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Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) Up 4.9% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD - Free Report) . Shares have added about 4.9% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

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

Pioneer Natural Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates

Pioneer Natural reported fourth-quarter 2021 earnings of $4.58 per share (excluding one-time items), beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.05. The bottom line surged from the year-ago quarter’s profit of $1.07 per share.

Total quarterly revenues of $4,317 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,798 million. However, the top line improved from the year-ago quarter’s $1,856 million.

The better-than-expected earnings can be attributed to higher oil-equivalent production volumes and commodity price realizations. The positives were partially offset by increased costs and expenses.

Dividend Hike

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 base dividend of 78 cents. This suggests a 5.6% increase from the prior dividend of $3.58 per share. The dividend is payable on Mar 14, 2022, to its stockholders of record at the close of business on Feb 28, 2022.

Moreover, the company repurchased $250 million of common stock in the fourth quarter of 2021. Also, its board of directors authorized a new $4-billion common stock repurchase program, replacing the existing $2-billion repurchase program.

Production

For fourth-quarter 2021, total production was 687.1 thousand barrels of oil-equivalent per day (MBoe/d), up from the year-ago figure of 364.5 MBoe/d.

Oil production was 393.5 thousand barrels per day (MBbls/d), up from the year-ago quarter’s 204.5 MBbls/d. NGLs production was 161.7 MBbls/d compared with the prior-year quarter’s 85.8 MBbls/d. Natural gas production amounted to 792.2 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), up from the year-ago quarter’s 445.4 MMcf/d.

Price Realization

On an oil-equivalent basis, the average realized price was $58.78 per barrel for the reported quarter compared with $30.22 a year ago. The company reported an average realized crude price of $76.38 a barrel, up from $40.94 reported in the December-end quarter of 2020.

Average natural gas price improved to $5.20 per thousand cubic feet from $2.37 in the prior-year quarter. Natural gas liquids were sold at $38.45 a barrel, up from $18.51 a year ago.

Operating Costs

The company’s expenses for oil and gas production were $377 million, up from $175 million in the year-ago quarter. Total costs and expenses increased to $3,326 million in the fourth quarter from $1,828 million in the year-ago period.

Cash, Debt and Capex

As of Dec 31, 2021, the company’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $3,847 million, while long-term debt summed $6,688 million. It had a debt to capitalization of 23.3%.

In the December-end quarter, the company spent $941 million.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in fresh estimates.

VGM Scores

Currently, Pioneer Natural Resources has a strong Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with a B. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

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

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Pioneer Natural Resources has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.


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