Hess Reports Smaller-Than-Expected Q3 Loss; Cuts Production
Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES – $56.49) reported a smaller-than-expected loss in the third period amid lower selling prices and said it expects 2016 capital expenditures to drop by nearly a third in 2016 from 2015. The oil and gas exploration and production company said it had an adjusted net loss of $1.03 per share compared to a profit of $1.24 a year ago, coming in ahead of the $1.19 loss that had been expected by analysts. Lower realized selling prices reduced adjusted net income by about $745 million compared with the prior-year quarter. Revenue fell sharply to $1.69 billion from $2.74 billion but topped the $1.58 billion consensus estimate. Management believes they are “well positioned” in the current low oil and gas price environment and is taking a disciplined approach to preserve financial strength, competitively advantaged capabilities and long-term growth options. The company currently projects 2016 exploration and production capital and exploratory expenditures to be between $2.9 billion and $3.1 billion, about 27% from the forecasted 2015 amount. In the recent quarter, production was at 380,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and, as a result of the expected lower capital spend levels in 2016, production is expected to decrease to a daily range of 330,000 – 350,000. At the recent quotation, recovery possibilities are attractive, although far from assured. The dividend, yielding 1.8%, appears safe at the moment, thanks to Hess’ strong finances, and adds to the appeal for the aggressive investor willing to wait for a turn in energy prices.