Comstock Resources, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2021 Financial and Operating Results
Highlights of 2021’s First Quarter
- Adjusted net income to common stockholders was $63 million for the quarter or $0.25 per diluted share.
- Production averaged 1,281 MMcfe per day, comprised of 98% natural gas, and was 6% higher than the fourth quarter of 2020.
- Average realized price, including hedging, was $2.88 per Mcfe compared to $2.16 per Mcfe in 2020’s first quarter.
- Revenues, including realized hedging losses, were $332 million, 22% higher than 2020’s first quarter.
- Adjusted EBITDAX was $262 million, 30% higher than 2020’s first quarter.
- Operating cash flow (excluding working capital changes) was $207 million or $0.75 per diluted share.
- All-in first quarter capital spending was $169 million, including $6 million for leasing activities.
- Free cash flow after preferred dividends in the first quarter was $33 million.
- In March, Comstock refinanced approximately $1.15 billion of senior notes, which saves the Company $19.5 million in annual cash interest payments and extends Comstock’s weighted average senior notes maturity from 4.9 years to 6.7 years.
- In April, Comstock’s $1.4 billion borrowing base was reaffirmed by its bank group.
First Quarter 2021 Financial Results
Revenues reported for the first quarter of 2021 totaled $340 million (excluding realized losses on hedging of $8 million). Net cash provided by operating activities (including changes in working capital) was $193 million, and the Company reported a net loss available to common stockholders for the first quarter of $138 million ($0.60 per share). The net loss in the quarter included a $239 million pre-tax loss on the early retirement of the senior notes and a $13 million unrealized loss on hedging contracts. Excluding these items and certain other unusual items, adjusted net income available to common stockholders was $63 million, or $0.25 per diluted share.
Comstock’s production cost per Mcfe in the first quarter was $0.60 per Mcfe, which was comprised of $0.26 for gathering and transportation costs, $0.21 for lease operating costs, $0.08 for production and other taxes and $0.05 for cash general and administrative expenses. Production cost was also $0.60 per Mcfe in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $0.56 per Mcfe in the first quarter of 2020. Comstock’s unhedged operating margin was 79% in the first quarter of 2021. Comstock has one of the lowest producing cost structures in its sector creating one of the highest margins among public natural gas companies.
First Quarter 2021 Drilling Results
Comstock drilled 21 (19.0 net) operated horizontal Haynesville/Bossier shale wells in the first quarter which had an average lateral length of 7,351 feet. Comstock also participated in an additional four (0.6 net) non-operated Haynesville shale wells in the quarter. Comstock turned 14 (9.5 net) wells to sales in the quarter and expects to turn an additional 17 wells (15.3 net) to sales in the second quarter of 2021.
Since its last operational update in February, Comstock has turned 13 (11.5 net) new operated Haynesville/Bossier shale wells to sales. These wells had initial daily production rates of 19 MMcf to 32 MMcf per day, with an average of 25 MMcf per day. The completed lateral length of these wells averaged 8,132 feet.
Comstock also announced today that it has partnered with BJ Energy Solutions to deploy BJ’s next generation fracturing fleet, which is fueled by 100% natural gas, in its Haynesville shale development program in early 2022. BJ’s TITANTM solution will make a substantial contribution toward Comstock’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals while also improving well economics. BJ’s TITAN fleet supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while also creating efficiencies including reduced operating costs, improved mobility, smaller well pad sites, and improved operational reliability. The Company’s three year contract with BJ locks in current completion rates while providing additional cost saving efficiencies, all while reducing the environmental impact of Comstock’s future well completions.
Earnings Call Information
Comstock has planned a conference call for 10:00 a.m. Central Time on May 5, 2021, to discuss the first quarter of 2021 operational and financial results. Investors wishing to participate should visit the Company’s website at www.comstockresources.com for a live webcast or dial 844-776-7840 (international dial-in use 661-378-9538) and provide access code 6891538 when prompted. If you are unable to participate in the original conference call, a web replay will be available approximately 24 hours following the completion of the call on Comstock’s website at www.comstockresources.com. The web replay will be available for approximately one week. A replay of the conference call will be available beginning at 1:00 p.m. CT May 5, 2021 and will continue until 1:00 p.m. May 12, 2021. To hear the replay, call 855-859-2056 (404-537-3406) if calling from outside the US). The conference call access code is 6891538.
This press release may contain “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described herein. Although the Company believes the expectations in such statements to be reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct.
Comstock Resources, Inc. is a leading independent natural gas producer with operations focused on the development of the Haynesville shale in North Louisiana and East Texas. The Company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CRK.