TravelCenters of America LLC Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Financial Results

TravelCenters of America LLC (Nasdaq: TA) today announced financial results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2018:

 

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

   

Three Months Ended December 31,

    Year Ended

December 31,

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2018   2017 2018   2017
(Loss) income from continuing operations $ (6,973 ) $ (13,919 ) $ (2,773 ) $ 19,902
Net (loss) income (5,922 ) (20,710 ) (120,404 ) 9,283
Net (loss) income attributable to common shareholders (5,949 ) (20,742 ) (120,553 ) 9,151
 

(Loss) income per common share from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders (basic and diluted)

$ (0.18 ) $ (0.35 ) $

(0.07

) $ 0.50
 
Non-GAAP Measures:(1)
Adjusted loss from continuing operations $ (6,699 ) $ (11,950 ) $ (25,251 ) $ (27,650 )

Adjusted loss per common share from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders (basic and diluted)

$ (0.17 ) $ (0.30 ) $ (0.64 ) $ (0.70 )
EBITDA $ 20,309 $ 12,050 $ 107,835 $ 59,047
Adjusted EBITDA 20,673 13,706 78,552 70,242
 
(1)   Reconciliations from (loss) income from continuing operations, (loss) income per common share from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders and net (loss) income, as applicable, the financial measures determined in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, to the non-GAAP measures disclosed herein are included in the supplemental tables below.
 

Andrew J. Rebholz, TA’s CEO, made the following statement regarding the 2018 fourth quarter results:

“For the fourth quarter of 2018, we had a loss from continuing operations of $7.0 million, which is an improvement of $6.9 million, or 49.9%, over the prior year quarter. Net loss for the 2018 fourth quarter improved by $14.8 million, or 71.4%, and adjusted EBITDA for the 2018 fourth quarter of $20.7 million was up by $7.0 million, or 50.8%, in each case compared to the prior year fourth quarter. Despite ongoing technological and competitive headwinds, we grew total fuel sales volume by 0.8% and total nonfuel revenues by 3.9%. One soft spot in our fourth quarter operating results was related to site level operating expenses; our ratio of these expenses to nonfuel revenues increased. This resulted from higher labor costs as we recruited and trained truck repair technicians ahead of the increased business volume we expect.

“As important to me as the operating improvements is the fact that we made significant strides in our efforts to refocus the business back to our core travel center customer and reduce leverage. In December 2018, we closed on the sale of our standalone convenience stores business and in January 2019 utilized most of the proceeds from that sale to purchase 20 previously leased travel centers from Hospitality Properties Trust, or HPT, our primary landlord, and reduce our annual minimum rent payable to HPT by $43.1 million. We established a third brand in our travel center network by converting four existing locations to the smaller format TA Express brand announced earlier this year. Thus far in 2019, we have entered a franchise agreement to add a TA Express site to our network and an agreement to add up to five more TA Express sites to our network. Looking ahead, our plans include continuing to grow our travel center network and to extend our RoadSquad, RoadSquad OnSite and TA Commercial Tire Network„¢ to more customers, in addition to other marketing programs. We believe our plans will translate to increased EBITDA and cash flow this year.”

Business Commentary

The following table presents details for TA’s fuel sales during the quarter.

       
(in thousands, except per gallon amounts) Three Months Ended December 31,
2018   2017 Change
Fuel sales volume (gallons):
Diesel fuel 400,506 392,755 2.0 %
Gasoline 71,696   75,537   (5.1

)%

Total fuel sales volume 472,202   468,292   0.8 %
 
Fuel revenues $ 1,086,987 $ 970,999 11.9 %
Fuel gross margin 85,904 68,307 25.8 %
Fuel gross margin per gallon $ 0.182 $ 0.146 24.7 %
 

Fuel sales volume for the 2018 fourth quarter increased by 3.9 million gallons, or 0.8%, as compared to the 2017 fourth quarter due to the following factors:

  • a net increase of 4.4 million gallons at sites opened or closed since the beginning of the 2017 fourth quarter; and
  • a same site fuel sales volume decline of 0.5 million gallons, or 0.1%, as compared to the 2017 fourth quarter, which primarily resulted from the continued effects of fuel efficiency gains and increased competition.

Fuel revenues increased by $116.0 million, or 11.9%, in the 2018 fourth quarter as compared to the 2017 fourth quarter, primarily due to the following factors:

  • higher market prices for fuel during the 2018 fourth quarter; and
  • an increase of 3.9 million gallons in fuel sales volume.

Fuel gross margin for the 2018 fourth quarter increased by $17.6 million, or 25.8%, as compared to the 2017 fourth quarter, primarily due to the following factors:

  • the 3.9 million gallon increase in fuel sales volume; and
  • a more favorable purchasing environment in the 2018 fourth quarter.

The following table presents details for TA’s nonfuel revenues during the quarter.

     
(in thousands) Three Months Ended December 31,
2018   2017 Change
Nonfuel revenues:
Truck service $ 156,236 $ 151,799 2.9 %
Store and retail services 182,504 173,210 5.4 %
Restaurants 103,664   100,861   2.8 %
Total nonfuel revenues 442,404   425,870   3.9 %
 
Nonfuel gross margin $ 269,761 $ 258,913 4.2 %
Nonfuel gross margin percentage 61.0 % 60.8 % 20 pts
Site level operating expenses $ 229,513 $ 211,937 8.3 %
Site level operating expenses as a percentage of nonfuel revenues 51.9 % 49.8 % 210 pts
 

Nonfuel revenues increased by $16.5 million, or 3.9%, in the 2018 fourth quarter as compared to the 2017 fourth quarter, due to the following factors:

  • an $11.6 million same site increase primarily due to the positive impact of certain of TA’s marketing initiatives and growth in TA’s truck service program; and
  • a $4.9 million net increase attributable to sites opened or closed since the beginning of the 2017 fourth quarter.

Nonfuel gross margin increased by $10.8 million, or 4.2%, in the 2018 fourth quarter as compared to the 2017 fourth quarter, due to the following factors:

  • an $8.7 million same site increase primarily due to the $11.6 million increase in nonfuel revenues;
  • a $2.1 million net increase attributable to sites opened or closed since the beginning of the 2017 fourth quarter; and
  • a slight increase in the nonfuel gross margin percentage to 61.0% for the 2018 fourth quarter from 60.8% for the 2017 fourth quarter.

Loss from continuing operations for the 2018 fourth quarter was $7.0 million, as compared to $13.9 million for the 2017 fourth quarter. Adjusted loss from continuing operations for the 2018 fourth quarter was $6.7 million, as compared to $12.0 million for the 2017 fourth quarter. The improvements in loss from continuing operations and adjusted loss from continuing operations for the 2018 fourth quarter was primarily due to a $10.8 million increase in site level gross margin in excess of site level operating expenses. Net loss for the 2018 fourth quarter improved by $14.8 million, as compared to the 2017 fourth quarter and adjusted EBITDA for the 2018 fourth quarter increased by $7.0 million, as compared to the 2017 fourth quarter.

Sale of Convenience Stores Business

On September 1, 2018, TA entered into an agreement to sell 225 convenience stores, one standalone restaurant and certain related assets, or the convenience stores business. On December 5, 2018, TA completed this sale for an aggregate sale price of $330.6 million, resulting in net proceeds of $319.9 million after transaction related costs of $9.7 million. In connection with the sale of its convenience stores business, TA recognized a loss on disposal of $79.6 million and a goodwill impairment charge of $17.8 million. The operating results for the convenience stores business are presented as discontinued operations and are not included in the results presented above under “Business Commentary.”

Lease Amendments and Travel Center Purchases

In January 2019, TA acquired from HPT 20 travel centers it previously leased from HPT for $308.2 million and amended its leases with HPT such that: (i) the 20 purchased travel centers were removed from the HPT leases and TA’s annual minimum rent was reduced by $43.1 million; (ii) the term of each of the five leases was extended by three years; (iii) the amount of the deferred rent obligation to be paid to HPT was reduced to $70.5 million and TA agreed to pay that amount in 16 equal quarterly installments beginning April 1, 2019; and (iv) commencing with the year ended December 31, 2020, TA will be obligated to pay to HPT an additional amount of percentage rent equal to one-half percent (0.5%) of the excess of the annual nonfuel revenues at leased sites over the nonfuel revenues for each respective site for the year ending December 31, 2019.

Growth Strategies

In January and February of 2019, TA signed agreements with a prospective franchisee pursuant to which TA expects to add up to six TA Express branded travel centers to its network, four within the coming 12 months, one within five years and one within ten years.

Conference Call

On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, TA will host a conference call to discuss its financial results and other activities for the three months and year ended December 31, 2018. Following management’s remarks, there will be a question and answer period.

The conference call telephone number is 877-329-4614. Participants calling from outside the United States and Canada should dial 412-317-5437. No pass code is necessary to access the call from either number. Participants should dial in about 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the call. A replay of the conference call will be available for about a week after the call. To hear the replay, dial 412-317-0088. The replay pass code is 10127676.

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

About TravelCenters of America LLC

TA’s nationwide business includes travel centers located in 43 U.S. states and in Canada and standalone restaurants in 14 states. TA’s travel centers operate under the “TravelCenters of America,” “TA,” “TA Express,” “Petro Stopping Centers” and “Petro” brand names and offer diesel and gasoline fueling, restaurants, truck repair services, travel/convenience stores and other services designed to provide attractive and efficient travel experiences to professional drivers and other motorists. TA’s standalone restaurants operate principally under the “Quaker Steak & Lube” brand name.

WARNING CONCERNING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

THIS PRESS RELEASE CONTAINS STATEMENTS THAT CONSTITUTE FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995 AND OTHER SECURITIES LAWS. WHENEVER TA USES WORDS SUCH AS “BELIEVE,” “EXPECT,” “ANTICIPATE,” “INTEND,” “PLAN,” “ESTIMATE,” “WILL,” “MAY” AND NEGATIVES OR DERIVATIVES OF THESE OR SIMILAR EXPRESSIONS, TA IS MAKING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS. THESE FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS ARE BASED UPON TA’S PRESENT INTENT, BELIEFS OR EXPECTATIONS, BUT FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED TO OCCUR AND MAY NOT OCCUR. ACTUAL RESULTS MAY DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM THOSE CONTAINED IN OR IMPLIED BY TA’S FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS AS A RESULT OF VARIOUS FACTORS. AMONG OTHERS, THE FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS WHICH APPEAR IN THIS PRESS RELEASE THAT MAY NOT OCCUR INCLUDE:

  • STATEMENTS ABOUT TA’S GROWTH STRATEGY AND EXPECTED INCREASED BUSINESS VOLUME, INCLUDING TO RECRUIT AND TRAIN TRUCK REPAIR TECHNICIANS, AND GROWING ITS PROFITABILITY AND CASH FLOW. THESE STATEMENTS MAY IMPLY THAT TA WILL SUCCESSFULLY EXECUTE THIS STRATEGY AND THAT TA’S OPERATING RESULTS AND PROFITABILITY WILL IMPROVE AS A RESULT. HOWEVER, TA MAY FAIL TO EXECUTE THESE GROWTH STRATEGIES SUCCESSFULLY AND TA’S OPERATING RESULTS AND PROFITABILITY MAY NOT IMPROVE AND COULD DECLINE AS A RESULT OF TA’S PURSUIT OF THIS STRATEGY OR OTHERWISE;
  • STATEMENTS ABOUT IMPROVED OPERATING RESULTS AND INCREASING GROSS MARGINS MAY IMPLY THAT TA’S BUSINESS MAY BE PROFITABLE IN THE FUTURE. HOWEVER, CERTAIN OF THOSE IMPROVEMENTS RESULTED FROM UNIQUE ITEMS THAT MAY NOT OCCUR AGAIN. IN ADDITION, SINCE TA BECAME PUBLICLY TRADED IN 2007, TA’S OPERATIONS HAVE GENERATED LOSSES AND ONLY OCCASIONALLY GENERATED PROFITS. TA MAY BE UNABLE TO PRODUCE FUTURE PROFITS AND TA’S LOSSES MAY INCREASE;
  • STATEMENTS THAT TAS PURCHASE OF 20 TRAVEL CENTERS FROM HPT REDUCED TAS ANNUAL MINIMUM RENT PAYABLE TO HPT BY $43.1 MILLION. TA’S TRAVEL CENTERS ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS 24 HOURS PER DAY, 365 DAYS PER YEAR. DUE TO THE NATURE AND INTENSITY OF THE USES OF TA’S LOCATIONS, THEY REQUIRE REGULAR AND SUBSTANTIAL EXPENDITURES FOR MAINTENANCE AND CAPITAL INVESTMENTS TO REMAIN FUNCTIONAL AND ATTRACTIVE TO CUSTOMERS. THE REDUCTION IN ANNUAL MINIMUM RENT TA ACHIEVED BY PURCHASING TRAVEL CENTERS FROM HPT MAY BE TEMPORARY AND SUBSEQUENTLY OFFSET BY INCREASES TO THE ANNUAL MINIMUM RENT PAYABLE TO HPT AS A RESULT OF HPTS PURCHASE OF QUALIFYING IMPROVEMENTS TA MAKES TO ITS LEASED TRAVELCENTERS OR OTHER TRANSACTIONS; AND
  • STATEMENTS ABOUT THE AGREEMENTS TA ENTERED WITH A PROSPECTIVE FRANCHISEE PURSUANT TO WHICH TA EXPECTS TO ADD UP TO SIX TA EXPRESS BRANDED TRAVEL CENTERS TO ITS NETWORK. THESE AGREEMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS AND THESE FRANCHISE ARRANGEMENTS MAY NOT OCCUR OR MAY BE DELAYED, AND THE TERMS OF THE ARRANGEMENTS MAY CHANGE.

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN TA’S PERIODIC REPORTS, INCLUDING TA’S ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2018, WHICH HAS BEEN OR WILL BE FILED WITH THE U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, OR SEC, UNDER THE CAPTION “RISK FACTORS,” OR ELSEWHERE IN THOSE REPORTS, OR INCORPORATED THEREIN, IDENTIFIES OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT COULD CAUSE DIFFERENCES FROM TA’S FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS. TA’S FILINGS WITH THE SEC ARE AVAILABLE ON THE SEC’S WEBSITE AT WWW.SEC.GOV.

YOU SHOULD NOT PLACE UNDUE RELIANCE UPON FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS.

EXCEPT AS REQUIRED BY LAW, TA DOES NOT INTEND TO UPDATE OR CHANGE ANY FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT AS A RESULT OF NEW INFORMATION, FUTURE EVENTS OR OTHERWISE.

 
TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA LLC
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (UNAUDITED)
(in thousands, except per share amounts)
     
Three Months Ended Year Ended
December 31, December 31,
2018   2017 2018   2017
Revenues:
Fuel $ 1,086,987 $ 970,999 $ 4,395,731 $ 3,557,537
Nonfuel 442,404 425,870 1,819,563 1,741,339
Rent and royalties from franchisees 4,121   4,192   16,143   18,021  
Total revenues 1,533,512   1,401,061   6,231,437   5,316,897  
 

Cost of goods sold (excluding depreciation):

Fuel 1,001,083 902,692 4,075,704 3,276,611
Nonfuel 172,643   166,957   711,249   688,602  
Total cost of goods sold 1,173,726   1,069,649   4,786,953   3,965,213  
 
Operating expenses:
Site level operating 229,513 211,937 914,730 872,667
Selling, general and administrative 38,091 37,019 136,383 146,015
Real estate rent 71,440 69,811 283,476 274,850
Depreciation and amortization 21,103   22,504   83,179   89,379  
Total operating expenses 360,147   341,271   1,417,768   1,382,911  
 
(Loss) income from operations (361 ) (9,859 ) 26,716 (31,227 )
 
Interest expense, net 7,040 7,278 29,003 30,016
Other expense (income), net 433   595   2,060   (895 )

Loss before income taxes and discontinued operations

(7,834 ) (17,732 ) (4,347 ) (60,348 )

Benefit for income taxes

861   3,813   1,574   80,250  

(Loss) income from continuing operations

(6,973 ) (13,919 ) (2,773 ) 19,902

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of taxes

1,051   (6,791 ) (117,631 ) (10,619 )
Net (loss) income (5,922 ) (20,710 ) (120,404 ) 9,283

Less: net income for noncontrolling interests

27   32   149   132  

Net (loss) income attributable to common shareholders

$ (5,949 ) $ (20,742 ) $ (120,553 ) $ 9,151  
 

Net (loss) income per common share attributable to common shareholders:

 

Basic and diluted from continuing operations $ (0.18 ) $ (0.35 ) $ (0.07 ) $ 0.50

Basic and diluted from discontinued operations

0.03 (0.17 ) (2.95 ) (0.27 )
Basic and diluted (0.15 ) (0.52 ) (3.02 ) 0.23
 

These financial statements should be read in conjunction with TA’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, to be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA LLC RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES (in thousands, except per share amounts unless indicated otherwise)

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

TA believes that adjusted loss from continuing operations, adjusted loss per common share from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders, EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA are meaningful disclosures that may help investors to better understand TA’s financial performance by providing financial information that represents the operating results of TA’s continuing operations without the effects of items that do not result directly from TA’s normal recurring operations and may allow investors to better compare TA’s performance between periods and to the performance of other companies. Management uses these measures in developing internal budgets and forecasts and analyzing TA’s performance. TA calculates EBITDA as net (loss) income before income (loss) from discontinued operations, interest, taxes, and depreciation and amortization, as shown below. TA calculates adjusted EBITDA by excluding items that are considered not to be normal, recurring, cash operating expenses or gains or losses.

The non-GAAP financial measures TA presents should not be considered as alternatives to net (loss) income attributable to common shareholders, net (loss) income, (loss) income from continuing operations or (loss) income from operations as an indicator of TA’s operating performance or as a measure of TA’s liquidity. Also, the non-GAAP financial measures TA presents may not be comparable to similarly titled amounts calculated by other companies.

TA believes that (loss) income from continuing operations is the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure to adjusted loss from continuing operations, net (loss) income is the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure to EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA and that (loss) income per common share from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders is the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure to adjusted loss per common share from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders. The following tables present the reconciliations of the non-GAAP financial measures to the respective most directly comparable GAAP financial measures for the three months and years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017.

         

Calculation of adjusted loss from continuing operations:

Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended

December 31,

2018   2017 2018   2017
(Loss) income from continuing operations $ (6,973 ) $ (13,919 ) $ (2,773 ) $ 19,902
Add: Costs of HPT transaction(1) 364 364
Add: Asset write offs(2) 1,546 6,773

Add: Executive officer retirement agreement expenses(3)

1,089 3,571 1,489

Add (less): Comdata legal expenses(4)

567 (9,967 ) 9,706
Less: Comdata interest income(4) (568 )
Less: Federal biodiesel tax credit(5) (23,251 )
Less: Uncertain tax position reversal(6) (58,602 )

(Less) add: Income tax (provision) benefit(7)

(90 ) (1,233 ) 7,373   (6,918 )
Adjusted loss from continuing operations $ (6,699 ) $ (11,950 ) $ (25,251 ) $ (27,650 )
 
         

Calculation of adjusted loss per common share from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders (basic and diluted):

Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended

December 31,

2018   2017 2018   2017

(Loss) income per common share from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders (basic and diluted)

$ (0.18 ) $ (0.35 ) $ (0.07 ) $ 0.50
Add: Costs of HPT transaction(1) 0.01 0.01
Add: Asset write offs(2) 0.04 0.17

Add: Executive officer retirement agreement expenses(3)

0.03 0.09 0.04
Add (less): Comdata legal expenses(4) 0.01 (0.25 )

0.25

Less: Comdata interest income(4) (0.02 )
Less: Federal biodiesel tax credit(5) (0.58 )
Less: Uncertain tax position reversal(6) (1.48 )
(Less) add: Income tax (provision) benefit(7)   (0.03 ) 0.18   (0.18 )

Adjusted loss per common share from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders (basic and diluted)

$ (0.17 ) $ (0.30 ) $ (0.64 ) $ (0.70 )
 
         

Calculation of EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA:

Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended

December 31,

2018   2017 2018   2017
Net (loss) income $ (5,922 ) $ (20,710 ) $ (120,404 ) $ 9,283

Less: (Income) loss from discontinued operations, net of taxes

(1,051 ) 6,791   117,631   10,619  
(Loss) income from continuing operations (6,973 ) (13,919 ) (2,773 ) 19,902
Less: Benefit for income taxes (861 ) (3,813 ) (1,574 ) (80,250 )
Add: Depreciation and amortization 21,103 22,504 83,179 89,379
Add: Interest expense, net 7,040   7,278   29,003   30,016  
EBITDA 20,309 12,050 107,835 59,047
Add: Costs of HPT transaction(1) 364 364

Add: Executive officer retirement agreement expenses(3)

1,089 3,571 1,489
Add (less): Comdata legal expenses(4) 567 (9,967 ) 9,706
Less: Federal biodiesel tax credit(5)     (23,251 )  
Adjusted EBITDA $ 20,673   $ 13,706   $ 78,552   $ 70,242  
 
(1)   Costs of HPT Transaction. In January 2019, TA acquired from HPT 20 travel centers it previously leased from HPT for $308.2 million and amended its leases with HPT. During the three months and year ended December 31, 2018, TA incurred $0.4 million of expenses associated with those transactions.
(2) Asset Write Offs. During the three months and year ended December 31, 2017, TA wrote off assets totaling $1.5 million and $6.8 million, respectively, in connection with TA’s cost reduction initiatives.
(3) Executive Officer Retirement Agreement Expenses. As part of TA’s retirement agreements with certain former officers, TA agreed to accelerate the vesting of previously granted share awards and to pay an additional $1.5 million of cash. These accelerated vestings and cash payment resulted in additional compensation expense of $3.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, and $1.1 million and $1.5 million for the three months and year ended December 31, 2017, respectively.
(4) Comdata Legal Expenses and Interest Income. For the year ended December 31, 2018, TA incurred $0.1 million of legal fees in its litigation with Comdata Inc., or Comdata. During the three months and year ended December 31, 2017, TA incurred $0.6 million and $9.7 million, respectively, of legal fees in its litigation with Comdata. TA’s attorneys’ fees and costs related to this matter totaled $10.6 million. On April 9, 2018, the Court entered its final order and judgment, or the Order. Pursuant to the Order, Comdata was required to, among other things, reimburse TA for attorneys’ fees and costs, together with interest, in the amount of $10.7 million, which TA collected in April 2018. As a result, TA recognized a $10.1 million reduction in selling, general and administrative expenses and $0.6 million of interest income.
(5) Federal Biodiesel Tax Credit. On February 8, 2018, legislation was passed that retroactively reinstated the 2017 federal biodiesel tax credit. TA’s recovery as a result of the reinstatement of the federal biodiesel tax credit for 2017 was $23.3 million and was recognized in February 2018. This amount was collected during 2018.
(6) Uncertain Tax Position Reversal. In September 2017, TA recognized a $58.6 million income tax benefit as a result of the resolution of certain previously uncertain tax positions.
(7) Net Tax Impact. The tax impact of the adjustments described above was calculated using TA’s estimated statutory rates of 24.7% and 38.5% for the 2018 and 2017 periods, respectively. The change in the estimated statutory rate is due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017 that reduced the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%.
 
TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA LLC
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (UNAUDITED)
(in thousands)
 
      December 31,
2018     2017
Assets:
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 314,387 $ 35,526
Accounts receivable, net 97,449 125,501
Inventory 196,721 187,237
Other current assets 35,119 27,015
Current assets of discontinued operations   23,239
Total current assets 643,676 398,518
 
Property and equipment, net 628,537 613,196
Goodwill 25,259 25,259
Other intangible assets, net 22,887 25,194
Other noncurrent assets 121,749 89,955
Noncurrent assets of discontinued operations   466,010
Total assets $ 1,442,108   $ 1,618,132
 
Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity:
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 120,914 $ 155,581
Current HPT Leases liabilities 42,109 41,389
Other current liabilities 125,668 128,017
Current liabilities of discontinued operations   2,311
Total current liabilities 288,691 327,298
 
Long term debt, net 320,528 319,634
Noncurrent HPT Leases liabilities 353,756 368,782
Other noncurrent liabilities 28,741 27,376
Noncurrent liabilities of discontinued operations   8,547
Total liabilities 991,716 1,051,637
 

Shareholders’ equity (40,402 and 39,984 common shares outstanding at December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively)

450,392   566,495
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity $ 1,442,108   $ 1,618,132
 

These financial statements should be read in conjunction with TA’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, to be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA LLC SUPPLEMENTAL SAME SITE OPERATING DATA (dollars and gallons in thousands, except per gallon amounts unless indicated otherwise)

The following table presents operating data for the periods noted for all of the locations in operation on December 31, 2018, that were operated by TA continuously since the beginning of the earliest period presented, with the exception of three locations TA operates that are owned by an unconsolidated joint venture in which TA owns a noncontrolling interest. This data excludes revenues and expenses at locations TA does not operate, such as rents and royalties from franchisees, the results of TA’s discontinued operations and corporate level selling, general and administrative expenses. TA does not exclude locations from the same site comparisons as a result of capital improvements to the site or changes in the services offered.

                 
Three Months Ended December 31, Year Ended

December 31,

2018     2017 Change 2018     2017 Change

Number of same site company operated locations(1)

241 241 235 235
 

Diesel sales volume (gallons)

392,613 388,989 0.9 % 1,569,582 1,573,325

(0.2

)%

Gasoline sales volume (gallons)

67,420   71,514   (5.7

)%

280,143   285,172   (1.8

)%

Total fuel sales volume (gallons)

460,033   460,503   (0.1

)%

1,849,725   1,858,497   (0.5

)%

 
Fuel revenues $ 1,058,645 $ 954,422 10.9 % $ 4,259,100 $ 3,474,219 22.6 %
Fuel gross margin 85,393 67,691 26.2 % 313,879 278,671 12.6 %
Fuel gross margin per gallon $ 0.186 $ 0.147 26.5 % $ 0.170 $ 0.150 13.3 %
 
Nonfuel revenues $ 436,561 $ 424,955 2.7 % $ 1,777,799 $ 1,716,655 3.6 %
Nonfuel gross margin 266,360 257,702 3.4 % 1,082,255 1,036,231 4.4 %
Nonfuel gross margin percentage 61.0 % 60.6 % 40 pts 60.9 % 60.4 % 50 pts
 
Total gross margin $ 351,753 $ 325,393 8.1 % $ 1,396,134 $ 1,314,902 6.2 %

Site level operating expenses

225,319 211,038 6.8 % 887,840 855,730 3.8 %

Site level operating expenses as a percentage of nonfuel revenues

51.6 % 49.7 % 190 pts 49.9 % 49.8 % 10 pts

Site level gross margin in excess of site level operating expenses

$ 126,434 $ 114,355 10.6 % $ 508,294 $ 459,172 10.7 %
 
(1)   Same site operations for the three months ended December 31, 2018, included 228 travel centers and 13 standalone restaurants that TA operated since October 1, 2017. Same site operations for the year ended December 31, 2018, included 225 travel centers and 10 standalone restaurants that TA operated since January 1, 2017.

Katie Strohacker, Senior Director of Investor Relations
(617)
796-8251
www.ta-petro.com