Quicksilver Resources reports preliminary 2012 fourth-quarter and full-year results

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
  • Adjusted net loss for the fourth quarter, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $2 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, compared to breakeven adjusted net income in the 2011 period.
  • Quicksilver's fourth-quarter 2012 results include a $1.2 billion non-cash ceiling test impairment, of which 63% is attributable to a change in accounting policy.
  • Fourth-quarter 2012 production was 31.5 Bcfe, or an average of 342 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent per day (MMcfed).
  • Production revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $156 million and $636 million for full-year 2012.

Quicksilver Resources Inc. (NYSE:KWK) announced preliminary 2012 fourth-quarter and full-year results.

2012 highlights:

  • Produced 132 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent (Bcfe)
  • Posted stellar results from the company's first multi-well pad in the Horn River Basin; initial production rates were between 23 MMcfd and 34 MMcfd per well at very high flowing pressures
  • Established oil production in two U.S. projects
  • Advanced negotiations in Barnett sale and Horn River joint venture
  • Reduced near-term capital and letter-of-credit obligations in the Horn River Basin
  • Secured financial covenant flexibility in Combined Credit Agreements
  • Closed Sand Wash Basin Acquisition and Exploration Agreement with SWEPI LP
  • Reduced overall company cost structure
  • Increased derivative portfolio to cover nearly 70 percent of expected 2013 natural gas production at a weighted average price of $5.10 per Mcf

"Our top priorities are to improve liquidity through asset sales, joint ventures and other measures, further reduce the overall company cost structure, and match capital spending to operational cash flow," said Glenn Darden, Quicksilver's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are progressing on all of these objectives, which should make us a stronger company, able to operate more efficiently and effectively in the current market environment and beyond."

Financial Results

Adjusted net loss for the fourth quarter, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $2 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, compared to breakeven adjusted net income in the 2011 period. Reported net loss for the fourth quarter, which includes the impact of a non-cash ceiling test impairment primarily generated by a change in hedge accounting, was $1.1 billion, or $6.47 per diluted share. This compares to net income of $24 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, in the prior-year period.

Adjusted net loss for full-year 2012 – also a non-GAAP financial measure – was $46 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared to net income of $20 million, or $0.12 per diluted share for full-year 2011. Including the impact of non-cash impairments and other non-operational items, the net loss for full-year 2012 was $2.5 billion, or $14.61 per diluted share compared to net income of $90 million, or $0.52 per diluted share for full-year 2011.

The presentation of quarterly and full-year results are preliminary as the company continues to analyze the non-cash accounting treatment of its hedge portfolio and deferred tax balances. The company expects to issue its final results for the year and quarters upon completion of that undertaking.

Impairments and Non-operational Items Included in Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2012 Results

Quicksilver's fourth-quarter 2012 results include a $1.2 billion non-cash ceiling test impairment, of which 63% is attributable to a change in accounting policy. The company elected at year-end to discontinue hedge accounting to improve the comparability of financial results to its peers, and consequently, the value of the hedge portfolio based on SEC reserve pricing can no longer be included as part of the full-cost ceiling test. The book value of Quicksilver's derivative portfolio at December 31, 2012 was $201 million.

The remaining 37% of the impairment is attributable to 2012 reserve revisions related to price, performance and the reclassification of existing proved undeveloped reserves (PUD) that are not expected to be developed within the SEC's prescribed five-year timeframe due to a reduction in drilling activity amid depressed natural gas and NGL prices.

Fourth-quarter 2012 results also include a $326 million non-cash valuation allowance of U.S. deferred tax assets related to the likelihood of recoverability of future tax assets, which is driven by the continued generation of net-operating losses as a result of the non-cash impairments.

Full-year results include, but are not limited to, non-cash property impairments of $2.8 billion and $609 million of non-cash valuation allowances of U.S. deferred tax assets.

These charges are non-cash and do not reflect the current market value of Quicksilver's assets, nor do they impact its ability to realize its strategic and operational objectives.

Production

Fourth-quarter 2012 production was 31.5 Bcfe, or an average of 342 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent per day (MMcfed). Production from the company's Barnett Shale was 22.7 Bcfe, or 247 MMcfed, which is down 6% from the previous quarter due to a reduction in capital activity. Production from Canada was 8.5 Bcfe, or 92 MMcfed, which was substantially less than the productive capabilities of the asset, as Horn River volumes were restricted by approximately 50% during most of the fourth quarter due to the continued delays in commissioning of a third-party treating facility. In mid-December, the company began ramping up Horn River production to 100 MMcfd of raw gas after it secured alternative treating and transportation arrangements on an interim and interruptible basis.

Full-year 2012 production was 132 Bcfe, or an average of 360 MMcfed. Production for the first 45 days of 2013 was 16.8 Bcfe, or an average of 366 MMcfed.

Revenue and Expenses

Production revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $156 million and $636 million for full-year 2012. The company restructured certain long-term commodity hedges in 2012, and as a result, the revenue from these restructured hedges is recognized in production revenue based on the settlement dates of the original contracts. However, the company received approximately $16 million of cash proceeds from these restructured hedges in the fourth quarter 2012, and approximately $64 million for full-year 2012, which will not be recognized in revenue until future periods.

The average realized price for the fourth quarter and full-year 2012 was $4.96 and $4.83 per Mcfe, respectively, which excludes approximately $0.51 per Mcfe for the fourth quarter and $0.48 per Mcfe for full-year 2012, of cash proceeds from restructured hedges.

Lease operating expense for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $23 million, or $0.73 per Mcfe, compared to $30 million, or $0.78 per Mcfe in the prior-year quarter and $22 million, or $0.66 per Mcfe in the third quarter. Lease operating expense in the Barnett Shale declined 42% compared to the prior year quarter due to lower water hauling, compression and gas lift expense through continued cost containment initiatives. Lease operating expense in the Horn River Basin decreased 14% compared to the 2011 quarter due to a decline in compression repair and maintenance expense.

Cash Flow

Operating cash flow for the fourth quarter was $81 million, and investing cash flows provided a net inflow of $25 million after receipt of approximately $69 million in proceeds from sales of properties.

2012 Capital Program, 2013 Capital Budget and Debt

The company incurred approximately $31 million of capital expenditures in the fourth quarter of 2012, of which approximately $10 million was associated with drilling and completion activities, $7 million for acreage purchases, and $14 million for capitalized interest and overhead costs. For the full-year 2012, total capital incurred was $390 million.

The company intends to invest a total of approximately $120 million in 2013, which is a reduction of $270 million compared to 2012. The reduction is primarily the result of lower spending in the Horn River Basin, but also is the result of planned reductions across the asset base as the company resolves to limit spending to expected operational cash flow. This budget, which includes leasehold acquisition and amounts for capitalized interest and overhead, is expected to result in a production decline of approximately 5% in 2013 compared to 2012.

The capital budget does not factor in proceeds from potential strategic partnerships or asset sales.

At December 31, 2012, Quicksilver's total debt was approximately $2.1 billion, or approximately $100 million less than the previous quarter. Included within debt, the company had approximately $450 million utilized under its Combined Credit Agreements as of year-end 2012, resulting in approximately $400 million of remaining capacity. The majority of the debt reduction is due to the repayment of credit facility borrowings with the joint venture proceeds from the Niobrara transaction.

The semiannual redetermination of the Combined Credit Agreements is scheduled for April 2013. The company expects a yet-to-be determined reduction in the borrowing base; however, after redetermination, the credit facility is expected to provide adequate liquidity to execute planned initiatives.

Quicksilver's 2013 budget and projections yield continued credit facility covenant compliance and sufficient liquidity through 2013, but if prices deteriorate, the company may reduce the capital program, reduce headcount and expenses, and/or work with the lender group to amend the covenant requirements. Additionally, successful consummation of a strategic transaction would also allow continued covenant compliance.

First Quarter 2013 and Full-Year 2013 Outlook

First-quarter 2013 average daily production volume is expected to be 360 - 365 MMcfe per day, and full-year production volume is expected to be 335 - 345 MMcfe per day, originating as follows: 65% in the Barnett Shale, 33% in Canada, and 2% in other U.S. basins. Average daily production volumes are expected to consist of 82% natural gas and 18% natural gas liquids and crude oil.

For the first quarter of 2013, average unit expenses, on a Mcfe basis, are expected as follows:

* Lease operating expense $0.80 - $0.82
* Gathering, processing & transportation 1.20 - 1.22
* Production and ad-valorem taxes 0.14 - 0.16
* General and administrative 0.55 - 0.57
* Depletion, depreciation & accretion 0.52 - 0.54


Hedging

The company's natural gas swap portfolio is as follows: 200 MMcfd for 2013 at a weighted-average price of $5.10 per Mcf, 170 MMcfd for 2014 at $5.08 per Mcf, 150 MMcfd for 2015 at $5.23 per Mcf, and 40 MMcfd for 2016-2021 at $4.48 per Mcf.

Effective December 31, 2012, the company discontinued the use of hedge accounting on all existing hedge contracts. The net deferred hedge gains that are included in Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income as of December 31, 2012 will be recognized as production revenue during the periods in which the hedged transaction occurs.

Operational Update

Canada

The company's Horn River Basin Asset began ramping-up production in mid-December 2012 to 100 MMcfd of raw natural gas, which is being sourced from ten out of the twelve wells capable of production in the basin. Four wells have been producing for over 18 months, and six wells were brought online in stages since the d-50 pad was completed in the third quarter of 2012. Two wells on the d-50 pad are currently shut-in and will be brought online as additional volumes are needed to meet minimum commitments. Net sales volume after CO2 treating is expected to be approximately 80 MMcfd based on gross production of 100 MMcfd.

This article is for information and discussion purposes only and does not form a recommendation to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser. More

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