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Statoil (STO) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates Amid Weak Pricing

Statoil ASA’s STO first-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings of 4 cents per ADR came above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 18 cents loss. The quarterly results saw a massive decline from the year-earlier adjusted earnings of 96 cents. The fall was primarily due to significantly lower liquids and gas prices. This was partially offset by good operational performance and reduced underlying operating costs. Total revenue plunged 36.9% year over year to $10.1 billion.

Operational Performance

In the reported quarter, total equity production of liquids and gas was flat year over year at 2,054 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (MMBOE/d). Expected natural decline on mature fields and lower ownership shares from divestments were offset by stronger operational performance and new production from the ramp-up and start-up in various fields.

The underlying production growth in the quarter, after adjusting for divestments, was 2% year over year. Production from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) grew 2% from last year. Equity production outside of Norway was 734 MMBOE/d, in line with the first quarter of last year.

In the reported quarter, Statoil made two small discoveries on the NCS. As of Mar 31, 2016, Statoil had completed seven wells, with four wells ongoing. Adjusted exploration expenses in the quarter were $280 million, down from $351 million in the first quarter of 2015.

In the reported quarter, total entitlement production of liquids and gas rose 2% to 1,909 MMBOE/d. The increase was due to benefits from production sharing agreements (PSA effect), mainly as a result of the decline in oil prices.

Financials

Cash flow from operations amounted to $2,205 million in the reported quarter compared with $3,740 million in the same period last year. In light of low liquids and gas prices in the quarter, Statoil maintained a strong capital structure, and net debt to capital employed at the end of the quarter was 28.1%. Organic capital expenditure was $2.4 billion in the first three months of 2016.

Outlook

Statoil expects organic capital expenditure of $13 billion in 2016. Organic production growth for the period 2014–2017 is expected at a CAGR of about 1% from a 2014 level rebased for divestments.

Zacks Rank  

Statoil currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks worth considering from the same space are NuStar GP Holdings, LLC NSH, Braskem S.A. BAK and PetroChina Co. Ltd. PTR. Each of these stocks sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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PETROCHINA ADR (PTR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
STATOIL ASA-ADR (STO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BRASKEM SA (BAK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
NUSTAR GP HLDGS (NSH): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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