Noble Energy Inc. ( NBL ) reported adjusted
earnings per share of $1.48 for the first quarter 2013, surpassing
the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a sharp 21.3%. The quarterly
results however dropped 10.3% from year-ago earnings of $1.65 per
Earnings slipped on account of lower natural gas liquids and
crude oil prices as well as rising costs.
GAAP earnings during the quarter were $1.45 compared with
earnings of $1.47 in the year-ago period. The difference between
GAAP and operating figures during the quarter was due to an 8 cent
gain from divestitures, 6 cent gain from other adjustments and a 43
cent charge from unrealized losses on commodity derivative
instruments. Income tax adjustment accounted for 9 cents and
discontinued operations fetched a gain of 17 cents.
Net revenue increased 5.06% to $1,143.0 million in the first
quarter from $1,088.0 million in the year-ago quarter. Quarterly
revenue beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.2%.
The year-over-year rise in revenue was attributable to a higher
overall sales volume compared to the year-ago quarter.
Sales volume in the quarter expanded 9% year over year to 245
thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d). Volumes
escalated due to robust production from the company's domestic
operations. Sales volume mix comprised of 48% natural gas liquids,
24% international gas and 28% U.S. gas.
In the U.S., Marcellus, Denver/Julesburg ("DJ") and Galapagos
plays were the primary growth drivers. Total domestic volumes
in the first quarter 2013 upped 23% year over year. International
volumes decreased 6% year over year to 99 MBoe/d owing to lower
sales volume from Equatorial New Guinea operations due to scheduled
underliftings of crude oil.
Production costs including lease operating expenses, production
and ad valorem taxes, and transportation were up 4% to $8.45 per
barrel of oil equivalent (Boe) from the first quarter of 2012.
Total operating expenses climbed 14.7% year over year to $718.0
million due to 24.4% and 15.5% increase in depreciation, depletion
and amortization charges as well as general and administrative
Operating income during the quarter stood at $425.0 million,
down 8% from $462.0 million in the year-ago period. The rise in
costs relative to revenue expansion resulted in the company posting
With successful appraisals in the Leviathan Basin, the gross
resource estimate reached 18 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) up 5.8% from
the prior estimate. In Tamar field the resource estimate touched 10
Tcf, up 11.1% from the earlier estimate.
Realized oil prices in the quarter decreased 8.2% year over year
to $100.9 per barrel owing to depressed crude oil prices in
overseas and domestic businesses.
Natural gas realizations for the company jumped 19.2% year over
year to $2.60 per thousand cubic feet on account of higher price
levels in the U.S. and Israel.
Realized prices for natural gas liquids were down 5.8% to $39.19
per barrel from $41.62 per barrel in the year-ago quarter.
Cash and cash equivalents as of Mar 31, 2013 were $1,305.0
million versus $1,387.0 million as of Dec 31, 2012.
Long-term debts as of Mar 31, 2013 were $3,723.0 million versus
$3,736.0 million as of Dec 31, 2012.
Discretionary cash flow for the first quarter was $761.0 million
versus $690.0 million in the prior year quarter.
The company retained its 2013 sales volume forecast in the range
270 MBoe/d to 282 MBoe/d. The company expects second quarter
volumes to average 254 MBoe/d to 260 MBoe/d. The company is
expected to benefit from the sales related to the Tamar prospect,
going forward. Production volumes are estimated to average roughly
300 MBoe/d in the latter half of 2013.
Other Oil & Gas Company Releases
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation ( APC ) is expected to
release first quarter results on May 6, 2013. The Zacks Consensus
Estimate for the quarter is 90 cents.
Quicksilver Resources Inc. ( KWK ) earnings are set
to release on May 7, 2013. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the
quarter is at a loss of 2 cents.
EPL Oil & Gas Inc. ( EPL ) is expected to
bring out first quarter results on May 2, 2013. The Zacks Consensus
Estimate for the quarter is 85 cents per share.
First quarter results at Noble Energy were promising with both
earnings and revenue outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. We
believe the production start-up at Tamar natural gas field will
boost the company's returns in the subsequent quarters.
Following Tamar, the company's Alen prospect in West Africa is
on track to come online in the third quarter and will propel its
growth trajectory. Moreover, operations at the resource-rich DJ and
Marcellus Basin will continue to act as tailwinds, going forward.
Noble Energy currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Based in Houston, TX, Noble Energy operates internationally and
engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production,
and marketing of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas
liquids.ANADARKO PETROL (APC): Free Stock Analysis
ReportEPL OIL&GAS INC (EPL): Free Stock Analysis
ReportQUICKSILVER RES (KWK): Free Stock Analysis
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