Is Golar LNG a Buy After its Most Recent Earnings Beat?

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Written By Dean McHugh

Golar LNG Limited (GLNG) recently released its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2023, which led to a significant uptick in its stock price. Let’s delve into the details of the earnings report and analyze the factors driving the positive market response.

Earnings Performance

Golar LNG reported a quarterly loss of $0.04 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $0.90 per share. 

Credit: DepositPhotos

This marks a considerable improvement compared to a loss of $0.15 per share reported in the same quarter of the previous year. These figures have been adjusted for non-recurring items.

The earnings surprise of 60% reflects the company’s ability to outperform analysts’ expectations. In the previous quarter, analysts anticipated a loss of $0.11 per share, but Golar LNG delivered a loss of $0.04 per share, exceeding expectations by 63.64%.

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Revenue Growth

In terms of revenue, Golar LNG posted revenues of $78.6 million for the quarter ended January 2024, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $76.8 million. 

This represents a year-over-year improvement and underscores the company’s ability to generate strong top-line growth.

Financial Metrics

Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) for the quarter stood at $114.24 million, marking a notable 31% increase compared to the same period last year. 

This growth in EBITDA reflects the company’s effective cost management and operational efficiency, contributing to its bottom-line performance.

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Financial Position

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, Golar LNG reported cash and cash equivalents of $679.22 million, reflecting its liquidity position. 

However, it’s worth noting that this figure was slightly lower than the $727.13 million recorded at the end of the previous quarter. 

Additionally, the company’s share of contractual debt increased by 45% to $1.22 billion, reflecting its ongoing investment and financing activities.

Share Repurchase Program

During 2023, Golar LNG repurchased 2.9 million shares at an average price of $21.27 per share, demonstrating its commitment to returning value to shareholders. 

In the fourth quarter alone, the company repurchased 1.3 million shares at an average price of $21.48 per share, further underscoring management’s confidence in the company’s prospects.

Analyst Rating

Golar LNG currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), indicating a neutral outlook. Investors interested in exploring potential investment opportunities may refer to the list of Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks for further analysis.

Comparison with Peers

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (JBHT) reported fourth-quarter 2023 earnings that missed estimates and declined year over year. Despite surpassing revenue expectations, the company experienced a decrease in total operating revenues.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported earnings that comfortably beat estimates, driven by strong holiday air travel demand. The company’s revenues also exceeded expectations, demonstrating resilience amidst challenges in the aviation industry.

Future Outlook

Investors are keen to monitor Golar LNG’s future performance and outlook, especially in light of its strong financial results and strategic initiatives. Analysts will closely follow any updates or guidance provided by management during earnings calls and industry events.

Q4 Earnings Boosts Investor Confidence 

Golar LNG’s impressive fourth-quarter earnings performance has bolstered investor confidence, leading to a positive movement in its stock price. 

Credit: DepositPhotos

With a solid financial position, ongoing share repurchase program, and optimistic industry outlook, the company appears well-positioned for continued growth and value creation for shareholders.

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