil and gas drilling, and the corresponding reduction in demand for proppants, we elected to temporarily idle our Utica, Illinois and Corpus Christi, Texas facilities during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, and these facilities remained idled throughout fiscal 2017.  Additionally, the Fowlerton, Texas; Kenedy, Texas and Cotulla, Texas trans-load operations remained idled throughout fiscal 2017.  Our facilities are relatively new, and are in very good physical condition.  We plan on resuming business at these facilities in the future when demand for proppants increases, and additional capacity is needed.  The cost of maintaining these idled facilities is not considered to be significant.  Due to the decline in demand for proppants, and the idling of the operating facilities and three trans-load locations, we performed a test for impairment on the long-lived assets of the oil and gas proppants segment.  Based on the results of this test, no impairment was recorded.  See Critical Accounting Policies, Impairment of Long-Lived Assets on page 45 for more information about the test for impairment.

Raw Materials and Fuel Supplies

We mine our frac sand from open pit mines, and process the sand in our wet plants. The excavation process includes stripping the overburden overlaying the planned mining area, and removing the sand through blasting or mechanically with the use of mobile equipment. Processing includes washing the sand with water, and screening to remove non-salable material after which the sand is dried and further screened to its final mesh sizes, which range from 20 mesh to 140 mesh. During the winter months, the cold weather adversely impacts our ability to operate our wet processing plants, resulting in these plants being shut-down for much of the winter.  Generally, our New Auburn, Wisconsin facility is impacted more by the weather than our Utica, Illinois facility.  

Natural gas is the major fuel used in our wet and dry plants. The cost of natural gas declined throughout fiscal 2017, and is not expected to fluctuate materially in fiscal 2018. Electricity and water are also major cost component in our manufacturing process. We do not anticipate significant changes in the cost of these utilities in fiscal 2018.

Sales and Distribution

A portion of the frac sand we produce is sold under long-term contracts that require our customers to pay a specified price per mesh size for a specified volume of sand each month, or quarter depending on the contract. T he terms of our customer contracts, including pricing, delivery and mesh distribution, vary by customer. Certain of our long-term customer contracts contain liquidated damages for non-performance by our customers. The decline in U.S. rig count and completion activity during fiscal 2016 adversely impacted oil and gas activity leading to reduced demand and pricing for proppants.  As a result , we renegotiated certain provisions of our long-term contracts with certain customers. The renegotiated contracts reflect the reduced demand for frac sand in the current environment by restructuring the contracts to provide reduced contracted sales volumes and prices in the near term, with the contracted minimums being increased in the later years.  In addition to the long-term sales contracts, we sell frac sand through our distribution network under short-term pricing and other agreements. The terms of our short-term pricing agreements vary by customer.

We currently have contracts to provide frac sand to four customers, which comprised approximately 70% of our segment revenues for fiscal 2017.  These contracts have a remaining life of approximately four years.

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We utilize in basin trans-load facilities as a part of our distribution network.  The San Antonio, Texas; Cotulla , Texas; Pecos , Texas and Odessa , Texas trans-load locations are supplied by rail, and operated by third-party contractors.  The El Reno, Oklahoma trans-load location is also supplied by rail, and is operated by company personnel.  Frac sand is delivered to the sites in rail cars specifically designed for loading and unloading sand.  At March 31, 201 7, we had approximately 1,0 00 rail cars un der lease, with an average term of approximately four years.  Our Corpus Christi location is served by barge, and the Kenedy , Texas and Fowlerton, Texas trans-load sites are served by truck from Corpus Christi.  

Environmental Matters

We and the commercial silica industry are subject to extensive governmental regulation pertaining to matters such as permitting and licensing requirements, plant and wildlife protection, hazardous materials, air and water emissions, and environmental contamination and reclamation. A variety of federal, state and local agencies have established, implement and enforce these regulations.

Federal Regulation. At the federal level, we may be required to obtain permits under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands and streams, in connection with our operations. We also may be required to obtain permits under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act from the EPA or the state environmental agencies, to which the EPA has delegated local implementation of the permit program, for discharges of pollutants into waters of the United States, including discharges of wastewater or storm-water runoff associated with construction activities. Failure to obtain these required permits or to comply with their terms could subject us to administrative, civil and criminal penalties as well as injunctive relief.

The U.S. Clean Air Act and comparable state laws regulate emissions of various air pollutants through air emissions permitting programs and the imposition of other requirements. These regulatory programs may require us to install expensive emissions abatement equipment, modify operational practices, and obtain permits for existing or new operations. Before commencing construction on a new or modified source of air emissions, such laws may require us to reduce emissions at existing facilities. As a result, we may be required to incur increased capital and operating costs to comply with these regulations. We could be subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties as well as injunctive relief for noncompliance with air permits or other requirements of the U.S. Clean Air Act and comparable state laws and regulations.

As part of our operations, we utilize or store petroleum products and other substances such as diesel fuel, lubricating oils and hydraulic fluid. We are subject to regulatory programs pertaining to the storage, use, transportation and disposal of these substances. Spills or releases may occur in the course of our operations, and we could incur substantial costs and liabilities as a result of such spills or releases, including claims for damage or injury to property and persons. CERCLA and comparable state laws may impose joint and several liability, without regard to fault or legality of conduct, on classes of persons who are considered to be responsible for the release of hazardous substances into the environment. These persons include the owner or operator of the site where the release occurred and anyone who disposed of or arranged for disposal, including offsite disposal, of a hazardous substance generated or released at the site. Under CERCLA, such persons may be subject to liability for the costs of cleaning up the hazardous substances, for damages to natural resources, and for the costs of certain health studies. In addition, it is not uncommon for neighboring landowners and other third parties to file claims for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by the hazardous substances released into the environment.

In addition, RCRA and comparable state statutes regulate the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, disposal and cleanup of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. The EPA and state environmental agencies, to which the EPA has delegated portions of the RCRA program for local implementation, administer the RCRA program.

Our operations may also be subject to broad environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). NEPA requires federal agencies to evaluate the environmental impact of all “major federal actions” significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. The granting of a federal permit for a major development project, such as a mining operation, may be considered a “major federal action” that requires review under NEPA. Therefore, our projects may require review and evaluation under NEPA. As part of this evaluation, the federal agency considers a broad array of environmental impacts, including, among other things, impacts on air

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quality, water quality, wildlife (including threatened and endangered species), historic and archaeological resources, geology, socioeconomics and aesthetics. NEPA also requires the consideration of alternatives to the projec t. The NEPA review process, especially the preparation of a full environmental impact statement, can be time consuming and expensive. The purpose of the NEPA review process is to inform federal agencies’ decision-making on whether federal approval should b e granted for a project and to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the environmental impacts of a proposed project. Though NEPA requires only that an environmental evaluation be conducted and does not mandate a particular result, a federal agency could decide to deny a permit or impose certain conditions on its approval, based on its environmental review under NEPA, or a third party could challenge the adequacy of a NEPA review and thereby delay the issuance of a federal permit or approval.

Federal agencies granting permits for our operations also must consider impacts to endangered and threatened species and their habitat under the Endangered Species Act. We also must comply with and are subject to liability under the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits and imposes stringent penalties for the harming of endangered or threatened species and their habitat. Federal agencies also must consider a project’s impacts on historic or archaeological resources under the National Historic Preservation Act, and we may be required to conduct archaeological surveys of project sites and to avoid or preserve historical areas or artifacts.

State and Local Regulation. We are also subject to a variety of state and local environmental review and permitting requirements. Some states, including Wisconsin where one of our operations is located, have state laws similar to NEPA; thus our development of a new site or the expansion of an existing site may be subject to comprehensive state environmental reviews even if it is not subject to NEPA. In some cases, the state environmental review may be more stringent than the federal review. Our operations may require state-law based permits in addition to federal permits, requiring state agencies to consider a range of issues, many the same as federal agencies, including, among other things, a project’s impact on wildlife and their habitats, historic and archaeological sites, aesthetics, agricultural operations, and scenic areas. Wisconsin and some other states also have specific permitting and review processes for commercial silica mining operations, and state agencies may impose different or additional monitoring or mitigation requirements than federal agencies. The development of new sites and our existing operations also are subject to a variety of local environmental and regulatory requirements, including land use, zoning, building, and transportation requirements.

Some local communities have expressed concern regarding silica sand mining operations. These concerns have generally included exposure to ambient silica sand dust, truck traffic, water usage, and blasting. In response, certain state and local communities have developed or are in the process of developing regulations or zoning restrictions intended to minimize the potential for dust to become airborne, control the flow of truck traffic, significantly curtail the area available for mining activities, require compensation to local residents for potential impacts of mining activities and, in some cases, ban issuance of new permits for mining activities. We are not aware of any proposals for significant increased scrutiny on the part of state or local regulators in the jurisdictions in which we operate or community concerns with respect to our operations that would reasonably be expected to have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations going forward.

Planned expansion of our mining and production capacity in new communities could be more significantly impacted by increased regulatory activity. Difficulty or delays in obtaining or inability to obtain new mining permits or increased costs of compliance with future state and local regulatory requirements could have a material negative impact on our ability to grow our business. In an effort to minimize these risks, we continue to be engaged with local communities in order to grow and maintain strong relationships with residents and regulators.

Capital Expenditures

There were no capital expenditures related to compliance with environmental regulations applicable to our oil and gas proppants operations during fiscal 2017, and we do not anticipate any such expenditures during fiscal 2018.

Employees

As of March 31, 2017, we had approximately 2,200 employees, of which approximately 800 were employed under collective bargaining agreements and various supplemental agreements with local unions.

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W here You Can Find More Information

We make our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, the proxy statement, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to these reports available free of charge through the investor relations page of our website, located at www.eaglematerials.com as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed with or furnished to the SEC. This reference to our website is merely intended to suggest where additional information may be obtained by investors, and the materials and other information presented on our website are not incorporated in and should not otherwise be considered part of this Report. Alternatively, you may contact our investor relations department directly at (214) 432-2000 or by writing to Eagle Materials Inc., Investor Relations, 3811 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 1100, Dallas, Texas 75219.

I TEM 1A.

RISK FACTORS

The foregoing discussion of our business and operations should be read together with the risk factors set forth below. They describe various risks and uncertainties to which we are or may become subject, many of which are outside of our control. These risks and uncertainties, together with other factors described elsewhere in this Report, have affected, or may in the future affect, our business, operations, financial condition and results of operations in a material and adverse manner.

We are affected by the level of demand in the construction industry.

Demand for our construction products and building materials is directly related to the level of activity in the construction industry, which includes residential, commercial and infrastructure construction. While the most recent downturn in residential and commercial construction, which began in calendar 2007, materially impacted our business, certain economic fundamentals began improving in calendar 2012, and have continued to improve through calendar 2016; however, the rate and sustainability of such improvement remains uncertain. Infrastructure spending continues to be adversely impacted by a number of factors, including the budget constraints currently being experienced by federal, state and local governments. Any decrease in the amount of government funds available for such projects or any decrease in construction activity in general (including any weakness in residential construction or commercial construction) could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business is seasonal in nature, and this causes our quarterly results to vary significantly.

A majority of our business is seasonal with peak revenues and profits occurring primarily in the months of April through November when the weather in our markets is more suitable for construction activity. Quarterly results have varied significantly in the past and are likely to vary significantly in the future. Such variations could have a negative impact on the price of our common stock.

We are subject to the risk of unfavorable weather conditions, particularly during peak construction periods, as well as other unexpected operational difficulties.

Unfavorable weather conditions, such as snow, cold weather, hurricanes, tropical storms and heavy or sustained rainfall, can reduce construction activity and adversely affect demand for construction products. Such weather conditions can also increase our costs, reduce our production or impede our ability to transport our products in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Similarly, operational difficulties, such as business interruption due to required maintenance, capital improvement projects or loss of power, can increase our costs and reduce our production. In particular, the occurrence of unfavorable weather conditions and other unexpected operational difficulties during peak construction periods could adversely affect operating income and cash flow and could have a disproportionate impact on our results of operations for the full year.

We and our customers participate in cyclical industries and regional markets, which are subject to industry downturns.

A majority of our revenues are from customers who are in industries and businesses that are cyclical in nature and subject to changes in general economic conditions. For example, many of our customers operate in the construction industry, which is affected by a variety of factors, such as general economic conditions, changes in

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interest rates, demographic and population shifts, levels of infrastructure spending and other factors beyond our control. In addition, since our operations are in a variety of geographic markets, our businesses are subject to diff ering economic conditions in each such geographic market. Economic downturns in the industries to which we sell our products or localized downturns in the regions where we have operations generally have an adverse effect on demand for our products and adve rsely affect the collectability of our receivables. In general, any downturns in these industries or regions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Many of our products are commodities, which are subject to significant changes in supply and demand and price fluctuations.

Many of the products sold by us are commodities and competition among manufacturers is based largely on price. Prices are often subject to material changes in response to relatively minor fluctuations in supply and demand, general economic conditions and other market conditions beyond our control. Increases in the production capacity of industry participants for products such as gypsum wallboard or cement or increases in cement imports tend to create an oversupply of such products leading to an imbalance between supply and demand, which can have a negative impact on product prices. Currently, there continues to be significant excess nameplate capacity in the gypsum wallboard industry in the United States. There can be no assurance that prices for products sold by us will not decline in the future or that such declines will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our Cement business is capital intensive, resulting in significant fixed and semi-fixed costs. Therefore, our earnings are sensitive to changes in volume.

Due to the high levels of fixed capital required to produce cement, our profitability is susceptible to significant changes in volume. Although we believe that our current cash balance, along with our projected internal cash flows and our available financing resources, will provide sufficient cash to support our currently anticipated operating and capital needs, if we are unable to generate sufficient cash to purchase and maintain the property and machinery necessary to operate our cement business, we may be required to reduce or delay planned capital expenditures or incur additional debt. In addition, given the level of fixed and semi-fixed costs within our cement business and at our cement production facilities, decreases in volumes could have an adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.

Our Oil and Gas Proppants business and financial performance depends on the level of activity in the oil and natural gas industries.

Our operations that produce frac sand are materially dependent on the levels of activity in natural gas and oil exploration, development and production. More specifically, the demand for the frac sand we produce is closely related to the number of natural gas and oil wells completed in geological formations where sand-based proppants are used in fracture treatments. These activity levels are affected by both short- and long-term trends in natural gas and oil prices. In recent years, natural gas and oil prices and, therefore, the level of exploration, development and production activity, have experienced significant fluctuations. Worldwide economic, political and military events, including war, terrorist activity, events in the Middle East and initiatives by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, have contributed, and are likely to continue to contribute, to price volatility. Additionally, warmer than normal winters in North America and other weather patterns may adversely impact the short-term demand for natural gas and, therefore, demand for our products. Reduction in demand for natural gas to generate electricity could also adversely impact the demand for frac sand. A prolonged reduction in natural gas and oil prices would generally depress the level of natural gas and oil exploration, development, production and well completion activity and result in a corresponding decline in the demand for the frac sand we produce. In addition, any future decreases in the rate at which oil and natural gas reserves are discovered or developed, whether due to increased governmental regulation, limitations on exploration and drilling activity or other factors, could have material adverse effect on our oil and gas proppants business, even in a stronger natural gas and oil price environment.

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Any material nonpayment or nonperformance by any of our key customers could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Any material nonpayment or nonperformance by any of our key customers could have a material adverse effect on our revenue and cash flows, in particular with respect to our Oil and Gas Proppants business.  Our contracts with our customers provide for different potential remedies to us in the event a customer fails to purchase the minimum contracted amount of product in a given period.  If we were to pursue legal remedies in the event a customer failed to purchase the minimum contracted amount of product under a fixed-volume contract or failed to satisfy the take-or-pay commitment under a take-or-pay contract, we may receive significantly less in a judgment or settlement of any claimed breach than we would have received had the customer fully performed under the contract.  In the event of any customer’s breach, we may also choose to renegotiate any disputed contract on less favorable terms (including with respect to price and volumes) to us to preserve the relationship with that customer.  Accordingly, any material nonpayment or performance by our customers could have a material adverse effect on our revenue and cash flows.

Volatility and disruption of financial markets could affect access to credit.

Difficult economic conditions can cause a contraction in the availability, and increase the cost, of credit in the marketplace. A number of our customers or suppliers have been and may continue to be adversely affected by unsettled conditions in capital and credit markets, which in some cases have made it more difficult or costly for them to finance their business operations. These unsettled conditions have the potential to reduce the sources of liquidity for the Company and our customers.

Our and our customers’ operations are subject to extensive governmental regulation, including environmental laws, which can be costly and burdensome.

Our operations and those of our customers are subject to and affected by federal, state and local laws and regulations with respect to such matters as land usage, street and highway usage, noise level and health and safety and environmental matters. In many instances, various certificates, permits or licenses are required in order for us or our customers to conduct business or carry out construction and related operations. Although we believe that we are in compliance in all material respects with applicable regulatory requirements, there can be no assurance that we will not incur material costs or liabilities in connection with regulatory requirements or that demand for our products will not be adversely affected by regulatory issues affecting our customers. In addition, future developments, such as the discovery of new facts or conditions, the enactment or adoption of new or stricter laws or regulations or stricter interpretations of existing laws or regulations, may impose new liabilities on us, require additional investment by us or prevent us from opening, expanding or modifying plants or facilities, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.

For example, greenhouse gasses (“GHGs”) currently are regulated as pollutants under the CAA and subject to reporting and permitting requirements. Future consequences of GHG permitting requirements and potential emission reduction measures for our operations may be significant because (1) the cement manufacturing process requires the combustion of large amounts of fuel, (2) in our cement manufacturing process, the production of carbon dioxide is a byproduct of the calcination process, whereby carbon dioxide is removed from calcium carbonate to produce calcium oxide, and (3) our gypsum wallboard manufacturing process combusts a significant amount of fossil fuel, especially natural gas. In addition, the EPA has proposed to regulate GHG emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants as a result of the EPA’s promulgation of new source performance standards for the same sources.  In the future, the EPA is expected to propose new source performance standards for cement manufacturing, which similarly will trigger a requirement for the EPA to promulgate regulations relating to existing cement manufacturing facilities.  The timing of such regulation is uncertain.  

On September 9, 2010, the EPA finalized National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, or NESHAP, for Portland cement plants (“PC NESHAP”). The PC NESHAP requires a significant reduction in emissions of certain hazardous air pollutants from Portland cement kilns. The PC NESHAP sets limits on mercury emissions from existing Portland cement kilns and increases the stringency of emission limits for new kilns. The PC NESHAP also sets emission limits for total hydrocarbons, particulate matter (as a surrogate for metal pollutants)

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and acid gases from cement kilns of all sizes. The PC NESHAP was scheduled to take full effect in Septembe r 2013; however, as a result of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Portland Cement Ass’n. v. EPA , 665 F.3d 177 (D.C. Cir.) arising from industry challenges to the PC NESHAP, the EPA proposed a settlement agreeme nt with industry petitioners in May 2012. In February 2013, the EPA published the final revised rule to the PC NESHAP which extended the compliance date until September 9, 2015 for existing cement kilns and made certain changes to the rules governing parti culate matter monitoring methods and emissions limits, among other revisions. The 2013 revised rule was challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and on April 18, 2014, the court vacated the affirmative defense provision.  The court uphe ld the EPA’s particulate matter emission standards and extended compliance date.  On November 19, 2014, the EPA proposed a rule removing the affirmative defense provision and making minor technical corrections to the regulations.

On March 21, 2011, the EPA proposed revised Standards of Performance for New Sources and Emissions Guidelines for Existing Sources for Commercial/Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators (the “CISWI Rule”) per Section 129 of the CAA, which created emission standards for 4 subcategories of industrial facilities, one of which is “Waste Burning Kilns.” The EPA simultaneously stayed the CISWI Rule for further reconsideration. Effective as of February 13, 2013, the EPA finalized revisions to the CISWI Rule. For those cement kilns that utilize non-hazardous secondary materials (“NHSM”) as defined in a rule first finalized on March 21, 2011 (and slightly revised effective on February 13, 2013), the CISWI Rule will require significant reductions in emissions of certain pollutants from applicable cement kilns. The CISWI Rule sets forth emission standards for mercury, carbon monoxide, acid gases, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, certain metals (lead and cadmium), particulate matter and more stringent standards than PC NESHAP for dioxin/furans. The CISWI Rule as currently promulgated may materially increase capital costs and costs for production but only for those facilities that will be using applicable solid wastes as fuel. The compliance date for this rule is February 7, 2018 (either 3 years after State CISWI plan approval, or 5 years from the date of the final CISWI Rule, whichever is sooner). It is anticipated that the CISWI Rule may materially increase capital costs and costs of production for the Company and the industry as a whole.

On April 17, 2015, the EPA published its final rule addressing the storage, reuse and disposal of coal combustion products, which include fly ash and flue gas desulfurization gypsum (“synthetic gypsum”). We use synthetic gypsum in wallboard manufactured at our Georgetown, South Carolina plant. The rule, which applies only to electric utilities and independent power producers, establishes standards for the management of coal combustion residuals (CCRs) under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, or RCRA, which is the Subtitle that regulates non-hazardous wastes. The rule imposes requirements addressing CCR surface impoundments and landfills, including location restrictions, design and operating specifications, groundwater monitoring requirements, corrective action requirements, recordkeeping and reporting obligations, and closure requirements. Beneficial encapsulated uses of CCRs, including synthetic gypsum, are exempt from regulation. The rule became effective on October 14, 2015, with many of the requirements phased in months or years after the effective date. Given the EPA’s decision to continue to allow CCR to be used in synthetic gypsum and to regulate CCR under the non-hazardous waste sections of RCRA, we do not expect the rule to materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

On October 1, 2015, the EPA lowered the primary and secondary ozone standards from the current 8-hour standard of 75 parts per billion (“ppb”) to 70 ppb.  The EPA also strengthened the secondary ozone standard to improve protection for trees, plants and ecosystems. Like the primary standard, an area will meet the secondary standard if the fourth-highest maximum daily 8-hour ozone concentration per year, averaged over three years, is equal to or less than 70 ppb.    The EPA based the secondary standard on the “W126 metric,” an index designed to show the cumulative impact of ozone on plants and trees seasonally.  The EPA has issued an implementation memo describing how it will determine whether the ozone levels in areas across the country, typically on a county level, are above the new standards. Areas above the new standards will be designated as “nonattainment;” areas at or below the new standards will be designated “attainment.”  In states with major emitting sources located in or near designated nonattainment areas, States will impose new and costly regulatory requirements.  For areas that are determined to be in non-attainment, states will be required to develop plans to bring the areas into attainment by as early as 2020.  At this time, it is not possible to determine whether any area in which we operate will be designated nonattainment.  However, if that occurs, we may be required to meet new control requirements requiring significant capital expenditures for compliance.

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Our cement plants located in Kansas City, Missouri and Tulsa, Oklahoma are subject to certain obligations under a consent decree with the United States requiring the establishment of facility-specific emissions limita tions for certain air pollutants. Limitations that significantly restrict emissions levels beyond current operating levels may require additional investments by us or place limitations on operations, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.

Our cement plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma is subject to NESHAP for hazardous waste combustors (the “HWC MACT”), which imposes emission limitations and operating limits on cement kilns that are fueled by hazardous wastes. Compliance with the HWC MACT could impose additional liabilities on us or require additional investment by us, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations. In addition, new developments, such as new laws or regulations, may impose new liabilities on us, require additional investment by us or prevent us from operating or expanding plants or facilities, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations. For example, while the HWC MACT has not been updated since 2008, 73 Fed. Reg. 64068 (Oct. 28, 2008), future revisions to the HWC MACT regulations would apply to both of the cement kilns used at the cement plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Such revision could require new control requirements and significant capital expenditure for compliance. In 2013, the EPA adopted the final CISWI Rule (as discussed above) that likely will apply to the cement kiln used by the cement plant in Sugar Creek, Missouri and the two cement kilns at Nevada Cement Company, and may impose new control requirements requiring significant capital expenditures for compliance. Existing CISWI units will need to comply with the CISWI Rule when it becomes effective, which is expected to occur in early 2018.

We may incur significant costs in connection with pending and future litigation.

We are, or may become, party to various lawsuits, claims, investigations and proceedings, including but not limited to personal injury, environmental, antitrust (including the wallboard antitrust class actions, the homebuilder suit and the DOJ investigation), tax, asbestos, property entitlements and land use, intellectual property, commercial, contract, product liability, health and safety, and employment matters. The outcome of pending or future lawsuits, claims, investigations or proceedings is often difficult to predict and could be adverse and material in amount. Development in these proceedings can lead to changes in management’s estimates of liabilities associated with these proceedings including the judge’s rulings or judgments, settlements or changes in applicable law.  A future adverse ruling, settlement or unfavorable development could result in charges that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows in a particular period.  In addition, the defense of these lawsuits, claims, investigations and proceedings may divert our management’s attention and we may incur significant costs in defending these matters. See Part I Item 3. Legal Proceedings of this report.

Our results of operations are subject to significant changes in the cost and availability of fuel, energy and other raw materials.

Major cost components in each of our businesses are the costs of fuel, energy and raw materials. Significant increases in the costs of fuel, energy or raw materials or substantial decreases in their availability could materially and adversely affect our sales and operating profits. Prices for fuel, energy or raw materials used in connection with our businesses could change significantly in a short period of time for reasons outside our control. Prices for fuel and electrical power, which are significant components of the costs associated with our gypsum wallboard and cement businesses, have fluctuated significantly in recent years and may increase in the future. In the event of large or rapid increases in prices, we may not be able to pass the increases through to our customers in full, which would reduce our operating margin.

Changes in the cost or availability of raw materials supplied by third parties may adversely affect our operating and financial performance.

We generally maintain our own reserves of limestone, gypsum, aggregates and other materials that we use to manufacture our products. However, we obtain certain raw materials used to manufacture our products, such as synthetic gypsum and slag granules, from third parties who produce such materials as by-products of industrial processes. While we try to secure our needed supply of such materials through long-term contracts, those contracts may not be sufficient to meet our needs or we may be unable to renew or replace existing contracts when they expire

23

 


or are terminated in the future. Should our existing suppliers cease operations or reduce or eliminate production of these by-products, our costs to procure these materials may increase significantly or we may be obliged to procure alternatives to replace these materials, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Any such development may adversely affect our operations and financial condition.

We may become subject to significant clean-up, remediation and other liabilities under applicable environmental laws.

Our operations are subject to state, federal and local environmental laws and regulations, which impose liability for cleanup or remediation of environmental pollution and hazardous waste arising from past acts. These laws and regulations also require pollution control and prevention, site restoration and operating permits and/or approvals to conduct certain of our operations or expand or modify our facilities. Certain of our operations may from time-to-time involve the use of substances that are classified as toxic or hazardous substances within the meaning of these laws and regulations. Additionally, any future laws or regulations addressing GHG emissions would likely have a negative impact on our business or results of operations, whether through the imposition of raw material or production limitations, fuel-use or carbon taxes emission limitations or reductions or otherwise. We are unable to estimate accurately the impact on our business or results of operations of any such law or regulation at this time. Risk of environmental liability (including the incurrence of fines, penalties or other sanctions or litigation liability) is inherent in the operation of our businesses. As a result, it is possible that environmental liabilities and compliance with environmental regulations could have a material adverse effect on our operations in the future.

Significant changes in the cost and availability of transportation could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Some of the raw materials used in our manufacturing processes, such as coal or coke, are transported to our facilities by truck or rail. In addition, transportation logistics play an important part in allowing us to supply products to our customers, whether by truck, rail or barge. For example, we deliver gypsum wallboard to many areas of the United States and the transportation costs associated with the delivery of our wallboard products represent a significant portion of the variable cost of our gypsum wallboard segment. Significant increases in the cost of fuel or energy can result in material increases in the cost of transportation, which could materially and adversely affect our operating profits. In addition, reductions in the availability of certain modes of transportation such as rail or trucking could limit our ability to deliver product and therefore materially and adversely affect our operating profits.

Our debt agreements contain restrictive covenants and require us to meet certain financial ratios and tests, which limit our flexibility and could give rise to a default if we are unable to remain in compliance.

Our Credit Facility, Senior Unsecured Notes and Private Placement Note Purchase Agreements governing our Private Placement Senior Unsecured Notes contain, among other things, covenants that limit our ability to finance future operations or capital needs or to engage in other business activities, including but not limited to our ability to:

 

Incur additional indebtedness;

 

Sell assets or make other fundamental changes;

 

Engage in mergers and acquisitions;

 

Pay dividends and make other restricted payments;

 

Make investments, loans, advances or guarantees;

 

Encumber our assets or those of our restricted subsidiaries;

 

Enter into transactions with our affiliates.

In addition, these agreements require us to meet and maintain certain financial ratios and tests, which may require that we take action to reduce our debt or to act in a manner contrary to our business objectives. Events beyond our control, including the changes in general business and economic conditions, may impair our ability to comply with these covenants or meet those financial ratios and tests. A breach of any of these covenants or failure

24

 


to maintain the required ratios and meet the required tests may result i n an event of default under these agreements. This may allow the lenders under these agreements to declare all amounts outstanding to be immediately due and payable, terminate any commitments to extend further credit to us and pursue other remedies availab le to them under the applicable agreements. If this occurs, our indebtedness may be accelerated and we may not be able to refinance the accelerated indebtedness on favorable terms, or at all, or repay the accelerated indebtedness. In general, the occurrenc e of any event of default under these agreements could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.

We have incurred substantial indebtedness, which could adversely affect our business, limit our ability to plan for or respond to changes in our business and reduce our profitability.

Our future ability to satisfy our debt obligations is subject, to some extent, to financial, market, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other factors that are beyond our control. Our substantial debt obligations could have negative consequences to our business, and in particular could impede, restrict or delay the implementation of our business strategy or prevent us from entering into transactions that would otherwise benefit our business. For example:

 

we may be required to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flows from operations to payments on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of our cash flow for other purposes, including business development efforts, capital expenditures or strategic acquisitions;

 

we may not be able to generate sufficient cash flow to meet our substantial debt service obligations or to fund our other liquidity needs. If this occurs, we may have to take actions such as selling assets, selling equity or reducing or delaying capital expenditures, strategic acquisitions, investments and joint ventures or restructuring our debt;

 

as a result of the amount of our outstanding indebtedness and the restrictive covenants to which we are subject, if we determine that we require additional financing to fund future working capital, capital investments or other business activities, we may not be able to obtain such financing on commercially reasonable terms, or at all; and

 

our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and industry may be limited, thereby placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less indebtedness.

Our production facilities may experience unexpected equipment failures, catastrophic events and scheduled maintenance.

Interruptions in our production capabilities may cause our productivity and results of operations to decline significantly during the affected period. Our manufacturing processes are dependent upon critical pieces of equipment. Such equipment may, on occasion, be out of service as a result of unanticipated events such as fires, explosions, violent weather conditions or unexpected operational difficulties. We also have periodic scheduled shut-downs to perform maintenance on our facilities. Any significant interruption in production capability may require us to make significant capital expenditures to remedy problems or damage as well as cause us to lose revenue and profits due to lost production time, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Increases in interest rates and inflation could adversely affect our business and demand for our products, which would have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

Our business is significantly affected by the movement of interest rates. Interest rates have a direct impact on the level of residential, commercial and infrastructure construction activity by impacting the cost of borrowed funds to builders. Higher interest rates could result in decreased demand for our products, which would have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. In addition, increases in interest rates could result in higher interest expense related to borrowings under our Credit Facility. Inflation can result in higher interest rates. With inflation, the costs of capital increase, and the purchasing power of our cash resources can decline. Current or future

25

 


efforts by the government to stim ulate the economy may increase the risk of significant inflation, which could have a direct and indirect adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

Any new business opportunities we may elect to pursue will be subject to the risks typically associated with the early stages of business development or product line expansion.

We are continuing to pursue opportunities which are natural extensions of our existing core businesses and which allow us to leverage our core competencies, existing infrastructure and customer relationships. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Conditions and Results of Operations – Executive Summary.” Our likelihood of success in pursuing and realizing these opportunities must be considered in light of the expenses, difficulties and delays frequently encountered in connection with the early phases of business development or product line expansion, including the difficulties involved in obtaining permits; planning and constructing new facilities; transporting and storing products; establishing, maintaining or expanding customer relationships; as well as navigating the regulatory environment in which we operate. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in the pursuit and realization of these opportunities.

We may be adversely affected by decreased demand for frac sand or the development of either effective alternative proppants or new processes to replace hydraulic fracturing.

Frac sand is a proppant used in the completion and re-completion of natural gas and oil wells through hydraulic fracturing. Frac sand is the most commonly used proppant and is less expensive than ceramic proppant, which is also used in hydraulic fracturing to stimulate and maintain oil and natural gas production. A significant shift in demand from frac sand to other proppants, such as ceramic proppants, could have a material adverse effect on our oil and gas proppants business. The development and use of other effective alternative proppants or the development of new processes to replace hydraulic fracturing altogether, could also cause a decline in demand for the frac sand we produce and could have a material adverse effect on our oil and gas proppants business.

Our operations are dependent on our rights and ability to mine our properties and on our having renewed or received the required permits and approvals from governmental authorities and other third parties.

We hold numerous governmental, environmental, mining and other permits, water rights and approvals authorizing operations at many of our facilities. A decision by a governmental agency or other third party to deny or delay issuing a new or renewed permit or approval, or to revoke or substantially modify an existing permit or approval, could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue operations at the affected facility. Expansion of our existing operations is also predicated on securing the necessary environmental or other permits, water rights or approvals, which we may not receive in a timely manner or at all.

Title to, and the area of, mineral properties and water rights may also be disputed. Mineral properties sometimes contain claims or transfer histories that examiners cannot verify. A successful claim that we do not have title to one or more of our properties or lack appropriate water rights could cause us to lose any rights to explore, develop and extract any minerals on that property, without compensation for our prior expenditures relating to such property. Our business may suffer a material adverse effect in the event one or more of our properties are determined to have title deficiencies.

In some instances, we have received access rights or easements from third parties, which allow for a more efficient operation than would exist without the access or easement. A third party could take action to suspend the access or easement, and any such action could be materially averse to or results of operations or financial conditions.

A cyber-attack or data security breach affecting our information technology systems may negatively affect our businesses, financial condition and operating results.

We use information technology systems to collect, store and transmit the data needed to operate our businesses, including our confidential and proprietary information. Although we have implemented industry-standard security safeguards and policies to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure of such information, we cannot prevent all cyber-attacks or data security breaches. If such an attack or breach occurs, our businesses could

26

 


be negatively affected, and we could incur additional costs in remediating the attack or breach and suffer reputational harm due to the theft or disclosure of our confidential information.

We may pursue acquisitions, joint ventures and other transactions that are intended to complement or expand our businesses.  We may not be able to complete proposed transactions, and even if completed, the transactions may involve a number of risks that may result in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows.

As business conditions warrant and our financial resources permit, we may pursue opportunities to acquire businesses or technologies and to form joint ventures that we believe could complement, enhance or expand our current businesses or product lines or that might otherwise offer us growth opportunities.  We may have difficulty identifying appropriate opportunities, or if we do identify opportunities, we may not be successful in completing transactions for a number of reasons.  Any transactions that we are able to identify and complete may involve one or more of a number of risks, including:

 

the diversion of management’s attention from our existing businesses to integrate the operations and personnel of the acquired business or joint venture;

 

possible adverse effects on our operating results during the integration process;

 

failure of the acquired business or joint venture to achieve expected operational, profitability and investment return objectives;

 

the incurrence of significant charges, such as impairment of goodwill or intangible assets, asset devaluation or restructuring charges;

 

the assumption of unanticipated liabilities and costs for which indemnification is unavailable or inadequate;

 

unforeseen difficulties encountered in operating in new geographic areas; and

 

the inability to achieve other intended objectives of the transaction

In addition, we may not be able to successfully or profitably integrate, operate, maintain and manage our newly acquired operations or their employees.  We may not be able to maintain uniform standards, controls, procedures and policies, which may lead to operational inefficiencies.  In addition, future acquisitions may result in dilutive issuances of equity securities or the incurrence of additional indebtedness.

Our bylaws include a forum selection clause, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us.

Our bylaws provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any internal corporate claims within the meaning of the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”), (ii) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (iii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, or employees to us or to our stockholders, or (iv) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL, will be a state or federal court located within the State of Delaware in all cases subject to the court’s having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants.  Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock is deemed to have notice of and consented to the foregoing provisions.  This forum selection provision in our bylaws may limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us.  It is also possible that, notwithstanding the forum selection clause included in our bylaws, a court could rule that such a provision is inapplicable or unenforceable.

This report includes various forward-looking statements, which are not facts or guarantees of future performance and which are subject to significant risks and uncertainties.

This report and other materials we have filed or will file with the SEC, as well as information included in oral statements or other written statements made or to be made by us, contain or may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Exchange Act of 1934 and the

27

 


Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate to matters of a strictly factual or historical natu re and generally discuss or relate to forecasts, estimates or other expectations regarding future events. Generally, the words “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “project,” “may,” “can,” “could,” “might,” “will” and similar expression s identify forward-looking statements, including statements related to expected operating and performing results, planned transactions, plans and objectives of management, future developments or conditions in the industries in which we participate, includi ng future prices for our products, audits and legal proceedings to which we are a party and other trends, developments and uncertainties that may affect our business in the future.

Forward-looking statements are not historical facts or guarantees of future performance but instead represent only our beliefs at the time the statements were made regarding future events, which are subject to significant risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are outside of our control. Any or all of the forward-looking statements made by us may turn out to be materially inaccurate. This can occur as a result of incorrect assumptions, changes in facts and circumstances or the effects of known risks and uncertainties. Many of the risks and uncertainties mentioned in this report or other reports filed by us with the SEC, including those discussed in the risk factor section of this report, will be important in determining whether these forward-looking statements prove to be accurate. Consequently, neither our stockholders nor any other person should place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements and should recognize that actual results may differ materially from those that may be anticipated by us.

All forward-looking statements made in this report are made as of the date hereof, and the risk that actual results will differ materially from expectations expressed in this report will increase with the passage of time. We undertake no obligation, and disclaim any duty, to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in our expectations or otherwise.

I TEM 1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

There are no unresolved Staff comments.

I TEM 2.

PROPERTIES

We operate cement plants, quarries and related facilities at Buda, Texas; LaSalle, Illinois; Sugar Creek, Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Fernley, Nevada; Fairborn, Ohio and Laramie, Wyoming. The Buda plant is owned by a partnership in which we have a 50% interest. Our principal aggregate plants and quarries are located near Austin, Texas; Sugar Creek, Missouri and Marysville, California. Our cement plant in Sugar Creek, Missouri, is leased pursuant to a long-term agreement with the city of Sugar Creek. The lease contains a purchase option that can be exercised by payment of a nominal fee. In addition, we operate gypsum wallboard plants in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Gypsum, Colorado; Duke, Oklahoma; and in Georgetown, South Carolina. We produce recycled paperboard at Lawton, Oklahoma. We operate frac sand mines in New Auburn, Wisconsin and Utica, Illinois, and we have frac sand processing plants in New Auburn, Wisconsin, Utica, Illinois and Corpus Christi, Texas.  Other than our leased cement plant located in Sugar Creek, Missouri, none of our facilities is pledged as security for any debts. Our frac sand processing plants in Utica, Illinois and Corpus Christi, Texas are currently idled.  We expect to use the Corpus Christi plant during peak parts of the cycle to help us balance out our distribution network.  We also have a gypsum wallboard plant in Bernalillo, New Mexico that we idled in December 2009. See “Item 1. Business” on pages 1-19 of this Report for additional information relating to the Company’s properties.


28

 


I TEM 3.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

EPA Notice of Violation

On October 5, 2010, Region IX of the EPA issued a Notice of Violation and Finding of Violation (“NOV”) alleging violations by our subsidiary, Nevada Cement Company (“NCC”), of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”). The NOV alleges that NCC made certain physical changes to its facility in the 1990s without first obtaining permits required by the Prevention of Significant Deterioration requirements and Title V permit requirements of the CAA. The EPA also alleges that NCC has failed to submit to the EPA since 2002 certain reports required by the National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants General Provisions and the Portland Cement Manufacturing Industry Standards. On March 12, 2014, the EPA Region IX issued a second NOV to NCC. The second NOV is materially similar to the 2010 NOV except that it alleges violations of the new source performance standards (“NSPS”) for Portland cement plants. The NOVs state that the EPA may seek penalties although it does not propose or assess any specific level of penalties or specify what relief the EPA will seek for the alleged violations. In January 2017, NCC entered into a Consent Decree in which NCC agreed to install at its Fernley, Nevada plant certain emission control equipment (selective non-catalytic reduction) to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and to pay a penalty of $0.6 million.  NCC also agreed to replace two existing vehicles with two new vehicles with more efficient Tier 4 engines.   Under the terms of the Consent Decree, NCC will complete the installation of the emission control equipment and vehicle replacement in approximately 2 years.  It is anticipated that the investment in the new emission control equipment and vehicles will cost approximately $3.0 million. In the Consent Decree NCC denies all allegations set forth in the NOVs and the Complaint which is to be filed simultaneously with the entry of the Consent Decree, and the Consent Decree resolves all such claims by the government.  The Consent Decree was signed by the EPA and DOJ and was lodged in US District Court for the District of Nevada in May 2017.  The Consent Decree is subject to approval by the Court after a thirty-day comment period.

Domestic Wallboard Antitrust Litigation

Since late December 2012, several purported class action lawsuits were filed in various United States District Courts, including the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Western District of North Carolina and the Northern District of Illinois, against the Company’s subsidiary, American Gypsum Company LLC (“American Gypsum”), alleging that the defendant wallboard manufacturers conspired to fix the price for drywall sold in the United States in violation of federal antitrust laws and, in some cases related provisions of state law. The complaints allege that the defendant wallboard manufacturers conspired to increase prices through the announcement and implementation of coordinated price increases, output restrictions, and other restraints of trade, including the elimination of individual “job quote” pricing. In addition to American Gypsum, the defendants in these lawsuits include CertainTeed Corp., USG Corporation and United States Gypsum (together “USG”), New NGC, Inc., Lafarge North America (“Lafarge”), Temple Inland Inc. (“TIN”) and PABCO Building Products LLC. On April 8, 2013, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) transferred and consolidated all related cases to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for coordinated pretrial proceedings.

On June 24, 2013, the direct and indirect purchaser plaintiffs filed consolidated amended class action complaints. The direct purchasers’ complaint added the Company as a defendant. The plaintiffs in the consolidated class action lawsuits bring claims on behalf of purported classes of direct or indirect purchasers of wallboard from January 1, 2012 to the present for unspecified monetary damages (including treble damages) and in some cases injunctive relief. On July 29, 2013, the Company and American Gypsum answered the complaints, denying all allegations that they conspired to increase the price of drywall and asserting affirmative defenses to the plaintiffs’ claims.

In 2014, USG and TIN entered into agreements with counsel representing the direct and indirect purchaser classes pursuant to which they agreed to settle all claims against them.  Under the terms of its settlement agreement, USG agreed to pay $48.0 million to resolve the direct and indirect purchaser class actions.  In its settlement agreement, TIN agreed to pay $7.0 million to resolve the direct and indirect purchaser class actions.  On August 20, 2015, the court entered orders finally approving USG and TIN’s settlements with the direct and indirect purchaser plaintiffs.  Initial discovery in this litigation is complete.  Following completion of the initial discovery, the

29

 


Company and remaining co-defendants moved for summary judgement.  On February 18, 2016, the court denied the Company’s motion for summary judgement , but granted Certainteed’s mot ion for summary judgement .  On June 16, 2016, Lafarge entered into an agreement with counsel for the direct purchaser class under which it agreed to settle all claims against it for $23.0 million.  The court entered an order finally approving this settleme nt on December 7, 2016.  On July 28, 2016, Lafarge entered into an agreement with counsel representing the indirect purchaser class under which it agreed to settle all claims against it for $5.2 million.  On July 14, 2016, the Company’s motion for permissi on to appeal the summary judgement decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was denied.  Direct purchaser plaintiffs and indirect purchaser plaintiffs filed their motions for class certification on August 3, 2016 and October 12, 2016, re spectively.  Class certification proceedings are ongoing. The Court held an evidentiary hearing on the direct purchaser plaintiff’s motion for class certification in April 2017 and has scheduled a hearing on indirect purchase plaintiff’s motion for class c ertification in June 2017. We are unable to estimate the amount of any reasonably possible loss or range of reasonably possible losses. We deny the allegations in these lawsuits and will vigorously defend ourselves against these claims.

On March 17, 2015, a group of homebuilders filed a complaint against the defendants, including American Gypsum, based upon the same conduct alleged in the consolidated class action complaints.  On March 24, 2015, the JPML transferred this action to the multidistrict litigation already pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Following the transfer, the homebuilder plaintiffs filed two amended complaints, on December 14, 2015 and March 25, 2016.  Discovery in this lawsuit is ongoing.  At this stage, we are unable to estimate the amount of any reasonably possible loss or range of reasonably possible losses.

In June 2015, American Gypsum and an employee received grand jury subpoenas from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina seeking information regarding an investigation of the gypsum drywall industry by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.  We believe the investigation, although a separate proceeding, is related to the same subject matter at issue in the litigation described above and we intend to fully cooperate with government officials.  We are currently unable to determine the ultimate outcome of such investigation.

I TEM 4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Information concerning mine safety violations or other regulatory matters required by Section 1503(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Item 104 of Regulation S-K is included in Exhibit 95 to this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

30

 


P ART II

I TEM 5.

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Stock Prices and Dividends

As of May 17, 2017, there were approximately 1,400 holders of record of our Common Stock which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EXP.

The following table sets forth the high and low closing prices for our Common Stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange for the periods indicated, as well as dividends declared during these periods:

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2017

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2016

 

Quarter ended:

 

High

 

 

Low

 

 

Dividends

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

 

Dividends

 

June 30

 

$

82.32

 

 

$

68.78

 

 

$

0.10

 

 

$

87.68

 

 

$

75.72

 

 

$

0.10

 

September 30

 

$

85.92

 

 

$

73.33

 

 

$

0.10

 

 

$

84.42

 

 

$

67.42

 

 

$

0.10

 

December 31

 

$

102.07

 

 

$

75.61

 

 

$

0.10

 

 

$

75.74

 

 

$

58.88

 

 

$

0.10

 

 

March 31

 

$

108.70

 

 

$

96.15

 

 

$

0.10

 

 

$

70.49

 

 

$

47.53

 

 

$

0.10

 

 

The “Dividends” section of Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” is hereby incorporated by reference into this Part II, Item 5.

SHARE REPURCHASES

On August 10, 2015, the Board of Directors authorized us to repurchase an additional 6,782,700 shares, for a total authorization, as of that date, of 7,500,000 shares. Including the authorization on August 10, 2015, our Board of Directors has approved the repurchase in the open market of a cumulative total of 38,393,305 shares of our Common Stock since we became publicly held in April 1994.

Share repurchases may be made from time-to-time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The timing and amount of any repurchases of shares will be determined by the Company’s management, based on its evaluation of market and economic conditions and other factors. In some cases, repurchases may be made pursuant to plans, programs or directions established from time to time by the Company’s management, including plans to comply with the safe-harbor provided by Rule 10b5-1.

Purchases of the Company’s common stock during the quarter ended March 31, 2017 were as follows:

 

Period

 

Total

Number

of Shares

Purchased

 

 

Average

Price

Paid Per

Share

 

 

Total

Number

of Shares

Purchased

as Part of

Publicly

Announced

Plans or

Programs

 

 

Maximum

Number

of Shares

that May

Yet be

Purchased

Under the

Plans or

Programs

 

January 1 through January 31, 2017

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 1 through February 28, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 1 through March 31, 2017

 

 

14,407

 

 

 

96.15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quarter 4 Totals

 

 

14,407

 

 

$

96.15

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,817,200

 

  The shares acquired in March 2017 were acquired from employees upon the vesting of restricted shares that were granted under our incentive plan.  These shares were withheld by the employees to satisfy the employee’s minimum statutory tax withholding, which is required upon the vesting of restricted shares, and do not count against our share repurchase plan.

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The equity compensation plan information set forth in Part III, Item 12 of this Form 10-K is hereby incorporated by reference into this Part II, Item 5.

PERFORMANCE GRAPH

The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent that the Company specifically incorporates it by reference into such filing.

The graph below compares the cumulative 5-year total return to holders of common stock with the cumulative total returns of the Russell 1000 index and the Dow Jones US Building Materials & Fixtures index. The graph assumes that the value of the investment in the Company’s common stock and in each of the indexes (including the reinvestment of dividends) was $100 on March 31, 2012 and tracks it through March 31, 2017.

 

 

 

 

2012

 

 

2013

 

 

2014

 

 

2015

 

 

2016

 

 

2017

 

Eagle Materials, Inc.

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

193.63

 

 

 

259.12

 

 

 

245.32

 

 

 

206.98

 

 

 

288.21

 

Russell 1000

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

114.43

 

 

 

140.07

 

 

 

157.91

 

 

 

158.70

 

 

 

186.36

 

Dow Jones US Building Materials & Fixtures

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

141.09

 

 

 

174.06

 

 

 

199.92

 

 

 

223.23

 

 

 

257.09

 

 

The stock price performance included in this graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.


32

 


I TEM 6.

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

Summary of Selected Financial Data (1)

(amounts in thousands, except per share data)

 

 

 

For the Fiscal Years Ended March 31,

 

 

 

 

2017

 

 

 

2016

 

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

 

2013

 

 

Revenues

 

$

1,211,220

 

(5)

 

$

1,143,492

 

(4)

 

$

1,066,368

 

(3)

$

898,396

 

 

 

$

642,562

 

(2)

Earnings Before Income Taxes

 

 

294,519

 

(5)

 

 

219,252

 

(4)

 

 

252,927

 

(3)

 

181,804

 

 

 

 

84,096

 

(2)

Net Earnings

 

 

198,219

 

(5)

 

 

152,592

 

(4)

 

 

186,853

 

(3)

 

124,243

 

 

 

 

57,744

 

(2)

Diluted Earnings Per Share

 

 

4.10

 

(5)

 

 

3.05

 

(4)

 

 

3.71

 

(3)

 

2.49

 

 

 

 

1.22

 

(2)

Cash Dividends Per Share

 

 

0.40

 

 

 

 

0.40

 

 

 

 

0.40

 

 

 

0.40

 

 

 

 

0.40

 

 

Total Assets

 

 

2,247,124

 

 

 

 

1,883,635

 

 

 

 

1,880,326

 

 

 

1,510,968

 

 

 

 

1,476,044

 

 

Total Debt

 

 

686,467

 

 

 

 

507,714

 

 

 

 

512,759

 

 

 

381,259

 

 

 

 

489,259

 

 

Stockholders’ Equity

 

 

1,203,450

 

 

 

 

1,040,531

 

 

 

 

1,010,593

 

 

 

831,499

 

 

 

 

696,170

 

 

Book Value Per Share At Year End

 

$

24.84

 

 

 

$

21.44

 

 

 

$

20.11

 

 

$

16.61

 

 

 

$

14.06

 

 

Average Dilutive Shares Outstanding

 

 

48,361

 

 

 

 

50,071

 

 

 

 

50,372

 

 

 

49,939

 

 

 

 

47,340

 

 

 

 

(1)

The Summary of Selected Financial Data should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for matters that affect the comparability of the information presented above.

 

(2)

Includes operations related to the assets acquired from Lafarge N.A. from December 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013.

 

(3)

Includes operations related to the CRS Acquisition from November 14, 2014 through March 31, 2015.

 

(4)

Includes operations related to Skyway Cement from July 14, 2015 through March 31, 2016.

 

(5)

Included operations related to Fairborn Business from February 10, 2017 through March 31, 2017.

 

 

33

 


I TEM 7.

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

executive summary

Eagle Materials Inc. is a diversified producer of basic building materials and construction products used in residential, industrial, commercial and infrastructure construction. Information presented for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively, reflects the Company’s business segments, consisting of Cement, Gypsum Wallboard, Recycled Paperboard, Oil and Gas Proppants and Concrete and Aggregates. These operations are conducted in the U.S. and include the mining of limestone and the manufacture, production, distribution and sale of Portland cement (a basic construction material which is the essential binding ingredient in concrete) and specialty oil well cement; the grinding of slag; the mining of gypsum and the manufacture and sale of gypsum wallboard; the manufacture and sale of recycled paperboard to the gypsum wallboard industry and other paperboard converters; the sale of readymix concrete, the mining and sale of aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel) and the mining and sale of sand used in hydraulic fracturing (“frac sand”). The products that we manufacture, distribute and sell are basic materials with broad application as construction products, building materials and basic materials used for oil and natural gas extraction.  Our construction products are used in residential, industrial, commercial and infrastructure construction and include cement, concrete and aggregates. Our building materials are sold into similar markets and include gypsum wallboard.  Our basic materials used for oil and gas extraction include frac sand and oil well cement.  Certain information for each of Concrete and Aggregates is broken out separately in the segment discussions.

We operate in cyclical commodity businesses that are affected by changes in market conditions and the overall construction environment. Our operations, depending on the business segment, range from local to national businesses. We have operations in a diverse set of geographic markets, which subject us to the economic conditions in those geographic markets as well as economic conditions in the national market. General economic downturns or localized downturns in the regions where we have operations may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We conduct one of our cement operations through a joint venture, Texas Lehigh Cement Company LP, which is located in Buda, Texas (the “Joint Venture”). We own a 50% interest in the Joint Venture and account for our interest under the equity method of accounting. We proportionately consolidate our 50% share of the Joint Venture’s revenues and operating earnings in the presentation of our cement segment, which is the way management organizes the segments within the Company for making operating decisions and assessing performance.

On February 10, 2017, the Company completed the acquisition of the following assets (the “Fairborn Acquisition”) of CEMEX Construction Materials Atlantic LLC (“the Seller”), (ii) a cement distribution terminal located in Columbus, Ohio, and (iii) certain other properties and assets used by the Seller in connection with the foregoing (collectively, the “Fairborn Business”).  The Purchase Price in the Fairborn Acquisition was approximately $400.0 million.  In addition, the Company assumed certain liabilities and obligations of the Seller relating to the Fairborn Business, including contractual obligations, reclamation obligations and various other liabilities and obligations arising out of or relating to the Fairborn Business. The Company funded the payment of the Fairborn Purchase Price and expenses incurred in connection with the Fairborn Acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and borrowings under the Company’s existing bank credit facility. The results of operations for the Fairborn Business are included in our results for the period from February 10, 2017 through March 31, 2017.

On July 10, 2015, we completed the acquisition of a 600,000 ton per year Granulated Ground Blast Furnace Slag (“Slag”) plant in South Chicago (the “Skyway Plant”) from Holcim (US) Inc. (the “Skyway Acquisition”).  Among other applications, slag is used in connection with Portland cement to make lower permeability concrete.  The Skyway facility purchases its primary raw material, Slag, pursuant to a long-term supply agreement with a third party.   The purchase price (the “Skyway Purchase Price”) for the Skyway Acquisition was approximately $29.9 million, net of $2.5 million which was refunded in two installments in January 2016 and 2017.  We funded the payment of the Skyway Purchase Price and expenses incurred in connection with the Skyway Acquisition through operating cash flow.  We also assumed certain liabilities, including contractual obligations, related to the Skyway Plant. 

34

 


MARKET CONDITIONS AND OUTLOOK

The drivers of construction products demand continue to improve the prospects for increased infrastructure spending and should positively impact both our cement and concrete and aggregates businesses.  We expect to continue to benefit from an expanding U.S. economic cycle, as it relates to our businesses.  Many of the key factors driving the construction products and building materials markets are positive in nature, and we expect these to continue to be positive throughout the remainder of calendar 2017.

Our cement sales network stretches across the central U.S., both east to west and north to south.  While we anticipate construction grade cement consumption to continue to increase during calendar 2017, each region will increase at a different pace. Cement, concrete and aggregates markets are affected by infrastructure spending, residential home building and industrial construction activity. We expect volume and pricing improvements to vary in each of our cement markets.  Overall, we expect an increase in cement, concrete and aggregates sales volumes and operating income in fiscal 2018.

Wallboard demand is heavily influenced by new residential housing construction as well as repair and remodeling.  Most forecasts point to a continued pick-up in demand in both of these areas into calendar 2017. Industry shipments of gypsum wallboard were 24.7 billion square feet in calendar 2016, and we are expecting shipments to increase approximately 6% to 8% during calendar 2017. Residential housing construction and repair and remodeling are also expected to continue to grow.  We are planning to restart our Bernalillo plant during fiscal 2018, and anticipate running this plant as necessary to meet customer demand. The cost to recommission the plant is not expected to be material.

We expect our recycled paperboard sales volumes to remain consistent as we are currently close to our production capacity.  Cost of recycled fiber increased throughout fiscal 2017, and we expect the cost to be greater in fiscal 2018 than fiscal 2017, especially in the first half of the year.  We currently have contracts that have a mechanism to adjust sales prices for increases in the cost of fiber and utilities, but these price increases are only allowed at specified times, so increases in the cost of fiber may have an adverse impact on our operating earnings in the interim prior to our ability to increase the sales price of finished paper.

Demand for frac sand has recently been improving.  The improved demand is due to several factors, namely increased horizontal drilling and increased sand intensity. We expect drilling activity and rig counts as well as proppant intensity per well to continue to increase throughout the remainder of calendar 2017, which should result in increased demand for frac sand.   We are currently planning the build out of our Utica, Illinois facility.  This build out will include the addition of a dry plant and distribution system.  We estimate that this build out will cost approximately $70.0 million and will be completed in the summer of 2018.

35

 


Results of Operations

Fiscal Year 2017 Compared to Fiscal Year 2016

 

 

 

For the Years Ended March 31,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

Change

 

 

 

(in thousands, except per share)

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues

 

$

1,211,220

 

 

$

1,143,492

 

 

 

6

%

Cost of Goods Sold

 

 

(899,175

)

 

 

(911,875

)

 

 

(1

)%

Gross Profit

 

 

312,045

 

 

 

231,617

 

 

 

35

%

Equity in Earnings of Unconsolidated Joint Venture

 

 

42,386

 

 

 

39,083

 

 

 

8

%

Corporate General and Administrative

 

 

(33,940

)

 

 

(37,193

)

 

 

(9

)%

Other Income

 

 

2,139

 

 

 

2,328

 

 

 

(8

)%

Acquisition and Litigation Expense

 

 

(5,480

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest Expense, net

 

 

(22,631

)

 

 

(16,583

)

 

 

36

%

Earnings Before Income Taxes

 

 

294,519