Newfield Exploration's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Newfield Exploration (NFX)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 25, 2012 9:30 am ET

Executives

Lee K. Boothby - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Gary D. Packer - Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President

Terry W. Rathert - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Executive Vice President

Analysts

Leo P. Mariani - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Brian Lively - Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., Research Division

David W. Kistler - Simmons & Company International, Research Division

Brian Singer - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Robert S. Morris - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Richard M. Tullis - Capital One Southcoast, Inc., Research Division

Joseph D. Allman - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Dan McSpirit - BMO Capital Markets U.S.

David R. Tameron - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Unknown Analyst

Presentation

Operator

Good day, everyone, and welcome to Newfield Exploration's First Quarter of 2012 Conference Call. Just a reminder, today's call is being recorded.

And before we get started, one housekeeping matter, our discussion with you today will contain forward-looking statements, such as estimated production and timing, drilling and development plans, expected cost reduction and planned capital expenditures. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these statements are reasonable, they are based upon assumptions and anticipated results that are subject to numerous uncertainties and risks. Actual results may vary significantly from those anticipated due to many factors and risks, some of which may be unknown. Please see Newfield's 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for a discussion of factors that may cause actual results to vary. Forward-looking statements made during this call speak only as of today's date. And unless legally required, Newfield undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.

In addition, reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP financial measures, together with Newfield's earnings release and any other applicable disclosures are available on the Investor Relations page of Newfield's website at www.newfield.com.

At this time, for opening remarks and introduction, I would like to turn the call over to the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Lee Boothby. Please go ahead, sir.

Lee K. Boothby

Thank you. Good morning, everyone. We're off to a good start in 2012 and I look forward to summarizing our first quarter results for you today. As always, we will take your questions at the end of the call.

Before we begin, let me introduce some of the members of the management team with me today. I'm joined by Terry Rathert, our Chief Financial Officer; Gary Packer, our Chief Operating Officer; and Steve Campbell, our Vice President, Investor Relations.

Our story today is relatively simple and is focused on 3 main things in 2012. First, accelerating our transition to an oil company. In early 2009, we started to shift significant resources towards the development of key oil plays. These efforts are paying dividends today and you can see this significant growth in our oil and liquids volumes. Oil and liquids accounted for 47% of our total volumes in the first quarter of 2012. And as we've said before, we have real oil. NGLs only accounted for about 5% of our total production. The second half of this year, we expect that more than half of our production will come from our oil and liquids plays.

Second, throughout our company, our people are aligned to deliver superlative execution in 2012. This means the diligent efforts to reduce cost and expenses where we can, to drill our highest margin in oil and liquids plays and to ensure that our wells are drilled, completed and turned to sales timely.

And third, we remain focused on the strength of our capital structure. These are challenging times in our business, with natural gas prices at decade lows. Our internal analysis is not showing near term rebound in natural gas prices, and we've insulated our company well through hedging, a shift of our people in capital profitable oil developments and the timely sale of nonstrategic assets in 2011. I have confidence in both the quality of our assets and the depth of our prospect inventory in our oil and liquids plays. We have a deeper inventory of opportunities diversified over multiple plays than we have ever had in our history. This inventory is a competitive advantage today, and is being managed by the best people in the business. We're committed to the timely assessment of high-potential plays and executing in our development area. These actions will build momentum and oil growth going into 2013.

Since 2008, we've doubled our oil and liquids production and delivered a compound annual growth rate of 20%. We will do it again in 2012 and have the inventory for sustainable future oil growth in-hand today.

On today's call, I will provide a quick summary of our first quarter financial and operating results, followed by some brief updates on our active oil and liquids-rich development. Let's start with a look at our financial and operating results from the quarter.

Our net income in the first quarter, excluding FAS 133, was $122 million or $0.91 per share. Revenues were $678 million and our cash flow was $387 million. Our oil and liquids liftings in the first quarter of 2012 were 5.9 million barrels or an average of nearly 65,000 barrels of oil per day. This represents a 35% year-over-year increase when compared to the 2011 first quarter results. Our natural gas production in the quarter was 41 Bcf, an average of 447 million cubic feet per day. We realized $3.70 per Mcf for the natural gas sales, and $96.24 per barrel on our oil liftings. In the first quarter, 47% of our total production of 76 Bcf equivalent was oil and liquids. Our NGL volumes in the quarter were about 575,000 barrels or about 5% of our total production.

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