APA Corporation ( APA Quick Quote APA - Free Report) is set to release fourth-quarter results on May 3. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the to-be-reported quarter is a profit of 98 cents per share on revenues of $1.9 billion. Let’s delve into the factors that might influence this upstream operator’s results in the March quarter. But it’s worth taking a look at APA’s previous-quarter performance first. Highlights of Q4 Earnings & Surprise History
In the last-reported quarter, the independent oil and gas explorer beat the consensus mark on lower operating expenses and higher-than-expected production. APA had reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.48, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.44. Revenues of $2.4 billion generated by the firm also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3%.
APA has a trailing four-quarter negative earnings surprise of 0.6%, on average, having missed once, beaten twice and met the Zacks Consensus Estimate in another. This is depicted in the graph below: Factors to Consider
APA is expected to have suffered from the weakness in oil and natural gas realizations. As a reflection of this price boost, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter average sales price for crude and natural gas is pegged at $79 per barrel and $3 per thousand cubic feet, respectively, down from a year earlier when the company had fetched $100 and $4.70. The year-over-year decline in realizations most likely hurt APA’s revenues and cash flows.
However, the company is expected to have reaped the reward of significantly higher natural gas production during the quarter. APA continues to churn out an impressive output from its assets in the United States, Egypt and the North Sea. Consequently, the consensus mark for APA’s gas volume is pegged at 823,000 thousand cubic feet per day (Mcf/d), up from the prior-year quarter’s level of around 692,000 Mcf/d. On a further bullish note, the decrease in APA’s costs might have dented the company’s to-be-reported bottom line. The company’s fourth-quarter total operating expenses came in at $1.6 billion, down 9.6% from the year-ago period. The downward cost trajectory is likely to have continued in the first quarter due to continued efficiency gains. What Does Our Model Say?
The proven Zacks model does not conclusively show that APA Corporation 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: APA has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are pegged at 98 cents per share each. Zacks Rank: APA currently carries a Zacks Rank #3, 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 APA, here are some firms from the energy space that you may want to consider on the basis of our model:
Occidental Petroleum ( OXY Quick Quote OXY - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.09% and a Zacks Rank #3. The firm is scheduled to release earnings on May 9.
You can see
. the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here Occidental Petroleum’s expected EPS growth rate for three to five years is currently 22%, which compares favorably with the industry's growth rate of 21.8%. Valued at around $55.3 billion, OXY has gained 4.9% in a year. EOG Resources ( EOG Quick Quote EOG - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.58% and a Zacks Rank #3. The firm is scheduled to release earnings on May 4. EOG Resources’ expected EPS growth rate for three to five years is currently 28.6%, which compares favorably with the industry's growth rate of 25.8%. Valued at around $70.2 billion, EOG has gained 2% in a year. ConocoPhillips ( COP Quick Quote COP - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.13% and a Zacks Rank #3. The firm is scheduled to release earnings on May 4. ConocoPhillips beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters and missed in the other. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 2.4%, on average. Valued at around $124.7 billion, COP has gained 6.9% in a year. Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar.