Pioneer Natural Resources Reports First Quarter 2021 Financial and Operating Results

Post to Reddit
Do NOT follow this link!

Pioneer Natural Resources Company (NYSE:PXD) ("Pioneer" or "the Company") today reported financial and operating results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021. Pioneer reported a first quarter net loss attributable to common stockholders of $70 million, or $0.33 per diluted share. These results include the effects of noncash mark-to-market adjustments and certain other unusual items. Excluding these items, non-GAAP adjusted income for the first quarter was $396 million, or $1.77 per diluted share. Cash flow from operating activities for the first quarter was $377 million.


  • Delivered first quarter free cash flow1 of $369 million
  • Averaged first quarter oil production of 281 thousand barrels of oil per day (MBOPD), above the top end of guidance
  • Averaged first quarter production of 474 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOEPD), above the top end of guidance
  • Closed the highly accretive acquisition of DoublePoint Energy (DoublePoint) on May 4th

CEO Scott D. Sheffield stated, "Pioneer delivered an excellent quarter, successfully integrating Parsley's assets, while navigating the substantial impacts of winter storm Uri that occurred in February. Our drilling, completions and operations teams continue to exceed expectations, driving a capital and operationally efficient program focused on free cash flow generation.

"In early April, we announced the highly accretive acquisition of DoublePoint, which comprises approximately 97,000 highly contiguous net acres in the core of the Midland Basin. This acquisition adds over 1,200 tier one locations that generate strong returns and are equally competitive with Pioneer's legacy inventory. Given the hand-in-glove fit of DoublePoint's acreage with ours, we expect to achieve synergies of approximately $175 million annually, leading to double-digit free cash flow per share and variable dividend per share accretion.

"With an incremental $5 billion in free cash flow1 expected to be generated from DoublePoint assets through 2026, Pioneer currently anticipates delivering approximately $23 billion of free cash flow1 during the same period at strip pricing. We expect to return approximately 80% of this free cash flow through our base and variable dividend structure2, strengthening our value proposition to shareholders."

Financial Highlights

Pioneer maintains a strong balance sheet, with unrestricted cash on hand at the end of the first quarter of $668 million and net debt of $5.5 billion. The Company had $2.7 billion of liquidity as of March 31, 2021, comprised of $668 million of unrestricted cash and a $2.0 billion unsecured credit facility (undrawn as of March 31, 2021).

During the first quarter, the Company's drilling, completion and facilities capital expenditures totaled $591 million. The Company's total capital expenditures3, including water infrastructure, totaled $605 million.

Cash flow from operating activities during the first quarter was $377 million, leading to free cash flow1 of $369 million for the quarter, excluding cash transaction costs of $172 million related to the Parsley Energy, Inc. (Parsley) acquisition.

In addition to increasing Pioneer's quarterly cash dividend to $0.56 per share, the Company initiated a long-term variable dividend policy in 2021, which is expected to increase the Company's return of capital to shareholders. Consistent with Pioneer's long-term investment framework, the Company expects to annually distribute up to 75% of the prior year's annual free cash flow, after the payment of the base dividend2, assuming the Company's leverage metrics remain low. Pioneer expects to begin to pay the quarterly variable dividend distributions in 2022. For 2022, the Company expects to distribute up to 50% of the 2021 free cash flow, after the payment of base dividends, assuming the average 2021 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price is greater than $42 per barrel.

Pioneer continues to capture the expected annual synergies from the acquisition of Parsley and expects to capture an additional $175 million from the acquisition of DoublePoint, bringing the combined annual synergy total to $525 million, with a PV-10 of greater than $3 billion over ten years. The Company is progressing on these synergies, with $100 million of annual interest savings and $100 million of general and administrative (G&A) savings related to the Parsley acquisition being fully realized. The interest and G&A savings related to DoublePoint are expected to be realized during the second quarter, and the operational synergies related to both transactions are expected to progress throughout the year and be fully realized by year-end 2021.

Financial Results

For the first quarter of 2021, the average realized price for oil was $56.71 per barrel. The average realized price for natural gas liquids (NGLs) was $25.90 per barrel, and the average realized price for gas was $3.04 per thousand cubic feet. These prices exclude the effects of derivatives.

Production costs, including taxes, averaged $8.54 per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE). Depreciation, depletion and amortization (DD&A) expense averaged $11.11 per BOE. Exploration and abandonment costs were $19 million, or $11 million excluding unusual items. G&A expense was $68 million. Interest expense was $39 million. The net cash flow impact related to purchases and sales of oil and gas, including firm transportation, was a loss of $15 million. Other expense was $304 million, or $22 million excluding unusual items4.

Operations Update

During the first quarter, Pioneer continued to deliver strong operational efficiency gains that enabled the Company to place 106 horizontal wells on production. Drilling operations averaged approximately 1,250 drilled feet per day and completion operations averaged approximately 2,000 completed feet per day during the first quarter, an increase of 9% and 8%, respectively, when compared to 2020 averages Improvements in drilling and completions operations continue to benefit the Company's overall capital efficiency.

2021 Outlook

The Company expects its 2021 drilling, completions and facilities capital budget to range between $2.95 billion to $3.25 billion, inclusive of an additional $530 million to $570 million related to the DoublePoint acquisition. An additional $100 million and $50 million is budgeted for integration expenses related to the acquisition of Parsley and DoublePoint, respectively, resulting in a total 2021 capital budget3 range of $3.1 billion to $3.4 billion. The Company expects its capital program to be fully funded from forecasted 2021 cash flow5 of approximately $5.9 billion.

During 2021, the Company plans to operate an average of 22 to 24 horizontal drilling rigs in the Permian Basin, including a one-rig average program in the Delaware Basin and a three-rig average program in the southern Midland Basin joint venture area. Pioneer plans to reduce the operated rigs on DoublePoint acreage from 7 rigs in May to 5 rigs by the end of the year, or by approximately 30%. The 2021 capital program is expected to place 470 to 510 wells on production, which includes the addition of approximately 90 wells on the acreage acquired in the DoublePoint transaction.

Pioneer expects 2021 oil production of 351 to 366 MBOPD and total production of 605 to 631 MBOEPD, which includes current production from DoublePoint of approximately 92 MBOEPD and approximately 100 MBOEPD forecasted during the second half of 2021.

Pioneer has redefined its investment framework to prioritize free cash flow generation and return of capital to shareholders. This capital allocation strategy is intended to create long-term value by optimizing the reinvestment of cash flow to accelerate the Company's free cash flow profile. At current strip pricing, the Company expects its reinvestment rate to be between 50% to 60%, generating increased free cash flow. Pioneer is targeting a 10% total annual return, inclusive of a strong and growing base dividend, a variable dividend and high-return oil growth. The Company believes this differentiated strategy positions Pioneer to be competitive across industries.

Pioneer continues to maintain oil derivative coverage in order to protect the balance sheet, providing the Company with operational and financial flexibility. The Company's financial and derivative mark-to-market results and open derivatives positions are outlined in the attached schedules.

Second Quarter 2021 Guidance

Second quarter 2021 oil production is forecasted to average between 352 to 367 MBOPD and total production is expected to average between 606 to 632 MBOEPD. Production costs are expected to average $6.75 per BOE to $8.25 per BOE. DD&A expense is expected to average $10.75 per BOE to $12.75 per BOE. Total exploration and abandonment expense is forecasted to be $10 million to $20 million. G&A expense is expected to be $67 million to $77 million. Interest expense is expected to be $43 million to $48 million. Other expense is forecasted to be $15 million to $30 million. Accretion of discount on asset retirement obligations is expected to be $2 million to $5 million. The cash flow impact related to purchases and sales of oil and gas, including firm transportation contracts and similar marketing derivatives is expected to be a loss of $40 million to $70 million, based on forward oil price estimates for the quarter. The Company's effective income tax rate is expected to be between 21% to 25%. Cash income taxes are expected to be $5 million to $10 million, principally related to state income taxes.

Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)

Pioneer views sustainability as a multidisciplinary focus that balances economic growth, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. The Company emphasizes developing natural resources in a manner that protects surrounding communities and preserves the environment.

Consistent with Pioneer's sustainable practices, the Company has incorporated greenhouse gas (GHG) and methane emission intensity reduction goals into its ESG strategy, with goals to reduce the Company's GHG emissions intensity by 25% and methane emissions intensity by 40% by 2030, inclusive of the assets Pioneer acquired from Parsley. These emission intensity reduction targets are aligned with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures criteria for target setting.

In addition, the Company is building on its leadership position related to minimizing flaring and has formally adopted a goal to maintain the Company's flaring intensity to less than 1% of natural gas produced. Pioneer also plans to end routine flaring, as defined by the World Bank, by 2030 with an aspiration to reach this goal by 2025.

Socially, Pioneer maintains a proactive safety culture, supports a diverse workforce and inspires teamwork to drive innovation. The Board of Directors' Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees provide director-level oversight of these activities. These committees help to promote a culture of continuous improvement in the Company's diversity and inclusion and safety and environmental practices. Consistent with the high priority placed on HSE and ESG, the Board of Directors has increased the executive annual incentive compensation weighting for these metrics from 10% to 20% beginning in 2021.

In addition to the increased weighting towards HSE and ESG metrics, Pioneer's executive incentive compensation continues to be aligned with shareholder interests. Beginning in 2021, return on capital employed (ROCE) has been included as an incentive compensation metric, along with cash return on capital invested (CROCI), which was added in 2020. These metrics have a combined weighting of 20%, while production and reserves goals previously included as incentive compensation metrics have been removed.

Pioneer has amended executive equity compensation as well, with the S&P 500 index being added into the total stockholder return (TSR) peer group for performance awards beginning in 2021, and for the second consecutive year the long-term equity compensation for the Company's Chief Executive Officer will be 100% in performance awards, with 100% of such awards at risk based on performance relative to the TSR peer group. These updates to Pioneer's executive incentive and equity compensation programs demonstrate the Company's continuing commitment to aligning total executive compensation with the interests of our shareholders.

For more details, see Pioneer's 2020 Sustainability Report at

Earnings Conference Call

On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. Central Time, Pioneer will discuss its financial and operating results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, with an accompanying presentation. Instructions for listening to the call and viewing the accompanying presentation are shown below.

Select "Investors," then "Earnings & Webcasts" to listen to the discussion, view the presentation and see other related material.

Telephone: Dial (800) 353-6461 and enter confirmation code 9438510 five minutes before the call.

A replay of the webcast will be archived on Pioneer's website. This replay will be available through June 1, 2021. Click here to register for the call-in audio replay and you will receive the dial-in information.

Pioneer is a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with operations in the United States. For more information, visit

Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this news release are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements and the business prospects of Pioneer are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause Pioneer's actual results in future periods to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, volatility of commodity prices; product supply and demand; the impact of a widespread outbreak of an illness, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on global and U.S. economic activity; competition; the ability to obtain environmental and other permits and the timing thereof; the effect of future regulatory or legislative actions on Pioneer or the industry in which it operates, including the risk of new restrictions with respect to development activities; the ability to obtain approvals from third parties and negotiate agreements with third parties on mutually acceptable terms; potential liability resulting from pending or future litigation; the costs and results of drilling and operations; availability of equipment, services, resources and personnel required to perform the Company's drilling and operating activities; access to and availability of transportation, processing, fractionation, refining, storage and export facilities; Pioneer's ability to replace reserves, implement its business plans or complete its development activities as scheduled; the risk that the Company will not be able to successfully integrate the business of Double Eagle III Midco 1 LLC or fully or timely realize the expected synergies and accretion metrics from the Parsley Energy, Inc. and Double Eagle III Midco 1 LLC acquisitions; access to and cost of capital; the financial strength of counterparties to Pioneer's credit facility, investment instruments and derivative contracts and purchasers of Pioneer's oil, natural gas liquids and gas production; uncertainties about estimates of reserves, identification of drilling locations and the ability to add proved reserves in the future; the assumptions underlying forecasts, including forecasts of production, cash flow, well costs, capital expenditures, rates of return, expenses and cash flow from purchases and sales of oil and gas, net of firm transportation commitments; sources of funding; tax rates; quality of technical data; environmental and weather risks, including the possible impacts of climate change; cybersecurity risks; the risks associated with the ownership and operation of the Company's water services business and acts of war or terrorism. These and other risks are described in Pioneer's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, and other filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, the Company may be subject to currently unforeseen risks that may have a materially adverse effect on it. Accordingly, no assurances can be given that the actual events and results will not be materially different than the anticipated results described in the forward-looking statements. Pioneer undertakes no duty to publicly update these statements except as required by law.

Footnote 1: Free cash flow is a non-GAAP financial measure. As used by the Company, free cash flow is defined as net cash provided by operating activities, adjusted for changes in operating assets and liabilities and Parsley cash transaction costs, less capital expenditures. See the supplemental schedules for a reconciliation of first quarter 2021 free cash flow to the comparable GAAP number. Forecasted free cash flow numbers are non-GAAP financial measures. Due to their forward-looking nature, management cannot reliably predict certain of the necessary components of the most directly comparable forward-looking GAAP measures, such as working capital changes. Accordingly, Pioneer is unable to present a quantitative reconciliation of such forward-looking non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable forward-looking GAAP financial measures. Amounts excluded from this non-GAAP measure in future periods could be significant.

Footnote 2: The declaration and payment of future dividends is at the discretion of the Company's Board of Directors and will depend on, among other things, the Company's earnings, financial condition, capital requirements, level of indebtedness, statutory and contractual restrictions applying to the payment of dividends and other considerations that the Board of Directors deems relevant.

Footnote 3: Excludes acquisitions, asset retirement obligations, capitalized interest, geological and geophysical G&A, information technology and corporate facilities.

Footnote 4: Excludes unusual expenses of (i) $197 million associated with the Parsley acquisition, which includes $121 million of employee-related costs and $76 million of transaction fees (ii) $5 million of losses related to the early extinguishment of certain of the Parsley senior notes and (iii) $80 million of losses related to the Company's fulfillment of certain firm gas commitments during winter storm Uri in February 2021.

Footnote 5: Forecasted cash flow numbers are non-GAAP financial measures. The 2021 estimated cash flow number represents first quarter 2021 cash flow (before working capital changes and Parsley cash transaction costs) plus April through December forecasted cash flow (before working capital changes) based on strip pricing and utilizing the midpoint of production guidance. Due to their forward-looking nature, management cannot reliably predict certain of the necessary components of the most directly comparable forward-looking GAAP measures, such as working capital changes. Accordingly, Pioneer is unable to present a quantitative reconciliation of such forward-looking non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable forward-looking GAAP financial measures. Amounts excluded from this non-GAAP measure in future periods could be significant.



(in millions)

March 31, 2021

December 31, 2020


Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents





Restricted cash



Accounts receivable, net



Income taxes receivable









Investment in affiliate






Total current assets



Oil and gas properties, successful efforts method of accounting



Accumulated depletion, depreciation and amortization



Total oil and gas properties, net



Other property and equipment, net



Operating lease right of use assets









Other assets








Current liabilities:

Accounts payable





Interest payable



Income taxes payable



Current portion of long-term debt






Operating leases