Comstock Resources Reports 4th Quarter 2022 Financial & Operating Results

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 2/14/2023, Location: North America

Comstock Resources, Inc. reported financial and operating results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2022.

Highlights
Generated free cash flow from operations of $673 million in 2022, including $129 million in the fourth quarter.
Production in the fourth quarter increased 7% from last year to 1,445 MMcfe per day.
Oil and gas sales, including realized hedging losses, were $2.3 billion in 2022 and $558 million in the fourth quarter and were 58% and 47% higher than 2021 and 2021's fourth quarter.
Cash flow from operations in 2022 was $1.7 billion or $6.21 per diluted share, including $434 million in the fourth quarter or $1.57 per diluted share.
Adjusted EBITDAX in 2022 increased 72% to $1.9 billion and in the fourth quarter increased 61% to $478 million.
Adjusted net income to common stockholders in 2022 was $1.0 billion or $3.73 per diluted share and $288 million or $1.05 per diluted share in the fourth quarter.
Drilled 73 (57.0 net) successful Haynesville and Bossier shale operated horizontal wells in 2022 with an average lateral length of 10,044 feet and connected 66 (53.6 net) operated wells to sales with an average initial production rate of 26 MMcf per day.
Drilled two successful wells in Comstock's Western Haynesville exploratory play.
2022 drilling program drove 9% reserve growth with 1.1 Tcfe of drilling related reserve additions achieving an overall finding cost of 95 per Mcfe.
Improved balance sheet with retirement of $506 million of debt and conversion of preferred stock.
Resumed quarterly dividend of $0.125 per share in December 2022.

Financial Results for the Three Months Ended December 31, 2022
Comstock's natural gas and oil sales in the fourth quarter of 2022 totaled $557.9 million (after realized hedging losses of $183.7 million). Net cash provided by operating activities (excluding changes in working capital) generated in the fourth quarter was $434.5 million, and net income available to common stockholders for the fourth quarter of 2022 was $516.9 million or $1.87 per share. Reported net income in the quarter included a pre-tax $302.8 million unrealized gain on hedging contracts held for risk management. Excluding this item and certain other items, adjusted net income available to common stockholders for the fourth quarter of 2022 was $287.7 million, or $1.05 per diluted share.

Comstock's production cost per Mcfe in the fourth quarter was $0.76 per Mcfe, which was comprised of $0.32 for gathering and transportation costs, $0.24 for lease operating costs, $0.12 for production and other taxes and $0.08 for cash general and administrative expenses. Production cost was $0.82 per Mcfe in the third quarter of 2022 and $0.67 in the fourth quarter of 2021. Comstock's unhedged operating margin was 86% in the fourth quarter of 2022 and 82% after hedging.

Financial Results for the Year Ended December 31, 2022
Natural gas and oil sales for the year ended December 31, 2022 totaled $2.3 billion (after realized hedging losses of $862.7 million). Net cash provided by operating activities (excluding changes in working capital) was $1.7 billion, and the Company reported net income available to common stockholders for the year ended December 31, 2022 of $1.1 billion, or $4.11 per share. Net income during the year included a pre-tax $200.2 million unrealized gain on hedging contracts held for risk management and a $46.8 million loss on the early retirement of debt. Excluding these items and certain other items, adjusted net income available to common stockholders for 2022 was $1.0 billion, or $3.73 per diluted share.

Drilling Results
Comstock drilled 73 (57.0 net) operated horizontal Haynesville/Bossier shale wells in 2022 which had an average lateral length of 10,044 feet. The Company also participated in an additional 42 (3.4 net) non-operated Haynesville shale wells in 2022. Comstock turned 66 (53.6 net) operated wells and 38 (1.8 net) non-operated wells to sales in 2022 and currently expects to turn an additional 17 (10.5 net) operated wells to sales in the first quarter of 2023.

Since its last operational update in November, Comstock has turned 19 (13.1 net) operated Haynesville/Bossier shale wells to sales. These wells had initial daily production rates that averaged 25 MMcf per day. The completed lateral length of these wells averaged 10,186 feet. Included in these results was the second successful exploratory well drilled in the Western Haynesville area, the Cazey Black A #1, which had an initial production rate of 42 MMcf per day.

2023 Drilling Budget
In response to the current lower natural gas prices, Comstock is releasing two of its nine operated drilling rigs and currently plans to spend approximately $950 million to $1.15 billion in 2023 on drilling and completion activities primarily focused on the continued development of its Haynesville/Bossier shale properties and delineation of its Western Haynesville play. Comstock also expects to spend $75 million to $125 million on infrastructure, including upgrades to its Western Haynesville pipeline and processing facilities, and for other development costs. Under its current operating plan, Comstock expects to drill 67 (50.5 net) and complete 69 (49.2 net) operated horizontal wells in 2023, including eight (8.0 net) wells in the Western Haynesville area. Comstock also expects to spend an additional $25 million to $35 million on lease acquisitions in 2023.

Declaration of Quarterly Dividend
On February 13, 2023, Comstock's Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.125 per common share. The dividend will be payable on March 15, 2023 to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 1, 2023.


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