(Recasts lead, adds Q2 forecast, details on volumes, analyst comment, share movement)
By Debroop Roy
May 3 (Reuters) - Noble Energy Inc on Friday reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on lower oil and gas prices and forecast second-quarter production below analysts’ estimates.
Noble, which operates in the DJ basin in Colarado, Permian’s Delaware basin and Texas’ Eagle Ford in the United States, said realized prices fell 13 percent to $53.46 per barrel of crude and condensate from its onshore operations in the United States, its largest.
U.S crude price, despite a recovery from the fourth quarter last year, hovered around 13 percent lower than a year-ago period, hitting almost all major U.S. producers.
Adding to its woes, Noble also forecast current-quarter sales volumes of 332,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) to 347,000 boepd, missing the consensus estimate of 348,430 boepd, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Noble’s first quarter sales volumes of 337,000 boepd beat analysts’ estimates by nearly 2 percent, mainly driven by better-than-expected gas production.
Sales volumes at its DJ basin oilfields, among a handful of shale plays in the country for producers looking to expand beyond the capacity-strained top Permian, rose 21 percent in the first quarter, while sales at the Delaware basin rose 30 percent.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Scott Hanold called the results a “mixed bag”.
“We think there was a bit of a high bar for NBL coming into Q1 19 earnings, especially with NBL shares outperforming YTD, so we would not be surprised to see some weakness.”
Adjusted net loss was $44 million, or 9 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of $172 million, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected the company to report a loss of 6 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Revenue fell 18 percent to $1.05 billion.
Shares of the company were down 1.4 percent in premarket trading. Noble’s shares have risen 36 percent so far this year, compared with a 13.2 percent rise in the S&P 500 Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Index (Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)