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Noble Energy (NBL) Q1 Earnings Top Estimates, Revenues lag

Noble Energy, Inc. NBL reported adjusted earnings of 18 cents per share in first-quarter 2020, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 3 cents by a whopping 500%. The company had reported a loss of 9 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

GAAP loss in the reported quarter was $8.27 compared with a loss of 65 cents per share in the year-ago period.

Total Revenues

Noble Energy's total revenues were $1,020 million, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,079 million by 5.5%. Revenues also declined 3% from the year-ago quarter’s $1,052 million. This year-over-year decline was due to lower contribution from oil, NGL and gas sales.

Noble Energy Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Noble Energy Inc price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Noble Energy Inc Quote

Highlights of the Release

In the quarter under review, sales volume averaged 390 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d), up 15.7% from the year-ago level. U.S. onshore volumes averaged 269 MBoe/d in the first quarter, up 6.3% from the prior-year period. The startup of Leviathan boosted volumes from the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Operating expenses in the reported quarter were $5,353 million, up considerably from $1,143 million recorded in the year-ago period. The increase was primarily due to asset impairments of $2,703 million in first-quarter 2020.
Interest expenses in the reported quarter were $81 million, up 22.7% from the year-ago period.
Realized Prices

U.S. onshore realized crude oil and condensate prices in the reported quarter decreased 13.8% to $46.10 per barrel from the year-ago level of $53.46.

U.S. onshore natural gas prices were $1.27 per thousand cubic feet, down 48.9% year over year.

U.S. onshore realized prices for natural gas liquids also declined 42.3% from the year-ago quarter to $10.30 per barrel.

Financial Highlights

Noble Energy's cash and cash equivalents as of Mar 31, 2020 were $1,397 million compared with $484 million on Dec 31, 2019.

Long-term debt was $8,632 million as of Mar 31, 2020 compared with $7,477 million on Dec 31, 2019.

Cash flow from operating activities in first-quarter 2020 was $482 million, down from $528 million in first-quarter 2019. Capital expenditure in the first quarter was $399 million.


COVID-19-induced unprecedented economic crisis resulted in a drop in the demand for oil and gas prices. As a consequence, oil and gas companies are delaying their planned projects and cutting down capital expenditure guidance to preserve liquidity. Similarly, Noble Energy also cut down its 2020 capital expenditure guidance by more than 50%. The revised capital expenditure guidance for 2020 is in the range of $750-$850 million. U.S. onshore capital expenditures are now estimated to be $575 million for 2020.

Noble Energy has also implemented certain measures that can lower expenses by $225 million.

The company is also voluntarily lowering net oil production of 5-10 thousand barrels per day (MBbl/d) in May and 30-40 MBbl/d in June from the U.S. onshore assets.

Zacks Rank

Currently, Noble Energy carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Releases

Devon Energy Corp. DVN reported first-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per share of 13 cents against the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 18 cents.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. OXY reported first-quarter 2020 loss of 52 cents per share, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 50 cents.

Murphy Oil Corporation MUR incurred first-quarter 2020 adjusted loss of 30 cents per share, which was narrower the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 35 cents.

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