Let’s take a look at how Baytex did last quarter and how it might perform going forward.
Baytex did Impeccably Last Quarter
Baytex Energy’s first-quarter oil equivalent production came in at 101,115 barrels during the first quarter. This was a massive improvement over the prior-year period’s production of 69,522 oil equivalent barrels.
Thanks to this massive jump in Baytex’s production, its first-quarter revenue increased to C$453 million from C$286 million in the prior-year period. This massive increase in Baytex’s revenue allowed it to post a profit of $0.02 per share during the quarter as compared to a loss of $0.27 per share a year ago.
Moreover, Baytex’s operating netback increased to $26.56 per barrel of oil equivalent during the quarter. This was a substantial increase over the year-ago period’s operating netback of $20.71 per barrel of oil equivalent.
Baytex benefited from a lower spread between the Western Canadian Select (WCS) crude oil prices and the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices. The company pointed out that the WCS-WTI spread during the first quarter of the year fell to an average of $12.29 during the first quarter of 2019 as compared to a massive $39.42 per barrel during the fourth quarter of 2018.
As a result, Baytex was able to deliver an impressive financial performance as it managed to take advantage of higher production and better pricing. Baytex is looking to increase its output, but whether that will lead to an improvement in its financial performance or not remains to be seen.
A Bright Path Ahead
Baytex Energy has slightly raised its 2019 production outlook after its encouraging first-quarter performance and it has reduced its capital expenditure guidance for the full year. According to the company’s press release:
This improved production and lower capital expenses should allow Baytex to improve its balance sheet. The company is already working towards reducing its debt, and it could do even better going forward. In the first quarter, Baytex reduced its debt by $90 million in the first quarter of 2019.
The company now expects its adjusted funds flow to exceed the mid-point of its capital guidance by a massive figure of $350 million. Baytex believes that this will lead to “accelerated debt repayment” this year.
As such, even though Baytex shares have taken a beating this year, it makes sense to stay long as it is making the right operational moves.
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