It has been about a month since the last earnings report for EQT (EQT). Shares have lost about 3.6% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is EQT 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.
EQT Corp Beats Q1 Earnings Estimates, Revenues Miss
EQT Corporation delivered first-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of 83 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 68 cents. However, the figure declined from the prior-year quarter’s level of $1.01. The results were backed by lower expenses, partially offset by reduced realized prices.
Total operating revenues fell 12.8% year over year to $1,143.0 million. Also, the top line lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,173 million.
Production and Price Realization
Sales volume rose to 383 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) of natural gas from the year-ago quarter’s figure of 357 Bcfe. Also, the figure surpassed the guidance of 360-380 Bcfe. Average realized price of natural gas equivalents was $3.16 per thousand cubic feet, down 5.1% from $3.33 in the year-ago quarter.
Total cash operating expenses were $1.38 per unit in the first quarter of 2019 compared with $1.45 in the prior-year quarter. Processing expenses were 8 cents compared with 13 cents in the first quarter of 2018.
The company’s adjusted operating cash flow was $647.3 million during the quarter, down from $699.6 million a year ago. Capital expenditures amounted to around $476 million in the first quarter.
The company spud 30 gross wells in the first quarter. Of the total, 27 wells were drilled in the PA Marcellus with an average length-of-pay of 11,300 feet; two were drilled in the WV Marcellus with an average length-of-pay of 8,400 feet; and one was drilled in Utica with an average length-of-pay of 9,600 feet.
Production sales volume for 2019 has been raised to 1,480-1,520 Bcfe from the previous range of 1,470-1,510 Bcfe. Liquids volume is projected in the band of 12,820-13,220 thousand barrels (MBBl). Of this, second-quarter 2019 total liquids volume is estimated in the range of 3,125-3,325 MBBls.
The company projects 2019 gathering costs as well as selling, general and administration (SG&A) costs in the range of 54-56 cents per Mcfe and 11-13 cents per Mcfe, respectively.
Adjusted operating cash flow for 2019 is expected in the range of $2.2-$2.3 billion.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in fresh estimates. The consensus estimate has shifted -15% due to these changes.
At this time, EQT has a nice Growth Score of B, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top quintile for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of A. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, EQT has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.
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