Continental Resources, Inc. (CLR - Free Report) delivered first-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of 58 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 47 cents. Nevertheless, the bottom line fell from the year-ago quarter earnings of 68 cents.
Revenues of $1,124 million beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,062 million. The figure declined from $1,141 million in the year-ago quarter.
The quarterly results were supported by higher production from the North Dakota Bakken as well as SCOOP and STACK regions. This was partially offset by lower oil equivalent price realizations and higher operating expenses.
Exploration and Production
Production from continuing operations averaged 332,236 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE/D) in the quarter, higher than 287,410 BOE/D in the year-ago quarter. Oil production in the quarter came in at 193,921 barrels per day (Bbls/d), up from 163,837 Bbls/d in the year-ago quarter.
Natural gas production jumped from 741,442 thousand cubic feet per day (Mcf/d) in first-quarter 2018 to 829,891 Mcf/d in the first quarter of 2019.
Average realized price for oil was $50.05 a barrel, down from $58.98 in the prior-year quarter. Natural gas was sold at $2.56 per Mcf, down from $2.98 in the year-ago quarter. Crude oil equivalent price in the quarter fell to $35.56 per barrel from $41.26 in the prior-year quarter.
Total operating expenses of $819.3 million in the first quarter rose from $760.3 million in the January-to-March quarter of 2018. Total production cost rose to $107 million from $93 million in the year-ago quarter. Exploration costs in the quarter were $1.8 million compared with $1.7 million in the year-ago quarter.
Production expense per barrel of oil equivalent in the first quarter of 2019 was $3.59, lower than the year-ago quarter’s figure of $3.60.
In the first quarter of 2019, total capital expenditure (excluding acquisitions) came in at around $750.2 million, more than 80% of which was used in exploration and development drilling.
As of Mar 31, 2019, the company had total cash and cash equivalents of $264.4 million as well as debt of $5.8 billion (excluding current maturities), with a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 46.5%.
Continental Resources’ 2019 capital spending (excluding acquisitions) is expected at $2.6 billion. For 2019, oil production is expected in the range of 190,000-200,000 barrels per day, while natural gas is expected in the band of 790,000-810,000 thousand cubic feet per day.
The company expects production expense for 2019 in the range of $3.75-$4.25 per BOE.
Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks
Continental Resources currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Some other top-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 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. The top and the bottom line for 2019 is expected to inch up 2.1% and 12.7%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. The company delivered average positive earnings surprise of 6% in the trailing four quarters.
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