Press Releases

Cheniere Energy, Inc. NYSE American: LNG

Cheniere Energy Reports First Quarter 2009 Results

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Cheniere Energy, Inc. (NYSE Amex: LNG) reported a net loss of $82.7 million, or $1.70 per share (basic and diluted), for the first quarter of 2009 compared with a net loss of $49.9 million, or $1.06 per share (basic and diluted), during the corresponding period in 2008. The $32.8 million increase in net loss compared to the prior period was largely due to the $33.4 million increase in interest expense. The increase in interest expense was due to 1) less interest being capitalized due to the placement of a portion of the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal and the Creole Trail Pipeline into service and 2) the accrual of interest on the convertible debt incurred in the third quarter of 2008.

Losses from operations were $37.4 million for the first quarter of 2009 compared to $38.4 million for the corresponding period in 2008. LNG receiving terminal and pipeline development expenses decreased by $6.7 million and LNG receiving terminal and pipeline operating expenses and depreciation expenses increased by $8.7 million and $9.8 million, respectively, as the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal was placed into service during the second half of 2008. General and administrative expenses decreased $12.8 million to $17.8 million in the first quarter of 2009 primarily due to the restructuring initiatives implemented during 2008. General and administrative expenses include non-cash compensation expenses of approximately $3.9 million in the first quarter 2009 and $10.8 million in the comparable period in 2008.

During the first quarter, Cheniere Energy purchased an additional LNG commissioning cargo for the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal, received the first monthly capacity payment from Total LNG USA, Inc. under its terminal use agreement ("TUA") with Sabine Pass LNG, L.P. ("Sabine") for the month of April 2009 and received a cash distribution from Freeport LNG Development, L.P.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents held by Cheniere Energy at March 31, 2009 were $81.5 million.

Restricted cash and cash equivalents and treasury securities at March 31, 2009 were $409.1 million, of which $339.9 million were held at Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. ("Cheniere Partners") and $69.2 million were held at Cheniere Energy. Restricted cash held by Cheniere Partners includes approximately $82.4 million in a permanent debt service account and $54.9 million for four months of interest as required under the indenture governing the Sabine Pass LNG senior secured notes, $32.8 million available for distributions to Cheniere Partners' common unit holders and general partner and $169.8 million for construction, working capital and general purposes.

The majority of the restricted cash held by Cheniere Energy is comprised of the balance held in the reserve account for payments under the TUA between Cheniere Marketing, LLC and Sabine Pass LNG. This reserve account was established in August 2008 with an initial balance of $135.0 million. During the quarter ended March 31, 2009, Cheniere Marketing made a payment to Sabine Pass LNG for the second quarter 2009 capacity payments of $62.4 million.

2009 Outlook

Cheniere Energy, Inc. believes that it will have sufficient liquidity to fund operations and pursue its business strategy for the next several years. At the parent level, Cheniere Energy, Inc. had unrestricted cash of approximately $81.5 million as of March 31, 2009 and expects an additional approximately $100.0 million to be released from restricted cash during the second half of 2009. The net use of unrestricted cash of $20.7 million during the first quarter of 2009 was in-line with management's expectations.

The remaining portion of the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal is expected to be placed into service during the third quarter of 2009. Total estimated construction costs before financing costs are $1.559 billion with costs incurred as of March 31, 2009 totaling $1.465 billion.

Exchange of 2.25% Senior Convertible Notes

During April 2009, Cheniere Energy retired $77.2 million aggregate principal amount of its 2.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2012 in exchange for $13.5 million cash and approximately 4.0 million common shares through a series of private transactions. Due to the retirement of the notes, future interest payments were reduced by approximately $6.0 million and the Company will recognize a non-taxable gain in the second quarter of 2009 of approximately $46.0 million.

Cheniere Energy, Inc. is developing a network of three LNG receiving terminals and related natural gas pipelines along the Gulf Coast of the United States. Cheniere is pursuing related business opportunities both upstream and downstream of the terminals. Cheniere is also the founder and holds a 30% limited partner interest in a fourth LNG receiving terminal. Additional information about Cheniere Energy, Inc. may be found on its web site at www.cheniere.com.

For additional information, please refer to the Cheniere Energy, Inc. Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2009, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This press release contains certain statements that may include "forward-looking statements" within the meanings of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included herein are "forward-looking statements." Included among "forward-looking statements" are, among other things, (i) statements regarding Cheniere's business strategy, plans and objectives, (ii) statements regarding releases of cash from restricted cash accounts that may be available to Cheniere, and (iii) statements expressing beliefs and expectations regarding the development of Cheniere's LNG receiving terminal and pipeline businesses. Although Cheniere believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, they do involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties, and these expectations may prove to be incorrect. Cheniere's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, including those discussed in Cheniere's periodic reports that are filed with and available from the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Other than as required under the securities laws, Cheniere does not assume a duty to update these forward-looking statements.


(Financial Table Follows)

Cheniere Energy, Inc.

Selected Financial Information

(in thousands)(1)

                                                        Three Months Ended

                                                        March 31,

                                                        2009         2008

                                                        (Unaudited)  (Unaudited)

Revenues                                                $ 1,235      $ 1,477

Operating costs and expenses

LNG receiving terminal and pipeline development           --           6,716
expenses

LNG receiving terminal and pipeline operating expenses    8,687        --

Exploration costs                                         --           69

Oil and gas production costs                              87           94

Depreciation, depletion and amortization                  12,062       2,284

General and administrative expenses                       17,797       30,679

Total operating costs and expenses                        38,633       39,842

Loss from operations                                      (37,398 )    (38,365 )

Equity in net loss of limited partnership                 --           (1,800  )

Derivative gain (loss)                                    2,562        (830    )

Interest expense                                          (53,250 )    (19,849 )

Interest income                                           810          9,604

Other income (expense)                                    (63     )    (36     )

Non-controlling interest                                  4,597        1,365

Net loss                                                $ (82,742 )  $ (49,911 )

Net loss per common share--basic and diluted            $ (1.70   )  $ (1.06   )

Weighted average number of common shares                  48,650       46,977
outstanding--basic and diluted




                                                   March 31,      December 31,

                                                   2009           2008

                                                   (Unaudited)

Cash and Cash Equivalents                          $ 81,482       $ 102,192

Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents                 293,464        301,550

Other Current Assets                                 18,031         12,850

Non-Current Restricted Cash, Cash Equivalents and    115,672        159,312
Treasury Securities

Property, Plant and Equipment, Net                   2,212,237      2,170,158

Debt Issuance Costs, Net                             55,546         57,676

Goodwill                                             76,844         76,844

Other Assets                                         39,032         41,488

Total Assets                                       $ 2,892,308    $ 2,922,070

Current Liabilities                                $ 114,803      $ 66,133

Long-Term Debt                                       3,173,575      3,164,727

Deferred Revenue                                     36,500         37,500

Other Liabilities                                    12,398         8,141

Non-Controlling Interest                             238,967        250,162

Stockholders' (Deficit) Equity                       (683,935  )    (604,593  )

Total Liabilities and Stockholders' (Deficit)      $ 2,892,308    $ 2,922,070
Equity




                                                                Consolidated
March 31,      Sabine          Cheniere Energy  Other Cheniere
2009                                                            Cheniere Energy,
               Pass LNG, L.P.  Partners, L.P.   Energy, Inc.
                                                                Inc.

Cash and cash  $ --            $ --             $ 81,482        $ 81,482
equivalents

Restricted
cash, cash
equivalents      307,140         32,812           69,184          409,136
and treasury
securities

Total          $ 307,140       $ 32,812         $ 150,666       $ 490,618

(1) Please refer to the Cheniere Energy, Inc. Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for
the period ended March 31, 2009, filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission.




    Source: Cheniere Energy, Inc.