How to Use an EV/Production Multiple

Oil and gas analysts use many different metrics to explain and compare the value of an oil and gas company, specifically an exploration and production (E&P) company. The most popular metrics (at least according to our eyeballs) include (1) EV/Production; (2) EV/Reserves; (3) EV/Acreage; and (4) EV/EBITDA(X). Enterprise Value (EV) may also be termed Market Value of Invested Capital (MVIC) and is calculated by the market capitalization of a public company plus debt on the balance sheet less cash on the balance sheet. In this post, we will dive into one of these four metrics, the EV/Production metric, and explore the most popular uses of it.

E&P: What We Learned from 1st Quarter Earnings

The first quarter of 2017 was productive and active for upstream E&P but the change in market capitalizations of many oil and gas companies does not match the reported increase in earnings and production estimates. Looking at our universe of energy companies in the E&P space, over 70% beat earnings estimates. This statistic held true no matter if the energy company was a global integrated operator or a pure upstream producer. To provide a flavor of the attitude, we selected the two largest publicly traded energy companies involved in E&P (STO and XOM) as well as six companies with primary operations in the Permian Basin (PXD, CXO, NBL, XEC, FANG, and RSPP) and reviewed the highlights of their latest earnings releases. As summarized in this post, each of these companies exceeded analyst expectations.

Are S&P Energy Stock Valuations Really Crazy Right Now?

A few days ago the Wall Street Journal published an article discussing what the author described as “crazy” stock valuations, and in particular the inflated valuations of oil and gas stocks from the perspective of operating earnings ratios. While we certainly are believers that value is driven by future operating earnings, and that earnings in the energy sector have fallen precipitously since 2014, is this all that determines the market’s pricing of the S&P 500 energy sector? As we reflect on this for a moment, a few additional considerations came to mind that may explain these “crazy” valuations more fully.

Exploration & Production 3Q16 Newsletter | Region Focus: Bakken

Each quarter, Mercer Capital’s Exploration & Production Industry newsletter provides an overview of the E&P sector, including world demand and supply, public market performance, valuation multiples for public companies, and a region focus. This quarter we focus on the Bakken Shale.

The Fair Market Value of Oil and Gas Reserves

A couple of weeks ago we looked at Exon Mobil Corp.’s lack of asset write-downs to understand different values placed on oil and gas reserves in a GAAP, Non-GAAP, and IFRS context. This week we explain how to find the fair market value of oil and gas reserves.

Oil and Gas Reserve Values

This is the first of two posts in which we will investigate the different values placed on oil and gas reserves in a GAAP, Non-GAAP, IFRS, and fair market value context. As an example we will consider Exxon Mobil Corp., the nation’s largest energy company, which is under investigation for its lack of asset write-downs amid falling oil and gas prices.

EOG/Yates Merger: A Closer Look at the Acquisition

On September 6, 2016 EOG Resources (EOG) announced the acquisition of Yates Petroleum (Yates) for approximately $2.4 billion dollars, by our calculations. In this post, we take a closer look at the deal.

Oil and Gas Market Discussion: Part 2

In May 2016, we attended a panel event discussing investment opportunities in the financially distressed oil and gas sector. The panel included a “who’s who” of oil and gas experts located in Texas. Two industry participants, two consultants, one analyst and one economist discussed the economic outlook for energy prices and then corporate strategy and investment opportunities given the economic outlook. This post, the second and last summarizing this panel discussion, will report opinions given on corporate strategy and investment opportunities.

Bankruptcy: An Overview Part 3

Upon confirmation by the bankruptcy court, a bankruptcy plan must not be likely to result in liquidation or further reorganization. To satisfy the court, a cash-flow test is used to analyze whether the restructured company would generate enough cash to consistently pay its debts. This post walks through the three steps of a cash-flow test.

Oil and Gas Market Discussion: Part 1

In May 2016, we attended a panel event discussing investment opportunities in the financially distressed oil and gas sector. The panel included a “who’s who” of oil and gas experts located in Texas. Two industry participants, two consultants, one analyst and one economist discussed the economic outlook for energy prices; and then corporate strategy and investment opportunities given the economic outlook. This post, the first of two summarizing this panel discussion, will report on the economic discussion.

Bankruptcy: An Overview Part 2

From January through May of this year, 39 E&P companies and 31 oilfield services companies had to file for bankruptcy. This post is the second of three aimed at helping those companies and any others who may face bankruptcy in the future to understand the valuation-related aspects of Chapter 11 restructuring. In the first post, we highlighted two reorganization requirements tied to valuation. Here we will explore the consequences of the first of those requirements: The plan should demonstrate that the economic outcomes for the consenting stakeholders (creditors or equity holders) are superior under the Chapter 11 proceeding compared to a Chapter 7 proceeding, which provides for a liquidation of the business.

Bridging Valuation Gaps: Part 3

This is the third and final post in a series aimed at helping E&P companies to navigate the sale of non-core assets and bankruptcy by examining how option pricing, a sophisticated valuation technique, can be used to understand the future potential of the assets most affected by low prices, PUDs and unproven reserves. In this post, we delve into the specifics of adapting option pricing from shares of stock to oil and gas, highlighting some of the challenges and key steps of the process.

Bridging Valuation Gaps: Part 2

This is the second in a series of three blog posts aimed at helping E&P companies to navigate the sale of non-core assets and bankruptcy by examining how option pricing, a sophisticated valuation technique, can be used to understand the future potential of assets most affected by low prices, PUDs and unproven reserves. In this second installment we explain the general idea behind option pricing and why it may be more suited to a low price environment than traditional DCF models. Part three will then cover some of the issues that arise when using the option pricing method to value oil and gas companies’ assets.

Bridging Valuation Gaps: Part 1

Due to a precipitous drop in oil prices since June 2014, oil exploration and production companies in the US have struggled to pay their debts and in many cases have had to file for bankruptcy. This is the first post in a three part series examining how option pricing, a sophisticated valuation technique, can be used to understand the future potential of the assets most affected by low prices, PUDs and unproven reserves.