Sanchez paid nearly $640 million in May of 2014 for the Eagle Ford shale assets of Shell, adding to its top position among Eagle Ford producers. Then the bottom fell out of the price of crude oil and one of the highest flying U.S. energy companies fell on tough times.
Despite the low prices for crude and the cutback in new drillings, Sanchez Energy produced about 550,000 more barrels of oil equivalent that it did in the second quarter of last year. But last year the company’s average realized price (including the impact of hedging) was $97.12 a barrel, compared with $63.75 a barrel this year. Strip out the hedging impact and the average price per barrel of oil fell from $100.90 to $51.90.
Second-quarter production rose to 53,923 barrels of oil equivalent per day, nearly 7,000 barrels per day above the high end of the company’s guidance. Shareholders’ net loss totaled $566.9 million, adjusted EBITDA totaled $111.9 million and the adjusted net loss came in at $24.4 million.
In its outlook statement, the company said it was cutting its capital expenditures (capex) by 8% to a range of $550 million to $600 million for the full year and issued preliminary capex guidance for 2016 of $250 million to $300 million. For the third quarter, the company guided production at 46,000 to 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, of which 37% is oil, 32% is natural gas liquids and 31% is natural gas. Total operating costs and expenses are forecast at $14.00 to $16.50 per barrel, up from $11.83 in the second quarter.
CEO Tony Sanchez III said:
We believe that our Company is well positioned to weather an extended period of depressed commodity prices. The steps taken to reduce costs and spending have dramatically decreased our expected need for future capital. … We believe that the combination of strong liquidity, improved production outlook and conservative capital spending will allow us to sustain our production base and inventory and position the Company to both maintain a strong balance sheet as well as to achieve growth while in a $40-$50 oil price environment.
Sanchez Energy shares closed at $6.11 on Friday and were inactive in Monday’s premarket. The 52-week range is $5.85 to $34.25, and the consensus price target on the stock is $14.95.