Freehold Royalties Ltd. Announces 2013 First Quarter Results

Freehold Royalties Ltd. Announces 2013 First Quarter Results 
CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/15/13 -- Freehold Royalties
Ltd. (Freehold) (TSX:FRU) announces first quarter results for the
period ended March 31, 2013. 
Results at a Glance 


 
                                                Three Months Ended March 31 
                                                ----------------------------
FINANCIAL ($000s, except as noted)                   2013     2012   Change 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gross revenue                                      40,637   44,366       -8%
Net income                                         10,493   13,060      -20%
  Per share, basic and diluted ($)                   0.16     0.21      -24%
Funds from operations (1)                          23,817   25,613       -7%
  Per share ($) (1)                                  0.36     0.41      -12%
Capital expenditures                               14,914   13,245       13%
Property and royalty acquisitions (2)                   -   49,919     -100%
Dividends declared                                 27,897   26,766        4%
  Per share ($) (3)                                  0.42     0.42        0%
Cash taxes paid (4)                                28,831        -        - 
Long-term debt, period end                         47,000   18,000      161%
Shares outstanding, period end (000s)              66,522   64,993        2%
Average shares outstanding (000s) (5)              66,375   62,571        6%
OPERATING                                                                   
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average daily production (boe/d) (6)                9,067    8,733        4%
Average price realizations ($/boe) (6)              49.09    54.80      -10%
Operating netback ($/boe) (1) (6)                   43.32    49.48      -12%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
(1) See Additional GAAP Measures and Non-GAAP Financial Measures. 
(2) Net of adjustments. 
(3) Based on the number of shares issued and outstanding at each
record date. 
(4) Comprised of $22.6 million for the 2012 tax year and $6.2 million
for the 2013 tax year (instalm
ents). 
(5) Weighted average number of shares outstanding during the period,
basic.  
(6) See Conversion of Natural Gas to Barrels of Oil Equivalent (boe). 
May Dividend Announcement 
The Board of Directors has declared the May dividend of $0.14 per
share, which will be paid on June 17, 2013 to shareholders of record
on May 31, 2013. This dividend is designated as an eligible dividend
for Canadian income tax purposes. Including the June 17 payment, our
12-month trailing dividends total $1.68 per share. Our monthly
dividend has remained steady, at $0.14 per share since January 2010. 
Executive Appointment 
We are pleased to announce that Mr. Scott Hadley will join Freehold
on June 3, 2013, as Vice-President, Exploration, taking over from Mr.
J. Frank George who will be appointed Vice-President, Special
Projects. Mr. Hadley is a Professional Geologist with 25 years of
experience working primarily in the Western Canada and Michigan
Basins. He joins Freehold from Santonia Energy Inc. (previously
Fairborne Energy Ltd.), where he has held positions of increasing
responsibility since 2002, most recently as Vice-President
Exploration.  
2013 First Quarter Highlights 


 
--  Average production for the first quarter rose 4%, while average price
    realizations fell 10%, resulting in an 8% decline in gross revenue
    compared to the first quarter of 2012. 
--  Production increases were mainly the result of last year's drilling
    activities and acquisitions. Oil and natural gas liquids (NGL)
    production increased 8% in the quarter, while natural gas production
    declined 4%. Natural gas production accounted for 35% of boe production
    in the quarter but only 10% of gross revenue as a result of weak prices.
--  Production for the quarter was positively affected by 450 boe per day
    (Q1 2012 - 550 boe per day) of prior period adjustments, about half of
    which were due to our ongoing audit program. 
--  Royalty production remained level compared to the first quarter last
    year (accounting for 71% of production), while working interest
    production increased 14% as a result of high activity levels,
    particularly on our mineral title lands in southeast Saskatchewan.
    However, working interest production was down 18% from the fourth
    quarter of 2012, as the preceding quarter included positive prior period
    adjustments as well as significant flush production from newly completed
    horizontal wells. 
--  Over the past two years, the composition of our oil production has
    become lighter, largely as a result of our exposure to the Bakken and
    Cardium light oil plays. Our production mix for the first quarter of
    2013 was approximately 65% liquids (34% light and medium oil, 26% heavy
    oil, and 5% NGL) and 35% natural gas. 
--  Funds from operations of $23.8 million was 7% lower than the first
    quarter of 2012, largely due to lower realized oil prices. The effect of
    general and administrative and share based compensation charges on funds
    from operations is typically high in the first quarter as approximately
    50% of our annual budget for these items occurs in the quarter. 
--  Net income of $10.5 million was 20% lower than the first quarter last
    year, mainly as a result of lower realized prices. Non-cash charges
    included in net income amounted to $15.5 million (Q1 2012 - $16.5
    million). 
--  Dividends for the first quarter of 2013 totalled $0.42 per share,
    unchanged from the prior year. 
--  Average participation in our DRIP was 16% (Q1 2012 - 26%), allowing us
    to retain $4.4 million (Q1 2012 - $6.8 million) in dividend payments by
    issuing shares from treasury. 
--  Net capital expenditures on our working interest properties totalled
    $14.9 million, the majority of which was invested on our mineral title
    lands in in southeast Saskatchewan. 
--  Long-term debt was $47 million at March 31, 2013, up from $18 million at
    December 31, 2012. 
--  During the quarter, we paid $28.8 million in corporate taxes ($22.6
    million for estimated 2012 taxes and $6.2 million in instalments for
    estimated 2013 taxes). The large cash outlay for income taxes in 2013 is
    a unique event and one that we have prepared for and have the financial
    capacity to handle. Over the past two years, we have retained excess
    cash and have paid down debt in anticipation of the 2013 tax bill. We
    expect corporate taxes will normalize in 2014, at approximately 20% of
    pre-tax funds from operations.

 
Royalty Drilling 
Although royalty drilling was down 32% (on an equivalent net basis)
from the first quarter last year, well licence activity was up, which
is a positive indicator of the ongoing and future development
potential on our royalty lands. As at March 31, 2013, there were 68
(5.2 equivalent net) licensed drilling locations on our royalty
lands, compared with 48 (2.9 equivalent net) locations at the end of
March last year. To date in 2013, royalty drilling has focused
primarily on recognized oil trends within the Alberta and Williston
basins, including the Lloydminster heavy oil area, the Bakken
resource play in southeast Saskatchewan, and the Cardium light oil
play in west central Alberta. Almost 90% of the equivalent net wells
drilled in the first three months of 2013 were oil, similar to the
full year 2012. Both vertical and horizontal wells were drilled on
our royalty lands, with horizontal drilling accounting for 68% of the
activity, on par with last year.  
Working Interest Activity 
We participated in the drilling of 29 (8.8 net) wells with a 100%
success rate. In southeast Saskatchewan, we participated in the
drilling of one (0.4 net) vertical and three (1.2 net) horizontal
Frobisher oil wells, and five (3.4 net) Bakken horizontal oil wells.
In the Lloydminster area, we participated in three (1.5 net)
horizontal Cummings heavy oil wells, two (1.2 net) vertical Sparky
heavy oil wells and 12 (0.6 net) vertical wells in the Wildmere
Lloydminster "A" Pool Unit, where we also have a royalty interest. In
Alberta, we drilled two (0.2 net) horizontal Viking oil wells at
Redwater and one (0.3 net) horizontal Cardium oil well at Minnehik
Buck Lake.  
This drilling activity had little effect on production levels in the
first quarter but is expected to add to our production base as the
wells are completed and tied in over the next two quarters. 
Half of our 2013 capital budget was spent in the first quarter,
roughly 70% of which was on our mineral title lands in southeast
Saskatchewan. In total, we invested $11.9 million on drilling and
completions and $3.0 million on new well facilities and other. 
Capital investment in the second quarter of 2013 is expected to total
$5 million. As winter drilling extended well into April, second
quarter capital will be allocated roughly equally to drilling,
facilities, and tie ins. 
Guidance update 
The table below summarizes our key operating assumptions for 2013,
updated to reflect actual results for the first quarter and our
current expectations for the remainder of the year. The changes
reflect the following factors: 


 
--  As a result of higher than anticipated royalty production in the first
    quarter, we have increased our 2013 production forecast by 200 boe per
    day. 
--  Commodity prices were adjusted to reflect actual prices for the first
    three months of 2013 (as reported by CAPP) and our expectations for the
    remainder of the year. Average WTI and WCS oil prices were reduced by
    $2.00 per barrel, and the average AECO natural gas price was increased
    by $0.40 per Mcf. 
--  Under our current production and pricing assumptions (and excluding any
    potential acquisitions), we anticipate being able to reduce long-term
    debt to $44 million by the end of this year.
 
                                                              Guidance Dated
                                                  --------------------------
2013 Annual Average                                May 15, 2013 Mar. 7, 2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Daily production                      boe/d               8,700        8,500
WTI oil price                         US$/bbl             93.00        95.00
Western Canada Select (WCS)           Cdn$/bbl            69.00        71.00
AECO natural gas price                Cdn$/Mcf             3.50         3.10
Exchange rate                         Cdn$/US$             0.98         1.00
Operating costs                       $/boe                5.00         5.00
General and administrative costs (2)  $/boe                2.60         2.60
Capital expenditures                  $ millions             30           30
Dividends paid in shares (DRIP) (3)   $ millions             28           28
Long-term debt at year end            $ millions             44           48
Cash taxes payable in 2013 for 2012                                         
 tax year (4)                         $ millions             23           23
Cash taxes payable for 2013 tax year                                        
 (instalments) (4)                    $ millions             25           25
Weighted average shares outstanding   millions               67           67
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
(1) A sensitivity analysis of the potential impact of key variables
on funds from operations per share is provided on page 5 of our 2012
Annual MD&A. 
(2) Excludes share based and other compensation.  
(3) Assumes an average 25% participation rate in Freehold's dividend
reinvestment plan, which is subject to change at the participants'
discretion.  
(4) Corporate tax estimates will vary depending on commodity prices
and other factors.  
On a boe basis, production volumes for 2013 are expected to be
approximately 65% oil and NGL and 35% natural gas, similar to our
current product mix. We continue to maintain our royalty focus with
royalty production accounting for 70% of forecasted 2013 production. 
Recognizing the cyclical nature of the oil and gas industry, we
continue to closely monitor commodity prices and industry trends for
signs of deteriorating market conditions. We caution that it is
inherently difficult to predict activity levels on our royalty lands
since we have no operational control. As well, significant changes
(positive or negative) in commodity prices (including Canadian oil
price differentials), foreign exchange rates, or production rates
will result in adjustments to the dividend rate. In particular, our
2013 forecast for Western Canada Select pricing assumes an
improvement over the first quarter of this year. 
Despite commodity price volatility, we have been able to maintain a
steady monthly dividend rate of $0.14 ($1.68 annually) per share
since January 2010. Based on our current guidance and commodity price
assumptions, and assuming there are no significant changes in the
current business environment, we expect to maintain the current
monthly dividend rate through 2013, subject to the Board's quarterly
review and approval. 
Availability on SEDAR 
Freehold's 2013 first quarter interim unaudited financial statements
and accompanying Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) are
being filed today with Canadian securities regulators and will be
available at www.sedar.com and on our website.  
Forward-looking statements. 
This news release offers our assessment of Freehold's future plans
and operations as at May 15, 2013, and contains forward-looking
statements that we believe allow readers to better understand our
business and prospects. These forward-looking statements include our
expectations for the following: 


 
--  our outlook for commodity prices, including light/heavy oil price
    differentials; 
--  changing economic conditions; 
--  industry drilling, development, and licensing activity on our royalty
    lands; 
--  development of working interest properties; 
--  participation in the DRIP and our use of cash preserved through the
    DRIP; 
--  estimated capital budget and expenditures and the timing thereof; 
--  long-term debt at year end; 
--  average production and contribution from royalty lands; 
--  key operating assumptions; 
--  amounts and rates of income taxes and timing of payment thereof; 
--  maintaining our monthly dividend rate through 2013 and our dividend
    policy; and 
--  the announced officer changes.

 
Such statements are generally identified by the use of words such as
"anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "forecast", "may",
"will", "project", "should", "plan", "intend", "believe", and similar
expressions (including the negatives thereof). By their nature,
forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and
uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control, including the
impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions,
volatility of commodity prices, currency fluctuations, imprecision of
reserve estimates, royalties, environmental risks, taxation,
regulation, changes in tax or other legislation, competition from
other industry participants, the lack of availability of qualified
personnel or management, stock market volatility, and our ability to
access sufficient capital from internal and external sources. Risks
are described in more detail in our Annual Information Form. 
In this news release, we make references to "flush" production rates,
which is the first yield from a flowing oil well during its most
productive period. Such "flush" production rates are not
determinative of future production rates. Additionally, such rates
may also include recovered "load oil" fluids used in well completion
stimulation. Readers are cautioned not to place reliance on such
rates in estimating future production rates for Freehold. 
With respect to forward-looking statements contained in this news
release, we have made assumptions regarding, among other things,
future oil and gas prices, future capital expenditure levels, future
production levels, future exchange rates, future tax rates, future
participation rates in the DRIP and use of cash retained through the
DRIP, future legislation, the cost of developing and producing our
assets, our ability and the ability of our lessees to obtain
equipment in a timely manner to carry out development activities, our
ability to market our oil and natural gas successfully to current and
new customers, our expectation for the consumption of crude oil and
natural gas, our expectation for industry drilling levels, our
ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms, and our ability to
add production and reserves through development and acquisition
activities. The key operating assumptions with respect to the
forward-looking statements referred to above are detailed in the body
of this news release. 
You are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of
such information, although considered reasonable at the time of
preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance
should not be placed on forward-looking statements. Our actual
results, performance, or achievement could differ materially from
those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements.
We can give no assurance that any of the events anticipated will
transpire or occur, or if any of them do, what benefits we will
derive from them. The forward-looking information contained in this
document is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. Our
policy for updating forward-looking statements is to update our key
operating assumptions quarterly and, except as required by law, we do
not undertake to update any other forward-looking statements. 
You are further cautioned that the preparation of financial
statements in accordance with IFRS requires management to make
certain judgments and estimates that affect the reported amounts of
assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses. These estimates may
change, having either a positive or negative effect on net income, as
further information becomes available and as the economic environment
changes.  
Conversion of Natural Gas To Barrels of Oil Equivalent (BOE) 
To provide a single unit of production for analytical purposes,
natural gas production and reserves volumes are converted
mathematically to equivalent barrels of oil (boe). We use the
industry-accepted standard conversion of six thousand cubic feet of
natural gas to one barrel of oil (6 Mcf = 1 bbl). The 6:1 boe ratio
is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily
applicable at the burner tip. It does not represent a value
equivalency at the wellhead and is not based on either energy content
or current prices. While the boe ratio is useful for comparative
measures and observing trends, it does not accurately reflect
individual product values and might be misleading, particularly if
used in isolation. As well, given that the value ratio, based on the
current price of crude oil to natural gas, is significantly different
from the 6:1 energy equivalency ratio, using a 6:1 conversion ratio
may be misleading as an indication of value. 
Additional GAAP Measures 
This MD&A contains the term "funds from operations", which does not
have a standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP and therefore may not
be comparable with the calculations of similar measures for other
entities. Funds from operations, as presented, is not intended to
represent operating cash flow or operating profits for the period nor
should it be viewed as an alternative to net income or other measures
of financial performance calculated in accordance with GAAP. We
consider funds from operations to be a key measure of operating
performance as it demonstrates Freehold's ability to generate the
necessary funds to fund capital expenditures, sustain dividends, and
repay debt. We believe that such a measure provides a useful
assessment of Freehold's operations on a continuing basis by
eliminating certain non-cash charges. It is also used by research
analysts to value and compare oil and gas companies, and it is
frequently included in their published research when providing
investment recommendations. Funds from operations per share is
calculated based on the weighted average number of shares outstanding
consistent with the calculation of net income per share.  
Non-GAAP Financial Measures 
Within this MD&A, references are made to terms commonly used as key
performance indicators in the oil and natural gas industry. We
believe that operating income, operating netback, and net debt to
funds from operations are useful supplemental measures for management
and investors to analyze operating performance, financial leverage,
and liquidity, and we use these terms to facilitate the understanding
and comparability of our results of operations and financial
position. However, these terms do not have any standardized meanings
prescribed by GAAP and therefore may not be comparable with the
calculations of similar measures for other entities. 
Operating income, which is calculated as gross revenue less royalties
and operating expenses, represents the cash margin for product sold.
Operating netback, which is calculated as average unit sales price
less royalties and operating expenses, represents the cash margin for
product sold, calculated on a per boe basis (see Netback Analysis). 
Net debt to funds from operations is calculated as net debt (total
debt less working capital) as a proportion of funds from operations
for the previous twelve months (see Debt Analysis). 
In addition, we refer to various per boe figures, such as revenues
and costs, also considered non-GAAP measures, which provide
meaningful information on our operational performance. We derive per
boe figures by dividing the relevant revenue or cost figure by the
total volume of oil and natural gas production during the period,
with natural gas converted to equivalent barrels of oil as described
above.
Contacts:
Freehold Royalties Ltd.
Karen Taylor
Manager, Investor Relations and Corporate Secretary
403.221.0891 or Toll Free: 1.888.257.1873
403.221.0888 (FAX)
www.freeholdroyalties.com