What: For most of July, Range Resources Corp.'s (NYSE:RRC)stock treaded water. While it was weak all month along with the rest of the sector as oil turned over, it really took a nose dive at the end of the month. That was when the company reported second-quarter results, which missed estimates and left investors less than impressed.
So what: Range Resources only earned a penny per share during the quarter, which was three pennies less than analysts were expecting. That was despite the fact that production set a record high as it increased 24% year-over-year, while unit costs declined by 11% from the year-ago quarter. Those cost reductions just weren't enough for investors, especially given what other producers were able to capture during the quarter.
The other issue investors had with the report is the fact that Range Resources is keeping both its capex budget and its production flat with its previous guidance. While Range's capex budget of $870 million is $700 million lower than the previous year, and is expected to fuel 20% production growth in 2015, that's not enough for investors given what its competitors are doing. That's because most of its competitors are increasing their production guidance while keeping capex flat, meaning they can drill more wells with the same amount of money.
Now what: Investors really wanted to see Range improve its costs even more so it could either increase production guidance or cut capex. That said, just because it didn't announce anything this quarter doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't upside ahead. However, this is something investors need to keep an eye on to ensure it isn't falling behind its peers.