HOUSTON, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE: COG) today announced first quarter net income available to common shareholders of $4.5 million, or $.18 per share. This included a net benefit, resulting primarily from a contract settlement, which added $1.7 million, or $.07 per share, to the quarter's results. This compares to a loss of $3.3 million, or $.13 per share, in last year's first quarter. Discretionary cash flow for the quarter totaled $24.5 million, or $.99 per share, ($22.2 million, or $.90 per share excluding the net benefit resulting primarily from the contract settlement) versus $12.6 million, or $.51 per share, in the comparable period last year.
Higher realized prices for both natural gas and oil contributed to the improved quarterly results. Natural gas prices in the quarter improved by 34% over the comparable period last year, while oil prices increased 92% between comparable quarters. Also adding to the improved quarterly results was lower year-over-year interest expense.
As of March 31, 2000, Cabot Oil & Gas had reduced its total debt level by $15 million from year-end to $278 million. This is $85 million less debt than at the end of last year's first quarter. The reduction was driven primarily by asset sales and the monetization of two long-term gas sales contracts, along with the additional cash flow generated from the recent strengthening in gas prices.
Production of 16.5 Bcfe during the first three months of 2000 was 300 Mmcfe less than the fourth quarter of 1999. This reduction resulted primarily from the additional time required to modify the production facilities at the southern Louisiana Etouffee discovery to handle the higher than expected liquids production levels. Compared to last year's first quarter, production was down 1.0 Bcfe primarily due to asset sales at the end of the 1999 third quarter that removed about 14 Mmcfe of daily production.
"The reduction in leverage, along with the initial drilling progress on our expanding Gulf Coast prospect inventory, has repositioned Cabot for the future," stated Ray Seegmiller, Chairman and CEO. "We expect our production to increase throughout the remainder of the year as we pursue the significant exploration and development opportunities in southern Louisiana on the acquired Oryx properties and Continental Land & Fur acreage as well as in south Texas."
Seegmiller added, "It is quite obvious that the fundamentals of the natural gas market are changing as evidenced by the current NYMEX 12-month strip. With Cabot's production profile being over 90% natural gas and a large prospect inventory in each core area, we anticipate further improvements in our rates of return."
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a leading domestic independent natural gas producer and marketer with substantial interests in the Gulf Coast, Rocky Mountains, Appalachian and Mid-Continent basins. For additional information, visit the Company's internet home page at www.cabotog.com.
Listen in live to Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation's first quarter 2000 earnings discussion with financial analysts on Wednesday, April 26 at 9:30 am EDT at http://www.streetevents.com.
The statements regarding future financial performance and results and the other statements which are not historical facts contained in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, market factors, the market price of natural gas and oil, results of future drilling and marketing activity, future production and costs and other factors detailed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
OPERATING DATA Quarter Ended March 31, 2000 1999 NATURAL GAS (Bcf) & OIL (MBbl) Produced Natural Gas Appalachia 4.5 5.6 West 7.3 7.4 Gulf Coast 3.4 3.1 Total 15.2 16.1 Crude/Condensate 195 230 Natural Gas Liquids 7 9 Equivalent Production (Bcfe) 16.5 17.5 PRICES Average Produced Gas Sales Price ($/Mcf) Appalachia $ 3.07 $ 2.25 West $ 2.26 $ 1.71 Gulf Coast $ 2.55 $ 1.75 Total $ 2.56 $ 1.91 Crude/Condensate Price ($/Bbl) $ 22.19 $ 11.53 WELLS DRILLED Gross 25 15 Net 14.7 9.4 Gross Success Rate 88% 80% CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited) (In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts) Quarter Ended March 31, 2000 1999 Net Operating Revenues Natural Gas Production $ 39,086 $ 30,619 Crude Oil and Condensate 4,325 2,650 Brokered Natural Gas Margin 1,451 883 Other 4,772 1,128 49,634 35,280 Operating Expenses Operations 8,511 7,847 Exploration 3,233 2,425 Taxes Other Than Income 4,601 3,638 Administrative 4,887 4,291 Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization 13,608 14,236 Gain (Loss) on Sale of Assets (21) 1 Income from Operations 14,773 2,844 Interest Expense 5,971 6,718 Income (Loss) Before Income Taxes 8,802 (3,874) Income Tax Expense (Benefit) 3,457 (1,432) Net Income (Loss) 5,345 (2,442) Dividend Requirement on Preferred Stock 851 851 Net Income (Loss) Applicable to Common $ 4,494 $ (3,293) Net Income (Loss) Per Common Share - Basic $ 0.18 $ (0.13) Average Common Shares Outstanding 24,798 24,666 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET (Unaudited) (In Thousands) March 31, Dec. 31, 2000 1999 Assets Current Assets $ 57,409 $ 66,640 Property, Equipment and Other Assets 594,683 592,840 Total Assets $ 652,092 $ 659,480 Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity Current Liabilities $ 88,799 $ 89,938 Long-Term Debt 262,000 277,000 Deferred Income Taxes 97,613 95,012 Other Liabilities 12,232 11,034 Stockholders' Equity 191,448 186,496 Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity $ 652,092 $ 659,480 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS (Unaudited) (In Thousands) Quarter Ended March 31, 2000 1999 Cash Flows From Operating Activities Net Income (Loss) $ 5,345 $ (2,442) Income Charges Not Requiring Cash 14,124 14,976 (Gain) Loss on Sale of Assets 21 (1) Deferred Income Taxes 2,601 (1,472) Changes in Assets and Liabilities 10,111 (3,420) Exploration Expense 3,233 2,425 Net Cash Provided by Operations 35,435 10,066 Cash Flows From Investing Activities Capital Expenditures (18,945) (26,513) Proceeds from Sale of Assets 1,523 1 Exploration Expense (3,233) (2,425) Net Cash Used by Investing (20,655) (28,937) Cash Flows From Financing Activities Sale of Common Stock 1,231 187 Increase (Decrease) in Debt (15,000) 20,000 Preferred Dividends (851) (851) Common Dividends and Other (1,003) (986) Net Cash Provided (Used) by Financing (15,623) 18,350 Net Decrease in Cash and Cash Equivalents $ (843) $ (521) Discretionary Cash Flow (*) $ 24,474 $ 12,635 (*) Net income plus non-cash charges and exploration less preferred dividends. Excludes net proceeds on property sales.
SOURCE Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation
Web site: http: //www.cabotog.com
Company News On-Call: http: //www.prnewswire.com/comp/129660.html or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 129660
CONTACT: Scott Schroeder of Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, 281-589-4993