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ConocoPhillips (COP) Beats on Q3 Earnings, Cuts Capex View

Upstream energy player ConocoPhillips COP reported third-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 16 cents per share that surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 9 cents. In the prior-year quarter, the company had posted a loss of 66 cents.

Revenues of $7,195 million beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6,548 million. The top line also improved from $6,516 million in the year-ago quarter.

Strong third-quarter numbers were supported by higher oil and natural gas price realizations. 

Exploration and Production

Production from continuing operations averaged 1,226 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOED) in the quarter, as compared with 1,557 MBOED in the year-ago quarter. The deterioration was led by field decline and production outage owing to the impact of hurricanes.

Price Realization

Average realized price for oil was $49.39 per barrel, compared with $43.21 in the year-earlier quarter. Natural gas liquids were sold at $23.82 a barrel versus $16.18 a year ago. The price of natural gas was $4.11 per thousand cubic feet, compared with $3.05 in third-quarter 2016.         

Financials

As of Sep 30, 2017, the company had total cash and cash equivalents of $6.9 billion and debt of $21 billion, with a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 41%. In the reported quarter, ConocoPhillips generated $1.1 billion in cash from operating activities. The company’s capital expenditures and investments totaled $1.1 billion and dividends payments grossed $324 million.

Total Expense

The company reported expenses of $6.5 billion in the third quarter, as compared with $8.2 billion in the July-September quarter of 2016.

Q3 Share Performance

During the third quarter, ConocoPhillips rallied 13.8%, outperforming the industry’s 9.1% gain.

Guidance

ConocoPhillips' fourth-quarter 2017 production guidance is pegged at the range of 1,195-1,235 MBOED, excluding production from Libya.

The company slashed its 2017 capital budget from the earlier projection of $4.8 billion to $4.5 billion.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

ConocoPhillips currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked players in the energy sector are Par Pacific Holdings Inc. PARR, Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. NOG and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. CNQ. Par Pacific sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Northern Oil and Gas and Canadian Natural carry a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Par Pacific managed to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters, the average earnings surprise being 195.26%.

Based in Minnetonka, MN, Northern Oil and Gas is an upstream energy player. The company’s 2017 revenues are estimated to grow 44.1%.

Canadian Natural, headquartered in Calgary, Canada, is primarily an upstream energy firm. The firm will likely witness year-over-year earnings growth of 234.8% in 2017.

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Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. (PARR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. (NOG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ConocoPhillips (COP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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