Forest Oil Announces Second Quarter 2013 Results

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Forest Oil Announces Second Quarter 2013 Results

Second Quarter 2013 Average Net Sales Volumes of 211 MMcfe/d (41% Liquids)

Second Quarter 2013 Average Net Oil Sales Volumes of 6.6 MBbls/d Increased 14% Compared to the First Quarter of 2013 Pro Forma for Divestitures


Second Quarter 2013 Eagle Ford Shale Average Gross Sales Volumes of 4.3 MBbls/d Increased 59% Compared to the First Quarter of 2013

Second Quarter 2013 Eagle Ford Shale Average Net Sales Volumes of 2.3 MBbls/d Increased 21% Compared to the First Quarter of 2013

Completed Nine Eagle Ford Shale Wells with a 30-Day Average Gross Production Rate of 529 Boe/d

Initiated Marketed Process to Divest Texas Panhandle Assets

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Forest Oil Corporation (NYS: FST) (Forest or the Company) today announced financial and operational results for the second quarter of 2013.

Forest noted the following results for the three months ended June 30, 2013:

  • Average net sales volumes of 211 MMcfe/d; 41% liquids compared to 37% liquids in the first quarter of 2013, pro forma for divestitures
  • Average net oil sales volumes of 6.6 MBbls/d increased 14% compared to the first quarter of 2013, pro forma for divestitures
  • Adjusted net earnings of $7 million compared to $7 million in the corresponding 2012 period
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $88 million compared to $122 million in the corresponding 2012 period
  • Adjusted discretionary cash flow of $58 million compared to $89 million in the corresponding 2012 period

Patrick R. McDonald, President and CEO, stated, "We are pleased with the results of the second quarter as we continue to execute on our stated goal of better positioning Forest from both an operational and financial standpoint. Our transition to a more commodity balanced production profile is evident as second quarter average net oil sales volumes increased 14% over the previous quarter. We expect to see continued growth in our oil volumes throughout the second half of the year.

"Our Eagle Ford Shale asset took a significant step forward during the quarter as we announced a development agreement with an industry partner that allows us to build significant operational momentum. We recently ramped up our drilling activity further by adding a fourth drilling rig to the field. We are encouraged by recent well results as we implement ongoing technological refinements and enhancements to our drilling and completion process in an effort to optimize well results and costs. Gross production from the Eagle Ford continues to show robust growth, increasing 59% over first quarter sales volumes.

"As expected, capital expenditures were significantly lower on a sequential basis as we realized the benefit of the drilling carry associated with the Eagle Ford Shale development agreement.

"We also recently announced our intent to pursue the divestment of our Texas Panhandle assets in a marketed process after receiving unsolicited proposals from multiple third-parties. If successful, the sale of these assets would be a transformational event for Forest and should allow us to reduce long-term debt and accelerate the development and production growth of our remaining assets."

SECOND QUARTER 2013 RESULTS

For the three months ended June 30, 2013, Forest reported net earnings of $33 million, or $0.28 per diluted share. This compares to Forest's net loss of $511 million, or $(4.44) per diluted share, in the corresponding 2012 period. Net earnings for the second quarter of 2013 included the following items:

  • Unrealized gains on derivative instruments of $23 million ($15 million net of tax)
  • Rig stacking costs of $1 million ($1 million net of tax)
  • Decrease in the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets, net of non-deductible stock-based compensation costs of $12 million ($12 million net of tax)

Without the effect of these items, Forest's adjusted net earnings and earnings per share for the three months ended June 30, 2013 would have been $7 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, compared to $7 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, in the corresponding 2012 period. Forest's adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended June 30, 2013 was $88 million compared to $122 million in the corresponding 2012 period. Forest's adjusted discretionary cash flow for the three months ended June 30, 2013 was $58 million compared to $89 million in the corresponding 2012 period.

Average Net Sales Volumes, Average Realized Prices, and Revenues

Forest's average net sales volumes for the three months ended June 30, 2013 were 211 MMcfe/d, a decrease of 1% from the first quarter of 2013, pro forma for asset divestitures. Second quarter 2013 average net sales volumes were lower compared to the first quarter of 2013 due to a 6% decline in natural gas volumes as the Company has been deferring capital investment on its natural gas properties to focus on higher-margin oil opportunities. The decline in natural gas volumes was partially offset by a 14% increase in average net oil sales volumes. Forest continues to transition to a more commodity balanced production profile as the second quarter liquids component of total equivalent net sales volumes increased to 41% compared to 37% in the first quarter of 2013, pro forma for divestitures. The following table details the components of average net sales volumes, average realized prices, and revenues for the three months ended June 30, 2013:

 
Three Months Ended June 30, 2013
Gas Oil NGLs Total
(MMcf/d)(MBbls/d)(MBbls/d)(MMcfe/d)
 
Average Net Sales Volumes125.36.67.6210.7
 
Average Realized Prices

Gas
($/Mcf)

Oil
($/Bbl)

NGLs
($/Bbl)

Total
($/Mcfe)

 

Average realized prices not including realized derivative (losses) gains

$3.61$93.70$27.82$6.09
Realized (losses) gains on NYMEX derivatives (0.14) 0.79 - (0.06)

Average realized prices including realized derivative (losses) gains

$3.47 $94.49$27.82$6.03 
 
Revenues (in thousands)GasOilNGLsTotal
 
Revenues not including realized derivative (losses) gains$41,161$56,316$19,309$116,786
Realized (losses) gains on NYMEX derivatives (1,579) 473 - (1,106)
Revenues including realized derivative (losses) gains$39,582 $56,789$19,309$115,680 
 

Total Cash Costs

Forest's total cash costs for the second quarter of 2013 decreased 16% to $66 million, compared to $79 million in the first quarter of 2013. Total cash costs per-unit for the second quarter of 2013 decreased 4% to $3.46 per Mcfe, compared to $3.61 per Mcfe in the first quarter of 2013.

Total cash costs for the second quarter of 2013 decreased primarily as a result of decreased general and administrative expense attributable to asset sales and decreased interest expense due to lower average debt balances.

The following table details the components of total cash costs for the comparative periods:

 Three Months Ended
June 30, 2013 Per Mcfe March 31, 2013 Per Mcfe
(In thousands, except per-unit amounts)
Production expense$27,294$1.42$26,700$1.22

General and administrative expense (excluding
stock-based compensation of $3,250 and $4,260,
respectively)

9,8640.5115,7540.72
Interest expense29,3921.5336,1281.65
Current income tax (benefit) expense (212) (0.01) 337 0.02
Total cash costs$66,338 $3.46 $78,919$3.61
________________________

Total cash costs is a non-GAAP measure that is used by management to assess the Company's cash operating performance. Forest defines total cash costs as all cash operating costs, including production expense; general and administrative expense (excluding stock-based compensation); interest expense; and current income tax expense.

 

Depreciation and Depletion Expense

Forest's per-unit depreciation and depletion expense for the three months ended June 30, 2013 increased 3% to $2.28 per Mcfe compared to $2.22 per Mcfe in the first quarter of 2013.

Total Capital Expenditures

Forest's exploration and development capital expenditures for the three months ended June 30, 2013, were $69 million, compared to $125 million in the first quarter of 2013. Total capital expenditures were $74 million, compared to $131 million in the first quarter of 2013. Despite increased drilling activity during the second quarter, as a result of accelerating the Eagle Ford Shale development program, exploration and development capital expenditures were 45% lower on a sequential basis as the benefit of the drilling carry associated with the Eagle Ford Shale development agreement was realized.

The following table summarizes total capital expenditures for the comparative periods (in thousands):

 Three Months Ended
June 30, 2013 March 31, 2013
 
Exploration and development$69,276$124,906
Land and leasehold acquisitions 1,461 2,605
70,737127,511
 
Add:
ARO, capitalized interest, and capitalized equity compensation 2,896 3,406
Total capital expenditures$73,633$130,917
 

Total Debt

As of June 30, 2013, Forest had total debt of $1.63 billion, compared to $1.64 billion at March 31, 2013. The ratio of the Company's total debt to trailing twelve months EBITDA, as defined by Forest's credit facility, was 4.37 times at June 30, 2013, as compared to 4.34 times at March 31, 2013. The Company has no debt maturity before 2016.

OPERATIONAL PROJECT UPDATE

Eagle Ford Shale

Gross sales volumes from the Eagle Ford Shale averaged approximately 4,300 Boe/d during the second quarter of 2013, compared to approximately 2,700 Boe/d in the first quarter of 2013, or an increase of 59%. Net sales volumes averaged approximately 2,300 Boe/d, compared to approximately 1,900 Boe/d in the first quarter of 2013, or an increase of 21%.

During the second quarter, nine gross (4.5 net) wells were completed that had a 30-day average production rate of 529 Boe/d (93% oil). This rate compares favorably to the 30-day average production rate of 490 Boe/d (94% oil) for the 14 wells that were completed in 2012. Given the timing of completions during the second quarter, an additional seven gross (3.5 net) wells, including six wells completed using the Schlumberger HiWAY flow-channel fracturing technique, are currently in various stages of post completion operations and do not have sufficient production history to report 30-day average initial production rates at this time.

Forest and its partner continue to be encouraged by recent well results and have begun implementing various refinements to its drilling and completion process. These enhancements involve ongoing micro-seismic and subsurface data analysis, and reservoir studies that will be used to optimize well placement, lateral length and fracture stimulation techniques and design. Modifications are currently being implemented on a gradual basis and well performance data is being monitored to determine the optimal completion technique that provides the greatest balance between well performance, reserve recovery, and cost.

Forest exited the second quarter operating three drilling rigs and recently added a fourth drilling rig to the field as it concentrates on drilling wells to hold its acreage position. Drilling and completion costs for the most recent wells averaged approximately $6 million per well, which is a 14% improvement from wells completed during the 2012 program that averaged approximately $7 million per well.

Texas Panhandle Area

Forest announced on July 15, 2013, after receiving unsolicited proposals from third-parties interested in acquiring its oil and gas assets located in the Texas Panhandle Area, that it was initiating a marketed process to pursue the sale of the assets. Forest intends to use any proceeds from a potential sale to reduce debt.

During the second quarter of 2013, net sales volumes in the Texas Panhandle Area averaged approximately 102 MMcfe/d. Forest continues to operate a two-rig drilling program and expects to maintain this level of activity for the remainder of the year.

Highlighting drilling activity since the last earnings release, Forest completed a commitment well targeting an Upper Granite Wash interval in Wheeler County that had a 30-day average gross production rate of 2,440 Boe/d (71% liquids). An offset to this location is currently being drilled.

The Company completed a Missourian Wash (Hogshooter) well that had an initial 30-day average gross production rate of 830 Boe/d (80% liquids). Two additional Missourian Wash (Hogshooter) wells are currently in the process of being completed.

Ark-La-Tex Area (formerly East Texas)

During the second quarter of 2013, net sales volumes in the Ark-La-Tex Area averaged approximately 95 MMcfe/d. Forest continues to operate a one-rig drilling program and expects to maintain this level of activity for the remainder of the year targeting the liquids-rich Cotton Valley and other prospective zones.

Since the last earnings release, one horizontal Cotton Valley well was completed with a 30-day average gross production rate of 9.8 MMcfe/d (39% liquids or 630 Bbls/d).

DERIVATIVE INSTRUMENTS

Forest proactively took advantage of the recent spike in crude oil prices to add additional swaps for the second half of 2013 and to initiate crude oil swaps for calendar 2014 at an attractive price level. For the second half of 2013, the Company added crude oil swaps totaling 2,000 Bbls/d at a weighted average price of $99.70 per barrel. For calendar year 2014, crude oil swaps totaling 3,000 Bbls/d were added at a weighted average price of $95.10 per barrel.

As of August 6, 2013, Forest had natural gas and oil derivatives in place for the remainder of 2013 and through 2014 covering the aggregate average daily volumes and weighted average prices shown below:

 Jul - Dec 
20132014
Natural gas swaps:
Contract volumes (Bbtu/d)133.480.0
Weighted average price (per MMBtu)$4.01$4.34
 
Oil swaps:
Contract volumes (MBbls/d)6.03.0
Weighted average price (per Bbl)$96.92$95.10
 

In connection with entering into certain 2014 oil swaps with premium hedged prices, Forest granted oil puts to the counterparties giving the counterparties the option to put 2,000 Bbls/d to Forest at a weighted average price of $70.00 per barrel on a monthly basis during 2014.

In connection with the execution of commodity swaps shown in the table above, Forest granted swaption instruments to counterparties in exchange for Forest receiving premium hedged prices on the swaps. The table below sets forth the outstanding swaptions as of August 6, 2013:

 2014 2015
Natural gas swaptions:
Contract volumes (Bbtu/d)40.0-
Weighted average price (per MMBtu)$4.50$-
 
Oil swaptions:
Contract volumes (MBbls/d)2.06.0
Weighted average price (per Bbl)$100.00$100.79
 

In June 2013, the Company voluntarily terminated interest rate swaps in conjunction with the redemption of its 8 1/2% Senior Notes due 2014. As part of this termination, the Company accelerated the recognition of $7 million in realized hedge gains that would have otherwise been recognized ratably from July 1, 2013 to February 15, 2014.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

Adjusted Net Earnings

In addition to reporting net earnings (loss) as defined under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), Forest also presents adjusted net earnings, which is a non-GAAP performance measure. Adjusted net earnings consist of net earnings (loss) after adjustment for those items shown in the table below. Adjusted net earnings does not represent, and should not be considered an alternative to, GAAP measurements such as net earnings (loss) (its most comparable GAAP financial measure), and Forest's calculations thereof may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. By eliminating the items shown below, Forest believes that the measure is useful to investors because similar measures are frequently used by securities analysts, investors, and other interested parties in their evaluation of companies in the oil and gas industry. Forest's management does not view adjusted net earnings in isolation and also uses other measurements, such as net earnings (loss) and revenues to measure operating performance. The following table provides a reconciliation of net earnings (loss), the most directly comparable GAAP measure, to adjusted net earnings for the periods presented (in thousands):

 

Three Months Ended
June 30,

2013 2012
 
Net earnings (loss)$33,439$(511,173)
Ceiling test write-down of oil and natural gas properties-222,612
Change in valuation allowance on deferred tax assets, net of non-deductible stock-based compensation costs(12,330)291,600
Severance and stock-based compensation acceleration, net of tax-3,829
Rig stacking, net of tax803-
Unrealized gains on derivative instruments, net of tax (14,584) (61)
Adjusted net earnings$7,328 $6,807 
 
Earnings attributable to participating securities (222) (166)
Adjusted net earnings for diluted earnings per share$7,106 $6,641 
 
Weighted average number of diluted shares outstanding 116,033  115,109 
 
Adjusted diluted earnings per diluted share$0.06 $0.06 
 

Adjusted EBITDA

In addition to reporting net earnings (loss) as defined under GAAP, Forest also presents adjusted net earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, depletion, and amortization (adjusted EBITDA), which is a non-GAAP performance measure. Adjusted EBITDA consists of net earnings (loss) after adjustment for those items shown in the table below. Adjusted EBITDA does not represent, and should not be considered an alternative to, GAAP measurements such as net earnings (loss) (its most comparable GAAP financial measure), and Forest's calculations thereof may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. By eliminating the items shown below, Forest believes the measure is useful in evaluating its fundamental core operating performance. Forest also believes that adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors because similar measures are frequently used by securities analysts, investors, and other interested parties in their evaluation of companies in the oil and gas industry. Forest's management uses adjusted EBITDA to manage its business, including in preparing its annual operating budget and financial projections. Forest's management does not view adjusted EBITDA in isolation and also uses other measurements, such as net earnings (loss) and revenues to measure operating performance. The following table provides a reconciliation of net earnings (loss), the most directly comparable GAAP measure, to adjusted EBITDA for the periods presented (in thousands):

 

Three Months Ended
June 30,

2013 2012
 
Net earnings (loss)$33,439$(511,173)
 
Income tax (benefit) expense(212)167,074
Interest expense29,39234,317
Ceiling test write-down of oil and natural gas properties-348,976
Depreciation, depletion, and amortization43,80472,987
Unrealized gains on derivative instruments, net(22,913)(111)
Stock-based compensation2,8326,240
Accretion of asset retirement obligations5491,597
Severance costs-1,851
Rig stacking 1,258  - 
Adjusted EBITDA$88,149 $121,758 
 

Adjusted Discretionary Cash Flow

In addition to reporting net cash provided by operating activities as defined under GAAP, Forest also presents adjusted discretionary cash flow, which is a non-GAAP liquidity measure. Adjusted discretionary cash flow consists of net cash provided by operating activities after adjustment for those items shown in the table below. This measure does not represent, and should not be considered an alternative to, GAAP measurements such as net cash provided by operating activities (its most comparable GAAP financial measure), and Forest's calculations thereof may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Forest's management uses adjusted discretionary cash flow as a measure of liquidity and believes it provides useful information to investors because it assesses cash flow from operations before changes in operating assets and liabilities, which fluctuate due to the timing of collections of receivables and the settlements of liabilities, and other items. Forest's management uses adjusted discretionary cash flow to manage its business, including in preparing its annual operating budget and financial projections. This measure does not represent the residual cash flow available for discretionary expenditures. Forest's management does not view adjusted discretionary cash flow in isolation and also uses other measurements, such as net cash provided by operating activities to measure operating performance. The following table provides a reconciliation of net cash provided by operating activities, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, to adjusted discretionary cash flow for the periods presented (in thousands):

 

Three Months Ended
June 30,

2013 2012
 
Net cash provided by operating activities$76,090$82,865
 
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
Accounts receivable4,433(12,722)
Other current assets(840)(2,729)
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities(32,653)9,063
Accrued interest and other10,89511,068
Severance costs(1)-1,851
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