SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Greg Ness, Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente

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Whitecap Resources Inc. announces fourth quarter and year end 2013 results

CALGARY, March 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Whitecap Resources Inc. ("Whitecap" or the "Company") (TSX: WCP) is pleased to announce that we have filed on SEDAR our audited financial statements and related Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") for the year ended December 31, 2013. Selected financial and operational information is outlined below and should be read in conjunction with Whitecap's audited financial statements and related MD&A and Annual Information Form ("AIF") which will be available for review at www.sedar.com and on our website at www.wcap.ca.

FINANCIAL AND OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS

          Three months ended
      December 31
      Twelve months ended
 December 31
Financial ($000s except per share amounts)   2013 2012 2013 2012
Petroleum and natural gas sales   122,185 93,896 467,095 305,770
Funds from operations(1)   66,640 63,588 278,801 193,885
  Basic ($/share)   0.39 0.50 1.86 1.71
  Diluted ($/share)   0.39 0.49 1.84 1.68
Net income (loss)   (1,469) 7,579 40,428 52,471
  Basic ($/share)   (0.01) 0.06 0.27 0.46
  Diluted ($/share)   (0.01) 0.06 0.27 0.45
Dividends paid or declared   26,847 - 92,978 -
       Per share   0.16 - 0.61 -
Basic payout ratio (%)(1)   40 - 33 -
Development capital expenditures   21,988 67,563 189,994 245,726
Property acquisitions (net)   53,817 (4,977) 371,820 3,842
Corporate acquisitions   - - 66,450 645,622
Net debt outstanding(1)   401,177 343,994 401,177 343,994
Operating          
Average daily production          
  Crude oil (bbls/d)   12,585 10,520 11,870 8,612
  NGLs (bbls/d)   2,159 1,274 1,713 998
  Natural gas (Mcf/d)   43,902 31,341 37,117 26,650
  Total (boe/d)   22,061 17,018 19,769 14,052
Average realized price          
  Crude oil ($/bbl)   83.32 81.31 90.09 83.22
  NGLs ($/bbl)   53.57 46.01 49.42 48.76
  Natural gas ($/Mcf)   3.74 3.37 3.36 2.58
  Total ($/boe)   60.20 59.97 64.73 59.46
Netback ($/boe)          
       Petroleum and natural gas sales   60.20 59.97 64.73 59.46
       Realized hedging gain (loss)   (2.32) 4.32 (1.63) 2.49
       Royalties   (8.46) (7.04) (8.28) (6.82)
       Operating expenses   (10.05) (9.95) (9.96) (10.97)
       Transportation expenses   (2.49) (2.38) (2.40) (2.36)
Operating netbacks(1)   36.88 44.92 42.46 41.80
       General & administrative   (1.61) (1.78) (1.67) (1.80)
       Interest & financing   (2.44) (2.53) (2.15) (2.31)
Cash netbacks(1)   32.83 40.61 38.64 37.69
           
Share information (000's)   2013 2012 2013 2012
Common shares outstanding, end of period   172,292 127,900 172,292 127,900
Weighted average basic shares outstanding   169,629 127,303 150,189 113,102
Weighted average diluted shares outstanding   171,533 129,806 151,914 115,484

Note:
(1)  Funds from operations, payout ratio, net debt, operating netbacks and cash netbacks do not have a standardized meaning under GAAP. Refer to non-GAAP measures in this press release.
   

MESSAGE TO OUR SHAREHOLDERS

We are very pleased to report our operational and financial results for 2013 which have exceeded our initial projections. Our transition to a dividend-growth company from a pure growth entity has been successful and has benefited our shareholders providing them with a total shareholder return of 55% in 2013. As a result of our team's abilities to deliver strong operational results supplemented with value adding acquisitions, we were able to exceed our objectives of providing our shareholders with growth of 3% to 5% on a fully diluted share basis and an initial monthly dividend of $0.05/share ($0.60/share annualized) all within internally generated cash flow. We are happy to report that on a fully diluted basis, cash flow per share increased 10% to $1.84/share, production per share increased 7% to 130 boe per million shares and we were able to increase our monthly dividend by 13% to $0.0567/share ($0.68/share annualized) from the initial $0.05/share ($0.60/share annualized). We were able to achieve this with a total payout ratio of 102% demonstrating our team's commitment to financial discipline.

The 2013 capital program was 100% successful with the drilling of 100 (73.3 net) wells including 50 (37.1 net) targeting the Viking in west central Saskatchewan, 41 (28.8 net) targeting the Cardium in west central Alberta, 7 (5.4 net) wells targeting both the Montney and Dunvegan in the Peace River Arch area of northwest Alberta and 2 (2.0 net) wells in southwest Saskatchewan for a total 2013 capital program of $190 million.

In addition, we acquired strategic assets which were complementary to our existing core areas for a total purchase price of $473.9 million, increasing our light oil drilling inventory 147% to 2,103 low risk development locations at the end of 2013 from 850 locations at the start of the year for future cash flow and production per share growth. Whitecap was also able to monetize $35.6 million of non-core assets to bring further focus to our concentrated light oil asset base and at the same time improve our financial flexibility.

Our total capital program provided strong returns for our shareholders increasing our proved reserves by 55% to 94.6 MMboe (72% oil and NGLs) at a cost of $23.36/boe and proved plus probable reserves by 51% to 132.5 MMboe (71% oil and NGLs) at a cost of $18.31/boe resulting in a recycle ratio of 2.3x. We were also able to increase the net present value of our proved plus probable before tax reserves discounted at 10% to $13.33/share from $10.31/share in 2012, an increase of 29%.

We highlight the following accomplishments in 2013:

  • Achieved record average annual production of 19,769 (69% oil and NGLs) compared to 14,052 boe/d (68% oil and NGLs) in 2012, an increase of 41% on an absolute basis and 7% on a fully diluted share basis.

  • Generated annual funds from operations ("FFO") of $278.8 million ($1.84 per fully diluted share) compared to $193.9 million ($1.68 per fully diluted share) in 2012, an increase of 44% on an absolute basis and 10% on a fully diluted share basis.

  • Increased proved plus probable reserves by 51% to 132.5 MMboe (71% oil and NGLs) and proved reserves by 55% to 94.6 MMboe (72% oil and NGLs). On a fully diluted share basis increased proved plus probable reserves by 16% and proved reserves by 19%.

  • Achieved finding and development ("F&D") costs of $17.21 per proved plus probable boe and finding, development and acquisition ("FD&A") costs of $18.31 per proved plus probable boe, including changes in future development costs. This results in an F&D recycle ratio of 2.5x and an FD&A recycle ratio of 2.3x based on our 2013 operating netback of $42.46 per boe.

  • Invested $190.0 million in capital expenditures in 2013 which includes the drilling of 100 (73.3 net) wells with a 100% success rate with exceptionally strong capital efficiencies. In addition, we successfully closed and integrated approximately $473.9 million of complementary acquisitions during 2013, which were within our core light oil plays.

  • Increased the predictability of our cash flows for dividend payments and capital reinvestment through an active hedging program.
    • Our forecasted crude oil production (net of royalties) is currently 79% hedged at an average floor price of WTI C$95.83/bbl for 2014, 53% at an average floor price of $95.96/bbl in 2015 and 6% at an average floor price of $95.05 in 2016.

    • Our forecasted natural gas production (net of royalties) is currently 67% hedged at an average floor price of C$3.94/Mcf for 2014, 35% at an average floor price of C$3.95/Mcf 2015 and 10% at an average floor price of C$3.70/Mcf 2016.
  • Increased our bank line to $600 million which includes $200 million of 5 year term debt financing at an attractive long-term fixed interest rate.

  • Declared dividends of $93.0 million ($0.61 per share) in 2013 resulting in a basic payout ratio of 33% and a total payout ratio of 102% in Whitecap's first year as a dividend-growth company.

OPERATIONS UPDATE

The first quarter of 2014 has been a very active and successful one for Whitecap. To date we have drilled 75 (64.0 net) wells with nine drilling rigs operating. We expect to drill and complete ("D&C") an additional 4 (3.9 net) wells for an estimated total of 79 (67.9 net) wells for the quarter with all wells expected to be on production prior to or during the spring break-up period. We are on track to meet our first quarter and annual production forecasts.

The following highlights our success to date in each of our core areas:

West Central Saskatchewan (Dodsland/Lucky Hills) - Viking Light Oil

Whitecap had a very active quarter in west central Saskatchewan, drilling 49 (43.5 net) wells with 4 drilling rigs and recently achieved a production milestone in the area of over 10,000 boe/d. Whitecap continues to optimize well costs in the area since entering the Viking play in February 2012 with current D&C costs on standard length wells of $720,000 per well, a 6% decrease from our 2013 average D&C costs. In addition to our drilling program we have also focused on improving our operating efficiencies with the installation of several facility enhancements including the startup of a 2,800 bopd sales oil pipeline which will reduce our oil transportation and operating costs by an estimated $0.50/boe in the area.

In addition to these cost reduction initiatives Whitecap has also been focused on enhancing our type curve economics through the application of extended reach horizontal ("ERH") wells in the area. In the first quarter we have drilled 3 (2.8 net) ERH wells and results, although still in the early stages, look very promising.

West Central Alberta (Greater Pembina/Garrington) - Cardium Light Oil

To date in the first quarter of 2014 Whitecap has drilled 16 (11.8 net) Cardium horizontal wells of which 3 (2.5 net) were ERH wells. Results from the first quarter ERH wells are preliminary but initial indications are that they will continue to provide economics that are better than our standard length wells and exceed our current ERH type curve economics. The first three ERH wells drilled in Garrington in 2013 continue to perform above expectations with an average IP(90) of 481 boe/d or 115% above our standard horizontal length well type curve.

We currently have 5 (4.5 net) additional ERH wells planned for the remainder of the year. We will be reviewing our entire corporate program for the remainder of the year once we have completed the evaluation of our first quarter drilling program and are actively identifying and pursuing opportunities to apply this technology across our land base.

Deep Basin Alberta (Karr/Elmworth) - Dunvegan Light Oil

In the first quarter of 2014 Whitecap will have drilled 5 (3.9 net) Dunvegan horizontal wells of which 1 (1.0 net) was an ERH well. Current production from our Deep Basin region is over 2,100 boe/d (78% oil and NGLs) with 2 (1.9 net) wells yet to come on production.

Results from the first quarter program are preliminary but initial indications are that they will provide economics that are significantly better than our current Dunvegan type curve economics. For the Dunvegan oil wells that have significant production history, their IP(90) is on average 16% higher than our current type curve.

We have an additional 2 - 3 wells planned for this area during the remainder of the year.

OUTLOOK

For 2014 we are focused on further improving the strength and sustainability of our dividend-growth model and  providing superior financial returns for our shareholders. Our strategy remains focused on the cost effective development and optimization of our assets and realizing the highest cash flow netback on our production. We remain financially disciplined in our approach while we strive to deliver meaningful dividends and per share growth in cash flow, production and reserves for our shareholders.

As we experienced in 2013, we believe the current economic environment is supportive of strong crude oil prices for the foreseeable future. Light oil-weighted energy producers in western Canada will continue to benefit from strong commodity prices and the options for transporting western Canadian crude oil to markets are being expanded through pipeline alterations and expansions as well as with the rapidly expanding use of rail for transportation to refining and export markets. The decline in the value of the Canadian dollar along with the improving natural gas price environment will also have a positive impact on cash flow.

On March 17, 2014 we announced an acquisition of certain strategic light oil assets focused primarily in Whitecap's Pembina Cardium / West Central core area, as well as at Boundary Lake in northeast BC, which is located just northwest of its core Valhalla area. Total net consideration was $692.7 million after giving effect to the disposition of certain Nisku natural gas production and related facilities located in the Pembina area to Keyera Corp. for $113 million and deducting estimated purchase price adjustments of $49.4 million at closing (the "Acquisition"). The Acquisition will be funded by a $500 million bought deal equity financing and bank debt. The financing is expected to close on or before April 8, 2014 and the Acquisition on or before May 1, 2014.

In addition, Whitecap's Board of Directors has approved a 10% increase to our monthly dividend from $0.0567 to $0.0625 per share, subject to the closing of the Acquisition and based on the closing date of early May 2014, the dividend increase is expected to start with our May 2014 dividend payable in June 2014.

I would like to thank our valued employees for their hard work and dedication over this past year, our Board of Directors for their guidance, and our shareholders for your support of our company. We are excited about the future potential of Whitecap and look forward to reporting to you on our progress in the future. Thank you!

Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements and Other Advisories

This press release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws relating to the Company's plans and other aspects of our anticipated future operations, management focus, objectives, strategies, financial, operating and production results and business opportunities, including our 2014 cash flow. Forward-looking information typically uses words such as "anticipate", "believe", "project", "expect", "goal", "plan", "intend" or similar words suggesting future outcomes, statements that actions, events or conditions "may", "would", "could" or "will" be taken or occur in the future. In addition, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, this press release contains forward-looking information regarding the Acquisition, the financing and the benefits to be acquired therefrom as well as the expected increase to the dividend. This press release also contains forward-looking information relating to the estimated net purchase price of the Acquisition, plans and expectations with respect to the disposition of certain assets to Keyera Corp., the anticipated closing dates of the financing and the Acquisition. This press release also contains forward-looking information relating to our ongoing business plan, strategy and focus, future dividends and dividend policy, industry conditions, commodity prices and differentials, access to markets, capital spending, the source of funding for our capital program and our potential growth.

The forward-looking information is based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by our management, including expectations and assumptions concerning prevailing commodity prices, exchange rates, interest rates, applicable royalty rates and tax laws; future production rates and estimates of operating costs; performance of existing and future wells; reserve and resource volumes; anticipated timing and results of capital expenditures; the success obtained in drilling new wells; the sufficiency of budgeted capital expenditures in carrying out planned activities; the timing, location and extent of future drilling operations; the state of the economy and the exploration and production business; results of operations; performance; business prospects and opportunities; the availability and cost of financing, labour and services; the impact of increasing competition; ability to efficiently integrate assets and employees acquired through acquisitions, ability to market oil and natural gas successfully; our ability to access capital; and obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals, including the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange and the satisfaction of the other conditions to closing the Acquisition, the financing and the other transactions referred to in this press release and on the timeframes contemplated.

Although we believe that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward-looking information is based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking information because Whitecap can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward-looking information addresses future events and conditions, by its very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. The Acquisition, financing and other transactions referred to in this press release may not be completed on the anticipated time frames or at all and our actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking information and, accordingly, no assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking information will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits that we will derive therefrom. Management has included the above summary of assumptions and risks related to forward-looking information provided in this press release in order to provide securityholders with a more complete perspective on our future operations and such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.

Reserves referenced in this press release are based on McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd.'s reserves evaluation for Whitecap effective December 31, 2013. It should not be assumed that the present worth of estimated future cash flow referenced in this press release represents the fair market value of the reserves. There is no assurance that the forecast prices and costs assumptions will be attained and variances could be material. The recovery and reserve estimates of Whitecap's crude oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas reserves provided herein are estimates only and there is no guarantee that the estimated reserves will be recovered. Actual crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids reserves may be greater than or less than the estimates provided herein.

Finding and development costs including acquisitions and dispositions have been referenced in this press release. While NI 51-101 requires that the effects of acquisitions and dispositions be excluded, FD&A costs have been presented because acquisitions and dispositions can have a significant impact on the Company's ongoing reserve replacement costs and excluding these amounts could result in an inaccurate portrayal of the Company's cost structure.

Readers are cautioned that the foregoing lists of factors are not exhaustive. Additional information on these and other factors that could affect our operations or financial results are included in reports on file with applicable securities regulatory authorities and may be accessed through the SEDAR website (www.sedar.com).

These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and we disclaim any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.

Non-GAAP Measures

This press release includes non-GAAP measures as further described herein. These non-GAAP measures do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS" or, alternatively, "GAAP") and therefore may not be comparable with the calculation of similar measures by other companies.

"Funds from operations" represents cash flow from operating activities adjusted for changes in non-cash working capital, transaction costs, settlement of decommissioning liabilities and termination fees received. Management considers funds from operations and funds from operations per share to be key measures as they demonstrate Whitecap's ability to generate the cash necessary to pay dividends, repay debt, fund settlement of decommissioning liabilities and make capital investments. Management believes that by excluding the temporary impact of changes in non-cash operating working capital, funds from operations provides a useful measure of Whitecap's ability to generate cash that is not subject to short-term movements in non-cash operating working capital. Refer to the "Funds from Operations, Basic payout ratio and Dividends" section of this report for the reconciliation of cash flow from operating activities to funds from operations.

The following table reconciles cash flow from operating activities (a GAAP measure) to funds from operations (a non-GAAP measure):

      Three months ended
December 31
    Twelve months ended
December 31
($000s)     2013           2012     2013     2012
Cash flow from operating activities     79,274     83,688     279,859     173,535
Changes in non-cash working capital     (13,102)     (21,695)     (1,107)     14,737
Settlement of decommissioning liabilities     25     540     484     1,197
Transaction costs     443     1,055     765     4,416
Termination fee received     -     -     (1,200)     -
Funds from operations     66,640     63,588     278,801     193,885
Cash dividends declared     26,847     -     92,978           -
Basic payout ratio     40%     -     33%           -
                         

"Operating netbacks" are determined by deducting royalties, production expenses and transportation and selling expenses from oil and gas revenue. Operating netbacks are per boe measures used in operational and capital allocation decisions.

"Cash netbacks" are determined by deducting cash general and administrative and interest expense from Operating netbacks.

"Cash dividends per share" represents cash dividends declared per share by Whitecap.

"Basic payout ratio" is calculated as cash dividends declared divided by funds from operations.

"Total payout ratio" is calculated as development capital plus cash dividends declared divided by funds from operations.

"Net debt" is calculated as bank debt plus working capital deficiency adjusted for risk management contracts and the flow-through share liability. Net debt is used by management to analyze the financial position and leverage of Whitecap.

The following table reconciles bank debt (a GAAP measure) to net debt (a non-GAAP measure):

($000s)     December 31
2013
    December 31
2012
Bank debt     382,899     310,700
Current liabilities     113,773     104,903
Current assets     (66,795)     (82,272)
Risk management contracts     (28,700)     10,663
Net Debt     401,177     343,994
             

"Boe" means barrel of oil equivalent on the basis of 6 Mcf of natural gas to 1 bbl of oil. Boes may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 6 Mcf: 1 bbl is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. In addition, given that the value ratio based on the current price of crude oil as compared to natural gas is significantly different from the energy equivalency of 6: 1, utilizing a conversion on a 6:1 basis may be misleading as an indication of value.

SOURCE Whitecap Resources Inc.

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