Constellation Energy Partners Reports Third Quarter 2010 Results

Constellation Energy Partners LLC (NYSE Arca: CEP) today reported third quarter 2010 results.

The company produced 3,758 MMcfe during the quarter, for average daily net production of 40.8 MMcfe, and 11,363 MMcfe for the year-to-date ending September 30, 2010. Operating costs, which include lease operating expenses, production taxes and general and administrative expenses, net of certain non-cash items, averaged $3.52 per Mcfe during the quarter and $3.44 for the year-to-date.

During the quarter, the company completed 10 net wells and recompletions in the Cherokee Basin with total capital spending of $3.6 million. Through September 30, 2010, the company completed 18 net wells and recompletions and had an additional 17 net wells and recompletions in progress, all in the Cherokee Basin.

The company recorded net income before charges of $3.3 million for the quarter, which excludes a $270.4 million non-cash impairment charge related to Cherokee Basin and Woodford Shale assets. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $12.9 million. For the year-to-date, Adjusted EBITDA was $42.5 million.

“Our operating performance continues to be in line with our 2010 forecast, which has allowed us to reduce our debt by $23.5 million so far this year” said Stephen R. Brunner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Constellation Energy Partners. “Although today’s natural gas price environment has caused us to recognize a non-cash impairment charge on some of our acquired assets, we’re still confident about the opportunities in our existing asset base, our competitive position in the two basins in which we operate, our hedge position through 2014, and our prospects for the long-term.”

Liquidity Update

The company had a cash balance of $13.2 million as of September 30, 2010. Outstanding debt under the company’s credit facility currently totals $171.5 million, leaving the company with $33.5 million in available borrowing capacity at the company’s current borrowing base of $205 million.

Lenders to CEP are currently conducting a regularly scheduled semi-annual review of the company’s borrowing base. The company expects to announce the results of that review over the next several weeks.

Financial Outlook for 2010

The company’s 2010 forecast, announced earlier this year, is for total capital spending of between $10 million and $12 million. The company now projects that it will complete between 30 and 35 net wells and recompletions in 2010 with this level of capital spending.

Net production is forecast to range between 14.5 and 15.5 Bcfe for 2010, with operating costs expected to range between $52 million and $56 million for the year.

The company entered 2010 with approximately 9.5 Bcfe of its 2010 Mid-Continent production hedged at an average price of $7.49 per Mcfe and an additional 2.4 Bcfe of its remaining production hedged at an average price of $8.21 per Mcfe. For the balance of the year the company has hedged 2.3 Bcfe of its Mid-Continent production at an average price of $7.47 per Mcfe and an additional 0.6 Bcfe of its remaining production at an average price of $8.15 per Mcfe. The remainder of the company’s production for 2010 is subject to market conditions and pricing.

The company uses the mark-to-market accounting method for all of its derivatives and, as a result, will recognize all future changes in the fair value of its derivatives as gains and losses in earnings.

Financial Outlook for 2011

“In 2011, our focus will continue to remain on debt reduction, which we intend to achieve with cash flow from operations through lower capital spending, continuation of our distribution suspension through 2011, and cost containment,” said Brunner. “We currently anticipate that this strategic focus will result in additional debt reduction of between $25 million and $30 million next year.”

The company announced that it anticipates total capital spending for 2011 to range between $10 million and $12 million. At this level of capital spending, the company forecasts it will complete between 30 and 35 net wells. Net production is forecast to range between 13.4 and 14.2 Bcfe for 2011, with operating costs expected to range between $48 million and $52 million for the year.

The company has hedged approximately 7.6 Bcfe of its Mid-Continent production in 2011 at an average price of $7.87 per Mcfe and an additional 2.4 Bcfe of production at an average price of $8.51 per Mcfe. The remainder of the company’s production for 2011 is subject to market conditions and pricing.

Distribution Outlook

The company expects distributions will remain suspended until after such time that debt levels are reduced and market conditions again warrant resumption of capital spending at maintenance levels. All distributions are subject to approval by the company's Board of Managers.

Conference Call Information

The company will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. (CDT) on Friday, Nov. 5, 2010 to discuss third quarter 2010 results. The company expects to release its third quarter 2010 earnings before the market opens that day.

To participate in the conference call, analysts, investors, media and the public in the U.S. may dial (888) 810-6805 shortly before 8:30 a.m. (CDT). The international phone number is (517) 308-9398. The conference password is PARTNERS.

A replay will be available beginning approximately one hour after the end of the call by dialing (866) 470-7045 or (203) 369-1479 (international). A live audio webcast of the conference call, presentation slides and the earnings release will be available on Constellation Energy Partners’ Web site ( www.constellationenergypartners.com) under the Investor Relations page. The call will also be recorded and archived on the site.

About the Company

Constellation Energy Partners LLC is a limited liability company focused on the acquisition, development and production of oil and natural gas properties, as well as related midstream assets.

SEC Filings

The company intends to file its third quarter 2010 Form 10-Q on or about Nov. 5, 2010.

Non-GAAP Measures

We present net income before charges and Adjusted EBITDA in addition to our reported net income in accordance with GAAP.

Net income (loss) before charges is a non-GAAP financial measure that is defined as net income (loss) adjusted by asset impairments.

Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure that is defined as net income (loss) adjusted by interest (income) expense, net; depreciation, depletion and amortization; write-off of deferred financing fees; asset impairments; accretion expense; (gain) loss on sale of assets; exploration costs; (gain) loss from equity investment; unit-based compensation programs; (gain) loss from mark-to-market activities; and unrealized (gain) loss on derivatives/hedge ineffectiveness.

Adjusted EBITDA is used as a quantitative standard by our management and by external users of our financial statements such as investors, research analysts and others to assess the financial performance of our assets without regard to financing methods, capital structure or historical cost basis; the ability of our assets to generate cash sufficient to pay interest costs and support our indebtedness; and our operating performance and return on capital as compared to those of other companies in our industry, without regard to financing or capital structure. Adjusted EBITDA is not intended to represent cash flows for the period, nor is it presented as a substitute for net income, operating income, cash flows from operating activities or any other measure of financial performance or liquidity presented in accordance with GAAP.

Forward-Looking Statements

We make statements in this news release that are considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are largely based on our expectations, which reflect estimates and assumptions made by our management. These estimates and assumptions reflect our best judgment based on currently known market conditions and other factors. Although we believe such estimates and assumptions to be reasonable, they are inherently uncertain and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are beyond our control. In addition, management's assumptions about future events may prove to be inaccurate. Management cautions all readers that the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are not guarantees of future performance, and we cannot assure you that such statements will be realized or the forward-looking events and circumstances will occur. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements due to factors listed in the "Risk Factors" section in our SEC filings and elsewhere in those filings. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release. We do not intend to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. These cautionary statements qualify all forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf.
       
Constellation Energy Partners LLC
Operating Statistics
               
Three Months Ended Sep. 30, Nine Months Ended Sep. 30,
2010 2009 2010 2009
Net Production:
Total production (MMcfe)   3,758   4,414   11,363   13,020
Average daily production (Mcfe/day) 40,848 47,978 41,623 47,692
 
Average Net Sales Price per Mcfe:
Net realized price, including hedges $6.93

(a)
$6.81 (a) $7.13 (a) $7.08
Net realized price, excluding hedges $4.33

(b)
$3.18 (b) $4.59 (b) $3.39
 
(a) Excludes impact of mark-to-market losses and net of cost of sales.
(b) Excludes all hedges, the impact of mark-to-market losses and net of cost of sales.
 
Net Wells Drilled and Completed 7 -- 11 60
Net Recompletions 3 -- 7 17
Developmental Dry Holes -- -- -- 1
 
       
Constellation Energy Partners LLC
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
           
Three Months Ended Sep. 30, Nine Months Ended Sep. 30,
2010 2009 2010 2009
($ in thousands) ($ in thousands)
 
Oil and gas sales $ 26,643 $ 30,663 $ 82,958 $ 94,223

Gain/(Loss) frommark-to-market activities
  21,100     (6,368 )   51,832     829  
Total Revenues 47,743 24,295 134,790 95,052
 
Operating expenses:
Lease operating expenses 7,953 8,169 23,645 25,243
Cost of sales 592 586 1,949 2,030
Production taxes 647 715 2,449 2,245
General and administrative 5,027 4,568 14,277 14,009
Exploration costs 284 276 731 482
(Gain)/Loss on sale of assets - - (13 ) 14
Depreciation, depletion and amortization 26,175 15,214 79,598 43,883
Asset Impairments 270,408 241 270,966 4,201
Accretion expense   205     109     617     267  
Total operating expenses 311,291 29,878 394,219 92,374
 
Other expenses:
Interest (income) expense, net 3,695 3,600 11,138 9,719
Other (income) expense (120 ) (82 ) (410 ) (129 )
       
Total expenses 314,866 33,396 404,947 101,964
       
Net income (loss) $ (267,123 ) $ (9,101 ) $ (270,157 ) $ (6,912 )
 
Adjusted EBITDA $ 12,919   $ 16,843   $ 42,453   $ 51,380  
 
EPS - Basic ($10.91 ) ($0.40 ) ($11.10 ) ($0.31 )
EPS - Basic Units Outstanding 24,489,229 22,665,098 24,345,034 22,518,284
 
EPS - Diluted ($10.91 ) ($0.40 ) ($11.10 ) ($0.31 )
EPS - Diluted Units Outstanding 24,489,229 22,665,098 24,345,034 22,518,284
 
       
Constellation Energy Partners LLC
Reconciliation of Net Income (Loss) to Net Income (Loss) Before Charges
 
Three Months Ended Sep. 30, Nine Months Ended Sep. 30,
2010 2009 2010 2009
($ in thousands) ($ in thousands)
 

Net income (loss) as reported
$ (267,123 ) $ (9,101 ) $ (270,157 ) $ (6,912 )
 

Add: Asset impairments
270,408 241 270,966 4,201
       
Net income (loss) before charges $ 3,285   $ (8,860 ) $ 809   $ (2,711 )
 
                   
Constellation Energy Partners LLC
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
 
Sep. 30, Dec. 31,
2010 2009
($ in thousands)
 
Current assets $ 61,590 $ 45,265

 

Natural gas properties, net of accumulateddepreciation, depletion and amortization
277,447 612,625
Other assets         63,012           50,427    
Total assets       $ 402,049         $ 708,317    
 
Current liabilities $ 14,413 $ 16,484
Debt 172,500 195,000
Other long-term liabilities         12,783           12,129    
Total liabilities 199,696 223,613
 
Class D Interests 6,667 6,667
 
Common members' equity 180,546 449,670
Accumulated other comprehensive income         15,140           28,367    
Total members' equity         195,686           478,037    
Total liabilities and members' equity       $ 402,049         $ 708,317    
 
       
Constellation Energy Partners LLC
Reconciliation of Net Income (Loss) to Adjusted EBITDA
           
Three Months Ended Sep. 30, Nine Months Ended Sep. 30,
2010 2009 2010 2009
($ in thousands) ($ in thousands)
 
Reconciliation of Net Income (Loss) to
Adjusted EBITDA:
Net income (loss) $ (267,123 ) $ (9,101 ) $ (270,157 ) $ (6,912 )
Add:
Interest (income) expense, net 3,695 3,600 11,138 9,719
Depreciation, depletion and amortization 26,175 15,214 79,598 43,883
Asset Impairments 270,408 241 270,966 4,201
Accretion expense 205 109 617 267
(Gain)/Loss on sale of assets - - (13 ) 14
Exploration costs 284 276 731 482
Unit-based compensation programs 375 136 1,405 288
(Gain)/Loss from mark-to-market activities (21,100 ) 6,368 (51,832 ) (829 )

Unrealized (gain)/loss on derivatives/hedge ineffectiveness
  -     -     -     267  
Adjusted EBITDA (1) $ 12,919   $ 16,843   $ 42,453   $ 51,380  
 
 
Three Months Ended June 30, Six Months Ended June 30,
2010 2009 2010 2009
($ in thousands) ($ in thousands)
 
Reconciliation of Net Income (Loss) to
Adjusted EBITDA:
Net income (loss) $ (21,092 ) $ (16,744 ) $ (3,034 ) $ 2,190
Add:
Interest (income) expense, net 3,387 3,278 7,443 6,119
Depreciation, depletion and amortization 26,175 14,635 53,423 28,669
Asset Impairments 558 3,560 558 3,960
Accretion expense 205 56 412 157
(Gain)/Loss on sale of assets (5 ) (3 ) (13 ) 14
Exploration costs 224 103 447 206
Unit-based compensation programs 593 84 1,030 152
(Gain)/Loss from mark-to-market activities 4,549 12,134 (30,732 ) (7,197 )

Unrealized (gain)/loss on derivatives/hedge ineffectiveness
  -     -     -     267  
Adjusted EBITDA (1) $ 14,594   $ 17,103   $ 29,534   $ 34,537  
 
(1) Our Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to net income, operating income, cash flows from operating activities or any other measure of financial performance or liquidity presented in accordance with GAAP. Our Adjusted EBITDA excludes some, but not all, items that affect net income and operating income and these measures may vary among other companies. Therefore, our Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies.
 
We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss) plus:
-- interest (income) expense, net;
-- depreciation, depletion and amortization;
-- write-off of deferred financing fees;
-- asset impairments;
-- accretion expense;
-- (gain) loss on sale of assets;
-- exploration costs;
-- (gain) loss from equity investment;
-- unit-based compensation programs;

-- (gain) loss from mark-to-market activities; and

-- unrealized (gain) loss on derivatives/hedge ineffectiveness.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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