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Viper Energy (VNOM) Tops Q4 Earnings Estimates, Raises Dividend

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Viper Energy Partners LP (VNOM - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings of 12 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 3 cents. Moreover, the bottom line increased 300% from the year-ago quarter’s profit of 3 cents per share.

The partnership — with mineral interests in North American oil and gas resources — generated operating income of $76.3 million, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $55 million. However, the top line fell from the year-ago quarter’s level of $93 million.

The strong quarterly earnings can be attributed to a rise in oil equivalent production volumes. This was partially offset by lower oil price realizations due to dented energy demand on account of the coronavirus outbreak.

Viper Energy Partners LP Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

 

 

Distribution

The partnership was authorized by the board of directors of its general partner to make cash distribution of 14 cents per common unit, payable on Mar 11, 2021 to all its shareholders of record as of Mar 4, 2021. Notably, the metric increased 40% from the third-quarter figure of 10 cents per common unit.

Production

The resources, wherein the partnership has mineral interests, produced 2,549 thousand oil equivalent barrels (MBoe) for the December quarter of 2020, up from 2,405 MBoe in the year-ago quarter. Of the total volumes, oil contributed 62.7% to total production. Production of crude oil and natural gas rose from the year-ago quarter’s levels in the reported quarter. However, production of natural gas liquids fell from the prior-year quarter’s figures.

Realized Prices

Overall average realized price per barrel of oil equivalent was recorded at $29.48 compared with $38.20 in fourth-quarter 2019. Average realized oil prices for the quarter were recorded at $40.36 per barrel, down from $53.90 a year ago. However, the price of natural gas was $1.36 per thousand cubic feet, up from $1.29 in the year-ago quarter. Notably, the same for natural gas liquids was recorded at $14.71 a barrel, up from the year-ago quarter’s $14.53.

Cost & Expenses

Total expenses for the fourth-quarter of 2020 amounted to $105 million versus $35.3 million in the prior-year quarter. On a per barrel of oil equivalent (Boe) basis, total operating expenses were recorded at $2.83 versus $3.34 in the year-ago quarter.

Cash Flow

Net cash from operating activities were recorded at $53.4 million, down from $72.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Despite the current market uncertainties, the partnership expects to generate more cash from operations in the coming days, supported by favorable hedges.

Balance Sheet

As of Dec 31, 2020, Viper Energy’s cash and cash equivalents were recorded at $19.1 million. It reported net long-term debt of $555.6 million, representing a debt to capitalization of 23%.

Guidance

Viper Energy issued its daily average oil equivalent production guidance of 24.5-26.5 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d) for full-year 2021.

Notably, this Texas-based partnership sets its average daily production guidance for the first half of 2021 between 23.8 Mboe/d and 26.3 Mboe/d.

 Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

The partnership currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in the energy space include Denbury Inc (DEN - Free Report) , PDC Energy, Inc (PDCE - Free Report) and Ovintiv Inc (OVV - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Denbury’ bottom line for 2021 is expected to surge 142.6% year over year.

PDC Energy’ bottom line for 2021 is expected to surge 165.9% year over year.

Ovintiv’ bottom line for 2021 is expected to rise 9.5% year over year.

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