National Fuel Gas Company NFG posted second-quarter fiscal 2020 operating earnings of 97 cents per share, on par with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, earnings declined 9.3% from the year-ago figure of $1.07 per share.
Total revenues of $491 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $598 million by 17.9%. The top line also decreased 11.2% from the prior-year figure of $553 million.
Highlights of the Release
Total operating costs in the reported quarter increased 29.2% from the year-ago level to $515.7 million, owing to impairment of oil and gas producing properties.
Total production in the reported quarter was 59.8 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe), up 23% from the year-ago period. In the reported quarter, prices of natural gas and oil were lower than the prior-year period. However, low commodity prices did not allow the company to enjoy the full benefits of increased production volumes.
It incurred interest expenses of $25.7 million, which was in line with the year-ago figure.
National Fuel Gas Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
National Fuel Gas Company price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | National Fuel Gas Company Quote
As of Mar 31, 2020, National Fuel Gas had cash and cash equivalents of $111.7 million compared with $20.4 million on Sep 30, 2019.
Long-term debt (excluding current maturities) was $2,134.9 million as of Mar 31, 2020 compared with the Sep 30, 2019 level of $2,133.7 million.
The company’s cash flow from operating activities in the first six months of fiscal 2020 was $390.9 million, up from $340.9 million recorded in the comparable year-ago period.
Total capital expenditure in the first six months of fiscal 2020 was $395.5 million, up 2.3% from the comparable year-ago period.
National Fuel Gas revised its fiscal 2020 earnings guidance to the range of $2.75-$2.95 from the prior expectation of $2.95-$3.15. The mid-point of the guidance is 8 cents lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.85.
The company now expects Exploration and Production capital expenditures for fiscal 2020 in the range of $375-$395 million. Notably, it has lowered the upper end of the previous guided range by $15 million.
National Fuel Gas lowered its fiscal 2020 capital expenditure guidance to the range of $680-$740 million from the earlier projection of $695-$785 million.
The company also lowered its fiscal 2020 net production expectation to the range of 230-240 Bcfe from 235-245 Bcfe projected earlier.
Currently, National Fuel Gas sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Atmos Energy Corporation ATO is slated to release second-quarter fiscal 2020 results on May 6. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for the quarter is pegged at $1.94 per share.
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation CPK is scheduled to release first-quarter 2020 results on May 6. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the to-be-reported quarter’s earnings is pegged at $1.74 per share.
New Jersey Resources NJR is set to release second-quarter fiscal 2020 results on May 8. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for the quarter to be reported is pegged at $1.43 per share.
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