Continental Resources, Inc. ( CLR Quick Quote CLR - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2020 adjusted loss of 23 cents per share, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 6 cents. In the year-earlier quarter, the upstream energy player reported a profit of 55 cents per share.
Revenues of $838 million beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $770 million. However, the figure declined from $1,195 million in the year-ago quarter.
The weak quarterly results were owing to lower crude oil equivalent price and production. This was offset partially by lower exploration costs.
Oil Production Declines
Production from continuing operations averaged 339,307 barrels of oil equivalent per day (Boe/d) for the quarter (52% oil) versus 365,341 Boe/d in the year-ago period. Production volumes declined primarily due to lower output from Bakken assets.
Oil production for the quarter came in at 176,639 barrels per day (Bbls/d), down from 206,249 Bbls/d a year ago. Natural gas production, however, increased from 954,556 thousand cubic feet per day (Mcf/d) in fourth-quarter 2019 to 976,011 Mcf/d.
Crude Equivalent Price Realization Falls
Crude oil equivalent price for the quarter fell to $24.63 per barrel from $33.49 in the prior-year period. However, natural gas was sold at $1.81 per Mcf, up from $1.73 in the year-ago quarter. Notably, average realized price for oil was $37.34 a barrel, down from $51.33 in the prior-year quarter.
Total Expenses Plunge
Total operating expenses of $869.3 million for the fourth quarter fell from $901.3 million in the December quarter of 2019. Total production cost fell to $87.4 million from $111.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Exploration costs for the quarter were $3.1 million compared with $7.3 million in the year-ago period. Transportation costs fell to $48.6 million from the year-ago level of $61.1 million.
For fourth-quarter 2020, total capital expenditure (excluding acquisitions) was $168.1 million. It generated free cash flow of $332.4 million in the fourth quarter.
As of Dec 31, 2020, the company had total cash and cash equivalents of $47.5 million. It had long-term debt of $5,530.2 million (excluding current maturities). It had a debt to capitalization of 46.3%.
The company expects 2021 average oil production at 160,000 to 165,000 barrel per day (Bbl/d). It projects natural gas production for 2021 at 880,000 to 920,000 Mcf/d. Notably, the upstream player has set a capital budget for 2021 at $1.4 billion.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Continental currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile, some better-ranked players in the energy space include
Matador Resources Company ( MTDR Quick Quote MTDR - Free Report) , Pioneer Natural Resources Company ( PXD Quick Quote PXD - Free Report) and Diamondback Energy, Inc. ( FANG Quick Quote FANG - Free Report) . While Diamondback and Pioneer Natural carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Matador sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
Matador is likely to see earnings growth of 201.3% in 2021.
Pioneer Natural has seen upward estimate revisions for 2021 earnings in the past 30 days.
Diamondback is likely to see earnings growth of 55% in 2021.
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