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Viper Energy (VNOM) Q4 Earnings Beat on Higher Production

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Viper Energy Partners LP (VNOM - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings per unit of 36 cents, comfortably beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 19 cents. The bottom line increased from the year-ago quarter’s earnings of 12 cents per share.

The partnership, with mineral interests in North America oil and gas resources, generated an operating income of $165.8 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $131 million. The top line also increased from the year-ago quarter’s $76 million.

The strong quarterly results were aided by an increase in oil-equivalent production volumes and higher realizations of commodity prices.

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 a cash distribution of 47 cents per common unit, payable Mar 11, 2022, to shareholders of record as of Mar 4, 2022. The metric increased almost 24% from the prior-quarter figure of 38 cents per common unit.

Production

The resources, wherein the partnership has mineral interests, produced 2,885 thousand oil-equivalent barrels (MBoe) for the December-end quarter of 2021, up from 2,549 MBoe in the year-ago quarter. Of the total volumes, oil contributed 58.6% to the total production. The production of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids increased from the prior-year quarter figure.

Realized Prices

Overall average realized price per barrel of oil equivalent was recorded at $56.82 compared with $29.48 in fourth-quarter 2020. Average realized oil prices for the quarter under review were recorded at $74 per barrel, up from $40.36 a year ago. The price of natural gas was $4.82 per thousand cubic feet, up from $1.36 in the year-ago quarter. The same for natural gas liquids was recorded at $36.65 a barrel, up from the year-ago quarter’s $14.71.

Costs & Expenses

Total expenses for fourth-quarter 2021 amounted to $39.6 million versus $105 million in the prior-year quarter. On a per barrel of oil equivalent (Boe) basis, total operating expenses were recorded at $3.65 versus $2.83 in the year-ago quarter.

Cash Flow

Net cash from operating activities was recorded at $107.4 million, up from $53.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Balance Sheet

As of Dec 31, 2021, Viper Energy’s cash and cash equivalents were $39.4 million. It reported net long-term debt of $776.7 million, representing a debt to capitalization of 25.8%.

Reserves

As of 2021-end, Viper Energy estimated its proved reserves at 128 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBoe), reflecting a year-over-year increase of 29%. Of the total reserves, oil accounted for 59%.

Guidance

For 2022, the partnership projects average oil equivalent production at 29.5-31.5 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d).

The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) partnership sets its average daily production guidance of 29.5-30.75 Mboe/d for the first half of the year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

A Glimpse of Other Players' Q4 Results

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude was trading well above $70 per barrel most of the time in the December-end quarter of 2021. The commodity even touched $84 per barrel in early November last year. The surge in oil price realizations changed the playing field for upstream players in the fourth quarter.

The favorable commodity pricing scenario, owing to the strong recovery in energy demand, is expected to have triggered higher activities in the upstream market. Glimpses of such improvements have been witnessed in the fourth quarter. In particular, companies like Pioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD - Free Report) , Continental Resources, Inc. and Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO - Free Report) turned in strong bottom-line numbers in the fourth quarter.

Pioneer Natural reported fourth-quarter 2021 earnings of $4.58 per share (excluding one-time items), beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.05. As of Dec 31, 2021, PXD’s proved reserves were recorded at 2,222,000 MBoe, up from the year-ago period’s 1,271,321 MBoe. 

For first-quarter 2022, Pioneer Natural announced a dividend payment of $3.78 per share of common stock, which includes a variable dividend of $3 per share and a base dividend of 78 cents. This suggests a 5.6% increase from the prior dividend of $3.58 per share.

Continental Resources reported fourth-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $1.79 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.73. Investors should know that as of Dec 31, 2021, CLR’s estimated proved reserves were 1,645.3 MMBoe.

Continental Resources’ board of directors announced a quarterly dividend payment of 23 cents per share, a 15% increase from 20 cents paid out in the previous quarter. The amount will be paid out on Mar 4, 2022, to stockholders of record as of Feb 22, 2022.

Marathon Oil reported fourth-quarter 2021 adjusted net income per share of 77 cents, comfortably beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 55 cents. As of 2021-end, MRO had 1,106 million oil-equivalent barrels in net proved reserves, marking a year-over-year increase of 14%.

In good news for investors, Marathon Oil is using the excess cash from a supportive environment to reward them with dividends and buybacks. As part of that, MRO has executed $1 billion of share repurchases since October (with $1.7 billion remaining under the current authorization) and recently announced a dividend hike.


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Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) - free report >>

Pioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD) - free report >>

Viper Energy Partners LP (VNOM) - free report >>

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