What happened

Shares of Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL) slumped more than 12% by 3:45 p.m. EDT on Thursday. Driving down the stock of the driller, which focuses on the Bakken shale, were its lackluster first-quarter results.

So what

Whiting Petroleum reported an adjusted loss of $14.2 million, or $0.16 per share, during the first quarter. That was well below expectations as analysts thought that the company would post an adjusted profit of $0.20 per share. The oil company produced an average of 128,670 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE/D) during the quarter, which was flat compared with the fourth quarter.

A oil pump at sunset with snow on the ground.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company delivered solid results in the Bakken as output averaged 112,215 BOE/D, which was up 10% year over year and 2% from the fourth quarter. Production from its Redtail field in the DJ Basin, however, slumped 16% from the fourth quarter to an average of 14,925 BOE/D due to severe winter weather.

The company expects to complete more wells as the weather warms up. That should keep it on track with its guidance to produce between 46.7 million and 47.7 million BOE for the full year. Meanwhile, the company anticipates delivering that output while sticking to its $820 million capital budget. That sets Whiting Petroleum up to generate strong cash flow during the second half of the year as long as oil prices cooperate.

Now what

Whiting Petroleum battled the weather during the first quarter, which weighed on production and earnings. But with conditions improving, the company expects its results to follow over the next couple of quarters. Because of that, shares could bounce back this summer, especially if oil prices remain red-hot.

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