Ultra Petroleum Announces Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2013 Financial And Operating Results, Board Of Directors Approve 2014 Capital Investment Program

Company Provides 2014 Financial and Operational Guidance

HOUSTON, Feb. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Ultra Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: UPL) continued to deliver strong financial and operating performance for both the fourth quarter and full-year 2013. Highlights include:

  • Closed $649.8 million Uinta Basin oil acquisition
  • Completed debut public debt offering of $450.0 million priced at 5.75%
  • Produced 232.1 Bcfe of natural gas and crude oil
  • Generated operating cash flow(1) of $506.3 million during 2013
  • Earnings of $253.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, or $1.64 per diluted share – adjusted(2)
  • Positive margins in 2013 (adjusted): 55 percent cash flow margin(4) and 28 percent net income margin(3)

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20020226/DATU029LOGO)

Fourth Quarter Results

During the fourth quarter of 2013, Ultra Petroleum produced 56.8 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) of natural gas and crude oil. The company's fourth quarter production was comprised of 54.8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas and 331.3 thousand barrels (Mbbls) of crude oil and condensate.

The company's average realized natural gas price during the quarter was $3.58 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf), including realized gains and losses on commodity hedges. Ultra's realized crude oil and condensate price in the fourth quarter of 2013 was $88.66 per barrel (Bbl).

Ultra Petroleum reported operating cash flow(1) of $130.4 million, or $0.84 per diluted share during the fourth quarter. Adjusted net income(2) was $64.9 million, or $0.42 per diluted share for the quarter.

2013 Results

Ultra produced 232.1 Bcfe for the year ended December 31, 2013, comprised of 224.9 Bcf of natural gas and 1.2 million barrels (MMbbls) of crude oil and condensate.

The company's realized natural gas price for the year was $3.57 per Mcf, including realized gains and losses on commodity hedges. The average realized crude oil and condensate price in 2013 was $91.25 per Bbl.

Ultra Petroleum reported 2013 operating cash flow(1) of $506.3 million, or $3.28 per diluted share. Adjusted net income(2) was $253.2 million, or $1.64 per diluted share for the twelve month period in 2013.

"For our company, 2013 was a transitional year, as we experienced the bottoming of the natural gas commodity cycle and the correct response of reduced capital investments over the past two years. With that behind us, we are poised to return to profitable growth and expanding margins. As we look ahead to 2014, we are anticipating 40 percent EBITDA and cash flow growth. A significant driver of this growth will be a tripling of our oil production through development of our Uinta Basin oil asset," stated Michael D. Watford, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Wyoming - Operational Highlights

During the fourth quarter, Ultra Petroleum and its partners drilled 27 gross (16 net) Wyoming Lance wells and placed on production 31 gross (14 net) wells. The fourth quarter average initial production (IP) rate for new operated wells brought online was 8.0 million cubic feet equivalent (MMcfe) per day.

For the year, Ultra and its partners drilled 127 gross (62 net) Wyoming Lance wells and placed on production 140 gross (67 net) wells. The company produced a total of 164.4 Bcfe in Wyoming, averaging 450 MMcfe per day.

The company realized further well cost savings during the fourth quarter. The average cost to drill and complete a well was $3.6 million, a $200,000 cost reduction from the third quarter average.

Ultra's third new-build operated rig arrived in November and subsequently spud its first well. The company averaged 11.0 days to drill an operated well in the fourth quarter, as measured by spud to total depth (TD). Total days per well, measured by rig-release to rig-release, averaged 13.7 days in the fourth quarter.

Pennsylvania - Operational Highlights

Ultra brought online 12 gross (6 net) wells during the fourth quarter 2013. The company's net production remained flat to third quarter levels averaging 173 MMcfe per day. A three-well pad came online with average IP rates of 8.6 MMcfe per day.

During the year, Ultra and its joint venture partner drilled 22 gross (11 net) horizontal Marcellus wells and brought online 42 gross (21 net) wells. The average IP rate for the new Marcellus wells brought online was 6.3 MMcfe per day. The company produced a total of 67.4 Bcfe from the Marcellus, averaging 185 MMcfe per day for the year.

Financial Strength

Ultra Petroleum exited the fourth quarter with 81 percent of the company's outstanding borrowings comprised of long-term, fixed-rate debt with an average remaining term of 6 years and a 5.6 percent weighted average coupon rate.

During the fourth quarter, the company financed the acquisition of its Uinta Basin acquisition through borrowings of $200.0 million under its senior bank facility at its operating subsidiary, Ultra Resources, Inc., together with the issuance of $450.0 million in aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due 2018 (issued by the parent company, Ultra Petroleum Corp.) in a private placement. The new notes were priced at par with a coupon of 5.75 percent. The notes are not guaranteed by the company's subsidiaries and so are structurally subordinated to the debt and other obligations of the company's subsidiaries. The operative financial covenant for the company is now effectively the interest coverage covenant of 2.25 times in the new senior notes. The size of the offering was increased from the previously announced $400.0 million aggregate principal amount. Ultra closed the transaction on December 12, 2013.

"We are very pleased with our debut public debt offering, the market's receptivity and the way in which our notes have traded. This offering provides a strong foundation for funding future growth," commented Mark Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Commodity Hedges

The company entered into fixed price swaps for 2014 including 118.4 Bcf of natural gas hedged at a weighted average price of $4.20 per Mcf. Ultra also layered on crude oil hedges of 1,231 Mbbls at a weighted average price of $92.36 per Bbl. Additional details of the company's current hedge positions are available in the financial tables section of the news release. The company opportunistically hedges a portion of its forecasted production to lessen the volatility associated with swings in commodity prices and improve the certainty of cash flows in support of its capital investment program.

2014 Capital Investment Program

The board of directors approved Ultra's 2014 capital investment program of $560.0 million for the year. The company plans to allocate its capital investments according to the table below:

2014 Capital Investment Program ($ millions)

Development drilling


Rockies

$ 395

Uinta

95

Appalachia

25

Total development drilling

515

Gathering and facilities

5

Land

2

Corporate

38

Total Capital Budget

$ 560

New Ventures Update

On October 21, 2013, the company announced it signed a definitive purchase and sale agreement to acquire oil-producing properties located in the Uinta Basin. The properties were acquired for $649.8 million and the transaction closed on December 12, 2013 with an effective date of October 1, 2013. Ultra increased its planned capital investments for 2014 in the Uinta Basin to $95.0 million to account for the increase in number of planned wells drilled due to reduced drilling times.

First Quarter and Full-Year 2014 Production Guidance

Ultra's 2014 annual production is expected to range between 243 – 253 Bcfe. First quarter production is expected to range 56 – 58 Bcfe. The following table details estimated production by region for 2014, based on the mid-point of the company's guidance range:

Region


Estimated Annual Production

Rockies


71%

Uinta


6%

Appalachia


23%

First Quarter 2014 Price Realizations and Differentials Guidance

In the first quarter of 2014, the company's realized natural gas price is expected to average 8 – 10 percent below the NYMEX price due to differentials, before consideration of any hedging activity. Realized pricing for crude oil and condensate is expected to be about 18 – 20 percent below the NYMEX price, prior to consideration of any hedging activity.

First Quarter 2014 Expense Guidance

Costs Per Mcfe


Q1 2014

Lease operating expenses


$ 0.42 – 0.46

Production taxes


$ 0.42 – 0.44

Gathering fees


$ 0.21 – 0.23

Total lease operating costs


$1.05 – 1.13




Transportation charges


$ 0.36 – 0.38

Depletion and depreciation


$ 1.12 – 1.18

General and administrative – total


$ 0.10 – 0.12

Interest and debt expense


$ 0.45 – 0.47

Total operating costs per Mcfe


$3.08 – 3.28

2014 Annual Income Tax Guidance

Ultra currently projects a zero percent book tax rate for 2014 and does not anticipate paying any cash taxes.

Conference Call Webcast Scheduled for February 20, 2014

Ultra Petroleum's fourth quarter 2013 results conference call will be available via live audio webcast at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (10:00 Central Standard Time) Thursday, February 20, 2014. To listen to this webcast, log on to www.ultrapetroleum.com and follow the link to the webcast. The webcast replay and podcast will be archived on Ultra Petroleum's website through Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Financial tables to follow.

Ultra Petroleum Corp.



Consolidated Statements of Income (unaudited)

All amounts expressed in US$000's,

Except per unit data












For the Year Ended


For the Quarter Ended



December 31,


December 31,



2013


2012


2013


2012

Volumes









Natural gas (Mcf)


224,911,733


249,309,503


54,842,202


58,395,676

Oil liquids (Bbls)


1,195,974


1,282,442


331,263


281,316

Mcfe - Total


232,087,577


257,004,155


56,829,780


60,083,572










Revenues









Natural gas sales

$

824,266

$

695,733

$

195,829

$

194,264

Oil sales


109,138


114,241


29,368


22,922

Total operating revenues


933,404


809,974


225,197


217,186










Expenses









Lease operating expenses


68,106


63,823


15,562


17,841

LGS operating lease expense


20,000


645


5,000


645

Production taxes


72,398


60,757


17,758


14,123

Gathering fees


52,074


59,004


13,674


12,413

Total lease operating costs


212,578


184,229


51,994


45,022










Transportation charges


82,797


84,470


20,886


20,993

Depletion and depreciation


243,390


388,985


62,398


74,871

Ceiling test and other impairments


-


2,972,464


-


496,502

General and administrative


12,606


14,348


3,333


2,870

Stock compensation


9,767


10,756


3,142


2,926

Total operating expenses


561,138


3,655,252


141,753


643,184










Other (expense) income, net


(357)


(1,765)


(306)


(1,738)

Contract cancellation fees


-


(15,469)


-


(6,248)

Interest and debt expense, net


(101,486)


(88,180)


(25,310)


(25,765)

Deferred gain on sale of liquids gathering system


10,553


-


2,638


-

Realized (loss) gain on commodity derivatives


(20,878)


303,966


196


43,728

Unrealized (loss) gain on commodity derivatives


(25,876)


(230,385)


(26,400)


(47,247)

Income (loss) before income taxes


234,222


(2,877,111)


34,262


(463,268)










Income tax provision (benefit) - current


(3,610)


7,936


(6,850)


4,550

Income tax provision (benefit) - deferred


(6)


(708,149)


(6)


4,215










Net income (loss)

$

237,838

$

(2,176,898)

$

41,118

$

(472,033)










Ceiling test and other impairments

$

-

$

2,972,464

$

-

$

496,502

Contract cancellation fees


-


15,469


-


6,248

Deferred gain on sale of liquids gathering system


(10,553)


-


(2,638)


-

Unrealized loss on commodity derivatives


25,876


230,385


26,400


47,247

Deferred tax benefit


(6)


(712,813)


(6)


(212)

Adjusted net income (2)

$

253,155

$

328,607

$

64,874

$

77,752










Operating cash flow (1)

$

506,313

$

713,116

$

130,419

$

149,297

(see non-GAAP reconciliation)


















Weighted average shares (000's)









Basic


152,963


152,845


152,981


152,929

Fully diluted


154,426


152,845


154,591


152,929










Earnings per share









Net income - basic


$1.55


($14.24)


$0.27


($3.09)

Net income - fully diluted


$1.54


($14.24)


$0.27


($3.09)










Adjusted earnings per share (2)









Adjusted net income - basic


$1.66


$2.15


$0.42


$0.51

Adjusted net income - fully diluted


$1.64


$2.15


$0.42


$0.51










Cash flow per share (1)









Cash flow per share - basic


$3.31


$4.67


$0.85


$0.98

Cash flow per share - fully diluted


$3.28


$4.67


$0.84


$0.98










Realized Prices









Natural gas (Mcf), including realized gain (loss) on commodity derivatives


$3.57


$4.01


$3.58


$4.08

Natural gas (Mcf), excluding realized gain (loss) on commodity derivatives


$3.66


$2.79


$3.57


$3.33

Oil liquids (Bbls)


$91.25


$89.08


$88.66


$81.48










Costs Per Mcfe









Lease operating expenses


$0.38


$0.25


$0.36


$0.31

Production taxes


$0.31


$0.24


$0.31


$0.24

Gathering fees


$0.22


$0.23


$0.24


$0.21

Transportation charges


$0.36


$0.33


$0.37


$0.35

Depletion and depreciation


$1.05


$1.51


$1.10


$1.25

General and administrative - total


$0.10


$0.10


$0.11


$0.10

Interest and debt expense


$0.44


$0.34


$0.45


$0.43



$2.86


$3.00


$2.94


$2.89










Note: Amounts on a per Mcfe basis may not total due to rounding.










Adjusted Margins









Adjusted Net Income (3)


28%


29%


29%


30%

Adjusted Operating Cash Flow Margin (4)


55%


64%


58%


57%










Ultra Petroleum Corp.

Supplemental Balance Sheet Data

All amounts expressed in US$000's












As of







December 31,







2013


2012







(unaudited)







Cash and cash equivalents

$

10,664

$

12,921





Long-term debt









Bank indebtedness


460,000


277,000





Senior notes


2,010,000


1,560,000






$

2,470,000

$

1,837,000














Reconciliation of Operating Cash Flow and Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities (unaudited)

All amounts expressed in US$000's





The following table reconciles net cash provided by operating activities with operating cash flow as derived from the company's financial information.












For the Year Ended


For the Quarter Ended



December 31,


December 31,



2013


2012


2013


2012










Net cash provided by operating activities

$

472,638

$

654,825

$

145,567

$

174,750

Net changes in operating assets and liabilities and other non-cash items*


33,675


58,291


(15,148)


(25,453)










Net cash provided by operating activities before changes in operating assets and liabilities

$

506,313

$

713,116

$

130,419

$

149,297


Ultra Petroleum Corp.

Hedging Summary

February 20, 2014












The company has the following hedge positions in place to mitigate its commodity price exposure:












NYMEX


Q1 2014


Q2 2014


Q3 2014


Q4 2014


Total 2014

Natural Gas Swaps:











Volume (Bcf)


10.4


43.7


44.2


20.1


118.4

$/MMbtu


$ 4.39


$ 3.90


$ 3.90


$ 4.01


$ 3.96

$/Mcf


$ 4.65


$ 4.13


$ 4.13


$ 4.26


$ 4.20












Crude Oil Swaps:











Volume (MBbls)


268.5


318.5


322.0


322.0


1,231.0

$/Bbl


$ 92.41


$ 92.34


$ 92.34


$ 92.34


$ 92.36












Note: Amounts may not total due to rounding.




The company reports its financial results in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"). However, management believes certain non-GAAP performance measures may provide users of this financial information with additional meaningful comparisons between current results and the results of the company's peers and of prior periods.


(1) Operating Cash Flow is defined as Net cash provided by operating activities before changes in operating assets and liabilities and other non-cash items. Management believes that the non-GAAP measure of operating cash flow is useful as an indicator of an oil and gas exploration and production company's ability to internally fund exploration and development activities and to service or incur additional debt. The company has also included this information because changes in operating assets and liabilities relate to the timing of cash receipts and disbursements which the company may not control and may not relate to the period in which the operating activities occurred. Operating cash flow should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for net cash provided by operating activities prepared in accordance with GAAP.


Management presents the following measures because (i) they are consistent with the manner in which the company's performance is measured relative to the performance of its peers, (ii) these measures are more comparable to earnings estimates provided by securities analysts, and (iii) charges or amounts excluded cannot be reasonably estimated and guidance provided by the company excludes information regarding these types of items. These adjusted amounts are not a measure of financial performance under GAAP.


(2) Adjusted Net Income is defined as Net income (loss) adjusted to exclude certain charges or amounts in order to provide users of this financial information with additional meaningful comparisons between current results and the results of prior periods.


(3) Adjusted Net Income Margin is defined as Adjusted Net Income divided by the sum of Oil and natural gas sales plus Realized gain (loss) on commodity derivatives.


(4) Adjusted Operating Cash Flow Margin is defined as Operating Cash Flow divided by the sum of Oil and natural gas sales plus Realized gain (loss) on commodity derivatives.


*Other non-cash items include (reduction in) excess tax benefit from stock based compensation and other.

About Ultra Petroleum

Ultra Petroleum Corp. is an independent energy company engaged in domestic natural gas and crude oil exploration, development and production. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trades under the ticker symbol "UPL". Additional information on the company is available at www.ultrapetroleum.com.

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The opinions, forecasts, projections or other statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. Although the company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, the company can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Certain risks and uncertainties inherent in the company's business are set forth in its filings with the SEC, particularly in the section entitled "Risk Factors" included in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recent fiscal year and from time to time in other filings made by the company with the SEC. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, increased competition, the timing and extent of changes in prices for oil and gas, particularly in Wyoming and Pennsylvania, the timing and extent of the company's success in discovering, developing, producing and estimating reserves, the effects of weather and government regulation, and the availability of oil field personnel, services, drilling rigs and other equipment. Full details regarding the selected financial information provided above will be available in the company's report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013.

SOURCE Ultra Petroleum Corp.

For further information:

Kelly L. Whitley, Director, Investor Relations, Phone: 281-582-6602, Email: kwhitley@ultrapetroleum.com; Julie E. Danvers, Manager, Investor Relations, Phone: 281-582-6604, Email: jdanvers@ultrapetroleum.com

http://www.ultrapetroleum.com

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20020226/DATU029LOGO