What: Range Resources Corp (NYSE:RRC) investors didn't have a whole lot to celebrate in June as the stock sank just over 10% for the month. Fueling the stock's slump during the month was a record fine the company received, which was topped off by negative analyst comments about the company's cash flow as a result of weak NGL prices.
So what: Pennsylvania's environmental regulator hit Range Resources with a record $8.9 million fine for failing to fix a Marcellus shale well in the state. The state says the well has been leaking methane and other pollutants into nearby water wells and an adjacent stream since 2011. The company was told to fix defective cement on the well in 2013, but the company contends that its well isn't what's causing the problem.
In addition to being hit with that record fine, the company was downgraded by an analyst from Barclays over weak NGL pricing. Barclays sees weaker than expected NGL prices taking up to a 5% chunk out of Range Resources' cash flow next year if the weakness doesn't abate. It's a situation that's making worse the fact that natural gas prices remain very weak, which is also cutting into Range Resources' cash flow and putting pressure on its stock valuation.
Now what: While both issues weighed on Range Resources' stock price last month, neither appear to be a long-term threat to the company. The Marcellus shale well can be fixed, and while the fine will hurt, it's not a devastating blow to the company by any means. Meanwhile, NGL prices might be down, but there are signs on the horizon that prices could improve over the next year, as additional NGL export capacity and industrial demand is expected to come online, which should push NGL prices higher.