This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Canadian National Railway (CN) reported a higher than expected net profit in the first quarter but said lower commodity shipments weighed on revenue and have prompted a downward revision to the company’s 2016 financial outlook. Its frac sand business was down 45 percent and coal was cut in half, accounting for 3.1 percent of total business, the lowest of any railway. CN said it expects crude and frac sands volumes to continue to decline until reaching a bottom later this year, with coal hitting a low in late 2017.

  • On April 28, 2016, Hi-Crush Partners entered into an agreement with an investment bank for a firm commitment underwriting of a common unit offering, which is expected to fund approximately $40.0 million of gross equity issuance proceeds. Proceeds from the common unit offering will be used for general partnership purposes. “Although the industry still faces headwinds, by amending our credit facility and completing our common unit offering we further enhanced our ability to navigate the downturn and provide needed flexibility,” said Robert E. Rasmus, chief executive officer of Hi-Crush. “Although we see near and intermediate term challenges, as a flexible, full-service provider, we anticipate that we will benefit from the recent market exit of higher cost sand supply even among some Tier 1 suppliers. Our team is committed to being operationally and financially proactive, optimizing our cost structure and ultimately leading the frac sand industry through change and recovery.”
  • Several organizations hosted a forum at The Plaza Hotel in Eau Claire, Wis., to discuss the effects of frac sand mining in western Wisconsin. According to the latest numbers available from the Department of Natural Resources, there are 84 active industrial sand facilities in Wisconsin. The forum featured three presenters, including FracTracker Alliance Executive Director Brook Lenker, who discussed the environmental and public health risks he claims are associated with sand mining, such as air pollution, water concerns, and overall quality of life.

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