Viper Energy Partners LP (VNOM - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2020 earnings per unit of 21 cents, comparing favorably with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 6 cents and the year-ago quarter loss of a cent.
The partnership, with mineral interests in North American oil and gas resources, generated operating income of $79 million, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $75 million. Also, the top line increased from the year-ago level of $62 million.
The strong quarterly results can be attributed to rise in oil equivalent production volumes. This was offset partially by lower commodity price realizations, led by coronavirus-dented energy demand.
Other players with interests in upstream business which beat the consensus estimate are Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (COG - Free Report) and Comstock Resources Inc (CRK - Free Report) . While Cabot Oil & Gas sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Comstock Resources carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The partnership, subsidiary of Diamondback Energy, Inc. (FANG - Free Report) , was authorized by the board of directors of its general partner to make cash distribution of 10 cents per common unit for the March quarter of 2020. The new distribution reflects a sequential decline of 77.8%.
The resources wherein the partnership has mineral interests produced 2,509 thousand oil equivalent barrels (MBoe) in the March quarter of 2020, up from 1,714 MBoe a year ago. Of the total volumes, oil accounted for 63.3%. Production of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids rose from the year-ago levels in the quarter under review.
Overall Realized Prices
Overall average realized price per barrel of oil equivalent was recorded at $30.62 compared with $35.26 in first-quarter 2019. Notably, average realized oil prices during the quarter were recorded at $45.49 per barrel, up marginally from $45.31 a year ago. However, natural gas prices were recorded at 13 cents per thousand cubic feet, lower than the year-ago quarter’s $2.05. The price of natural gas liquids was $8.94 a barrel, down from the year-ago quarter’s $18.09.
Cost & Expenses
Total expenses in the quarter under review amounted to $33.5 million, significantly higher than $21.6 million in the prior-year quarter. On a per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) basis, total operating expenses were recorded at $3.36 versus $2.90 in the year-ago quarter.
As of Mar 31, 2020, the partnership’s cash and cash equivalents were recorded at $40.3 million. It reported long-term debt of $6.6 billion, representing a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 0.25.
The partnership has issued its net daily oil equivalent production guidance at 22-24.5 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoE/D) for the second and third quarter of 2020. For 2020, the partnership has reaffirmed the prior-revised production guidance at 22.5-27 MBoE/D.
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