National Fuel Gas Company NFG posted fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 operating earnings of 54 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 53 cents by 1.89%. Also, the bottom line rose 10.2% from the year-ago quarter’s figure of 49 cents.
Total revenues of $293 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $340 million by 13.8%. However, the top line increased 1.4% from the prior-year figure of $289 million.
The year-over-year improvement can be primarily attributed to strong contribution from the Exploration and Production segment. However, lower contribution from Pipeline and Storage, Gathering, Utility as well as Energy Marketing businesses marginally offset the positives.
National Fuel Gas Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
National Fuel Gas Company price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | National Fuel Gas Company Quote
Highlights of the Release
Total operating costs in the reported quarter increased 2.4% from the year-ago quarter’s level to $209.4 million owing to rise in operating and maintenance expenses along with higher taxes.
Total gas production in the reported quarter was 55,443 million cubic feet (MMcf), up from the year-ago quarter’s figure of 43,749 MMcf. The uptick was led by higher production from the Appalachia region. Oil production rose 2.3% from the year-ago quarter’s level to 612,000 barrels on strong performance in Appalachia region.
Operating income in the reported quarter declined nearly 1% year over year to $83.9 million.
The company incurred interest expenses of $26.7 million, down 8.9% from the year-ago quarter’s figure.
On Sep 30, 2019, National Fuel Gas had cash and cash equivalents of $20.4 million compared with $229.6 million as of Sep 30, 2018.
Long-term debt (excluding current maturities) was $2,133.7 million as of Sep 30 compared with Sep 30, 2018 level of $2,131.4 million.
The company’s cash flow from operating activities in fiscal 2019 was $694.5 million, up from $615.3 million recorded a year ago.
Total capital expenditure in the fiscal 2019 was $788.9 million, up 35.1% from year-ago level.
National Fuel Gas revised its fiscal 2020 earnings guidance in the range of $3.00- $3.30 from the prior expectation of $3.25-$3.55. The mid-point of the guidance is 7 cents less than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.22.
Consolidated capital expenditures remained constant at $725-$820 million.
Expectations for fiscal 2020 net production remained unchanged in the range of 235-245 billion cubic feet equivalent.
Currently, National Fuel Gas carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Recent Industry Releases
ONEOK Inc OKE reported third-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 74 cents per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
ONE Gas OGS reported third-quarter 2019 earnings of 33 cents per share, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 34 cents by 2.94%.
MDU Resources Group MDU delivered third-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 68 cents per share, which increased 23.6% from the year-ago quarter’s level.
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