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 July 29, 2015 - 1:48 AM EDT
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Miller Energy Resources Reports Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2015 Results

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - July 29, 2015) - Miller Energy Resources, Inc. ("Miller Energy" or the "Company") (NYSE: MILL) today reported the unaudited results for its fiscal fourth quarter and year ended April 30, 2015.

While the Company is comfortable with the numbers presented below, the Company requires additional time to satisfactorily complete its financial statements and disclosures to be included in its Annual Report on Form 10-K ("Form 10-K"). Accordingly we will not be filing our Form 10-K on this date. We expect to file our Form 10-K within the next two weeks.

Notable Items

  • For the quarter, net production averaged 3.7 MBoed, up approximately 5% from the 3.5 MBoed last quarter. For the year, net production averaged 3.5 MBoed, up approximately 58% from the 2.2 MBoed last year.
  • For the quarter, Adjusted EBITDA was $23.1 million, down approximately 31% from the $33.3 million last quarter. The decrease in Adjusted EBITDA from the third quarter to the fourth quarter was primarily due to a reduction of $18.4 million of Alaska carried forward annual loss credits applied for during the third quarter, as well as one less shipment of oil during the fourth quarter, slightly offset by $11.6 million of derivative settlements during the fourth quarter. For the year, Adjusted EBITDA was $78.6 million, up approximately 108% from the $37.8 million last year.
  • Given the increasingly constrained nature of its liquidity and debt structure, the Company is in the process of repositioning its capital structure to improve its liquidity, to more appropriately finance its business and to optimize the value and growth potential of its core asset base.

As part of this process, the Company is evaluating several offers, including negotiations with an Alaskan strategic partner that would provide a sale lease back financing for the Company's rigs, buy the Company's stake in Badami and other non-core oil and gas assets and provide a meaningful equity-linked investment in the Company.

Miller Energy has also signed a commencement agreement with a private financing source for an approximately $165 million loan that will largely pay down the Company's existing debt. The potential lender is in the process of confirmatory diligence and legal documentation. The Company will provide more detail as this process progresses.

  • Miller Energy has settled all its hedges to meet its lenders' demand for progress on an orderly pay-down of its outstanding revolver balance. The Company has no ability to borrow beyond its current $3.8 million balance on that revolver.
  • Despite the advanced stage of its ongoing capital repositioning process, the Company believes that, from an accounting perspective, substantial doubt exists about its ability to continue as a going concern.
  • Given that substantial doubt exists about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern, the SEC 1P PV-10 of $91.3 million as of April 30, 2015 reflects only the value of the Company's PDP reserves using SEC pricing.
  • Also, given that substantial doubt exists about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern, as well as our unsuccessful WF-3 well, among other factors, Miller Energy recorded an impairment of $82.8 million on its oil and gas properties during the fourth quarter. The Company also recorded an impairment of $14.3 million on its owned drilling rigs given U.S. rig market dynamics. As a result of these impairments, the accounting net book value of Miller Energy's assets no longer exceeds the book value of its debt.
  • The Company received notices from the NYSE regarding potential delisting events arising from the decrease in its common share price and overall capitalization. In addition, the Company noted that its stock could face delisting in the event its average market capitalization declines below $15 million on a 30-trading day basis, a threshold that it has been approaching. In the event of a delisting trigger, Miller Energy expects to avail itself of its right to appeal and believes there are many factors which the NYSE should consider before taking that action, including the advanced status of the Company's capital repositioning and its efforts to maximize the value of and growth in its assets.
  • In April, the Company received a notice from the SEC indicating that its staff had made a preliminary determination to recommend that the SEC file a civil claim against the Company. If this action were brought, the Company believes it would relate to public filings made in connection with its 2009 acquisition of certain Alaska assets. The notice invited the Company to file a response showing why no action should be taken, and the Company has complied. Miller Energy is waiting on feedback on that response or any additional questions the SEC may have.
  • Additionally, in March, the court in the Company's lawsuit brought by VAI, Inc. awarded the plaintiff approximately $7.0 million, including interest. The case stems from a fee dispute under an advisory contract and a related memorandum of understanding in 2009. Miller Energy is moving forward with an appeal.
  • The Company has identified and implemented cost initiatives for both G&A and opex that it expects will save more than $9.0 million annually going forward.
  • Miller Energy has continued its capital discipline initiatives, incurring approximately $5 million in capex during the fourth quarter.
  • As of April 30, 2015, the Company had state tax credits receivable, net of $41.5 million outstanding. Subsequent to April 30, 2015, the Company collected $9.3 million in cash and expects to receive at least $23.7 million in cash by the end of August. The remaining balance will be collected within the next twelve months.
  • During the quarter, Miller Energy moved its headquarters to Houston, Texas from Knoxville, Tennessee.

"As with a number of E&P companies, continued soft oil prices have challenged our business," said Carl F. Giesler, Miller Energy's Chief Executive Officer. "That impact has been exacerbated by past capital, financing and drilling decisions that, at least in retrospect, left us poorly positioned for such market conditions. Management and the board, however, have been working diligently to effect a plan that, we believe, will more appropriately finance our business and enable us to maximize the value and growth inherent in our assets for all stakeholders, Specifically, we are working to reposition our capital structure; to rationalize our non-core assets; to develop our core Cook Inlet assets in a safe, disciplined and return-focused manner; and to stream-line our cost and organizational structure."

"While we understand the speculation, we don't intend to file for bankruptcy, given our current circumstances," added Mr. Giesler. "We believe that, with the offers and options we have available to us, no one else should count us out either."

Fourth Quarter Results

Net production averaged 3.7 MBoed, up approximately 5% from the 3.5 MBoed last quarter and up approximately 19% from the 3.1 MBoed in the year-ago quarter. The increase from last quarter was mainly related to a full-quarter of owning the Badami Unit as well as the North Fork drilling offset by production declines.

Revenue was $15.5 million, down approximately 24% from the $20.3 million last quarter and down approximately 30% from the $22.1 million in the year-ago quarter. The decrease from last quarter was mainly related to lower oil prices as well as one-less oil shipment.

Lease operating expense was $21.23 per Boe or $6.9 million in aggregate, down approximately 23% from the $27.39 per Boe last quarter and up approximately 17% from the $18.15 per Boe in the year-ago quarter. The decrease from last quarter was mainly related to the aggressive opex reduction initiatives, particularly at the recently-acquired Badami Unit. The increase from the year-ago quarter was related to the acquisition of the generally higher operating cost Badami Unit.

Transportation costs were $1.2 million, down approximately 27% from the $1.6 million last quarter and down approximately 54% from the $2.6 million in the year-ago quarter. The overall decrease to transportation costs is due to the fiscal 2015 acquisition of the Anchor Point Pipeline, which reduced tariff costs of the gas sold from the North Fork Unit.

Cash general and administrative cost was $6.1 million, down approximately 8% from the $6.6 million last quarter and down approximately 10% from the $6.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The decrease from last quarter was mainly related to lower personnel, benefits, travel and professional expense offset by an increase in legal costs.

Adjusted EBITDA was $23.1 million, down approximately 31% from the $33.3 million last quarter. The decrease in Adjusted EBITDA from the third quarter to the fourth quarter was primarily due to a reduction of $18.4 million of Alaska carried-forward annual loss credits applied for during the third quarter, as well as one less shipment of oil during the fourth quarter, slightly offset by $11.6 million of derivative settlements during the fourth quarter. It was down approximately 13% from the $26.5 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The decrease in Adjusted EBITDA from the year ago quarter to the fourth quarter 2015 was primarily due to a decrease of $13.2 million of Alaska carried forward annual loss credits applied for during the year-ago quarter.

Depreciation, depletion and amortization expense was $9.4 million, down from the $19.5 million last quarter and down 16% from the $11.2 million in the year-ago quarter. The decrease from last quarter was mainly related to a reduction in the net book value of the Company's depletable assets due to impairments.

Loss before income taxes was $124.1 million, compared to the loss of $155.3 million last quarter and the loss of $16.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The loss this quarter was mainly related to the impairments recorded coupled with lower oil prices and partially offset by reductions in LOE and G&A.

Total debt was $197.6 million, down from $225.8 million last quarter, primarily due to the reduction in the Company's revolver outstanding. Total debt is currently $183.6 million.

Cash was $2.9 million on April 30, 2015 and is $6.2 million currently.

State tax credit receivables, net were $41.5 million. Subsequent to April 30, 2015, the Company received approximately $9.3 million in state tax credits in cash and expects to receive at least $23.7 million by the end of August. The remaining balance will be collected within the next twelve months. The State of Alaska continues to adjust the administration of this program. It is possible that future receipts will be deferred longer than in prior years. The Company will, of course, consider this dynamic when evaluating capital investments in the development of its assets.

Full-Year 2015 Results

Net production averaged 3.5 MBoed, up approximately 58% from the 2.2 MBoed last year. The increase was due primarily to the acquisitions of North Fork and Badami as well as the WMRU-2B, NF 24-26 and NF 42-35 wells.

Revenue was $85.3 million, up approximately 21% from the $70.6 million last year. The increase was mainly related to the North Fork and Badami acquisitions offset by lower oil prices.

Lease operating expense was $24.22 per Boe or $31.3 million in aggregate, down approximately 2% from the $24.71 per Boe last year. The acquisition of the higher-cost operations at Badami was offset by the aggressive opex reduction efforts.

Transportation costs were $5.3 million, down approximately 5% from the $5.6 million last year. This decrease is due to the fiscal 2015 acquisition of Anchor Point Pipeline, which reduced tariff costs of the gas sold from the North Fork Unit.

Cash general and administrative cost was $28.5 million, up approximately 24% from the $23.1 million last year. This substantial increase was driven by executive on-boarding and severance costs as well as higher legal and accounting expenses.

Adjusted EBITDA was $78.6 million, up 108% from the $37.8 million last year primarily due to favorable derivative settlements, including the monetization of the derivatives for calendar year 2016 as well as the North Fork acquisition and increased Alaska carried-forward annual loss credit application amounts.

Depreciation, depletion and amortization expense was $66.0 million, up approximately 97% from the $33.5 million last year. This increase reflects the Company's North Fork and Badami acquisitions.

Loss before income taxes was $584.2 million, compared to the loss of $43.5 million last year. The loss this year relates to impairment charges on oil and gas properties and equipment, along with increased litigation and interest expense. Partially offsetting these were increased natural gas sales, Alaska carried-forward annual loss credit applications and derivative gains.

Outlook

Until we complete our capital repositioning process, the Company will focus primarily on smaller work-overs. The Company has identified and begun executing on eight projects with an aggregate capital requirement of approximately $1.8 million that management expects will increase gross production by approximately 1.7 MMcfd and 220 Bopd. The Company expects that each project will exceed its internal return requirements and also expects that each project will have a payback period of less than a year. Also, during fiscal 2016, the Company plans to drill the RU-7B side-track and NF 22-26 as finances permit.

Management plans to continue to pursue aggressively its cost efficiency and capital discipline initiatives in a responsible and safe manner. We believe that the run-rate cash G&A, excluding one-time items, will trend towards approximately $4.5 million per quarter.

Investor Conference Call

Management will host the Company's fourth quarter and full year 2015 earnings call. To attend the call, please use the dial in information below. When prompted, ask for the "Miller Energy Resources Q4 2015 conference call."

Date:   Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Time:   9:00 am Eastern Time US
Dial-In (U.S.):   +1-888-359-3627
International Dial-In:   +1-719-457-2727
Conference ID:   2057052
Webcast:   http://public.viavid.com/player/index.php?id=115210

Please dial in at least 10 minutes before the start time to ensure timely participation. A playback of the call will be available from 12:00 p.m. ET on July 29, 2015 to 11:59 p.m. ET on August 14, 2015. To listen, call 1-877-870-5176 within the United States or 1-858-384-5517 when calling internationally. Please use the replay pin number 2057052.

About Miller Energy
Miller Energy Resources, Inc. is an oil and natural gas production and development company focused solely on Alaska. The Company has a substantial acreage, reserves and resource position in the State as well, significant Company-owned midstream and rig infrastructure to support production and 100% working interest in and operatorship of substantially all of its assets. The Company's assets are concentrated in southcentral Alaska, including the Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula, as well as in the Badami area of the North Slope. Miller Energy manages its operations from Anchorage with additional administrative offices in the lower 48. The Company's stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol MILL.

Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements contained herein are forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements that are predications of or indicate future events, trends, plans or objectives. Undue reliance should not be placed on such statements because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future activities and are subject to many risks and uncertainties. Due to such risks and uncertainties, actual events may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of the future tense or other forward-looking words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "should," "may," "will," "continue," "strategy," "offer, " "position," "opportunity," statements regarding the "flexibility" of the Company or the negative of any of those terms or other variations of them or by comparable terminology. A discussion of these risk factors is included in the Company's periodic reports filed with the SEC.

MILLER ENERGY RESOURCES, INC.
CONDENSED OPERATING DATA
(Unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands, except per unit and per day data)

  For the Three Months Ended  
  April 30,
 2015
 January 31,
2015
 April 30,
2014
 
              
Net production volumes:             
 Oil volume - bbls  228,000   220,962   168,564  
 Natural gas volume - mcf  582,737   602,687   628,232  
  Total production - boe (1)  325,123   321,410   273,269  
              
Average daily production (bbls/d)  2,562   2,402   1,894  
Average daily production (mcf/d)  6,548   6,551   7,059  
Average daily production (boe/d)  3,653   3,494   3,070  
              
Average realized sales prices:             
 Average realized oil sales price - bbl $48.09  $57.26  $102.74  
 Average realized natural gas sales price - per mcf  7.02   6.42   6.84  
              
Lease operating expenses (boe/d) $21.23  $27.39  $18.15  
Transportation costs (boe/d) (2)  3.62   5   9.43  
              
Depreciation, depletion and amortization  9,411   19,541   11,176  
General and administrative expenses  6,526   7,358   10,652  
General and administrative costs paid in cash  6,110   6,630   6,789  
Adjusted EBITDA  23,072   33,297   26,468  
Loss before income taxes  (124,112 ) (155,277 ) (16,795 )

-------
1 These figures present production on a boe basis in which natural gas is converted to an equivalent barrel of oil based on a 6:1 energy equivalent ratio. This ratio is not reflective of the current price ratio between the two products.
2 These figures present sales on a boe basis in which natural gas is converted to an equivalent barrel of oil based on a 6:1 energy equivalent ratio. This ratio is not reflective of the current price ratio between the two products.

MILLER ENERGY RESOURCES, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(Unaudited)
(in thousands, except share and per share data)

  Three Months Ended April 30,  Three Months Ended January 31,  Three Months Ended April 30,  For the Year Ended April 30,  
  2015  2015  2014  2015  2014  
REVENUES:                     
 Oil sales $10,686  $14,953  $17,488  $62,984  $64,500  
 Natural gas sales  4,336   4,768   4,298   20,766   4,969  
 Other  481   550   340   1,579   1,089  
Total revenues  15,503   20,271   22,126   85,329   70,558  
OPERATING EXPENSES:                     
 Lease operating expense  6,901   8,803   4,961   31,293   20,187  
 Transportation costs  1,177   1,607   2,576   5,326   5,599  
 Cost of purchased gas sold  -   316   -   2,572   -  
 Cost of other revenue  705   640   303   2,010   1,147  
 General and administrative  6,526   7,358   10,652   41,296   31,744  
 Alaska carried-forward annual loss credits, net  (3,097 ) (21,508 ) (16,342 ) (27,337 ) (16,342 )
 Exploration expense  40,459   77,740   1,223   285,307   2,009  
 Depreciation, depletion and amortization  9,411   19,541   11,176   66,012   33,528  
 Accretion of asset retirement obligation  410   370   336   1,477   1,239  
 Impairments of proved properties and other long-lived assets  55,022   117,037   890   285,793   890  
 Other operating expense, net  7,568   900   -   8,472   1,250  
Total operating expense  125,082   212,804   15,775   702,221   81,251  
OPERATING (LOSS) INCOME  (109,579 ) (192,533 ) 6,351   (616,892 ) (10,693 )
OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE):                     
 Interest expense, net  (6,331 ) (2,478 ) (3,419 ) (15,227 ) (7,470 )
 Gain (loss) on derivatives, net  (8,231 ) 39,330   (4,590 ) 47,285   (10,179 )
 Loss on debt extinguishment  -       (15,145 ) -   (15,145 )
 Other income, net  29   404   8   588   34  
Total other income (expense)  (14,533 ) 37,256   (23,146 ) 32,646   (32,760 )
LOSS BEFORE INCOME TAXES  (124,112 ) (155,277 ) (16,795 ) (584,246 ) (43,453 )
 Income tax benefit  13,041   3,016   3,246   141,152   14,886  
NET LOSS  (111,071 ) (152,261 ) (13,549 ) (443,094 ) (28,567 )
 Accretion of Series C and D preferred stock  (1,859 ) (1,271 ) (786 ) (4,864 ) (2,721 )
 Series C and D preferred stock accumulated dividends  (2,971 ) (4,369 ) (2,906 ) (13,746 ) (10,479 )
NET LOSS ATTRIBUTABLE TO COMMON STOCKHOLDERS $(115,901 )$(157,901 )$(17,241 )$(461,704 )$(41,767 )
                      
LOSS PER COMMON SHARE:                     
 Basic $(2.48 )$(3.39 )$(0.38 )$(9.95 )$(0.94 )
 Diluted $(2.48 )$(3.39 )$(0.38 )$(9.95 )$(0.94 )
                 

MILLER ENERGY RESOURCES, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(Unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands)

   April 30,
 2015
 April 30,
 2014
ASSETS        
CURRENT ASSETS:        
 Cash and cash equivalents  $2,904  $5,749
 Restricted cash   464   679
 Accounts receivable, net   50,948   55,530
 Inventory   4,461   5,102
 Prepaid expenses and other   2,629   3,852
 Short-term portion of derivative instruments   14,534   88
 Asset held for sale   1,929   236
Total current assets   77,869   71,236
         
OIL AND GAS PROPERTIES, NET   96,627   644,827
EQUIPMENT, NET   33,037   35,369
RESTRICTED CASH   14,736   12,075
OTHER ASSETS   12,101   3,315
Total assets  $234,370  $766,822
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY (DEFICIT)        
CURRENT LIABILITIES:        
 Accounts payable  $38,174  $38,836
 Accrued expenses   15,108   20,446
 Short-term portion of derivative instruments   -   3,315
 Deferred income taxes   10,100   2,858
 Current portion of long-term debt   195,196   9,459
 Liabilities held for sale   950   -
Total current liabilities   259,528   74,914
OTHER LIABILITIES:        
 Deferred income taxes   -   139,768
 Asset retirement obligation   25,138   22,872
 Long-term portion of derivative instruments   -   4,006
 Long-term debt, less current portion   2,401   174,743
 Other   31   -
Total liabilities   287,098   416,303
         
MEZZANINE EQUITY:        
 Mezzanine equity   72,583   67,760
         
STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY (DEFICIT):        
 Stockholders' equity (deficit)   (125,311 ) 282,759
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity (deficit)  $234,370  $766,822

Regulation G Disclosure - Discussion of Non-GAAP Financial Data and Reconciliation to GAAP
This press release contains non-GAAP financial measures within the meaning of Regulation G and Item 10(e) of Regulation S-K, as promulgated by the SEC. The presentation of this financial information is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for, or superior to, the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP, including that in our public filings.

To supplement the Company's condensed consolidated financial statements, which statements are prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP, we use non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA, or adjusted Earnings Before Income Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, as a measure to evaluate earnings by excluding certain non-cash expenses as set forth in the table below. The Company uses this non-GAAP financial measure for financial and operational decision making and as a means to evaluate period-to-period comparisons. Management believes that this non-GAAP financial measure provides meaningful supplemental information regarding the Company's performance and liquidity. The Company believes that both management and investors benefit from referring to this non-GAAP financial measure in assessing performance and when planning, forecasting and analyzing future periods. This non-GAAP financial measure also facilitates management's internal comparisons to historical performance and liquidity as well as comparisons to competitors' operating results. The Company believes this non-GAAP financial measure is useful to investors both because (1) it allows for greater transparency with respect to key metrics used by management in its financial and operational decision making and (2) it is used by our institutional investors and the analyst community to help them analyze the health of the business.

Adjusted EBITDA Reconciliations

  For the Three Months Ended  For the Year Ended  
  April 30, 2015  January 31, 2015  April 30, 2014  April 30, 2015  April 30, 2014  
  (dollars in thousands)  
Loss before income taxes $(124,112 )$(155,277 )$(16,795 )$(584,246 )$(43,453 )
Adjusted by:                     
 Interest expense, net  6,331   2,478   3,419   15,227   7,470  
 Depreciation, depletion and amortization  9,411   19,541   11,176   66,012   33,528  
 Impairment of proved properties and other long-lived assets  55,022   117,037   890   285,793   890  
 Asset disposals  -   -   -   47   -  
 Accretion of asset retirement obligation  410   370   336   1,477   1,239  
 Exploration costs  40,459   77,740   1,223   285,307   2,009  
 Loss on debt extinguishment  -   -   15,145   -   15,145  
 Stock-based compensation  424   744   3,914   11,282   9,034  
 Non-cash employee bonuses  8   120   -   559   -  
 Non-recurring litigation settlements and related matters  8,113   2,703   2,217   15,554   4,215  
 Non-recurring severance payments  -   -   -   1,489   -  
 Non-recurring North Fork properties gas transportation costs  -   -   1,403   1,813   1,403  
 Derivative contracts:                     
  (Gain) loss on derivatives, net  8,231   (39,330 ) 4,590   (47,285 ) 10,179  
  Cash settlements (paid) received  18,775   7,171   (1,050 ) 25,544   (3,815 )
Adjusted EBITDA $23,072  $33,297  $26,468  $78,573  $37,844  

For more information, please contact the following:

Derek Gradwell
SVP Natural Resources
MZ Group North America
Phone: 512-270-6990
Email: dgradwell@mzgroup.us
Web: www.mzgroup.us


Source: Marketwired (July 29, 2015 - 1:48 AM EDT)

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