Antero Resources Corporation AR reported adjusted second-quarter 2018 earnings per share of 2 cents, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 18 cents, thanks to the surge in lease operating expenses and lower realized natural gas price. However, the bottom line compared favorably with the year-earlier quarter loss per share of 4 cents, courtesy of a surge in natural gas-equivalent production.
Antero's total operating revenues in the second quarter amounted to $989.3 million, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $968 million and the year-ago quarter's $790.4 million.
Total production through second-quarter 2018 was recorded at 229 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) -comprising 72% natural gas - 15% higher than 200 Bcfe a year ago. Natural gas production increased 16% to 167 billion cubic feet (Bcf) from 144 Bcf in the April-to-June quarter of 2017.
The production of oil in second-quarter 2018 was reported at 632 thousand barrel (MBbl), up 3% from 613 MBbl in the prior-year quarter. Antero's production of 3,290 MBbl of C2 Ethane was higher than 2,548 MBbl in the year-ago quarter by 29%. The output of 6,414 MBbl of C3+ NGLs for the April-to-June quarter of 2018 was 4% higher than 6,190 MBbl in the year-earlier quarter.
Realized Prices (Excluding Derivatives Settlements)
The natural gas-equivalent price realization for the quarter was $3.35 per thousand cubic feet equivalent (Mcfe), up from $3.26 in the year-earlier quarter by 3%. However, the realized prices for natural gas fell 10% from $3.15 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) to $2.83 Mcf.
The company's oil price realization for the quarter was reported $61.55 per Bbl, up 42% from $43.24. The realized price for C2 Ethane jumped 18% to $9.93 per Bbl from $8.40. Moreover, the company's realized price for C3+ NGLs increased to $34.81 per Bbl from $24.14 in the prior-year quarter.
Operating Expenses Surge
Antero's total expenses in the second quarter skyrocketed year over year to $1,022.1 million from $666.7 million. This was supported by almost a 79% jump in lease operating expenses to $30.2 million.
The increase in gathering, compression, processing, and transportation expenses by 15.4% also drove total operating costs.
Financials & Capital Spending
As of Jun 30, 2018, the company reported cash and cash equivalents of $50.6 million and long-term debt of $5,288.3 million, with a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 37.5%. For drilling and completion operations, the company spent $393 million through the second quarter of 2018.
The company projects natural gas realized price for 2018 between 5 cents and 10 cents premium to NYMEX Henry Hub against the prior guidance of 0 cents to 5 cents premium.
Antero also expects to hedge the entire natural gas production through 2018 and 2019 at $3.50 per MMBtu.
Antero Resources Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Antero Resources Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Antero Resources Corporation Quote
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Antero carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile, a few better-ranked players in the energy space are Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. NOG , McDermott International, Inc. MDR and Murphy Oil Corp. MUR . While Murphy Oil carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), McDermott and Northern Oil sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
Northern Oil beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the prior four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 160.4%.
McDermott's earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the last four quarters, the average positive surprise being 101.7%.
Murphy Oil's bottom line surpassed the consensus mark in each of the last four quarters, the average positive surprise being 102.5%.
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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report McDermott International, Inc. (MDR): Free Stock Analysis Report Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. (NOG): Free Stock Analysis Report Antero Resources Corporation (AR): Free Stock Analysis Report Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research