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Devon (DVN) Q1 Loss Narrower than Expected, 2016 View Up

Devon Energy Corp. DVN reported first-quarter 2016 adjusted loss per share of 53 cents, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 60 cents. In first-quarter 2015, the company reported earnings of 22 cents per share.

Lower-than-expected loss in the first quarter was primarily due to the cost saving initiatives undertaken by the company.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported a loss of $6.44 per share compared with a loss of $8.88 per share in the year-ago quarter. The difference between operating and GAAP figures in the reported quarter was due to a non-cash, asset-impairment charge.

Revenues

Devon’s quarterly revenues of $2.12 billion lagged year-ago revenues of $3.26 billion by 34.9% and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.58 billion by 17.8%. The decline in revenues was due to lower contribution from all operating segments compared with the prior-year quarter.

Highlights of the Release

In the first quarter 2016, Devon’s total production averaged 581,000 barrels of oil-equivalent (boe) per day, surpassing the mid-point of the guidance by 6,000 boe per day.

Total production during the reported quarter was primarily driven by a 10% year-over-year increase in oil production in the U.S. Robust output from Devon’s Delaware Basin and Rockies assets was particularly notable. In addition, performance from its Jackfish 3 Project in Canada was impressive.

At the field level, the company is effectively controlling its costs. Thanks to its initiatives, lease operating expenses (LOE) were down 21% year over year to $7.13 per boe.
 
Realized Prices

Realized oil prices in the quarter were $33.66 per barrel, down 31.1% from $48.87 per barrel in the year-ago quarter. Realized prices for natural gas were down 30.1% to $2.09 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) from $2.99 per Mcf in the year-ago quarter.

Total realized prices in the first quarter, including cash settlements, were $13.53 per boe, down 56.9% year over year due to lower commodities prices.

Financial Health

As of Mar 31, 2016, the company had a cash balance of $1,635 million, down from $2,310 million as of Dec 31, 2015.

Long-term debt as of Mar 31, 2016, was $12,195 million compared with $12,056 million as of Dec 31, 2015.

Devon’s cash flow from operating activities in first-quarter 2016 was $149 million compared with $1,648 million in first-quarter 2015.

Capital expenditure was $749 million, lower than $1,717 million a year ago.

Guidance

Devon Energy estimates total production from its core assets for the second quarter of 2016 in the range of 527,000–551,000 boe per day. The company now expects 2016 total daily production in the range of 531,000–555,000 boe, up 3% from the previous expectation of 516,000-540,000 boe.

Capital expenditure (capex) in the second quarter is expected in the range of $325–$405 million. The company reiterated the 2016 capex guidance in the range of $1,170 million to $1,445 million.

Devon’s 2016 E&P capital investment is estimated in a $900 million to $1.1 billion range and, for the second quarter, it is expected in a range of $250 million to $300 million.

Devon Energy further lowered its 2016 LOE outlook by $50 million to a range of $1.75 billion to $1.85 billion. The company expects its field-level costs, which include both LOE and production taxes, to decline by up to $400 million for 2016. Devon is also on track to lower general and administrative expenses by $500 million from 2015 levels.

Other Company Releases

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation APC reported a first-quarter 2016 adjusted loss of $1.12 per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.19.

TOTAL S.A. TOT reported first-quarter 2016 operating earnings of 68 cents per share, easily surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 44 cents by 54.6%

Chevron Corp. CVX reported a loss per share of 39 cents, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 18 cents.

Our View

While Devon Energy incurred a narrower-than-expected loss in the first quarter of 2016, revenues fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The persistent weakness in commodity prices has finally forced the company to incur a loss.

However, Devon’s focus on high-quality North American properties has led to increased oil output for six quarters in a row. We expect continued strong production from the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin assets and Canadian heavy oil operations to help it to maintain strong production levels.

Additionally, Devon continues to divest non-core assets and focus on its high return core assets. In April, Devon announced a deal to sell its non-core Mississippian assets in northern Oklahoma for $200 million, which is a step toward its planned divesture of $2 billion to $3 billion of non-core E&P properties. The proceeds from these divestments will help the company to lower its outstanding debt and maintain financial flexibility.

Oil prices have shown remarkable gains lately on a rise in gasoline consumption, lower rig usage in the U.S. and worldwide outages. Cost-saving initiatives of the company are also in full force and are expected to generate total savings of nearly $900 million from 2015 levels, a big positive amid challenging circumstances.

Devon Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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