U.S. energy firm
) reported weak first-quarter 2013 results, mainly due to
deteriorating oil and gas realizations, partially offset by
increased liquids volume.
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Earnings per share - excluding one-time items - came in at $2.02,
below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.22 and significantly
down from the year-ago period adjusted profit of $3.00. Revenues
of $4,076.0 million were down 10.1% from the first quarter of
2012 and were also lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
The production of oil and natural gas averaged 781,819
oil-equivalent barrels per day (BOE/d) (53% liquids), up
approximately 1.6% year over year. Apache's production for oil
and natural gas liquids (NGLs) was up roughly 9.3% at 415,792
barrels per day (Bbl/d), while natural gas production of 2,196.2
million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) was down 5.8% from the
first-quarter 2012 level.
Apache's upstream growth momentum is retained organically as well
as through acquisitions as it continues to explore the extensive,
multi-year inventory of drillable locations in the Permian and
Anadarko basins of North America.
The average realized crude oil price during the first quarter was
$101.72 per barrel, representing a decrease of 8.5% from the
corresponding period of the previous year. The average realized
natural gas price during the Mar quarter of 2013 was $3.72 per
thousand cubic feet (Mcf), down 2.6% from the year-ago period.
Apache's lease operating expenses totaled $771.0 million, up
14.6% from $673.0 million in the year-ago quarter.
Balance Sheet & Capital Spending
As of Mar 31, 2013, Apache had approximately $248.0 million in
cash and cash equivalents. The company had a long-term debt of
$11,485.0 million, representing a debt-to-capitalization ratio of
During the three months ended Mar 31, 2013, Apache's capital
investments (excluding acquisitions) totaled $2,571.0 million.
Targets $4 Billion from Sale of Assets
Apache plans to generate $4 billion from selling assets - those
that do not fit into the company's long-term growth plan - by
year-end 2013. Of the total proceeds, the oil and gas explorer
intends to utilize the initial $2 billion to pare borrowings and
improve financial flexibility, while the remaining $2 billion
will go towards buying back 30 million shares.
Apache currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it
is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity
market over the next one to three months.
However, there are certain domestic upstream energy operators
EPL Oil & Gas Inc.
McMoRan Exploration Co.
SM Energy Co.
) that offer tremendous value and are worth buying now. All these
companies sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).