LAFAYETTE, La., May 03, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PetroQuest Energy, Inc. (NYSE:PQ) (the "Company") today announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017.  The following are recent Company highlights:
  • Discretionary cash flow increased 156% from fourth quarter 2016 and 516% from first quarter 2016
  • Production increased 13% from fourth quarter 2016
  • Redemption of all remaining 2017 Senior Notes
  • Return to full compliance with NYSE continued listing standards 

Loss available to common stockholders for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 totaled $4,918,000, or $0.23 per share, compared to first quarter 2016 loss available to common stockholders of $39,137,000, or $2.31 per share.

Discretionary cash flow for the first quarter of 2017 was $9,206,000, as compared to $(2,210,000) for the comparable 2016 period, and $3,591,000 for the fourth quarter of 2016.  See the attached schedule for a reconciliation of net cash flow provided by operating activities to discretionary cash flow. 

Production for the first quarter of 2017 was 5.2 Bcfe, compared to 7.6 Bcfe for the comparable period of 2016. The reduction in production volumes during the 2017 period is primarily attributable to the sale of the remainder of the Company's Arkoma assets in April 2016, as well as a significant reduction in capital spending during 2016.

Stated on an Mcfe basis, unit prices including the effects of hedges for the first quarter of 2017 were $3.98  per Mcfe, as compared to $2.27 per Mcfe in the first quarter of 2016. Despite lower production, as a result of 75% higher realized pricing on an Mcfe basis, oil and gas sales during the first quarter of 2017 increased 20% to $20,772,000, as compared to $17,320,000 in the first quarter of 2016.

Lease operating expenses ("LOE") for the first quarter of 2017 decreased to $7,076,000, as compared to $8,177,000 in the first quarter of 2016. LOE per Mcfe was $1.35 for the first quarter of 2017, as compared to $1.07 in the first quarter of 2016. The increase in per unit lease operating expenses is primarily due to the Arkoma asset sale, which included properties with a lower relative per unit cost, as well as the impact of lower production resulting from reduced capital expenditures during 2016.

Depreciation, depletion and amortization ("DD&A") on oil and gas properties for the first quarter of 2017 was $1.15 per Mcfe, as compared to $1.30 per Mcfe in the first quarter of 2016. The decrease in the per unit DD&A rate is primarily the result of recent ceiling test write-downs in 2016.

Interest expense for the first quarter of 2017 decreased to $7,258,000, as compared to $8,257,000 in the first quarter of 2016. During the three month period ended March 31, 2017, capitalized interest totaled $305,000, as compared to $309,000 during the 2016 period. The decrease in interest expense during the 2017 period is primarily attributable to a lower debt balance after the completion of the Company's debt exchange in February 2016.  

General and administrative expenses for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 totaled $3,153,000, as compared to $8,599,000 for the comparable 2016 period. Capitalized general and administrative expenses during the quarter ended March 31, 2017 totaled $1,334,000, as compared to $1,489,000 during the comparable 2016 period. The decrease in general and administrative expenses during the quarter ended March 31, 2017 is primarily due to lower employee related expenses and approximately $4,740,000 of expenses related to the issuance of the Company's 2021 Secured Senior  Notes during the first quarter of 2016.

The following table sets forth certain information with respect to the oil and gas operations of the Company for the three month periods ended March 31, 2017 and 2016:
  Three Months Ended March 31,
  2017   2016
Production:      
Oil (Bbls) 132,678     139,989  
Gas (Mcf) 3,524,966     5,547,477  
Ngl (Mcfe) 904,206     1,246,632  
Total Production (Mcfe) 5,225,240     7,634,043  
Avg. Daily Production (MMcfe/d) 58.1     83.9  
Sales:      
Total oil sales $ 6,871,409     $ 4,358,744  
Total gas sales 10,662,342     10,718,208  
Total ngl sales 3,238,546     2,242,762  
Total oil and gas sales $ 20,772,297     $ 17,319,714  
Average sales prices:      
Oil (per Bbl) $ 51.79     $ 31.14  
Gas (per Mcf) 3.02     1.93  
Ngl (per Mcfe) 3.58     1.80  
Per Mcfe 3.98     2.27  

The above sales and average sales prices include increases (decreases) to revenues related to the settlement of gas hedges of ($321,000) and $1,032,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. 

Second and Third Quarter Production Guidance The Company expects to begin completion operations on a three well pad in East Texas within one week with initial flowback expected in early June.  In the Gulf Coast, the Company had planned to recomplete a well at its Ship Shoal 72 field in May with initial production expected in June.  Due to timing of rig availability, this recompletion is now scheduled for June with initial production in July.  As a result of the limited impact that these operations will have on second quarter production, the Company is guiding production for the second quarter of 2017 at 62-65 MMcfe/d.

With a full quarter of production expected from the three well Cotton Valley pad, along with the anticipated impact of the Ship Shoal 72 recompletion, the Company is guiding production for the third quarter of 2017 at 80-84 MMcfe/d (72% gas,  11% oil and  17% NGL).  The mid-point of the third quarter 2017 production guidance would represent a 64% increase from the average daily production for the fourth quarter of 2016.

The following provides guidance for the second quarter of 2017:
  Guidance for
Description 2nd Quarter 2017
   
Production volumes (MMcfe/d) 62 - 65
   
Percent Gas 67 %
Percent Oil 14 %
Percent NGL 19 %
   
Expenses:  
Lease operating expenses (per Mcfe) $1.20 - $1.30
Production taxes (per Mcfe) $0.09 - $0.12
Depreciation, depletion and amortization (per Mcfe) $1.20 - $1.30
General and administrative (in millions)* $3.50 - $4.00
Interest expense (in millions)** $7.30 - $7.50
   
   
* Includes non-cash stock compensation estimate of approximately $0.3 million  
** Includes non-cash interest expense of approximately $5.7 million  

Hedging Update The Company recently initiated the following hedging transaction:
Production Period Type Daily Volumes Price
Gas:      
Jan 18 - March 18 Swap 5,000 MMBtu $ 3.40

After executing the above transaction, the Company has approximately 9.2 Bcf and 3.2 Bcf of gas volumes hedged for 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, respectively, with average floor prices of approximately $3.22 per Mcf and $3.24 per Mcf, respectively.

Operations Update In East Texas, the Company recently established production on its PQ #22 well (NRI 39%), which is located on the PQ/CVX acreage.  The well achieved a maximum 24 hour rate of approximately 11,000 Mcfe/d (7,000 Mcf/d of gas, 530 Bbls/d of natural gas liquids and 70 Bbls/d of oil).  The Company estimates the drilling and completion cost of PQ#22 was  approximately $800/lateral foot.

The Company recently reached total depth on the final well of a three well pad (PQ #23-25 - avg WI 75%).  The middle well (PQ #24) will test a secondary Cotton Valley bench (E-Sand).  In addition, the Company plans to obtain micro-seismic data as well as utilize varying sizes of proppant per well in connection with this upcoming three well program. The micro-seismic work should provide significant data on frack heights and propagation in order to benefit future completion operations.  The Company expects to drill and complete 8 wells in East Texas during 2017 and plans to have a three well pad in progress at the end of the year.

In South Louisiana, the Company's Thunder Bayou well is currently flowing at approximately 61,000 Mcfe/d (NRI - 37%). The production mix consists of approximately 39,000 Mcf/d of gas, 1,500 Bbls/d of oil and 2,200 Bbls/d of natural gas liquids. The Company estimates that Thunder Bayou generated approximately $2.3 million in field level cash flow, net to the Company, during March 2017 after be completed in February 2017.

Management's Comment "Our accelerating cash flow and production profiles during the first quarter of 2017 clearly indicate we have returned to growth as we reported sequential quarterly increases of 156% and 13%, respectively," said Charles T. Goodson, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. "Since the first quarter of 2016, we have refinanced or repaid all of our $350 million of 10% Senior Notes due 2017, secured an East Texas joint venture, commenced our Cotton Valley drilling program and recompleted Thunder Bayou resulting in a 61 MMcfe/d current production rate.  These milestones were made possible due to the quality of our assets and people and the flexibility exhibited by our stakeholders."

About the Company PetroQuest Energy, Inc. is an independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development, acquisition and production of oil and natural gas reserves in the Texas, Louisiana and the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  PetroQuest's common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker PQ.

Forward-Looking StatementsThis news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this news release are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements 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, including the volatility of oil and natural gas prices and significantly depressed oil prices since the end of 2014; our indebtedness and the significant amount of cash required to service our indebtedness; our estimate of the sufficiency of our existing capital sources, including availability under our new multi-draw term loan facility; our ability to post additional collateral to satisfy our offshore decommissioning obligations; our ability to execute our 2017 drilling and recompletion program as planned and to increase our production; our ability to hedge future production to reduce our exposure to price volatility in the current commodity pricing market; our ability to find, develop and produce oil and natural gas reserves that are economically recoverable and to replace reserves and sustain and/or increase production; ceiling test write-downs resulting, and that could result in the future, from lower oil and natural gas prices; our ability to raise additional capital to fund cash requirements for future operations; limits on our growth and our ability to finance our operations, fund our capital needs and respond to changing conditions imposed by our multi-draw term loan facility and restrictive debt covenants; approximately 50% of our production being exposed to the additional risk of severe weather, including hurricanes, tropical storms and flooding, and natural disasters; losses and liabilities from uninsured or underinsured drilling and operating activities; changes in laws and governmental regulations as they relate to our operations; the operating hazards attendant to the oil and gas business; the volatility of our stock price; and our ability to continue to meet the continued listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange with respect to our common stock or to cure any deficiency with respect thereto. In particular, careful consideration should be given to cautionary statements made in the various reports the Company has filed with the SEC. The Company undertakes no duty to update or revise these forward-looking statements. Click here for more information: " http://www.petroquest.com/news.html?=BizID=1690&1=1"

PETROQUEST ENERGY, INC.
Consolidated Balance Sheets
  (Amounts in Thousands)
 
  March 31, 2017   December 31, 2016
ASSETS      
Current assets:      
Cash and cash equivalents $ 28,191     $ 28,312  
Revenue receivable 9,269     10,294  
Joint interest billing receivable 7,172     7,632  
Derivative asset 168      
           
Other current assets 3,794     2,353  
Total current assets 48,594     48,591  
Oil and gas properties:      
Oil and gas properties, full cost method 1,331,930     1,323,333  
Unevaluated oil and gas properties 11,909     9,015  
Accumulated depreciation, depletion and amortization (1,249,300 )   (1,243,286 )
Oil and gas properties, net 94,539     89,062  
Other property and equipment 9,315     10,951  
Accumulated depreciation of other property and equipment (8,560 )   (10,109 )
Total property and equipment 95,294     89,904  
           
Other assets 6,364     6,365  
Total assets $ 150,252     $ 144,860  
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY      
Current liabilities:      
Accounts payable to vendors $ 30,808     $ 25,265  
Advances from co-owners 3,879     2,330  
Oil and gas revenue payable 22,639     22,146  
Accrued interest 874     2,047  
Asset retirement obligation 3,291     4,160  
Derivative liability 1,729     3,947  
10% Senior Unsecured Notes due 2017     22,568  
Other accrued liabilities 3,211     3,938  
Total current liabilities 66,431     86,401  
Multi-draw Term Loan 27,429     7,249  
10% Senior Secured Notes due 2021 15,174     15,228  
10% Senior Secured PIK Notes due 2021 254,130     248,600  
Asset retirement obligation 32,958     32,450  
Other long-term liabilities 6,491     6,027  
Commitments and contingencies      
Stockholders' equity:      
Preferred stock, $.001 par value; authorized 5,000 shares; issued and outstanding 1,495 shares 1     1  
Common stock, $.001 par value; authorized 150,000 shares; issued and outstanding 21,214 and 21,197 shares, respectively 21     21  
Paid-in capital 304,805     304,341  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (1,562 )   (4,750 )
Accumulated deficit (555,626 )   (550,708 )
Total stockholders' equity (252,361 )   (251,095 )
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 150,252     $ 144,860  

PETROQUEST ENERGY, INC.
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(Amounts in Thousands, Except Per Share Data)
 
  Three Months Ended
  March 31,
  2017   2016
Revenues:      
Oil and gas sales $ 20,772     $ 17,320  
Expenses:      
Lease operating expenses 7,076     8,177  
Production taxes 308     338  
Depreciation, depletion and amortization 6,117     10,138  
Ceiling test write-down     18,857  
General and administrative 3,153     8,599  
Accretion of asset retirement obligation 547     608  
Interest expense 7,258     8,257  
  24,459     54,974  
       
Other income:      
Other income 54     97  
  54     97  
       
Loss from operations (3,633 )   (37,557 )
Income tax expense     86  
Net loss (3,633 )   (37,643 )
Preferred stock dividend 1,285     1,494  
Loss available to common stockholders $ (4,918 )   $ (39,137 )
Loss per common share:      
Basic      
Net loss per share $ (0.23 )   $ (2.31 )
Diluted      
Net loss per share $ (0.23 )   $ (2.31 )
Weighted average number of common shares:      
Basic 21,208     16,956  
Diluted 21,208     16,956  

  PETROQUEST ENERGY, INC.
 Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
  (Amounts in Thousands)
 
  Three Months Ended
  March 31,
  2017   2016
Cash flows from operating activities:      
Net loss $ (3,633 )   $ (37,643 )
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities:      
Deferred tax expense     86  
Depreciation, depletion and amortization 6,117     10,138  
Non-cash PIK Interest 5,512      
Ceiling test writedown     18,857  
Accretion of asset retirement obligation 547     608  
Share-based compensation expense 425     442  
Amortization costs and other 238     562  
Payments to settle asset retirement obligations (402 )   (464 )
Costs incurred to issue 2021 Notes     4,740  
Changes in working capital accounts:      
Revenue receivable 1,025     (842 )
Joint interest billing receivable 460     10,709  
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 3,037     (20,413 )
Advances from co-owners 1,549     (12,021 )
Other (1,462 )   (949 )
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities 13,413     (26,190 )
Cash flows used in investing activities:      
Investment in oil and gas properties (10,898 )   (15,812 )
Investment in other property and equipment (16 )   (23 )
Sale of oil and gas properties     7,000  
Net cash used in investing activities (10,914 )   (8,835 )
Cash flows used in financing activities:      
Net proceeds from share based compensation 40     65  
Deferred financing costs (10 )   (38 )
Payment of preferred stock dividend     (1,284 )
Redemption of 2017 Notes (22,650 )   (53,626 )
Costs incurred to issue 2021 Notes     (4,740 )
Proceeds from borrowings 20,000      
Net cash used in financing activities (2,620 )   (59,623 )
Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents (121 )   (94,648 )
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period 28,312     148,013  
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $ 28,191     $ 53,365  
Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information:      
Cash paid during the period for:      
Interest $ 2,975     $ 16,781  
Income taxes $     $  

 PETROQUEST ENERGY, INC.
Non-GAAP Disclosure Reconciliation
(Amounts In Thousands)
 
  Three Months Ended Three Months Ended
  March 31, December 31,
  2017   2016 2016
Net loss $ (3,633 )   $ (37,643 ) $ (8,374 )
Reconciling items:        
Deferred tax expense (benefit)     86    
               
Depreciation, depletion and amortization 6,117     10,138   5,359  
Ceiling test writedown     18,857    
               
Accretion of asset retirement obligation 547     608   619  
               
Non-cash share based compensation expense 425     442   83  
Non-cash PIK interest 5,512       5,722  
Amortization costs and other 238     562   116  
Costs incurred to issue 2021 Senior Secured Notes     4,740   66  
Discretionary cash flow 9,206     (2,210 ) 3,591  
               
Changes in working capital accounts 4,609     (23,516 ) (8,167 )
               
Settlement of asset retirement obligations (402 )   (464 ) (285 )
Net cash flow provided by (used in) operating activities $ 13,413     $ (26,190 ) $ (4,861 )

Note: Management believes that discretionary cash flow is relevant and useful information, which is commonly used by analysts, investors and other interested parties in the oil and gas industry as a financial indicator of an oil and gas company's ability to generate cash used to internally fund exploration and development activities and to service debt.  Discretionary cash flow is not a measure of financial performance prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") and should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative to net cash flow provided by operating activities.  In addition, since discretionary cash flow is not a term defined by GAAP, it might not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies.
For further information, contact:	Matt Quantz, Manager - Corporate Communications(337) 232-7028, www.petroquest.com

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