Independent natural gas operator, Southwestern Energy Company (SWN - Free Report) reported second-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 8 cents per share, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 16 cents. Last year, the company had incurred a loss of 9 cents per share.
Quarterly operating revenues of $811 million came below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $818 million but increased substantially from $522 million in second-quarter 2016.
The results improved due to higher realized natural gas and liquids prices as well as lower operating expenses, which were partially offset by lower production.
Production and Realized Prices
During the second quarter, the company’s total production declined 1.33% year over year to 222 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe).
The company’s average realized gas price for the quarter, including hedges, rose to $2.15 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) from $1.32 per Mcf in the year-ago period. Oil was sold at $40.56 per barrel compared with the year-earlier level of $32.46. Natural gas liquids were sold at $11.25 per barrel compared with $6.41 in the prior-year quarter.
Operating income from the Exploration and Production (E&P) segment was $146 million for the second quarter. The company reported operating loss of $549 million in the year-ago quarter. The increase was primarily driven by higher realized natural gas and liquids prices as well as lower operating costs. This was partially offset by reduced production volumes.
On a per-Mcfe basis, lease operating expenses were 89 cents compared with the prior-year quarter level of 87 cents. General and administrative expenses per unit of production also increased to 23 cents from 21 cents recorded in the prior-year quarter.
Operating income for the company’s Midstream Services segment was $42 million in the second quarter compared with $57 million in the year-ago quarter. The decline in operating income largely stemmed from a decrease in volumes gathered due to lower production volumes in the Fayetteville Shale.
Capex and Debt
The company’s total capital expenditure during the first six months of 2017 was approximately $615 million. As of Jun 30, the company’s long-term debt was $4.4 billion, which represents a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 73.4%.
Southwestern currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same space include Global Partners LP (GLP - Free Report) , Braskem S.A. (BAK - Free Report) and TransCanada Corp (TRP - Free Report) . All of these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Global Partners delivered a positive earnings surprise of 1200.00% in the preceding quarter. The company beat estimates in three of the trailing four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 415.30%.
Braskem delivered a positive earnings surprise of 107.79% for the quarter ending Sep 2016.
TransCanada reported a negative earnings surprise of 7.58% in the preceding quarter. It surpassed estimates in two of the trailing four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 1.06%.
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