HOUSTON, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE: COG) today reported first quarter 1998 net income available to common shareholders of $3.0 million, or $.12 per share, and discretionary cash flow of $19.6 million, or $.79 per share, marking the 9th consecutive quarter of profitability.
As a result of a 27% lower average natural gas price in the first quarter of 1998 compared to the first quarter of 1997, net income decreased $6.7 million from last year's all-time record first quarter of $9.7 million, while discretionary cash flow declined $11.5 million from last year's first quarter record of $31.1 million. Significantly lower gas prices in each of the Company's three operating regions contributed to the 27% decline.
Production for the first quarter totaled 16.6 Bcfe, a 4% increase over last year's comparable period. Gains in production in the Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountains more than offset last year's fourth quarter sale of producing reserves in Appalachia and mechanical problems on three wells in the Gulf Coast. With new discoveries from the deep and shallow exploration efforts in Appalachia and most of the Gulf Coast problems now rectified, production today is currently higher than the average level experienced in the first quarter of this year.
"With the momentum established by the production gains and the success from the drill bit (82% in the quarter and 88% for all of last year), we are continuing with our largest ever drilling program," commented Charles P. Siess, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Our outlook for the remainder of the year is very positive as we have seen continuing indications of a strong natural gas market. This, together with further anticipated increases in production, enhances the opportunity for Cabot Oil & Gas to have another successful year."
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a leading domestic independent natural gas producer and marketer with substantial interests in the Appalachia, Anadarko, Rocky Mountains and Gulf Coast regions. For additional information about the Company, visit COG's internet home page at http:// www.cabotog.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, 1998 1997 NATURAL GAS (Bcf) & OIL (MBbl) Produced Natural Gas Appalachia 5.1 6.6 West 7.6 6.9 Gulf Coast 2.8 1.6 Total 15.5 15.1 Crude/Condensate 156 142 Natural Gas Liquids 26 13 Equivalent Production (Bcfe) 16.6 16.0 PRICES Average Produced Gas Sales Price ($/Mcf) Appalachia $ 2.78 $ 3.71 West $ 1.94 $ 2.61 Gulf Coast $ 2.24 $ 2.82 Total $ 2.27 $ 3.12 Crude/Condensate Price ($/Bbl) $ 14.98 $ 22.59
Gross 33 31 Net 23.7 17.6 Gross Success Rate 82% 87% CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited) (In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts) Quarter Ended March 31, 1998 1997 Net Operating Revenues Natural Gas Production $ 35,176 $ 47,185 Crude Oil and Condensate 2,338 3,204 Brokered Natural Gas Margin 1,387 497 Other 1,890 1,906 40,791 52,792 Operating Expenses Operations 6,964 7,069 Exploration 3,401 3,627 Taxes Other Than Income 3,799 4,082 Administrative (A) 5,501 4,156 Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization 10,464 11,227 30,129 30,161 Gain on Sale of Assets 52 83 Income from Operations 10,714 22,714 Interest Expense 4,255 4,561 Income Before Income Taxes 6,459 18,153 Income Tax Expense 2,616 7,069 Net Income 3,843 11,084 Dividend Requirement on Preferred Stock 850 1,391 Net Income Applicable to Common $ 2,993 $ 9,693 Net Income Per Common Share - Basic (B) $ 0.12 $ 0.42 Average Common Shares Outstanding 24,683 22,855 (A) Increase over 1997 Administrative expense is largely due to: (1) staffing increases in the third and fourth quarters of 1997 ($0.3 million), (2) non-cash stock compensation from stock awards in the second quarter of 1997 ($0.4 million), (3) certain executive retirement and severance packages accrued in 1998 ($0.4 million) and (4) higher professional fees ($0.1 million). (B) Basic earnings per share as defined in Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 128. CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET (Unaudited) (In Thousands) Quarter Ended March 31, Dec. 31, 1998 1997 Assets Current Assets $ 58,965 $ 70,533 Property, Equipment and Other Assets 489,517 471,272 Total Assets $ 548,482 $ 541,805 Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity Current Liabilities $ 79,025 $ 85,872 Long-Term Debt 191,000 183,000 Deferred Income Taxes 82,396 80,108 Other Liabilities 8,486 8,763 Stockholders' Equity 187,575 184,062 Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity $ 548,482 $ 541,805 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS (Unaudited) (In Thousands) Quarter Ended March 31, Dec. 31, 1998 1997 Cash Flows From Operating Activities Net Income $ 3,843 $ 11,084 Income Charges Not Requiring Cash 10,901 11,177 Deferred Income Taxes 2,289 6,555 Changes in Assets and Liabilities, Net 8,519 15,745 Exploration Expense 3,401 3,627 Net Cash Provided by Operations 28,953 48,188 Cash Flows From Investing Activities Capital Expenditures (31,385) (12,349) Proceeds from Sale of Assets 511 303 Exploration Expense (3,401) (3,627) Net Cash Used by Investing (34,275) (15,673) Cash Flows From Financing Activities Sale of Common Stock 896 246 Increase (Decrease) in Debt 8,000 (26,000) Preferred Dividends (850) (1,391) Common Dividends and Other, Net (988) (915) Net Cash Provided (Used) by Financing 7,058 (28,060) Net Increase in Cash and Cash Equivalents $ 1,736 $ 4,455 Discretionary Cash Flow (A) $ 19,583 $ 31,052 (A) 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
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CONTACT: Scott Schroeder of Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, 281-589-4993