EQT Corporation (EQT - Free Report) delivered first-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of 83 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 68 cents. However, the figure declined from the prior-year quarter’s level of $1.01. The results were backed by lower expenses, partially offset by reduced realized prices.
Total operating revenues fell 12.8% year over year to $1,143.0 million. Also, the top line lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,173 million.
Production and Price Realization
Sales volume rose to 383 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) of natural gas from the year-ago quarter’s figure of 357 Bcfe. Also, the figure surpassed the guidance of 360-380 Bcfe. Average realized price of natural gas equivalents was $3.16 per thousand cubic feet, down 5.1% from $3.33 in the year-ago quarter.
Total cash operating expenses were $1.38 per unit in the first quarter of 2019 compared with $1.45 in the prior-year quarter. Processing expenses were 8 cents compared with 13 cents in the first quarter of 2018.
The company’s adjusted operating cash flow was $647.3 million during the quarter, down from $699.6 million a year ago. Capital expenditures amounted to around $476 million in the first quarter.
The company spud 30 gross wells in the first quarter. Of the total, 27 wells were drilled in the PA Marcellus with an average length-of-pay of 11,300 feet; two were drilled in the WV Marcellus with an average length-of-pay of 8,400 feet; and one was drilled in Utica with an average length-of-pay of 9,600 feet.
Production sales volume for 2019 has been raised to 1,480-1,520 Bcfe from the previous range of 1,470-1,510 Bcfe. Liquids volume is projected in the band of 12,820-13,220 thousand barrels (MBBl). Of this, second-quarter 2019 total liquids volume is estimated in the range of 3,125-3,325 MBBls.
The company projects 2019 gathering costs as well as selling, general and administration (SG&A) costs in the range of 54-56 cents per Mcfe and 11-13 cents per Mcfe, respectively.
Adjusted operating cash flow for 2019 is expected in the range of $2.2-$2.3 billion.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
EQT Corp currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked players in the energy space are CrossAmerica Partners L.P. (CAPL - Free Report) , SEACOR Holdings, Inc (CKH - Free Report) and Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
CrossAmerica Partners is involved in the wholesale distribution of motor fuels, comprising gasoline and diesel fuel. The partnership delivered average positive earnings surprise of 452.2% in the last four quarters.
SEACOR Holdings is a diversified holding company, mainly focused on domestic and international transportation, logistics as well as risk management consultancy. For 2019, the bottom line is expected to inch up 1.7% year over year. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 16.5% in the trailing four quarters.
Headquartered in Houston, TX, Murphy Oil is an independent oil and gas exploration company with producing properties mainly in the continental U.S. The top and bottom line for 2019 is expected to inch up 2.1% and 12.7%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 6% in the trailing four quarters.
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