Rex Energy Corporation (REXX) Reports 4Q and Full Year 2016 Financial Results


Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:REXX) announced its fourth quarter and full-year 2016 operational and financial results.

Operational Update

Warrior North Area

In the Warrior North Area, the company drilled seven gross (2.5 net) wells in 2016, with ten gross (4.1 net) wells fracture stimulated and 13 gross (5.1 net) wells placed into sales. The company had no wells drilled and awaiting completion as of December 31, 2016.

The company recently placed the four-well Vaughn pad into sales. The Vaughn wells were drilled to an average lateral length of approximately 7,200 feet and completed in an average of 37 stages with average sand concentrations of 2,600 pounds per foot. The wells produced at an average 24-hour sales rate per well, assuming full ethane recovery, of 1.5 Mboe/d, consisting of 3.1 MMcf/d of natural gas, 639 bbls/d of NGLs and 315 bbls/d of condensate. The wells went on to produce an average 5-day sales rate per well, assuming full ethane recovery, of 1.3 Mboe/d, consisting of 2.8 MMcf/d of natural gas, 579 bbls/d of NGLs and 289 bbls/d of condensate. The four Vaughn wells were drilled on the eastern portion of the Warrior North Area, where condensate yields have historically been lower than seen in other areas of the field.

Warrior North – Well Level Economics / Type Curve Update

The company has updated its well-level economics for the Warrior North Area. In the Warrior North Area, the company has adjusted its well-level economics to reflect its increased average lateral length, strong well performance, reduced cycle times and adjustments in expected realized prices. In summary, the rate of return assuming a $3.00 Henry Hub natural gas index price and $55.00 WTI oil index price has increased from 28% to 47% in the Warrior North Area. In addition, several of the company’s most recent Warrior North wells are performing above the company’s year-end 2016 type curve for the Warrior North Area. The updated results, as well as a comparison to previous results, are included on slide 23 of the company’s updated March corporate presentation.

Legacy Butler Operated Area

In the Legacy Butler Operated Area, the company drilled two gross (1.4 net) wells in 2016, with two gross (1.4 net) wells fracture stimulated and two gross (1.4 net) wells placed into sales. The company had no wells drilled and awaiting completion as of December 31, 2016.

In 2017, the company plans to drill the four-well Wilson pad in the Legacy Butler Operated Area, with an estimated average lateral length of 9,200 feet. The four-well Wilson pad is adjacent to the two-well Geyer pad, which was drilled to an average lateral length of 4,200 feet and placed into sales in August 2016. The two-well Geyer pad had an average 5-day sales rate per well of approximately 7.1 MMcfe/d. The four wells on the Wilson pad are expected to be placed into sales in the third quarter of 2017.

Moraine East Area

In the Moraine East Area, the company drilled 11.0 gross (4.5 net) wells in 2016, with six gross (2.7 net) wells fracture stimulated and 18 gross (8.7 net) wells placed into sales. The company had nine gross (3.8 net) wells drilled and awaiting completion as of December 31, 2016.

The company recently finished completing the four-well Baird pad, which was drilled to an average lateral length of approximately 7,140 feet. The pad is expected to be placed into sales at the end of the first quarter of 2017. The company has also finished drilling the six-well Shields pad, which was drilled to an average lateral length of approximately 7,750 feet. The Shields pad is expected to be placed into sales in the third quarter of 2017. The company is currently drilling the third of four wells on the Mackrell pad, which is expected to be drilled to an average lateral length of approximately 7,630 feet. The Mackrell pad is expected to be placed into sales in second half of 2017.

The six-well Shields pad and the four-well Mackrell pad will be the first wells drilled on the eastern portion of the Moraine East Area. This area is characterized by a thicker Upper Marcellus formation and the brittle nature of the formation allows for more effective completions. In addition, the Shields pad and the Mackrell pad are on trend with the the two-well Lynn pad, which was drilled in the Legacy Butler perated Area. The two wells were drilled to an average lateral length of approximately 2,725 feet and had average 5-day sales rates per well of 6.9 MMcfe/d.

2017 C3+ Natural Gas Liquids Pricing Improvement

During the fourth quarter of 2016, realized C3+ NGL prices, before the effects of hedging, averaged approximately 56% of WTI oil prices. The improvement in pricing was driven largely by the recent improvement in Mont Belvieu prices as well as improved differentials for NGLs in the northeast. Due to these improvements, the company now expects full-year 2017 realized C3+ NGL prices to average approximately 50% – 55% of WTI, an improvement over the previous guidance of 43% – 48%.

Fourth Quarter Financial Results

Unless otherwise noted, results of continuing operations are presented excluding the results of the company’s Illinois Basin assets, which have been classified as discontinued operations, for all periods presented. Fourth quarter and full-year 2016 production includes approximately 9.0 MMcfe/d related to the company’s recently divested Warrior South assets.

Operating revenue from continuing operations for the three months ended December 31, 2016 was $48.0 million, which represents an increase of 75% as compared to the same period in 2015. Commodity revenues, including settlements from derivatives, were $48.2 million, an increase of 12% as compared to the same period in 2015. Commodity revenues from natural gas liquids (NGLs) and condensate, including settlements from derivatives, represented 44% of total commodity revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2016.

Lease operating expense (LOE) from continuing operations was $28.7 million, or $1.60 per Mcfe for the quarter, a 15% increase as compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase on a per unit basis is related to the commencement of the company’s Gulf Coast transportation during the fourth quarter of 2016 which was partially offset by decreased natural gas basis differentials. General and administrative expenses from continuing operations were $5.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, a 25% decrease on a per unit basis as compared to the same period in 2015. Cash general and administrative expenses from continuing operations, a non-GAAP measure, were $4.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, a 25% decrease on a per unit basis as compared to the same period in 2015.

Full-Year 2016 Financial Results

Operating revenue from continuing operations for full-year 2016 were $139.0 million, which remained flat as compared to 2015 operating revenue. Commodity revenue, including settlements from derivatives, were $171.9 million, a decrease of 11% from full-year 2015. Commodity revenue from natural gas liquids (NGLs) and condensate, including settlements from derivatives, represented 42% of total commodity revenues for full-year 2016.

LOE from continuing operations was $104.7 million, or $1.46 per Mcfe for 2016, a 4% year-over-year increase on a per unit basis as compared to full-year 2015. The increase is due to the commencement of the company’s Gulf Coast transportation during the fourth quarter of 2016. The increase in per unit LOE was partially offset by the decrease in natural gas basis differentials related to the Gulf Coast transport. General and administrative expenses from continuing operations were $20.6 million for full-year 2016, a 28% decrease on per unit basis as compared to full-year 2015. Cash general and administrative expenses from continuing operations, a non-GAAP measure, were $17.5 million for full-year 2016, a 19% decrease on per unit basis as compared to full-year 2015.

Reconciliations of G&A to cash G&A for the three months and twelve months ended December 31, 2016, as well as a discussion of the uses of this measure, are presented in the appendix of this release.

Production Results and Price Realizations

Fourth quarter 2016 production volumes from continuing operations were 194.9 MMcfe/d, an increase of 12% over the fourth quarter of 2015, consisting of 120.9 MMcf/d of natural gas, 5.4 MBbls/d of C3+ NGLs, 5.8 Mbbls/d of ethane and 1.1 Mbbls/d of condensate. NGLs (including ethane) and condensate accounted for 38% of net production for the fourth quarter of 2016. For full-year 2016, production volumes increased by 6% over 2015 to 195.3 MMcfe/d, consisting of 122.1 MMcf/d of natural gas, 5.5 MBbls/d of C3+ NGLs, 5.8 Mbbls/d of ethane and 1.0 Mbbls/d of condensate. NGLs (including ethane) and condensate accounted for 37% of net production during 2016.

Including the effects of cash-settled derivatives, realized prices for the three months ended December 31, 2016 were $2.42 per Mcf for natural gas, $25.39 per barrel for NGLs (C3+), $8.88 per barrel for ethane and $37.73 per barrel for condensate. Before the effects of hedging, realized prices for the three months ended December 31, 2016 were $2.23 per Mcf for natural gas, $27.64 per barrel for NGLs (C3+), $9.36 per barrel for ethane and $43.13 per barrel for condensate.

Including the effects of cash-settled derivatives, realized prices for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016 were $2.23 per Mcf for natural gas, $20.43 per barrel for NGLs (C3+), $7.80 per barrel for ethane and $41.64 per barrel for condensate. Before the effects of hedging, realized prices for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016 were $1.64 per Mcf for natural gas, $17.97 per barrel for NGLs (C3+), $7.81 per barrel for ethane and $37.08 per barrel for condensate.

Full-Year 2016 Capital Investments

For the full-year 2016, net operational capital investments were approximately $29.5 million. These capital investments funded the drilling of 20.0 gross (8.4 net) wells, fracture stimulation of 18.0 gross (8.2 net) wells, placing 34.0 gross (16.2 net) wells into sales and other projects related to drilling and completing wells in the Appalachian Basin.

Liquidity Update

During the first quarter of 2017, Rex Energy completed the sale of its Warrior South asset for approximately $30 million; in conjunction with the completion of the sale, the company received approval from its bank lenders to maintain the existing $190 million borrowing base. With the additional liquidity from the sale of the Warrior South asset, the company was able to add additional wells to the Shields pad and the Wilson pads. The Shields pad and the Wilson pad are targeting the highest quality areas of the Moraine East Area and the Legacy Butler Operated Area. The additional wells per pad will add to greater efficiencies to the overall well pad costs.

First Quarter and Full-Year 2017 Guidance

The following table outlines Rex Energy’s guidance for the first quarter of 2017 and full-year 2017. First quarter 2017 production, adjusting for the Warrior South asset sale, would have been approximately 182.0 – 184.0 MMcfe/d. However, the company experienced delays in the completion of the four-well Vaughn pad and the four-well Baird pad during the first quarter of 2017, which resulted in a reduction of 5% to the company’s expected first quarter 2017 production. Given that the majority of the wells in the 2017 development plan will be placed into sales in the second half of the year, the company continues to expect full-year 2017 average daily production to be in the range of 194.0 – 204.0 MMcfe/d.

1Q2017 Full-Year 2017
Production 173.0 – 175.0 MMcfe/d 194.0 – 204.0 MMcfe/d
LOE ($/Mcfe) $1.70 – $1.80
Cash G&A ($/Mcfe) $0.20 – $0.25
Net Operational Capital Expenditures(1) $70.0 – $80.0 million
(1) Land acquisition expense and capitalized interest are not included in the net operational capital expenditures budget estimate

Shares of Rex Energy jumped nearly 13% to $0.72 in after-hours trading Tuesday. REXX has a 1-year high of $2.06 and a 1-year low of $0.23. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $0.68 and its 200-day moving average is $0.55.

On the ratings front, Rex Energy has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on January 23, Northland Securities analyst Jeff Grampp reiterated a Hold rating on REXX, with a price target of $1.00, which implies an upside of 62% from current levels. On January 19, RBC’s Kyle Rhodes reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $1.00.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jeff Grampp and Kyle Rhodes have a yearly average loss of -19.6% and a return of 6.5% respectively. Grampp has a success rate of 24% and is ranked #4398 out of 4511 analysts, while Rhodes has a success rate of 45% and is ranked #1437.

Rex Energy Corp. is an independent energy company, which engages in acquisition, production, exploration and development of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids with properties concentrated in the Appalachian and Illinois regions of the United States. It operates through the Exploration and Production and Field Services segment. The Exploration and Production segment engages in the exploration, acquisition, development and production of oil, natural gas and Liquids. The Field Services segment operates and manages water sourcing, water transfer and water disposal services, primarily in the Appalachian Basin.

 

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