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National Fuel Gas (NFG) Tops Q1 Earnings Estimates, Ups View

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National Fuel Gas Company NFG posted first-quarter fiscal 2021 operating earnings of $1.06 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.03 by 2.9%. Earnings also improved 4.9% from the year-ago figure of $1.01 per share.

GAAP earnings for the reported quarter were 85 cents per share compared with $1.00 in the year-ago period. The difference between GAAP and operating earnings for the reported quarter was due to a gain of 40 cents on the sale of timber properties, 60-cent impact of impairment of oil and gas properties, as well as loss on other investments.

Total Revenues

Total revenues of $441.2 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $588 million by 24.9%. The top line also dropped 0.7% from the prior-year figure of $444.2 million. The year-over-year decline was primarily due to lower contribution from its Utility and Energy Marketing business.

National Fuel Gas Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

National Fuel Gas Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
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 expenses for the reported quarter increased 17.7% from the year-ago level to $348.7 million.

The Exploration and Production segment’s net production of 79.5 billions of cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) reflected an increase of 21.1 Bcfe or 36% from the prior year, primarily due to the acquisition of Appalachian assets.

For the reported quarter, average realized price of natural gas was $2.14 per thousand cubic feet, down 18 cents from the previous year. Average realized price of oil was $49.91 per barrel, down by $13.01 from the last year.

It incurred interest expenses of $32.3 million, up 27.2% from the year-ago figure.

Financial Highlights

As of Dec 31, 2020, National Fuel Gas had cash and cash equivalents of $109.4 million compared with $20.5 million on Sep 30, 2019.

Long-term debt (excluding current maturities) was $2,130.5 million as of Dec 31, 2020 compared with the Sep 30, 2019 level of $2,629.6 million.

The company’s cash flow from operating activities for first-quarter fiscal 2021 was $204.8 million, up from $167.8 million recorded in the year-ago period.

Total capital expenditure for first-quarter fiscal 2021 was $183.3 million, down from $198.5 million in the year-ago period.

Guidance

National Fuel Gas revised its fiscal 2021 earnings guidance to the range of $3.65-$3.95 from the prior expectation of $3.55-$3.85. The mid-point of the new guidance is $3.80, which is higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.72.

National Fuel Gas reiterated its fiscal 2021 capital expenditure guidance in the range of $720-$830 million.

National Fuel Gas revised its fiscal 2021 production to the range of 310-335 Bcfe from the prior expectation of 305-335 Bcfe.

Zacks Rank

Currently, National Fuel Gas has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Releases

Atmos Energy Corporation ATO posted first-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings of $1.71 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.58 by 8.2%.

MDU Resources Group Inc. MDU reported fourth-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 56 cents per share, which increased 19.1% from the year-ago level.

UGI Corporation UGI reported first-quarter fiscal 2020 adjusted earnings of $1.18 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.11 by 6.3%.

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