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Cabot Oil & Gas First Quarter 2021 Results

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   |    Monday,May 03,2021

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. reported financial and operating results for the first quarter of 2021.

CEO Dan O. Dinges said: "Relative to the prior-year period, Cabot's free cash flow and adjusted net income both grew by over 175 percent, highlighting the Company's ability to deliver robust financial results in a more normalized natural gas price environment. We remain on track to deliver strong growth in our earnings, return on capital employed, and free cash flow this year, which supports our focus on increasing our capital returns and further enhancing shareholder value."

First Quarter 2021 Highlights

  • Net income of $126.4 million (or $0.32 per share); adjusted net income (non-GAAP) of $150.0 million (or $0.38 per share)
  • Net cash provided by operating activities of $290.5 million; free cash flow (non-GAAP) of $137.6 million
  • Return on capital employed (ROCE) (non-GAAP) for the trailing 12 months of 10.4 percent
  • Repaid $88.0 million of senior notes that matured in January 2021
  • Announced a 10 percent increase in the Company's quarterly base dividend to $0.11 per share

First Quarter 2021 Financial Results

First quarter 2021 daily production was 2,287 million cubic feet equivalent (Mmcfe) per day (100 percent natural gas). During the first quarter of 2021, the Company drilled 25.1 net wells, completed 13.0 net wells, and placed 21.0 net wells on production.

First quarter 2021 net income was $126.4 million, or $0.32 per share, compared to $53.9 million, or $0.14 per share, in the prior-year period. First quarter 2021 adjusted net income (non-GAAP) was $150.0 million, or $0.38 per share, compared to $54.0 million, or $0.14 per share, in the prior-year period. First quarter 2021 EBITDAX (non-GAAP) was $300.4 million, compared to $189.0 million in the prior-year period.

First quarter 2021 net cash provided by operating activities was $290.5 million, compared to $204.9 million in the prior-year period. First quarter 2021 discretionary cash flow (non-GAAP) was $261.2 million, compared to $198.5 million in the prior-year period. First quarter 2021 free cash flow (non-GAAP) was $137.6 million, compared to $49.8 million in the prior-year period.

First quarter 2021 natural gas price realizations, including the impact of derivatives, were $2.31 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf), an increase of 34 percent compared to the prior-year period. First quarter 2021 natural gas price realizations represented a $0.39 discount to NYMEX settlement prices compared to a $0.23 discount in the prior-year period. First quarter 2021 operating expenses (including interest expense) decreased to $1.44 per thousand cubic feet equivalent (Mcfe), a one percent improvement compared to the prior-year period.

Cabot incurred a total of $124.0 million of capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2021, including $123.0 million of drilling and facilities capital, $0.6 million of leasehold acquisition capital, and $0.4 million of other capital. See the supplemental table at the end of this press release reconciling the capital expenditures during the first quarter of 2021.

Financial Position and Liquidity

As of March 31, 2021, Cabot had total debt of $1.0 billion and cash on hand of $173.7 million. The Company's net debt to adjusted capitalization ratio (non-GAAP) and net debt to trailing twelve months EBITDAX ratio (non-GAAP) were 27.4 percent and 1.1x, respectively, compared to 31.0 percent and 1.4x as of December 31, 2020.

On April 21, 2021, Cabot's lender group unanimously reaffirmed the $3.2 billion borrowing base under the Company's revolving credit facility. Aggregate bank commitments under the credit facility remain at $1.5 billion. The Company currently has no debt outstanding under its revolving credit facility, resulting in approximately $1.7 billion of liquidity.

Dividend Increase

Cabot's Board of Directors has approved a 10 percent increase in the quarterly base dividend to $0.11 per share on the Company's common stock, resulting in the sixth dividend increase since May 2017. The dividend will be paid on May 27, 2021 to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 13, 2021. "The increase in the quarterly base dividend highlights our confidence in the Company's sustainable free cash flow generation throughout the natural gas price cycle, which is underpinned by our long-lived inventory of low-cost natural gas assets in the core of the Marcellus Shale in northeast Pennsylvania," stated Dinges. "Based on the current natural gas price outlook for 2021, we expect to deliver excess free cash flow after our minimum capital return target of 50 percent of annual free cash flow from our 'base plus supplemental' dividend approach and our debt repayment. This excess free cash flow is anticipated to be earmarked for additional capital returns, including opportunistic share repurchases or incremental supplemental dividends."

Q2 and Full-Year 2021 Guidance

Cabot today reaffirmed its guidance for 2021. The Company's operating plan for the year is expected to deliver an average net production rate of 2,350 Mmcfe per day from a capital program of $530 to $540 million. Cabot has also provided its second quarter 2021 production guidance range of 2,225 to 2,275 Mmcfe per day.

"Our production guidance for the second quarter implies a slight sequential decline relative to the first quarter, which is a result of lower activity levels and capital spending during the winter season," commented Dinges. "Activity levels are expected to increase in the second and third quarters, resulting in sequential growth during the second half of the year, primarily during the fourth quarter in anticipation of higher natural gas prices and the in-service of the Leidy South expansion project."

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