Plains Exploration & Production Company
) posted first-quarter 2013 pro forma earnings per share of
$1.05, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 16 cents and
improving 81% from the year-ago results. The increase in earnings
was primarily driven by an improvement in the top line.
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On a GAAP basis, the company reported earnings per share of 17
cents versus a loss 64 cents a year ago. The variance between
GAAP and pro forma earnings was due to a charge of $1.67
associated with unrealized loss on mark-to-market derivative
contracts, debt extinguishment costs, and acquisition and merger
related costs; partially offset by a 79 cents gain on investment
measured at fair value, realized gain on mark-to-market
derivative contracts and adjusted income taxes.
Plains Exploration & Production's revenues of $1.2 billion
were 11.7% above the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Quarterly revenues
increased 135% year over year on a 147.8% and 35.1% rise in
segments' revenues, respectively. These positives were partially
offset by a 58.7% year-over-year decline in revenues from
Increase in oil and gas revenues was primarily driven by strong
contribution from the Eagle Ford Shale and addition of assets in
the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
First Quarter Operating Results
Daily sales volumes increased 94% year over year to 170,384
barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) per day. Average daily oil and
liquids sales volume was 129,233 barrels of oil (Bbls), up 160.3%
year over year.
Average realized hydrocarbon price, before derivative
transactions, on a per Boe basis, was $80.26, up 23.2% year over
year. An increase of 27% year over year in natural gas oil
realized prices helped the company to offset a 3.7% decline in
Operating expenses increased 136.5% year over year to $834.8
million primarily due to higher lease operating costs, and an
increase in depreciation expenses.
Operating income increased 132% year over year to $397.3 million.
As of Mar 31, 2013, Plains Exploration & Production had cash
balance of $54.3 million compared with $180.6 million as of Dec
Long-term debt as of Mar 31, 2013 was $9.6 billion versus $10
billion as of Dec 31, 2012.
Net cash provided by operating activities during the first three
months of 2013 was $818.7 million, significantly higher than
$335.4 million in the year-ago comparable period.
Capital expenditures increased to $499.5 million from $418
million a year-ago due to the addition of oil and gas properties
and leasehold acquisitions.
Other Energy Company Releases
Chesapeake Energy Corp.
) reported adjusted first quarter earnings of 30 cents per share,
ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 24 cents.
Noble Energy Inc.
) reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.48 for the first
quarter, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 21.3%.
SM Energy Company
) first-quarter adjusted earnings of 82 cents per share
comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 51 cents.
We have identified several catalysts, including asset rebalancing
strategy, liquid-rich profile, development of assets in the Eagle
Ford Shale and expansion of operations in the Gulf of Mexico. We
are hopeful of ample upside potential from these factors in the
However, uncertainties associated with switching to alternate
energy from oil for power generation, and volatile commodity
pricing, may challenge the company's forthcoming margins.
Houston, Texas-based Plains Exploration & Production Company
engages in the acquisition, development, exploration and
production of oil and gas properties, primarily in the United
States. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).