Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation ( COG Quick Quote COG - Free Report) is set to release second-quarter 2021 results before the opening bell on Jul 30. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the to-be-reported quarter is 28 cents per share on revenues of $445 million. Let’s delve into the factors that might have influenced the independent natural gas producer’s performance in the June quarter. But it’s worth taking a look at Cabot’s previous-quarter performance first. Highlights of Q1 Earnings & Surprise History In the last-reported quarter, the Houston, TX-based upstream player beat the consensus mark on strong realized prices and a tight leash on costs. Cabot had reported adjusted net income per share of 38 cents that went past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 35 cents. The company’s quarterly revenues of $459.7 million underperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.58% though, primarily due to a year-over-year decrease in the production volumes. As far as earnings surprises are concerned, Cabot beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters, delivering an earnings surprise of 33.45%, on average. This is depicted in the graph below: Factors to Consider According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in Q2 of 2020, U.S. Henry Hub average natural gas prices were $1.74 per MMBtu in April and rose marginally to $1.75 in May before tumbling to $1.63 in June. Coming to 2021, the fuel traded at $2.66, $2.91 and $3.26 per MMBtu, in April, May and June, respectively. In other words, natural gas traded noticeably higher in all the three months. As a reflection of this price boost, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second-quarter average sales price for natural gas is pegged at $2.14 per thousand cubic feet, indicating an increase of 50.7% year over year. The improvement in realizations has most likely impacted Cabot’s revenues and cash flows, as all of its production is in the form of natural gas. In fact, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for operating revenues from natural gas production for the to-be-reported quarter stands at $442 million, implying a 53.5% increase from $288 million in the April-June period of 2020. But on a somewhat bearish note, the company is likely to have faced a sequential decline in production due to lower activity levels and capital spending during the winter season. To be precise, the midpoint of management's second-quarter production guidance equates to 2,250 million cubic feet equivalent a day (Mmcfe/d), while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is 2,254 Mmcfe/d – both lower than the previous-quarter figure of 2,287 Mmcfe/d. What Does Our Model Say? The proven Zacks model does not conclusively show that Cabot Oil & Gas is likely to beat estimates in the second quarter. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of beating estimates. But that’s not the case here. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter. Earnings ESP: Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, for this company is -1.79%. Zacks Rank: Cabot currently carries a Zacks Rank #3. Stocks to Consider While an earnings beat looks uncertain for Cabot Oil & Gas, here are some firms from the energy space that you may want to consider on the basis of our model: APA Corp. ( APA Quick Quote APA - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +7.01% and a Zacks Rank #1. The firm is scheduled to release earnings on Aug 4. You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here Continental Resources, Inc. ( CLR Quick Quote CLR - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +8.88% and is Zacks #1 Ranked. The firm is scheduled to release earnings on Aug 2. ConocoPhillips ( COP Quick Quote COP - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +8.25% and a Zacks Rank #1. The firm is scheduled to release earnings on Aug 3.