[Editor's note: This story was updated at 9:05 a.m. CDT May 3.]
Noble Energy Inc. on May 3 reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on lower oil and gas prices and forecast second-quarter production below analysts' estimates.
Noble said realized prices fell 13% to $53.46 per barrel of crude and condensate from its onshore operations in the U.S., its largest. The company's portfolio comprises assets onshore in the U.S., including the Permian Basin, Denver-Julesburg Basin and Eagle Ford Shale, and offshore in the Eastern Mediterranean and off the west coast of Africa.
U.S crude price, despite a recovery from the fourth quarter last year, hovered around 13% lower than a year-ago period, hitting almost all major U.S. producers.
Adding to its woes, Noble also forecast current-quarter sales volumes of 332,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) to 347,000 boe/d, missing the consensus estimate of 348,430 boe/d, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Noble's first quarter sales volumes of 337,000 boe/d beat analysts' estimates by nearly 2%, mainly driven by better-than-expected gas production.
Sales volumes at its D-J Basin oil fields, among a handful of shale plays in the country for producers looking to expand beyond the capacity-strained top Permian Basin, rose 21% in the first quarter, while sales at the Delaware Basin rose 30%.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Scott Hanold called the results a "mixed bag."
"We think there was a bit of a high bar for NBL coming into [first-quarter 2019] earnings, especially with NBL shares outperforming [year-to-date], so we would not be surprised to see some weakness."
Adjusted net loss was $44 million, or 9 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of $172 million, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected the company to report a loss of 6 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Revenue fell 18% to $1.05 billion.
Shares of the company were down 1.4% in premarket trading. Noble's shares have risen 36% so far this year, compared with a 13.2% rise in the S&P 500 Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Index.
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