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Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) Down 7.7% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD). Shares have lost about 7.7% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Pioneer Natural Resources due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Pioneer Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Miss

Pioneerreported fourth-quarter 2022 earnings of $5.91 per share (excluding one-time items), beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.83. The bottom line surged from the year-ago quarter’s profit of $4.58 per share.

Total quarterly revenues of $5,108 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,662 million. However, the top line improved from the year-ago quarter’s $4,317 million.

Strong quarterly earnings were primarily driven by higher natural gas production volumes and lower expenses.

Dividend Cut

For the first quarter, Pioneer announced a dividend payment of $5.58 per share of common stock, which includes a variable dividend of $4.48 per share and a base dividend of $1.10. This suggests a 2.3% decline from the last paid $5.71 per share. The new dividend is payable  Mar 17, 2023, to its stockholders of record at the close of business on Mar 6, 2023.

Production

For fourth-quarter 2022, the total production was 661.6 thousand barrels of oil-equivalent per day (MBoe/d), down from the year-ago figure of 687.1 MBoe/d.

Oil production was 350.6 thousand barrels per day (MBbls/d), down from the year-ago quarter’s 393.5 MBbls/d. NGLs production was 165.5 MBbls/d compared with the prior-year quarter’s 161.7 MBbls/d. Natural gas production amounted to 872.6 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), up from the year-ago quarter’s 792.2 MMcf/d.

Price Realization

On an oil-equivalent basis, the average realized price was $57.76 per barrel for the reported quarter compared with $58.78 a year ago. The company reported an average realized crude price of $83.53 a barrel, up from $76.38 reported in the December-end quarter of 2021.

The average natural gas price declined to $4.98 per thousand cubic feet from $5.20 in the prior-year quarter. Natural gas liquids were sold at $27.67 a barrel, up from $38.45 a year ago.

Operating Costs

Pioneer’s expenses for oil and gas production were $463 million, up from $377 million in the year-ago quarter. Yet, total costs and expenses declined to $3,240 million in the fourth quarter from $3,326 million in the year-ago period.

Cash, Debt and Capex

As of Dec 31, 2022, Pioneer’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $1,032 million, while long-term debt was $4,125 million. It had a debt-to-capitalization of 18%.

In the December-end quarter, the company spent $1.1 billion.

Outlook

For 2023, Pioneer reiterated its oil production guidance of 357-372 thousand barrels of oil per day (MBo/d). The company projects a total production of 670-700 MBoe/d, indicating an increase from the 649.8 MBoe/d reported in 2022.

For the fourth quarter, Pioneer expects oil production of 349-364 MBo/d and a total production of 659-687 MBoe/d.

The company gave a drilling, completions, facilities and water infrastructure capital budget of $4.45-$4.75 billion. Additionally, it gave a capital budget for exploration, environmental and other capital of $150-$200 million.

It boasted that the capital spending would be fully funded by its $9-billion projected cash flow for this year.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates revision have trended downward during the past month.

The consensus estimate has shifted -9.41% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Pioneer Natural Resources has a great Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with an F. However, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the top 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Pioneer Natural Resources has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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