Woodside Petroleum (ASX: WPL) has reported its half-year results for FY20. We take a look at the company’s headline figures, key commentary and guidance outlook, plus review the share market’s reaction across the trading day.
Earlier this morning, Woodside reported a half-year net loss after tax of US$4.1 billion and underlying NPAT of US$303 million, well down on US$419 million in 1H FY19.
Total production for the half was 50.1 MMboe, its highest-ever first-half result. Operating revenue came in at US$1.9 billion.
Directors have declared an interim dividend of US$0.26 per share, which corresponds with an 80% payout ratio for underlying NPAT. Shares in Woodside Petroleum will trade ex-dividend on the 24th August, 2020.
Trading throughout the course of the day was more or less in line with the stock’s average daily volume over the last year. By the session’s close, WPL shares had eased 0.9% to $20.40 per share.
Despite its record production result for the half, the company was hit by various macro challenges. As mentioned earlier, statutory profits came in at a significant loss, with the result attributable to sizeable impairments and provisions mostly arising from lower oil price assumptions out to 2025. The non-cash impact of these impairment losses and onerous contract provisions were US$4.37 billion.
Some of the challenges faced by the company during the first half included Tropical Cyclone Damien, COVID-19, oil prices sinking by as much as 80% since the start of the year and LNG spot prices hitting historical lows. As a result, Woodside pared total expenditure for the year by 50% and delayed final investment decisions (FIDs) on its Scarborough, Pluto Train 2 and Browse developments. The company did, however, achieve FID and began execution of other works in Senegal, as well as Pyxis Hub, Julimar-Brunello and the North West Shelf (NWS) Greater Western Flank.
In light of the record production result, positive free cash flow was reported at US$264 million for the half. LNG production performance included 98% reliability at the NWS Project and Pluto LNG. Meanwhile, the company was able to achieve unit production costs of US$4.5/boe across its portfolio, versus US$4.6/boe in H1 FY19, with gas unit production costs sitting at US$3.8/boe.
The addition of $600 million in debt funding helped bolster the company’s capital, while liquidity rose 43% against the prior corresponding period to US$7.6 billion. Management have pointed to Woodside’s balance sheet and disciplined approach to capital management as reasons why the company declared an interim dividend of US 26 cents per share.
Production guidance for FY20 remains unchanged from that previously reported to the market (in the range of 97-103 MMboe)/
The breakdown of this guidance is also unchanged, and can be summarised as follows:
- LNG: 74-77 MMboe
- Liquids: 18-20 MMboe
- Australian domestic gas: 4-5 MMboe
- LPG and other domestic gas: 1 MMboe
Investment expenditure for 2020 has been reduced to approximately US$1.5 to US$1.7 billion, spread across the entire business and Woodside’s various projects.
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