National Fuel Gas Company (NFG - Free Report) posted third-quarter fiscal 2018 operating earnings of 73 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 66 cents by 10.96%. Earnings also surpassed the year-ago quarter’s figure of 69 cents by 5.8%.
Total revenues of $342.9 million lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $363 million by 5.5%. Total revenues also missed the prior-year quarter’s revenues of $348.4 million by 1.6%.
Utility and Energy Marketing revenues were up 5.3% to $154.1 million, Storage and Gathering revenues were up 2.4% to $51.3 million, while Exploration and Production and Other Revenues were down 9.5% to $137.5 million.
Total operating expenses in the reported quarter increased 4.5% to $235.1 million from the year-ago quarter, due to increase in operating and maintenance expenses, and purchased gas prices.
Total gas production in the reported quarter was 40,970 million cubic feet (MMcf), up from the year-ago quarter of 38,637 MMcf, primarily due to higher production from the Appalachia region.
Operating income in the reported quarter was down 12.6% year over year to $107.8 million.
The company incurred interest expenses of $27.2 million, down 6.8% from the year-ago period.
On Jun 30, 2018, National Fuel Gas had cash and cash equivalents of $313.3 million compared with $555.5 million on Sep 30, 2017.
Long-term debt (excluding current maturities) was $1,835.6 million as of Jun 30, 2018, down from the Sep 30, 2017 level of $2,083.7 million.
The company’s cash flow from operating activities in the first nine months of fiscal 2018 was $517.5 million, down from $551.1 million recorded in the comparable year-ago period.
National Fuel Gas Company now expects its fiscal 2018 earnings per share within $3.30-$3.40 (prior expectation was $3.20-$3.35). The upward revision in guidance takes into consideration the positive impact of the Exploration and Production segment’s estimated production and oil pricing.
Fiscal 2018 production is expected in the range of 175-180 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe).
Capital expenditure for fiscal 2018 is expected in the range of $585-$645 million, while that of fiscal 2019 is anticipated in the band of $745-$845 million.
National Fuel Gas Company expects its fiscal 2019 production in the range of 210-230 Bcfe, reflecting a 24% increase from the estimated fiscal 2018 production.
National Fuel Gas Company issued fiscal 2019 earnings per share guidance within $3.30-$3.60 per share. The expected improvement in fiscal 2019 earnings takes into consideration Seneca’s estimated natural gas production and the associated impact on the Gathering segment revenues.
ONE Gas, Inc. (OGS - Free Report) posted second-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 39 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 32 cents by 21.9%.
ONEOK Inc. (OKE - Free Report) posted second-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 68 cents per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.
Spire (SR - Free Report) posted third-quarter fiscal 2018 operating earnings of 31 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 26 cents by 19.2%.
National Fuel Gas Company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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