Swift: 2006 Was a Banner Year
Swift Energy Co. on Thursday announced record net income for 2006 of $161.6 million, or $5.38 per diluted share, a 40% increase compared to $115.8 million of net income for 2005, or $3.95 per diluted share. For the fourth quarter of 2006, Swift Energy had net income of $35.3 million, or $1.16 per diluted share, an increase of 2% compared to $34.7 million (also $1.16 per diluted share) earned in the same quarter in 2005.
Swift Energy achieved record production in 2006, which increased approximately 18% to 70.2 billion cubic feet equivalent ("Bcfe"), with 56.7 Bcfe produced domestically and 13.5 Bcfe produced in New Zealand. This level of production compares to 2005 production of 59.6 Bcfe (43.0 Bcfe domestic and 16.5 Bcfe New Zealand). Production for the fourth quarter 2006 totaled 18.6 Bcfe, an increase of 27% compared to production in the fourth quarter 2005. Domestic production increased 42% to 15.6 Bcfe compared to the hurricane affected fourth quarter 2005, while New Zealand production of 3.0 Bcfe declined 19% from the same quarter in 2005.
Adjusted cash flow from operations (cash flow before working capital changes, a non-GAAP measure - see page 7 for reconciliation to the GAAP measure) for 2006 increased 50% to $432.1 million, or $14.39 per diluted share, compared to $287.7 million, or $9.82 per diluted share, for the full year 2005. Fourth quarter 2006 adjusted cash flow from operations of $116.4 million, or $3.83 per diluted share, increased 38% compared to $84.4 million, or $2.83 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2005. Swift Energy also reported record total revenues of $615.4 million for the full year 2006, an increase of 45% over 2005 revenue levels. Increased revenues, net income and cash flow in 2006 are primarily the result of our increased levels of production and higher commodity prices.
Terry Swift, CEO of Swift Energy, commented, "We are proud of our employees and their achievements in 2006. Production and reserves growth, along with an exceptional oil and gas pricing environment, enabled the Company to set new financial and operational records in 2006. We expect to increase production 7% to 10% during 2007 and anticipate proved reserves growth of 4% to 6% during the year. A significant portion of our 2007 investment capital will be focused on expanding our South Louisiana potential in several areas, including increasing the capacity of our Lake Washington facilities in preparation for additional growth from this field in 2008."
Revenues and Expenses
Swift Energy reported record total revenues of $615.4 million for 2006, an increase of 45% over 2005 revenue levels. These annual increases were primarily attributable to increased production and higher commodity prices. Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2006 increased 30% to $158.6 million from the $122.5 million of revenues generated in the fourth quarter of 2005. Included in other revenues for the fourth quarter of 2006 is $7.7 million, representing the business interruption portion of the hurricane insurance settlement receipt, as previously disclosed.
Lease operating expenses ("LOE"), before severance and ad valorem taxes, for the full year 2006 averaged $0.89 per Mcfe, compared to $0.79 per Mcfe in 2005, and severance and ad valorem taxes increased to $0.93 per Mcfe compared to $0.71 in 2005. LOE also averaged $0.89 per thousand cubic feet equivalent ("Mcfe") in the fourth quarter of 2006, which increased from $0.85 per Mcfe for these expenses in the fourth quarter of 2005. Severance and ad valorem taxes increased to $0.87 per Mcfe from $0.86 per Mcfe in the same comparable fourth quarter periods due to our increased weighting of crude oil production leading to higher severance tax rates in Louisiana.
Depreciation, depletion and amortization ("DD&A") expenses increased for the full year 2006 to $2.41 per Mcfe from $1.80 per Mcfe in 2005. DD&A expenses increased to $2.64 per Mcfe in the fourth quarter of 2006 from $2.09 per Mcfe in the comparable period in 2005, primarily as a result of increased estimates for future development costs, changes in reserve estimates and additional capital expenditures during the year. For the full year 2006, net general and administrative increased to $0.45 per Mcfe from $0.37 per Mcfe in 2005. Net general and administrative decreased to $0.43 per Mcfe during the fourth quarter 2006 from $0.44 per Mcfe in the same period in 2005. This decrease in expenses on a per-unit basis was primarily attributable to production increases, despite additional salaries and benefits associated with our expanded workforce and the additional expensing of certain stock compensation. For the full year 2006, interest expense averaged $0.34 per Mcfe for 2006 compared to $0.42 per Mcfe in 2005. Interest expense decreased to $0.33 per Mcfe in the fourth quarter 2006 compared to $0.41 per Mcfe for the same period in 2005. Swift Energy's fourth quarter provision for income taxes includes a non-recurring increase of $3.2 million, the result of a valuation allowance recorded on a deferred tax asset, related to a capital loss carry forward.
Production & Pricing
Swift Energy's fourth quarter 2006 production was 18.6 Bcfe, an increase of 27% from the hurricane affected 2005 fourth quarter production of 14.7 Bcfe. Sequentially, production decreased 1% from the 18.8 Bcfe produced in the third quarter of 2006 (a 3% sequential increase in domestic production, offset by a 16% decrease in New Zealand production). Fourth quarter 2006 production included 15.6 Bcfe of domestic production, a 42% increase, and 3.0 Bcfe produced in New Zealand, a 19% decrease, in both cases when compared to production in the same period in 2005. Comparative fourth quarter domestic production benefited slightly from the recent acquisitions of 5 fields in South Louisiana and increased despite reductions as a result of production downtime due to an amine unit disruption and previously reported third-party pipeline maintenance in the Lake Washington Field. New Zealand production decreased as a result of natural declines in natural gas production.
Aggregate realized global average prices increased for the full year 2006 to $8.57 from $7.11 in 2005. In the fourth quarter of 2006, Swift Energy realized an aggregate global average price of $7.98 per Mcfe, a decrease of 4% from fourth quarter 2005 price levels, which averaged $8.34 per Mcfe. Domestically, the Company realized an increased aggregate average price for the full year 2006 of $9.48 per Mcfe from $8.27 per Mcfe in 2005. Fourth Quarter 2006 domestic aggregate average prices fell to $8.61 per Mcfe, a decrease of 12% compared to the $9.77 per Mcfe received in the fourth quarter of 2005. In New Zealand, the Company realized an increased aggregate average price for the full year 2006 of $4.74 from $4.10 per Mcfe in 2005, while fourth quarter 2006 New Zealand aggregate average prices rose to $4.65 per Mcfe, an increase of 15% over the $4.04 per Mcfe realized in the same period of 2005.
Swift Energy's average full year 2006 domestic crude oil prices increased to $64.28 per barrel from $53.45 per barrel in 2005. During fourth quarter 2006, domestic crude oil prices decreased slightly to $57.82 per barrel from $58.36 per barrel realized in the same period of 2005. Swift Energy's average full year 2006 domestic natural gas prices decreased to $6.44 per thousand cubic feet ("Mcf") from $7.40 per Mcf in 2005. Meanwhile, domestic natural gas prices averaged $6.20 per Mcf in the fourth quarter of 2006, a decrease of 43% from the $10.89 per Mcf received during the same period in 2005. Prices for natural gas liquids ("NGL") domestically rose to $38.70 per barrel for the full year 2006 from $34.00 per barrel in 2005, while fourth quarter 2006 NGL prices averaged $32.82 per barrel, a 14% decrease over fourth quarter 2005 NGL prices of $37.99.
In New Zealand, the sales price of Swift Energy's crude oil increased to $67.06 per barrel for the full year 2006 from $55.57 per barrel in 2005. Fourth quarter 2006 average crude oil prices in New Zealand were $59.02 per barrel, a 2% increase over prices for the same period in 2005. Also in New Zealand for the full year 2006, the Company received a lower natural gas price of $2.99 per Mcf from $3.09 per Mcf in 2005. Fourth quarter 2006 average natural gas prices received in New Zealand were $3.24 per Mcf under its current contracts, a 6% increase over the $3.05 per Mcf received in the same 2005 period. Our New Zealand NGL contracts yielded an average price of $20.22 per barrel for the full year 2006, up from $18.84 per barrel in 2005. Fourth quarter 2006 New Zealand NGL contracts yielded an average price of $26.17 per barrel compared to $18.65 in 2005. New Zealand natural gas and NGL price contracts are remitted in New Zealand dollars, which had strengthened during the fourth quarter 2006 against the U.S. dollar, compared to the same period in 2005.
In 2006, Swift Energy drilled and completed 45 of 63 wells for a 71% success rate. Domestically, Swift Energy completed 42 of 49 development wells (86% success rate) and was unsuccessful on 5 shallow exploration wells in the AWP Olmos area. In New Zealand, the Company completed 3 of 4 development wells and was unsuccessful on 5 exploration wells in 2006. For the fourth quarter 2006, Swift Energy completed 10 of 15 wells. Of these wells, 13 were drilled domestically, of which 3 of the 4 development wells drilled in the Lake Washington area were completed and 2 of the 4 development wells drilled in the Bay de Chene area were completed. Both properties are located in Swift Energy's South Louisiana region. Additionally, 3 development wells were completed in the AWP Olmos area in the South Texas region, and in the South Bearhead Creek area located in our Toledo Bend region, 2 development wells were also completed. In New Zealand, the Company was unsuccessful on 2 exploration wells in the fourth quarter 2006.
Swift Energy's Lake Washington average production rate for the fourth quarter of 2006 was 18,400 net barrels of oil equivalent per day ("Boe/d"), a 30% increase over production in the same period in 2005. This production increase was primarily attributable to the addition of production from the ongoing development at the Newport discovery. In 2006, the Company drilled 4 operated wells in the Newport area, all of which were completed. There were also three non-operated wells drilled at the Newport area, two of which were completed. The Bondi discovery well, located approximately five miles to the northwest of the field's facility infrastructure, is expected to be on production in the first quarter of 2007.
Swift Energy has initiated plans to expand the productive capacity of its Lake Washington facilities by approximately 10,000 Boe/d. This expansion project is expected to be fully commissioned in the first half of 2008 and cost approximately $50 million. Additionally, Swift Energy has recently been experiencing production downtime with its CM3 platform amine unit in the Lake Washington Field throughout the first month of 2007 and also experienced a minor temporary interruption in barged crude oil sales due to navigational delays. The amine unit has now been repaired and production is back to normal levels at the CM3 platform. Production guidance has been adjusted to reflect these issues.
Swift Energy has 5 barge drilling rigs and 1 land rig currently operating in its fields. Three barge rigs are operating in the Lake Washington area and 2 barge rigs are operating at Bay de Chene. One land rig is currently working in the South Bearhead Creek area.
Price Risk Management
Swift Energy has continued to enter into price risk management transactions and reports the following current positions. The Company has purchased floors that cover approximately 20% to 25% of its currently expected first quarter domestic natural gas production at an average NYMEX strike price of $6.88 per MMBtu. Additionally, natural gas floors have been purchased covering approximately 22% to 27% of the estimated second quarter domestic natural gas production. These second quarter floors have an average NYMEX strike price of $6.43 per MMBtu.
2007 Company Guidance
Swift Energy currently plans to spend $350 million to $400 million in total capital expenditures in 2007, net of minor non-core dispositions and excluding any property acquisitions. Approximately 90% of the budget is targeted for domestic activities, primarily in its South Louisiana region, with about 10% planned for activities in its New Zealand region. For 2007, Swift Energy is targeting total production to increase 7% to 10% and proved reserves to increase 4% to 6% over respective 2006 levels.
2007 Analyst/Investor Meeting
Swift Energy will host a meeting with financial analysts, portfolio managers and investors on March 14, 2007 in the Houston, Texas area. At this meeting, Swift Energy's management will provide an annual briefing that will include an update on certain 2006 results as well as covering operational and financial plans and guidance for full year 2007. An audio webcast accompanied with the slides of the presentation will be available on the Company's website www.swiftenergy.com by clicking on the event hyperlink commencing on March 14, 2007.
The meeting begins at 8:00 a.m. CDT on Thursday, March 14, 2007 and is being held at the Marriott Woodlands Waterway Hotel and Convention Center on Lake Robbins Drive in The Woodlands, Texas. Anyone interested in attending this meeting should contact the Company's Investor Relation Department at 1-800-777-2412.
Swift Energy Company, founded in 1979 and headquartered in Houston, engages in developing, exploring, acquiring and operating oil and gas properties, with a focus on onshore and inland waters oil and natural gas reserves in Louisiana and Texas and oil and natural gas reserves in New Zealand. Over the Company's 27-year history, Swift Energy has delivered long-term growth of its proved oil and gas reserves and production, with per share compounded growth rates of 18% and 30%, respectively.