Shares of Sanchez Energy (NYSE:SN) spiked on Friday and were up more than 10% at 2:15 p.m. EDT. Fueling the move was the Eagle Ford shale driller's third-quarter results, which were strong despite the impacts Hurricane Harvey and other storms had on its operations during the quarter.
Sanchez Energy reported that production averaged 73,783 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE/D) during the third quarter. That was 43% above where it was during the year-ago period, and at the high end of the company's guidance range. That high-end result came despite unprecedented levels of rainfall and flooding during the quarter due to Hurricane Harvey and subsequent storms. This included one that dumped as much as 18 inches of rain in late September, causing Sanchez to shut in an average of 6,000 BOE/D for five days at the end of the month.
Despite the impact from these storms, Sanchez noted that its production hit a record 80,000 BOE/D early in the fourth quarter, which puts it on pace to meet the low end of its full-year guidance range. Sanchez also reiterated its plan to spend $75 million to $100 million less than the $550 million it invested in new wells this year, as it works its way toward cash flow neutrality, which it's on pace to hit by 2019 at current oil prices.
Sanchez Energy has had an up-and-down year after spending big to bulk up on its Eagle Ford position, only to have oil prices decline and deflate investor enthusiasm for that deal. To shore up its financial position, the company has had to slow down a bit and sell assets. That said, Sanchez has one of the largest acreage positions in the play, which could fuel tremendous value for investors who are willing to take on the risk that the driller can achieve its goals and turn the Eagle Ford into a top-flight growth engine.