OMV reported a good set of results this morning with clean CCS EBIT coming 8% ahead of the consensus thanks to a superb performance from the E&P division and the refining segment. The firm posted a clean CCS EBIT of € 956m (up 31% y/y and 22% q/q) in 4Q12 versus the consensus estimate of € 887m (collected by the company). This is the highest quarterly reading since 3Q08 and is likely to make OMV the winner of the 4Q12 earnings rally. Clean CCS net income also came slightly ahead of the consensus at € 393m (up 21% y/y and 24% q/q) for 4Q12. Operating cash flow came in at € 1,044m in 4Q12, the second highest level since 2Q08 (!), which pushed gearing below 25% for the first time since 2Q08. In terms of segments, E&P was robust thanks to better margin capture on lower operating expenses as well as slightly higher average realized hydrocarbon prices. In the R&M division, the much better refining segment more than compensated for the weaker-than-forecast retail and petchem performance. The G&P segment left a sour taste after deeply missing our estimate. Moreover, reported EBIT was further tormented by a massive one-off item of € 129m in the period. As we had expected, the company raised its dividend to € 1.20 per share, implying a decent a yield of 3.8% or roughly 1.6% above the corresponding government bond yield. Overall, we anticipate a positive market reaction to OMV’s 4Q12 results. OMV remains our preferred play in the current macro environment: the valuation seems undemanding considering the company’s high exposure to fat upstream margins. Also, OMV should be less affected by the expected underperformance in refining margins going into 2013.
Exploration and Production (E&P): Clean segmental EBIT came in at €734m (up 22% y/y and 12% q/q) in 4Q12 versus our forecast of € 692m. The main reason for the beat was lower operating expenses (FX impact, higher production and lower production costs) and the slightly higher average realized price. Higher liftings in Libya resulted in higher sales volumes than the current quarter’s production, which also contributed to the decent performance. The year-on-year performance reflects the marked change in the macro environment and the fallout of Libyan production: oil prices rose some 5% in € terms while production increased from 289kbpd to 301kbpd in 4Q11. Although hedging once again had a negative impact (€ 36m), net special income of € 84m, mainly related to the gain from divestments in the UK's North Sea, led to a reported EBIT of € 782m in 4Q12, or 17% above our consensus. On the negative side, OMV noted it expects 2013 production to be broadly similar to 2012 versus our expectation for an increase of 2.6%.
Refining and Marketing (R&M): Although clean CCS EBIT at € 146m was ahead of our forecast of € 114m, the segment was a mixed bag with better refining more than compensating for a weaker petchem and retail performance. Effective refining margin at US$ 4.9/bbl in 4Q12 (down only US$ 2.9/bbl from 3Q12) was a very strong reading compared to the wider industry trend. This clearly reflects the yield structure of the OMV refineries which are more geared to middle distillates. Retail was weakerthan-forecast due to lower sales volumes as well as higher-than-expected pressure on margins. Petchem also disappointed (€ 9m versus € 16m expected) despite the improving ethylene and propylene margins, mainly due to lower sales volumes in 4Q12.
Gas and Power (G&P): Clean EBIT at € 59m was much weaker than our forecast of € 89m due to the feeble contribution of EconGas as well as lower net electrical output due to extended repair works in Romania. Moreover, reported EBIT was tormented by a massive € 129m provision for onerous contracts booked in 4Q12, primarily related to contracted longterm transport and LNG capacity bookings of EconGas.