KUCHING: Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd’s (Hibiscus) first half of the financial year 2019 (1HFY19) results came within expectations, driven by contributions from its North Sabah asset acquisition, analysts observed.
According to the research team at Public Investment Bank Bhd (PublicInvest Research), Hibiscus’ revenue of RM525.1 million was higher by more than 100 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), which was mainly attributable to additional contribution from the North Sabah asset acquisition that was completed in March last year.
In tandem with higher revenue, the research team highlighted that the group reported core net profit of RM148.7 million (more than 100 per cent y-o-y) during the period against RM33.2 million in 1HFY18.
The performance was also supported by higher production efficiency from the Anasuria Cluster asset with average uptime of 91 per cent in 1HFY19 versus 63 per cent in 1HFY18, it added.
“We remain positive on Hibiscus’ long-term earnings outlook given its ongoing initiatives to constantly increase production levels in enhancing shareholder value.
“With oil prices currently stable at above US$60 per barrel, we reckon it will provide further upside to the group’s earnings,” the research team opined.
Meanwhile, PublicInvest Research explained that the Anasuria field reported revenue growth of 83.9 per cent y-o-y to RM242.2 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of RM179.1 million from RM67.4 million in 1HFY18.
“The results were attributed to higher production efficiency with average uptime of 91 per cent as compared to 63 per cent in 1HFY18,” it said, noting that the field was operated at a lower average uptime during the 1HFY18 period which was mainly due to a planned shutdown of the Anasuria FPSO for 31 days, from mid-September.
Aside from that, it said, about 797,914 bbls of crude oil were sold in hreet cargoes in 1HFY19 at an average realised oil price of US$68.45 per bbl.
“For the 2QFY19 itself, 274,015 bbls of crude oil were sold at US$58.08 per bbl. The asset achieved average uptime of 94 per cent in 2Q and average daily oil equivalent production rate of 4,416 boe/day.
“This represents the highest production rate achieved since the acquisition in March 2016, largely driven by the contribution from the GUA-P2 side track well which commenced in Sept 2018,” it said.
As for its North Sabah asset, PublicInvest Research explained that in 1HFY19, it recorded an EBITDA of RM138.4 million on the back of RM280.1 million revenue.
“The asset sold 888,910 bbls of crude oil in 3 cargoes including 293,624 in 2QFY19, at an average realised oil price of US$76.15 per bbl.
“OPEX for 2QFY19 amounted to US$22.74 per bbl was higher mainly due to planned maintenance activities performed at the offshore platforms during the quarter,” it said.
It also noted that Hibiscus’ average OPEX for 1HFY19 was relatively stable at US$16.65 per bbl.
All in, PublicInvest Research affirmed its ‘outperform’ rating on the stock.