What: Antero Resources Corp.'s (NYSE:AR) stock was pretty weak in July as it slid more than 18% during the month. While weak oil and gas prices fueled some of the decline, it wasn't the only thing putting downward pressure on the stock. Also contributing to the decline was the company's less-than-stellar operations update and its second-quarter earnings report.
So what: In mid-July, Antero Resources released an operations update for the second quarter and put out preliminary production growth guidance for 2016. While its operations during the second quarter were strong as production soared 67% year over year, its guidance was a bit weak. This weakness is being driven by the fact that it is deferring some well completions, which will lead to a slight decrease in production during the third quarter. These wells are instead being pushed into 2016, and will therefore be used to jump-start growth.
However, Antero Resources is still only guiding for production growth of 25% to 30% in 2016, which is a slower rate than the 40%-plus growth it had been guiding for 2015. Furthermore, while it is growing off a larger base, investors didn't like the fact that the growth rate is slowing while the company is also intending to spend a bit more money next year on capex.
Also not helping matters were its second-quarter financial results, which were released toward the end of the month. Investors really weren't enthused by the fact that the report simply met estimates as its earnings were in line. That's a subpar result as many other energy companies were able to beat estimates due to cost reductions. While Antero Resources' costs did fall as production expenses declined 9% year over year and general and administrative costs plummeted 28%, that simply wasn't enough.
Now what: With the energy industry in a slump, companies really need to deliver unexpectedly strong financial results and even stronger guidance to impress investors. Because Antero Resources failed on both accounts, it gave investors little reason to hold on.