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Ecopetrol - Operational issues derive in weak financials for 2Q14; results in the exploratory front in Colombia are anemic

Precio: COP 3,180; Precio Objetivo: COP 4,260

August 1, 2014 ( newswire) Ecopetrol reported financials for 2Q14 with EBITDA and net income below our expectations and market consensus. Oil & gas production reached 734.1 kboed, which is equivalent to a 5.7% y/y decline and lies 3.4% below our estimate. Although operating revenues climbed a mere 0.9% and were in line with our expectations, we highlight that EBITDA and net income fell 11.1% and 18.2% y/y, respectively. Higher realization prices during the quarter mitigated the negative effect of the violent attacks to the oil infrastructure, operating restrictions and higher operating costs. On the other hand, we highlight a worrying exploratory campaign during 1H14 along with significantly low CAPEX execution, as the latter was placed at 32.7% at the end of 1H14 relative to the full year guidance.

Our conservative scenario on production for 2Q14 was 740 kboed; the actual production figure was below that threshold even though prior to the results the Ministry of Energy and Mines had suggested that production would have been higher. That said, a 40-day downtime on the Caño Limon pipeline along with 29 violent attacks during the quarter and community protests, was enough to cause a 5.7% y/y decline on production. Going forward, we expect to have better conditions, but we cannot be certain that the Government’s initiatives to alleviate the sector’s current situation will be effective.

We were particularly negative regarding the exploratory campaign. When excluding the subsidiaries, Ecopetrol reported zero success during 2Q and 11.1% in 1H14. This is worrying as our top concern remains the addition of new reserves in the long term.

Although market agents have priced in most of these results, we expect a negative reaction before the conference call takes place next Tuesday, August 5.

For charts, tables and the full report, see the attached file.

Credicorp Capital

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To View Complete Report: Ecopetrol

More Info: Newswire

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