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Why Is Whiting Petroleum Corporation (WLL) Up 12.2% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Whiting Petroleum Corporation (WLL - Free Report) . Shares have added about 12.2% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Whiting Petroleum Corporation due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Whiting Petroleum Q2 Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates

Whiting Petroleum Corporation reported second-quarter 2021 adjusted net income per share of $3.01, handsomely beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.45 and the sequential quarter’s earnings of $2.79 owing to prices and better-than-expected production and significant improvement in oil price realizations.

Total operating revenues came in at $351.6 million, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $269 million. Moreover, the top line improved 14.4% from the quarter-ago level of $307.4 million.

On an encouraging note, the company’s free cash flow of $111.3 million was higher than the first-quarter 2021 figure of $108.2 million.

Production & Prices

Whiting Petroleum’s total oil and gas production reported a sequential increase of 4.2% to 8,431 thousand barrels of oil equivalent/ MBOE (comprising 80% liquids). Oil volumes at 4,860 thousand barrels (MBbl) edged up 0.8% from the level achieved in first-quarter 2021, while natural gas output improved 4.1% to reach 10,666 thousand cubic feet. Daily production averaged 92.6 MBOE, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 87 MBOE.

The average realized crude oil price during the second quarter was $63.46 per barrel, reflecting a 19.2% rise from the quarter-ago realization of $53.24.

Balance Sheet & Capital Expenditure

As of Jun 30, Whiting Petroleum had approximately $19.1 million in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash. The oil explorer’s long-term debt of $115 million represented a debt-to-capitalization of 9%. In the reported quarter, the company spent $58.5 million on its capital program.

2021 Guidance

Whiting Petroleum, which aims to become a debt-free company by year-end, projects to generate more than $700 million in EBITDAX. Further, management anticipates free cash flow in excess of $425 million for 2021 at an average oil price of $60 per barrel. Previously, the company anticipated EBITDAX and free cash flow of $550 million and $300 million, respectively.

Besides, Whiting Petroleum's daily output for 2021 will now come in at 90 MBOE, as per the midpoint of the latest guidance, up from 85 MBOE implied in the previous forecast. At the same time, the energy explorer upped the bottom end of its annual capital spending guidance by $12 million to $240-$252 million.

Finally, the company is committed to returning capital to its shareholders but is ready to wait for the time being to make the process sustainable.


 

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month.

VGM Scores

Currently, Whiting Petroleum Corporation has a subpar Growth Score of D, however its Momentum Score is doing a bit better with a C. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. It comes with little surprise Whiting Petroleum Corporation has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.


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