Antero Resources 3Q15: Bucks the Trend, $237M in the Black!

I love quarterly reportsAntero Resources, perhaps the largest driller completely focused on the Marcellus/Utica (by acreage), is also one of the few drillers that separates their operational updates from financial updates. Two weeks ago Antero published their third quarter 2015 operational update–the “good news” if you will (see Antero 3Q15 Operational Update: Production Up 39%, Gets $3.99/Mcf). There was, justifiably, plenty to crow about in their operational update. With yesterday’s financial update, this is normally where you might expect to the see “the bad news.” So far every driller we’ve covered lost money in 3Q15. But not, it seems, Antero! They made money in 3Q15. If we’re reading the financials correctly, it looks to us like Antero’s net revenue was $237 million in 3Q15. While net revenue is down slightly from 3Q14, Antero stayed in the black, which is no small feat. How did they do it? Some of it may be accounting maneuvers–selling their water business to their midstream subsidiary for $794 million. However, it appears Antero’s ace in the hole was their ability to hedge and get more money for their gas than others (an average of $3.99/Mcf). Antero’s production increased dramatically in 3Q15 over the previous year–up 39%. And they got more money for their gas. And they didn’t spend as much money in 3Q15, scaling back on their drilling budget. Combine it all together and it’s big news indeed that Antero did well financially in 3Q15. Perhaps the only dark cloud (a seriously dark cloud) is that the company continues to swim in debt. Antero’s debt increased from $4 billion to $4.5 billion in 3Q15 (the company’s stock is only worth $5.7 billion)…

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