Antero Midstream Corporation AM reported fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings per share of 35 cents, up 3% from the year-ago level. Moreover, the figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 23 cents. The strong earnings can be attributed to growth in gathering, compression and fresh water delivery volumes.
However, quarterly revenues of $239.1 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $273 million.
During fourth-quarter 2019, compression volumes were recorded at 222,050 million cubic feet (MMcf), up 9% from the year-ago level of 203,740 MMcf. On a per-Mcf basis, compression fee was 20 cents, up 5% from prior-year quarter’s 19 cents.
In the quarter, high pressure gathering volumes totaled 240,366 MMcf, up from the year-ago period’s 236,332 MMcf. On a per-Mcf basis, average gathering high pressure fee was 18 cents compared with the prior-year level of 19 cents.
Low pressure gathering volumes averaged 242,785 MMcf, up from the fourth-quarter 2018 figure of 239,392 MMcf. On a per-Mcf basis, average gathering low pressure fee was 33 cents, higher than the year-ago level of 32 cents.
Fresh water delivery volumes came in at 13,602 MBbls, up from the prior-year level of 12,514 MBbls. On a per-barrel basis, average fresh water distribution fee was $3.90 in the fourth quarter, improving from the prior-year level of $3.78.
Total operating expenses in the quarter were recorded at $431.7 million.
As of Dec 30, Antero Midstream had cash and cash equivalents of $1.2 million. As of the same date, the company had $2,892.3 million of long-term debt and a long-term debt-to-capitalization ratio of 48%.
Return of Capital to Investors
Adjusted distributable cash flow of $159 million, with coverage of 1.1x, was down from the prior-year quarter’s $167.2 million.
The company is planning to invest capital in the range of $325 million to $300 million in 2020, lower than the prior guidance of $425 million to $375 million.
Moreover, the company expects distributable cash flow in the range of $675-$625 million. Free cashflow has been projected in the band of $425 million to $375 million.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Antero Midstream currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the energy sector are Denbury Resources Inc. , Chevron Corporation CVX and Hess Corporation HES, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Denbury Resources’ 2020 earnings are projected at 30 cents, unchanged over the past seven days.
Chevron’s bottom line for 2020 is expected to rise 12.8% year over year.
Hess’ bottom line for 2020 is estimated to grow 93.7% year over year.
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