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Why Is Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) Down 2.5% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD). Shares have lost about 2.5% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Pioneer Natural Resources due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Pioneer Natural Q2 Earnings & Revenues Miss Estimates

Pioneer Natural reported second-quarter 2021 earnings of $2.55 per share (excluding one-time items), missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.62 per share. The bottom line increased from the year-ago quarter’s loss of 32 cents per share.

Total quarterly revenues of $3,419 million lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,524 million. The top line improved from the year-ago quarter’s $859 million.

The lower-than-expected results can be attributed to the company’s higher operating expenses.

Dividend

Pioneer Natural's board of directors declared its inaugural quarterly variable dividend payment of $1.51 per share of common stock. The third-quarter payment represents nearly 75% of the company’s second-quarter free cash flow after payment of the base dividend in April 2021.

The dividend is payable Sep 17, 2021, to all its stockholders of record at the close of business on Sep 3, 2021.

Production

For second-quarter 2021, total production was 629.5 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d), up from the year-ago figure of 374.6 MBoe/d.

Oil production was 363 thousand barrels per day (MBbls/d), up from the year-ago quarter’s 215 MBbls/d. NGLs production was 147.1 MBbls/d compared with the prior-year quarter’s 90.2 MBbls/d. Moreover, natural gas production amounted to 715.7 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), up from the year-ago quarter’s 416.5 MMcf/d.

Price Realization

On an oil-equivalent basis, the average realized price was $46.82 per barrel for the reported quarter compared with $17.61 a year ago. The company reported an average realized crude price of $64.55 a barrel, up from $23.16 reported in the June-end quarter of 2020.

Average natural gas price improved to $2.69 per thousand cubic feet from $1.15 in the prior-year quarter. Natural gas liquids were sold at $27.95 a barrel, up from $12.65 a year ago.

Operating Costs

The company’s expenses for oil and gas production were $316 million, up from $167 million in the year-ago quarter. Total costs and expenses increased to $2,919 million for the second quarter from $1,397 million in the year-ago period.

Cash, Debt and Capex

As of Jun 30, 2021, the cash balance totaled $93 million, while long-term debt summed $6,926 million. It had a debt to capitalization of 23.4%.

In the June-end quarter, the company spent $900 million.

Outlook

For 2021, Pioneer Natural expects oil production of 351-366 thousand barrels of oil per day (MBo/d). It projects a total production of 605-631 MBoe/d.

For third-quarter 2021, the company expects oil production of 380-395 MBo/d and a total production of 660-685 MBoe/d.

The company anticipates a total capital budget of $3.1-$3.4 billion for 2021. Notably, it believes that the capital spending will be fully funded by its $6.5-billion projected cash flow.

Pioneer Natural included greenhouse gas (GHG) and methane emission intensity reduction goals into its ESG strategy. It aims to reduce GHG emission intensity by 25% and methane emission intensity by 40% by 2030.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended downward during the past month.

VGM Scores

At this time, Pioneer Natural Resources has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with a C. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Pioneer Natural Resources has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.


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