EQT Corp cuts 2020 spending, posts smaller-than-expected quarterly loss

Compares with estimates, adds outlook

Feb 27 (Reuters) - EQT Corp EQT.N, the largest producer of natural gas in the United States, on Thursday reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss and cut its 2020 capital outlays, joining peers in curbing spending as investors seek higher returns.

The company now expects 2020 capital expenditure between $1.15 billion and $1.25 billion, compared with a prior outlook between $1.25 billion and $1.35 billion.

U.S. natural gas prices are trading at their lowest in nearly two decades, with record-high levels of production outpacing domestic consumption and leading to a global glut.

As a result, several large gas producers like CNX Resources, Noble Energy have reduced the value of their production assets.

EQT also took an impairment charge of $1.12 billion in the fourth quarter, which led the company to post a bigger quarterly loss.

Net loss attributable to the company was $1.18 billion, or $4.61 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $636.7 million, or $2.50 per share, a year earlier.

However, on an adjusted basis, EQT posted a loss of 3 cents per share, smaller than an average analysts' estimate of 21 cents loss per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.

The Pittsburgh-based company said sales volumes fell to 373 billions of cubic feet equivalent (bcfe), from 394 bcfe last year.

EQT said in January it plans to cut debt by about 30%, or about $1.5 billion, by mid-2020.

(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

((Arunima.Kumar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780 (Extn 3364), outside U.S. +91 80 6182 3364;))

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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