EQT Corporation ( EQT Quick Quote EQT - Free Report) has gained 2.96% since it reported strong first-quarter 2023 results on Apr 26. The solid results were aided by higher realized natural gas equivalent price.
EQT reported first-quarter adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $1.70 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.32. The bottom line also improved from the year-ago quarter’s 81 cents.
Adjusted operating revenues increased to $1,888 million from $1,569 million in the prior-year quarter. The top line also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,784 million.
Q1 Operations Production
Sales volumes declined to 458.8 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) from the year-ago quarter’s 492.3 Bcfe. Natural gas sales volume was 433.4 Bcf in the first quarter, down from 466.1 Bcf. Total liquids sales volume was 4,235 thousand barrels (MBbls) compared with the year-ago period’s 4,357 MBbls.
Commodity Price Realizations
The average realized price was $4.11 per thousand cubic feet of natural gas equivalent (Mcfe), up from the year-ago quarter’s $3.19 per Mcfe. Average natural gas price, including cash-settled derivatives, was $4.10 per Mcf, which increased year-over-year from $2.97. The ethane sales price was $7.04 per barrel in the first quarter, lower than the year-ago quarter’s $10.54. Also, oil prices were $58.37 per barrel, down from $85.55.
Total operating expenses were $1.34 per Mcfe in the first quarter of 2023, up from $1.33 in the prior-year quarter.
Processing expenses were 12 cents per Mcfe, up from the year-ago quarter of 10 cents. Lease operating expenses declined to 6 cents from 8 cents.
EQT’s adjusted operating cash flow was $1,237.1 million in the quarter, up from $888.5 million a year ago. Free cash flow in the quarter was $773.6 million, up from $580.2 million.
Capex & Balance Sheet
Total capital expenditure amounted to $468.9 million in the first quarter, up from $310.1 million a year ago.
As of Mar 31, 2023, the company had $2,127.3 million in cash and cash equivalents. Net debt was $3,344.5 million.
For 2023, EQT expects total sales volumes of 1,900-2,000 Bcfe, the midpoint of which suggests an increase from $1,940 Bcfe reported in 2022. For the second quarter, total sales volumes are anticipated to be 450-500 Bcfe.
The company expects total per-unit operating costs of $1.29-$1.41 per Mcfe in 2023. Capital expenditure for the year is projected at $1.7-$1.9 billion.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Currently, EQT carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked players in the energy space include
Murphy USA Inc. ( MUSA Quick Quote MUSA - Free Report) , Sunoco LP ( SUN Quick Quote SUN - Free Report) and Cactus, Inc. ( WHD Quick Quote WHD - Free Report) . While Murphy USA carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Sunoco and Cactus sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here
Murphy USA is a well-known name for being a leading retailer of gasoline. MUSA has more than 1,700 stores and has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2023 earnings in the past seven days.
Sunoco has a stable business model while distributing motor fuel to approximately 10,000 convenience stores. For this year, SUN has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions in the past seven days.
Cactus has been aiding its clients in fast-tracking their well drilling and completion activities. The company has also been enabling lower operator emissions per barrel of production. Thus, there has been a significantly lower carbon intensity per well.