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Will Higher Energy Prices Aid Vista (VIST) in Q1 Earnings?

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Vista Oil & Gas, S.A.B. de C.V. (VIST - Free Report) is set to release first-quarter results on Apr 26. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the to-be-reported quarter is a profit of 39 cents per share on revenues of $211.1 million.

Let’s delve into the factors that might have influenced the Mexico-based energy firm’s results in the March quarter. But it’s worth taking a look at Vista’s previous-quarter performance first.

Highlights of Q4 Earnings & Surprise History

In the last-reported quarter, the Argentina-focused company beat the consensus mark due to higher production and commodity prices. Vista had reported earnings per share of 37 cents, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 20 cents. Revenues of $196 million generated by the firm came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

VIST beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings once in the last four quarters but missed thrice, resulting in a negative earnings surprise of 24.1%, on average. This is depicted in the graph below:
 

Vista Oil & Gas, S.A.B. de C.V. Sponsored ADR Price and EPS Surprise

Vista Oil & Gas, S.A.B. de C.V. Sponsored ADR Price and EPS Surprise

Vista Oil & Gas, S.A.B. de C.V. Sponsored ADR price-eps-surprise | Vista Oil & Gas, S.A.B. de C.V. Sponsored ADR Quote

Factors to Consider

Vista is expected to have benefited from the surge in hydrocarbon realizations. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the company’s average realized oil and natural gas prices increased by 51% and 70%, respectively, compared to the year-ago period. The uptick is most likely to have continued in the to-be-reported quarter, thanks to the sharp rise in commodity prices that revisited their multi-year highs following geopolitical tensions and the ongoing macroeconomic recovery. This price boost is likely to have buoyed the first-quarter revenues and cash flows of Vista.

The company is also expected to have reaped the reward of higher production during the quarter. VIST continues to churn out an impressive output from its assets in southwest Argentina’s Vaca Muerta basin, where it focuses on growth through a combination of acquisitions and active drilling. In the previous quarter, VIST’s total output was up 34% year over year over year. The uptick is expected to have continued in the to-be-reported quarter on the back of higher productivity from the company’s flagship Bajada del Palo Oeste region.

On a somewhat bearish note, Vista’s total lifting costs in the fourth quarter increased around 24% year over year to $27.9 million. The upward cost trajectory is likely to have continued in the first quarter due to higher product costs and inflationary pressure. This is expected to have somewhat dented the company’s to-be-reported earnings.

What Does Our Model Say?

The proven Zacks model does not conclusively show that Vista is likely to beat estimates in the first 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: Vista Oil & Gas has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are pegged at 39 cents per share each.

Zacks Rank: VIST currently carries a Zacks Rank #1, which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, the company’s 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult this earnings season.

Stocks to Consider

While an earnings beat looks uncertain for Vista, here are some firms from the energy space that you may want to consider on the basis of our model:

Antero Resources (AR - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +2.70% and a Zacks Rank #1. The firm is scheduled to release earnings on Apr 27.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

For 2022, AR has a projected earnings growth rate of 239.6%. Valued at around $11.2 billion, Antero Resources has surged around 297.3% in a year.

CNX Resources Corp. (CNX - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +5.39% and is Zacks #2 Ranked. The firm is scheduled to release earnings on Apr 28.

CNX is valued at around $4.4 billion. The company topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 22% in the trailing four quarters. CNX has gained around 67.5% in a year.

Chevron Corporation (CVX - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +2.18% and a Zacks Rank #2. The firm is scheduled to release earnings on Apr 29.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CVX’s 2022 earnings has been revised 39.9% upward over the past 60 days. The company topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 6.3% in the trailing four quarters. Chevron has gained around 79.4% in a year.

Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar.