Gulfport Energy Corporation (GPOR - Free Report) reported second-quarter adjusted net income per share of 33 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 28 cents. The better-than-expected performance was driven by higher-than-anticipated natural gas output, especially from the Utica shale. Natural gas volumes in the quarter under review totaled 108.2 billion cubic feet of gas (Bcf), surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $105.3 Bcf.
The bottom line, however, remained unchanged from the prior-year level on increasing costs.
Revenues of $252.7 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $329 million. The top line also deteriorated from the year-ago figure of $323.9 million on lower natural gas realizations.
Production & Prices
Gulfport’s total oil and gas production increased 28.1% to 1,330.3 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d) from last year’s corresponding period. Of the total output, 89% comprised natural gas. Natural gas liquids and oil constituted 7% and 4% of the total production, respectively.
The company witnessed improved year-over-year production from Utica and SCOOP plays in the quarter. Output from Utica and SCOOP totaled 96,994 MMcfe and 22,500 MMcfe, respectively, in the second quarter of 2018. Nearly 80.1% of the company’s output came from the Utica acreage.
Average realized natural gas oil price (before the impact of derivatives) during the second quarter was $2.15 per Mcf, representing a decline of 13.3% from the year-ago realization of $2.48. However, average realized natural gas liquids price was 71 cents per gallon, up 57.8% from the year-ago period. Gulfport fetched $66.26 per barrel of oil during the quarter, up 46.2% year over year.
Total expenses in the quarter under review amounted to $238.9 million, reflecting a 32.2% increase from the second quarter of 2017. This is mainly attributed to increased depreciation and midstream gathering/processing charges incurred in the reported quarter.
While depreciation costs rose 48.2% to stand at $121.9 million, midstream gathering/processing expenses scaled up 21.2% to $71.4 million.
Capex, Balance Sheet & Stock Buyback
In the reported quarter, Gulfport spent $235.6 million on drilling and completion, as well as capital expenditure. As of Jun 30, 2018, the natural gas-weighted energy explorer had approximately $119.2 million in cash and cash equivalents. Gulfport Energy had long-term debt of $2,114 million, representing a debt-to-capitalization ratio of around 40%.
Year-to-date, Gulfport repurchased 10.5 million shares at an average price of $10.47, with total share buyback worth around $110 million.
While the company reiterated its full-year 2018 capital expenditure guidance, it upgraded the output forecast.
Gulfport expects 2018 drilling and completion capex in the band of $630-$685 million. The company now anticipates its output between 1,320 MMcfe/d and 1,340 MMcfe/d versus prior guided range of 1,310-1,340 MMcfe/d. The current forecast reflects a 21-23% increase from the 2017 production level of $1,089.2 MMcfe/d.
For the third quarter, Gulfport’s output is estimated at around 1,360 MMcfe/d.
Zacks Rank and Key Picks
Gulfport currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked players in the same industry include Bonanza Creek Energy, Inc. (BCEI - Free Report) , Eclipse Resources Corporation (ECR - Free Report) and Penn Virginia Corporation (PVAC - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Bonanza Creek surpassed earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, with an average of 215.36%.
Eclipse Resources delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 183.33% in the preceding four quarters.
Penn Virginia topped estimates in each of the last four quarters, delivering an average positive earnings surprise of 18.03%.
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