EQT Corporation (EQT - Free Report) posted fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings per share of 76 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 22 cents. The figure also increased 204% from 25 cents in the year-earlier quarter.
In 2017, the company reported adjusted earnings of $1.47 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 79 cents. The company had incurred a loss of 33 cents in 2016.
Net operating revenues in the quarter totaled $1,129.3 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $886.3 million and improving from $379.0 million in the year-ago quarter.
Net operating revenues in 2017 improved 110% year over year to $3,378.0 million. Revenues were also above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,140.0 million.
Higher production sales volume and increased realizations supported EQT’s strong fourth-quarter 2017 results.
EQT Production's fourth-quarter operating revenues were $1,048.9 million compared with $318.3 million in the year-ago quarter. The company clocked sales volume of 294.4 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe), up 48.4% year over year.
Operating income in the fourth quarter was $267.4 million against an operating loss of $251.1 million in the year-ago quarter.
In the EQT Gathering segment, net gathering revenues improved 23.3% year over year to $123.5 million on the back of 27% higher gathered volumes. Operating income jumped 28.4% year over year to $90.8 million in the reported quarter.
Net transmission revenues grew 6.5% to $101 million. Operating income declined 8.9% year over year to $58.2 million.
The company’s adjusted operating cash flow was $426.3 million compared with $296.6 million in the year-ago quarter.
The company spud 197 gross wells in 2017. Of the total, 144 wells were drilled in the Marcellus with an average length-of-pay of 8,900 feet, 49 were drilled in the Upper Devonian with an average length-of-pay of 9,800 feet and four were drilled in Utica with an average length-of-pay of 10,500 feet.
At the end of 2017, oil and gas proved reserves were 21.4 trillion cubic feet equivalent (Tcfe), up 59% from 2016. The company added 6.3 Tcfe of proved reserves last year.
Production sales volume for 2018 is expected in the range of 1,520-1,560 Bcfe. Liquids volume is projected in the band of 12,300-12,600 thousand barrel of oil equivalent (MBBl). Of this, first-quarter 2018 volume is estimated at 350-360 Bcfe, with liquids of 3,230-3,250 MBBls. The company projects full-year development costs and selling, general and administration (SG&A) costs in the range of 41-43 cents per Mcfe and 10-12 cents per Mcfe, respectively.
Q4 Price Performance
During the fourth quarter, EQT’s shares have underperformed the industry. The company’s shares have lost 12.8% against the industry’s rally of 9%.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
EQT carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
A few better-ranked players in the same sector are EOG Resources (EOG - Free Report) , Pioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD - Free Report) and Devon Energy (DVN - Free Report) . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Houston, TX-based EOG Resources is a major independent oil and gas exploration and production company. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 40.94% in the preceding four quarters.
Headquartered at Irving, TX, Pioneer Natural Resources Company is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company. It delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 66.92% for the preceding four quarters.
Devon Energy, based in Oklahoma City, is an independent energy company engaged primarily in the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise of 13.77% in the preceding quarter.
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