Range Resources earnings dip on lower prices, hedge expense

Fort Worth-based Range Resources, one of the largest natural gas producers in Appalachia’s Marcellus Shale, said it earned $28.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, down 47 percent from a year earlier.

After adjusting for unusual items, the company said, it earned $68 million, or 42 cents a share, which was above Wall Street’s consensus estimate of 38 cents. It released its financial results after the close of trading; shares (ticker: RRC) slipped 63 cents Tuesday to $86.90.

Range said fourth-quarter revenue declined 7 percent to $428.1 million, including a $59 million expense on its hedges.

Production in the quarter was up 20 percent from a year earlier, to the equivalent of just over 1 billion cubic feet a day, a record for the company. But the average price for its natural gas, gas liquids and crude oil was down 6 percent, to $4.82 per 1,000 cubic feet of gas including the effect of hedges.

Range said it spent $1.35 billion in 2013 on land, exploration, drilling and gathering systems, and expects $1.52 billion in capital spending in 2014. About 87 percent of that will be spent in the Marcellus, and the company expects to boost production 20 to 25 percent over 2013.