Stone Energy Corp. posted fourth-quarter 2017 earnings of 12 cents per share (excluding impairment charges), lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 22 cents. However, the company had posted loss of $27.68 in the year-earlier quarter. Nonetheless, a considerable improvement in the period under review is attributed to higher oil and gas prices realizations, partially offset by significantly hefty salaries and increase in general and administrative expenses.
Total operating revenues fell to $76.3 million in the reported quarter from $113.1 million a year ago.
During the fourth quarter of 2017, production averaged 17.6 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/D) compared with 43.7 MBoe/D in the fourth quarter of 2016. Of the total production, natural gas accounted for 20%, oil constituted 73% and natural gas liquids made up the remaining 7%.
Overall realization on a per Boe basis was $47.01 in the reported quarter compared with $27.92 in fourth-quarter 2016. Natural gas price of $2.31 per Mcf was above $2.26 in the prior-year quarter. NGL price increased to $30.42 per barrel from $15.49 in the comparable period last year. Oil price rose to $58.07 per barrel from $49.39 a year ago.
On the cost front, unit lease operating expenses increased to $10.26 per Boe from $6.05 in the year-earlier quarter. Depreciation, depletion and amortization were $13.90 per Boe compared with $13.02. Salaries, general and administrative expenses came in at $6.23 per Boe compared with $2.67.
Q4 Price Performance
During the October-December period of 2017, shares of Stone Energy outperformed the industry. The stock gained 10.6% compared with the broader industry’s growth of 9%.
As of Dec 31, 2017, Stone Energy had approximately $263.5 million in cash. The company had long-term debt of $235.5 million.
The company, engaged in upstream operations, had proved reserves of 32.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBoe) as of Dec 31, 2017 compared with 35.4 MMBoe at the end of 2016. Of the total proved reserves, oil, natural gas and NGL comprised 67%, 26% and 7%, respectively.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Stone Energy carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked players in the same sector are Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY - Free Report) , Pioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD - Free Report) and ConocoPhillips (COP - Free Report) , all stocks sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Houston, TX-based Occidental Petroleum is an integrated oil and gas company, which delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 24.57% in the preceding four quarters.
Headquartered at Irving, TX, Pioneer Natural Resources Company is an independent oil and gas exploration and production establishment. The company delivered an average beat of 66.92% in the trailing four quarters.
ConocoPhillips, based in Houston, TX, is a major global exploration and production (E&P) company, having delivered a positive surprise of 144.45% in the last four quarters.
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