Rice Energy 1Q17 – $35M Loss, Production Soars 86%, Laser Focus

On Wednesday Rice Energy released its first quarter 2017 update, and yesterday the company held an earnings call to discuss it. On the down side, Rice continued to lose money during the quarter. Rice lost $21 million in 1Q16, and the loss widened to $35 million in 1Q17. But it seems to us the rest of the news they shared was pretty darned good. Production soared–from 61.4 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) in 1Q16, to 114.5 Bcfe in 1Q17–an 86% increase year over year (vast majority of that was natural gas). Rice’s lateral length now measures over 9,000 feet on average. In 1Q17 Rice added 2,000 Marcellus acres and 2,000 Utica acres to its portfolio, and the company says it’s on track to add a total of 15,000 acres this year. During 1Q17, Rice brought 15 new Marcellus wells online, and 10 new Utica wells. Rice CEO Dan Rice, on the earnings call, said (our words) while everyone is zigging, they like to zag. While everyone else is trying to buy up acreage all over Hades half acre, Rice prefers to concentrate and narrow its focus on truly prime locations that will produce stellar wells. Dan also said the company is in the catbird seat when it comes to new pipelines coming online over the next several years. We’ll explain. Below are excerpts from the earnings call, the 1Q17 update (with financials), and the latest PowerPoint slide deck…

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