May 1, 2019 / 10:44 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Frac sand miner U.S. Silica reports smaller-than-expected loss

(Adds estimates, details from Q1 results)

May 1 (Reuters) - Frac sand miner U.S. Silica Holdings Inc reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday due to strong demand for silica sand from industries, including chemical and glass. The company, which is among the biggest producers of commercial sand used for fracking, said industrials and specialty and SandBox units are expected to constitute a third of its profit this year. SandBox unit provides transportation and storage facilities for proppant used in fracking in the oil and gas industry.

U.S. Silica, which said demand and pricing for its Northern White sand began to strengthen in the first quarter, expects oil and gas sand volumes to grow low to mid-single digits sequentially.

The sales volume rose 17 percent to 4.830 million tons for the first quarter, while total sales revenue increased 2.6 percent to $378.8 million.

The Maryland-based company said net loss attributable to the company was $19.3 million, or 26 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of $31.3 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company reported a loss of 8 cents per share. Analysts on an average had estimated a loss of 12 cents per share, according to data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel

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