Berry Petroleum Reports Results for the First Quarter of 2013

Berry Petroleum Reports Results for the First Quarter of 2013

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Berry Petroleum Company (NYS: BRY) reported net earnings of $32 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2013. After considering items such as derivatives and transaction costs, adjusted net earnings were $37 million, or $0.67 per diluted share. Oil and natural gas revenues were $267 million during the quarter and discretionary cash flow for the quarter totaled $134 million, with net cash provided by operating activities of $92 million. Operating margin was approximately $49 per BOE, supported by sales of our California oil at a $10 average premium to WTI.

Berry's first quarter 2013 production averaged 39,676 BOE/D. The Company's oil mix was 79%, or 31,154 BOE/D in the first quarter up 24% from the first quarter of 2012. Total production for the first quarter of 2013 and fourth quarter of 2012 was as follows:

First Quarter 2013

Fourth Quarter 2012

Oil (BOE/D)

31,154

79

%

30,649

78

%

Natural gas (BOE/D)

8,522

21

%

8,851

22

%

Total (BOE/D)

39,676

100

%

39,500

100

%


New Steam Floods production increased 11% from the fourth quarter of 2012 to an average of 2,355 BOE/D. The rise in production was a result of continued steam flood response at McKittrick 21Z. In the first quarter, Berry drilled the first seven of the 50 steam injection wells planned at McKittrick during 2013, and the Company anticipates drilling the remaining steam injection wells in the second quarter of 2013. The Company also added an additional steam generator in the first quarter, increasing McKittrick's steam capacity to approximately 25,000 barrels of steam per day.

First quarter Diatomite production rose 7% from fourth quarter levels to an average of 4,115 BOE/D. The Company expects continued focus on increasing the number of active completions to translate into steady production growth. In the first quarter of 2013, the Company added 48 new completions and drilled 17 replacement wells in the Diatomite.

First quarter Permian production averaged 8,105 BOE/D, approximately 2% higher than the fourth quarter of 2012. The Company drilled ten net wells using a three-rig program during the first quarter, and plans to continue at this pace during the second quarter of 2013. While Berry's quarterly production again increased, constraints in the form of higher line pressure, periodic gas plant downtime and ethane rejection have continued as a result of record activity levels in the Permian.

Production from the South Midway properties averaged 13,095 BOE/D in the first quarter, compared with fourth quarter 2012 production of 13,070 BOE/D. In the second quarter of 2013, the Company plans to continue development at Ethel D, where seven producing wells and four steam injection wells are scheduled. Also during the second quarter, the Company plans to drill two horizontal producing wells at Formax, in addition to seven new producing wells and seven recompletions at Placerita.

In the first quarter, the Company's Uinta production averaged 7,305 BOE/D, 3% lower than the fourth quarter of 2012. The Company drilled 19 wells in the first quarter that are commingled in the Wasatch and Green River formations. However, delayed completion activity negatively affected production as the Company worked off field storage which had resulted from refinery turnarounds. In the first quarter, Berry began transporting crude oil via rail to markets outside of Utah to reduce stored oil volume. The Company resumed completion activities in April, and expects to drill an additional 20 wells in the second quarter, when production is expected to return to growth.

In the first quarter, the Company's natural gas assets in the Piceance and East Texas declined 6% sequentially with no capital investment.

Berry Petroleum Company's previously announced merger with Linn Energy is expected to close around the end of the second quarter of 2013. On March 13, 2013, Berry Petroleum and Linn Energy received early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, in connection with the proposed merger. Other closing conditions include the approval of the stockholders of Berry, shareholders of LinnCo, unitholders of LINN Energy, and FERC approval.

Teleconference Call

Berry will not host an earnings conference call. However, Berry expects to file its quarterly report Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission within the week.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release includes discussion of "discretionary cash flow," "adjusted net earnings," and "operating margin per BOE," each of which are "non-GAAP financial measures" as defined in Regulation G of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Discretionary cash flow consists of cash provided by operating activities before changes in working capital items. The Company uses discretionary cash flow as a measure of liquidity and believes it provides useful information to investors because it assesses cash flow from operations for each period before changes in working capital, which fluctuates due to the timing of collections of receivables and the settlements of liabilities. Adjusted net earnings consists of net earnings before non-cash derivatives gains (losses), oil and natural gas property impairments and charges related to the extinguishment of debt. The Company believes that adjusted net earnings is useful for evaluating the Company's operational performance from oil and natural gas properties. Operating margin per BOE consists of oil and natural gas revenues less oil and natural gas operating expenses and production taxes divided by the total BOEs produced during the period. The Company uses operating margin per barrel as a measure of profitability and believes it provides useful information to investors because it relates the Company's oil and natural gas revenue and oil and natural gas operating expenses to its total units of production providing a gross margin per unit of production, allowing investors to evaluate how the Company's profitability varies on a per unit basis each period. These measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for their most directly comparable GAAP measures. Other companies calculate non-GAAP measures differently and, therefore, the non-GAAP measures presented in this release may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies.

Explanation and Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Discretionary Cash Flow ($ millions):

Three Months Ended

3/31/2013

12/31/2012

Net cash provided by operating activities

$

91.7

$

109.8

Net increase in current assets

12.6

10.8

Net decrease in current liabilities, including book overdraft

29.6

5.6

Discretionary cash flow

$

133.9

$

126.2

Adjusted Net Earnings ($ millions):

Three Months Ended

3/31/2013

Adjusted net earnings

$

37.3

After tax adjustments:

Non-cash derivative loss

(1.9

)

Dry hole expense

(0.2

)

Impairment of oil and natural gas properties

(1.5

)

Transaction costs

(1.3

)

Net earnings, as reported

$

32.4

Operating Margin Per BOE:

Three Months Ended

3/31/2013

12/31/2012

Average sales price including cash derivative settlements

$

75.95

$

72.47

Operating cost—oil and natural gas production

24.13

23.35

Production taxes

3.02

2.57

Operating margin

$

48.80

$

46.55

About Berry Petroleum Company

Berry Petroleum Company is a publicly traded independent oil and natural gas production and exploitation company with operations in California, Texas, Utah, and Colorado. The Company uses its web site as a channel of distribution of material company information. Financial and other material information regarding the Company is routinely posted on and accessible at http://www.bry.com.

Safe Harbor Under the "Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995"

Any statements in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Words such as "estimate," "expect," "would," "will," "target," "goal," "potential," and forms of those words and others indicate forward-looking statements. These statements include but are not limited to forward-looking statements about the expectations of plans, strategies, objectives and anticipated financial and operating results of the Company, including the Company's drilling program, production, and other guidance included in this press release. These statements are based on certain assumptions made by the Company based on management's experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, anticipated future developments and other factors believed to be appropriate. Such statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, which may cause actual results to differ materially from those implied or expressed by the forward-looking statements. Important factors which could affect actual results are discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K under the headings "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations."

CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(In thousands, except per share data)

(unaudited)

Three Months Ended

3/31/2013

12/31/2012

REVENUES

Oil and natural gas sales

$

266,772

$

248,911

Electricity sales

7,589

8,586

Natural gas marketing

2,027

2,253

Gain on sale of assets

23

12

Interest and other income, net

475

307

276,886

260,069

EXPENSES

Operating costs—oil and natural gas production

86,148

84,862

Operating costs—electricity generation

5,296

5,975

Production taxes

10,784

9,326

Depreciation, depletion & amortization—oil and natural gas production

68,084

67,023

Depreciation, depletion & amortization—electricity generation

394

426

Natural gas marketing

1,878

1,956

General and administrative

22,278

18,293

Interest

24,687

21,690

Dry hole, abandonment, impairment and exploration

962

13,486

Realized and unrealized loss (gain) on derivatives, net

737

(8,306

)

Impairment of oil and natural gas properties

2,467

223,715

214,731

Earnings before income taxes

53,171

45,338

Income tax provision

20,737

6,838

Net earnings

$

32,434

$

38,500

Basic net earnings per share

$

0.59

$

0.70

Diluted net earnings per share

$

0.58

$

0.69

Dividends per share

$

0.08

$

0.08

CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands)

(unaudited)

3/31/2013

12/31/2012

ASSETS

Current assets

167,782

157,025

Oil and natural gas properties, (successful efforts basis) buildings and equipment, net

3,177,892

3,128,502

Derivative instruments

17,491

10,891

Other assets

27,468

28,984

$

3,390,633

$

3,325,402

LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

Current liabilities

192,517

286,632

Deferred income taxes

281,925

255,471

Long-term debt

1,756,907

1,665,817

Derivative instruments

1,239

Other long-term liabilities

112,478

101,452

Shareholders' equity

1,046,806

1,014,791

$

3,390,633

$

3,325,402

CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(In thousands)

(unaudited)

Three Months Ended

3/31/2013

12/31/2012

Cash flows from operating activities:

Net earnings

$

32,434

$

38,499

Depreciation, depletion and amortization

68,478

67,450

Gain on sale of assets

(23

)

(12

)

Amortization of debt issuance costs and net discount

1,709

1,681

Impairment of oil and natural gas properties

2,467

12

Dry hole and impairment

449

12,430

Derivatives

3,146

(1,375

)

Stock-based compensation expense

3,195

2,230

Deferred income taxes

19,648

5,370

Other, net

2,381

(8

)

Allowance for bad debt

(36

)

Change in book overdraft

(232

)

(8,793

)

Net changes in operating assets and liabilities

(41,954

)

(7,624

)

Net cash provided by operating activities

91,698

109,824

Cash flows from investing activities:

Development and exploration of oil and natural gas properties

(174,663

)

(151,915

)

Property acquisitions

(2,897

)

(2,608

)

Capitalized interest

(1,799

)

(3,938

)

Proceeds from sale of assets

480

13

Net cash used in investing activities

(178,879

)

(158,448

)

Net cash provided by financing activities

86,974

48,832

Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents

(207

)

208

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

312

104

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

$

105

$

312

OPERATING DATA

(unaudited)

Three Months Ended

3/31/2013

12/31/2012

Change

Oil and natural gas:

Heavy oil production (BOE/D)

19,566

19,058

Light oil production (BOE/D)

11,588

11,591

Total oil production (BOE/D)

31,154

30,649

Natural gas production (Mcf/D)

51,132

53,106

Total (BOE/D)

39,676

39,500

Oil and natural gas, per BOE:

Average realized sales price

$

75.27

$

70.51

7

%

Average sales price including cash derivative settlements

75.95

72.47

5

%

Oil, per BOE:

Average WTI price

$

94.36

$

88.23

7

%

Price sensitive royalties

(2.81

)

(2.65

)

Quality differential and other

(1.25

)