U.S. energy firm Apache Corp. ( APA ) reported weak
fourth-quarter 2012 earnings, mainly due to deteriorating oil and
gas realizations.APACHE CORP (APA): Free Stock Analysis ReportCABOT OIL & GAS (COG): Free Stock Analysis
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ReportPENN VIRGINIA (PVA): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment
Earnings per share - excluding one-time items - came in at $2.27,
below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.30 and significantly down
from the year-ago period adjusted profit of $2.94.
However, revenues of $4,391.0 million were up 2.2% from the fourth
quarter of 2011 and were also ahead of our projection of $4,373.0
million on the back of increased volumes.
The production of oil and natural gas averaged 800,005
oil-equivalent barrels per day (BOE/d) (53% liquids), up
approximately 5.4% year over year. Production for oil and natural
gas liquids (NGLs) was up roughly 11.4% at 425,857 barrels per day
(Bbl/d), while natural gas production of 2,244.9 million cubic feet
per day (MMcf/d) inched down 0.8% from the fourth-quarter 2011
For the year ended Dec 31, 2012, production of natural gas and
liquids reached 778,679 BOE/d, up 4.1% from 2011.
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 fourth quarter was
$98.93 per barrel, representing a decrease of 3.7% from the
corresponding period of the previous year. The average realized
natural gas price during the December quarter of 2012 was $4.14 per
thousand cubic feet (Mcf), down 1.0% from the year-ago
Lease operating expenses totaled $790.0 million, up 19.9% from
$659.0 million in the year-ago quarter.
Balance Sheet & Capital
As of Dec 31, 2012, Apache had approximately $160.0 million in
cash and cash equivalents. The company had a long-term debt of
$11,355.0 million, representing a debt-to-capitalization ratio of
During the three months ended Dec 31, 2012, Apache's capital
investments (excluding acquisitions) totaled $2,829.0 million,
bringing the full-year spending to $10,033.0 million.
Stocks to Consider
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.
Meanwhile, one can look at other domestic energy explorers like
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. ( COG ), Memorial
Production Partners L.P. ( MEMP ) and
Penn Virginia Corp. ( PVA ) as attractive
investments. All these firms - sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
Buy) - offer value and are worth accumulating at current