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Eni (E) Q1 Loss Wider than Expected on Weak Gas Sales

EniSpA’s E first-quarter 2016 adjusted loss from continuing operations of 48 cents per American Depository Receipt/ADR (loss of €0.22 per share) was substantially wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of loss of 8 cents. It also decreased from the year-earlier earnings of 38 cents per ADR (€0.17 per share). The decline was mainly due to weak gas sales.

Operational Performance

Total liquids and gas production in the quarter was 1.75 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (MMBoe/d), up 3.4% year over year, mainly due to new start-ups during the quarter. Higher production in Iraq as well as ongoing production ramp-ups at the fields in Angola, Congo, Egypt, Venezuela, Norway and the United States that were brought online in 2015, also contributed to production growth.

Liquids production was 890 thousand barrels per day (MBbl/d), up 3.5% from the year-ago level of 860 MBbl/d. Natural gas production inched up 2.7% year over year to 4,718 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d).

Gas sales were 24.10 billion cubic meters (Bcm), down 5.9% from the year-ago quarter. This reflects a fall in consumption due to the economic downturn and oversupplies.

Financials

As of Mar 31, 2016, the company had cash and cash equivalents of €6 billion and long-term debt (including current portions) of €19.4 billion. The debt-to-capitalization ratio was approximately 27%.

In the reported quarter, net cash from operating activities due to continuing operations amounted to €862 million. Capital expenditure totaled €2.4 billion (down 9% year over year).

Company Outlook

Eni believes that a certain degree of ambiguity still looms with respect to the economic slowdown, particularly in the Euro zone and China, apart form the volatile market conditions. This Italian oil giant expects the uncertainty to prevail in the European gas, refining and marketing and chemicals sectors going forward.

The company expects 2016 oil and natural gas production to remain flat year over year. Production in the Val d’Agri district will remain suspended till the end of the year and decline of mature fields will contribute to the fall. This is likely to be offset by new field start-ups and ramp-up of fields.

The company expects gas sales in 2016 to be decrease year over year. This is mainly because of an estimated reduction of the contractual minimum take of supply contracts.

Eni expects its refinery intakes to remain flat year over year. This does not include the impact of the disposal of Eni’s refining capacity in CRC refinery in Czech Republic finalized on Apr 30, 2015.

The company expects to cut its full-year capital spending by 20% from 2015 levels.

Zacks Rank

Eni currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the oil and gas industry include ReneSola Ltd. SOL, FutureFuel Corp. FF and Braskem S.A. BAK. All these sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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ENI SPA-ADR (E): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BRASKEM SA (BAK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
RENESOLA LT-ADR (SOL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FUTUREFUEL CORP (FF): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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