Entering text into the input field will update the search result below

Whiting Petroleum Showing Some Signs Of Improved Profitability Prospects, Given Higher Oil Price

Zoltan Ban profile picture
Zoltan Ban


  • Whiting reported very deep operating losses for the whole of 2017, despite the higher oil price compared with 2016.
  • Looking at its own EUR estimates and well production curves, one would have expected a different financial outcome, as well as better prospects for the future.
  • I prefer to look at CAPEX as a percentage of expected revenue as a way to asses the approximate comparative acreage quality currently being drilled, therefore profitability prospects.
  • Looking at CAPEX to revenue prospects for 2018, Whiting may have a chance to report some positive quarters, potentially giving its stock a boost.

While the shale story has once again turned towards the return of spectacular production gains when it comes to the financial performance of individual companies, the story is not necessarily as bright as one would be led to believe. I covered recently Sanchez Energy (SN), which I temporarily owned and sold in late December, as I correctly figured that it would be a last chance to sell at break even, before the stock continues its down-trend, even as oil prices continue to improve. I also covered Chesapeake (CHK), which is stuck with a lot of debt and few viable ways to get rid of it, in the absence of oil and gas prices going much higher. With most such struggling shale producers, it is mostly about the acreage they are operating in, which is less than ideal, compared with those industry peers which are actually able to break even or even turn a profit. Whiting Petroleum (WLL) is definitely not looking like it can thrive or even survive in the longer term in current oil price conditions, given its past financial performance. All the stories of shale resilience seem very misplaced when looking at the operating results of companies such as this one. There are however some signs that at the very least for a little while, it may be able to put in some more positive quarterly results thanks in large part to higher oil prices.

Size of loss in 2017 staggering

For the whole of 2017, Whiting reported an operating loss of $1.24 billion on revenues of $1.48 billion. These results do not look much better compared with 2016, even though the average price of oil in 2017 was $51/barrel as opposed to $43/barrel in 2016. Even for the fourth quarter when the average price of WTI oil was around $55/barrel, it reported a significant loss on its

This article was written by

Zoltan Ban profile picture
My name is Zoltan Ban,  I have a BA in economics. I am a personal investor with over a decade and a half of active trading experience.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

Recommended For You

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.