EQT Lowers 2020 Capital Expenditure Guidance By $75 Million,

|Mar 16|magazine32 min read

PITTSBURGH, March 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT) today announced a further reduction to its 2020 capital expenditure guidance and the execution of an agreement to permanently release certain firm transportation capacity.

Lowering 2020 Capital Expenditures Again:
To further enhance efficient capital deployment, EQT has reduced development activity in its Ohio Utica operations, lowering its expected 2020 capital expenditures by approximately $75 million to $1.075$1.175 billion.  Through schedule and well design optimization, this shift in activity is not expected to impact EQT's 2020 production guidance of 1,450 – 1,500 Bcfe.  EQT has now reduced its 2020 capital expenditure guidance by approximately $200 million since it was originally published in October 2019.  Adjusted free cash flow(1) for 2020 is now expected to be $225 - $325 million.

Firm Transportation Optimization:
EQT has entered into an agreement with a third-party to permanently release firm transportation obligations of approximately 400 MMcf/d, or approximately 15% of EQT's current portfolio.  In conjunction with the agreement, EQT entered into certain sales agreements to facilitate gas deliveries to the same premium markets. EQT expects its corporate-wide transmission expense to decrease by approximately $0.04 per Mcfe, largely offset by expected weakened average differentials. Additionally, in connection with its entry into the agreement, EQT was able to eliminate approximately $350 million in potential collateral posting requirements, further strengthening EQT's liquidity outlook.  As such, EQT's current collateral exposure has been reduced even further to $1.1 billion from $1.4 billion; collateral levels remain at a comfortable $0.6 billion level in the aggregate.

Debt Repayment:
On January 15, EQT issued $1.75 billion in senior notes to address certain near-term maturities. Subsequently, EQT has paid down the $0.3 billion balance on its revolving credit facility, retired $1.0 billion of senior notes due 2020, repurchased $0.5 billion of senior notes due 2021, and reduced its 2021 term loan balance by $0.2 billion.

President and CEO Toby Rice stated: "With a stronger organizational, technological and operational foundation established, we are capable of quickly modifying our business plans to adapt to the current environment. Today's operational updates reflect our evolution. While we believe the recent OPEC actions impacting the global oil markets will drive fundamental improvements to the U.S natural gas sector, EQT will continue to execute strategic initiatives which position us to successfully navigate a volatile commodity environment. With over 95% of EQT's production base comprised of natural gas, a strong hedge position for 2020 and the continued optimization of our internal operational and financial framework, EQT is well positioned for near-term durability and long-term sustainability."

(1) See the non-GAAP Disclosures section for important information regarding the non-GAAP financial measures included in this news release, including reasons why EQT is unable to provide a projection of its 2020 net cash provided by operating activities, the most comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP, to projected adjusted operating cash flow and adjusted free cash flow, or a projection of its 2020 net income, the most comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP, to projected adjusted EBITDA.

2020 GUIDANCE


Production


Q1 2020


Full-Year 2020

Total sales volume (Bcfe)


360 - 370


1,450 - 1,500

Liquids sales volume, excluding ethane (Mbbls)


1,900 - 2,000


7,450 - 7,550

Ethane sales volume (Mbbls)


1,150 - 1,250


5,150 - 5,250

Total liquids sales volume (Mbbls)


3,050 - 3,250


12,600 - 12,800






Btu uplift (MMbtu / Mcf)




1.045 - 1.055






Average differential ($ / Mcf)


$(0.25) - $(0.05)


$(0.40) - $(0.20)






Resource Counts





Top-hole Rigs




2 - 3

Horizontal Rigs




3 - 4

Frac Crews




3 - 4






Unit Costs ($ / Mcfe)





Gathering




$0.57 - $0.59

Transmission




$0.51 - $0.53

Processing




$0.07 - $0.09

LOE, excluding production taxes




$0.07 - $0.09

Production taxes




$0.03 - $0.05

SG&A




$0.09 - $0.11

Total Unit Costs




$1.34 - $1.46






Interest Expense ($ / Mcfe)




$0.16 - $0.18






Financial ($ Billions)





Adjusted EBITDA (1,2)




$1.475 - $1.575

Adjusted operating cash flow (1,2,3)




$1.325 - $1.425

Capital expenditures




$1.075 - $1.175

Adjusted free cash flow (1,2,3)




$0.225 - $0.325


Based on NYMEX natural gas price of $2.07 per MMbtu as of January 31, 2020.


(1) See the non-GAAP Disclosures section for important information regarding the non-GAAP financial measures included in this news release, including reasons why EQT is unable to provide a projection of its 2020 net cash provided by operating activities, the most comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP, to projected adjusted operating cash flow and adjusted free cash flow, or a projection of its 2020 net income, the most comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP, to projected adjusted EBITDA.

(2) Includes ~$35 million of ETRN dividends

(3) Includes ~$85 million of cash tax refund

NON-GAAP DISCLOSURES

Adjusted EBITDA
Adjusted EBITDA is defined as loss from continuing operations, plus interest expense, income tax benefit, depreciation and depletion, amortization of intangible assets, impairments, proxy, transaction and reorganization costs, the revenue impact of changes in the fair value of derivative instruments prior to settlement and certain other items that impact comparability between periods. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP supplemental financial measure that management and external users of the Company's consolidated financial statements, such as industry analysts, lenders and ratings agencies use to assess the Company's earnings trends. The Company believes that adjusted EBITDA is an important measure used by investors in evaluating period-over-period comparisons of earnings trends. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to the Company's net (loss) income presented in accordance with GAAP. Adjusted EBITDA excludes the revenue impact of changes in the fair value of derivative instruments prior to settlement and other items that affect the comparability of results and are not trends in the ongoing business. Management utilizes adjusted EBITDA to evaluate earnings trends because the measure reflects only the impact of settled derivative contracts and thus the income from natural gas is not impacted by the often-volatile fluctuations in fair value of derivatives prior to settlement.

The Company has not provided projected net income or a reconciliation of projected adjusted EBITDA to projected net income, the most comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP. Net (loss) income includes the impact of interest expense, income tax expense, depletion and depreciation expense, the revenue impact of changes in the projected fair value of derivative instruments prior to settlement and certain other items that impact comparability between periods and the tax effect of such items, which may be significant and difficult to project with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Therefore, projected net income, and a reconciliation of projected adjusted EBITDA to projected net income, are not available without unreasonable effort.

Adjusted Operating Cash Flow and Adjusted Free Cash Flow
Adjusted operating cash flow is defined as the Company's net cash provided by operating activities less changes in other assets and liabilities, less EBITDA attributable to discontinued operations, plus interest expense attributable to discontinued operations and cash distributions from discontinued operations. Adjusted free cash flow is defined as adjusted operating cash flow less accrual-based capital expenditures attributable to continuing operations. Adjusted operating cash flow and adjusted free cash flow are non-GAAP supplemental financial measures that the Company's management and external users of its consolidated financial statements, such as industry analysts, lenders and ratings agencies use to assess the Company's liquidity. The Company believes that adjusted operating cash flow and adjusted free cash flow provide useful information to management and investors in assessing the Company's ability to generate cash flow in excess of capital requirements and return cash to shareholders. Adjusted operating cash flow and adjusted free cash flow should not be considered as alternatives to net cash provided by operating activities or any other measure of liquidity presented in accordance with GAAP.

The Company has not provided projected net cash provided by operating activities or reconciliations of projected adjusted operating cash flow and adjusted free cash flow to projected net cash provided by operating activities, the most comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP. The Company is unable to project net cash provided by operating activities for any future period because this metric includes the impact of changes in operating assets and liabilities related to the timing of cash receipts and disbursements that may not relate to the period in which the operating activities occurred. The Company is unable to project these timing differences with any reasonable degree of accuracy without unreasonable efforts such as predicting the timing of its and customers' payments, with accuracy to a specific day, months in advance. Furthermore, the Company does not provide guidance with respect to its average realized price, among other items, that impact reconciling items between net cash provided by operating activities and adjusted operating cash flow and adjusted free cash flow, as applicable. Natural gas prices are volatile and out of the Company's control, and the timing of transactions and the income tax effects of future transactions and other items are difficult to accurately predict. Therefore, the Company is unable to provide projected net cash provided by operating activities, or the related reconciliations of projected adjusted operating cash flow and adjusted free cash flow to projected net cash provided by operating activities, without unreasonable effort.

Cautionary Statements

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Statements that do not relate strictly to historical or current facts are forward-looking. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, forward-looking statements contained in this news release specifically include the expectations of plans, strategies, objectives and growth and anticipated financial and operational performance of EQT Corporation and its subsidiaries (collectively, the Company), including guidance regarding the Company's strategy to develop its reserves; drilling plans and programs (including the number and type of drilling rigs, the number and type of frac crews, and the availability of capital to complete these plans and programs); projected production and sales volumes and growth rates (including liquids production and sales volumes and growth rates); the Company's ability to reduce its drilling and completions costs, other costs and expenses, and capital expenditures, and the timing of achieving any such reductions; monetization transactions, including asset sales, joint ventures or other transactions involving the Company's assets, and the Company's planned use of the proceeds from any such monetization transactions; acquisition transactions; the projected capital efficiency savings and other operating efficiencies and synergies resulting from the Company's monetization transactions and acquisition transactions; the amount and timing of any repurchases of the Company's outstanding debt securities or other debt maturities; projected cash flows, adjusted operating cash flow and adjusted free cash flow; projected capital expenditures; projected adjusted EBITDA; liquidity and financing requirements, including funding sources and availability; the Company's ability to maintain or improve its credit ratings, leverage levels and financial profile; and the Company's hedging strategy.

The forward-looking statements included in this new release involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from projected results. Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. The Company has based these forward-looking statements on current expectations and assumptions about future events, taking into account all information currently available to the Company. While the Company considers these expectations and assumptions to be reasonable, they are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, regulatory and other risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and beyond the Company's control and which include, but are not limited to, volatility of commodity prices; the costs and results of drilling and operations; access to and cost of capital; uncertainties about estimates of reserves, identification of drilling locations and the ability to add proved reserves in the future; the assumptions underlying production forecasts; the quality of technical data; the Company's ability to appropriately allocate capital and resources among its strategic opportunities; inherent hazards and risks normally incidental to drilling for, producing, transporting and storing natural gas, natural gas liquids and oil; cyber security risks; availability and cost of drilling rigs, completion services, equipment, supplies, personnel, oilfield services and water required to execute the Company's exploration and development plans; the ability to obtain environmental and other permits and the timing thereof; government regulation or action; environmental and weather risks, including the possible impacts of climate change; and disruptions to the Company's business due to acquisitions and other significant transaction. These and other risks and uncertainties are described under Item 1A, "Risk Factors," of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 as filed with the SEC, as updated by any subsequent Form 10-Qs, and those set forth in the other documents the Company files from time to time with the SEC.

Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and the Company does not intend to correct or update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Analyst inquiries please contact:
Andrew Breese - Director, Investor Relations
[email protected]
412.395.2555

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SOURCE EQT Corporation