Apache (APA) Swings to Q4 Loss, Plans Capex Boost in 2017

Have you been eager to see how U.S. energy firm Apache Corp.APA performed in Q4 in comparison with the market expectations? Let's quickly scan through the key facts from this Houston, TX-based company's earnings release this morning:

About Apache: Apache is one of the world's leading independent energy companies engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids. Approximately 72% of the company's proved reserves and 60% of its production comes from North America, where its operations are focused in the Permian Basin, the Anadarko basin in western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, Gulf Coast and the offshore Gulf of Mexico areas of the U.S., and in Western Canada. Internationally, Apache has core operations in Egypt and offshore U.K.

Zacks Rank & Surprise History: Currently, Apache has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) but that could change following its fourth quarter 2016 earnings report which has just released. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Coming to earnings surprise history, the company has a good record: its beaten estimates in three of the last four quarters resulting in an average positive surprise of 52.23%.

Apache Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Apache Corporation Price and EPS Surprise | Apache Corporation Quote

Estimate Revision Trend: Investors should note that the earnings estimate revisions for Apache depicted pessimism prior to the earnings release. The Zacks Consensus Estimate deteriorated 40% over the last 30 days.

We have highlighted some of the key details from the just-released announcement below:

Apache Reports Loss: Loss per share - excluding one-time items - came in at 6 cents, as against the Zacks Consensus Estimate for a profit of 6 cents.

Revenue Came in Lower than Expected: Revenues of $1,451 million were below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,496 million.

Key Stats: The production of oil and natural gas (excluding divested assets and non-controlling interests) averaged 420,846 oil-equivalent barrels per day (BOE/d) (64% liquids), down 14% from last year. Apache's production for oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) was 271,074 barrels per day (Bbl/d), while natural gas output came in at 898.6 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d).

The average realized crude oil price during the fourth quarter was $47.39 per barrel, representing an increase of 19% from the year-ago realization of $39.79. Moreover, the average realized natural gas price during the Dec quarter of 2016 was $2.85 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf), up 8% from the year-ago period.

Apache's fourth quarter lease operating expenses totaled $375 million, down 18% from the year-ago quarter.

Guidance: With returns-focused growth in mind, Apache announced a 2017 capital budget of $3.1 billion, representing a 60% increase over its 2016 spend. The company also aims to grow production by approximately 10% in the next 1 year.

Share Performance: Shares have fallen more than 13% year-to-date, while the Zacks categorized Oil & Gas - U.S. Exploration & Production industry lost 3% over the same period. Over the last 12 months, Encana stock has gained 42%.

Check back later for our full write up on this Apache earnings report later!

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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