Welcome to the Range Resources First Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise.
Statements made during this conference call that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer period.
At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Laith Sando, Vice President, Investor Relations at Range Resources. Please go ahead, sir.
Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining Range's first quarter earnings call. The speakers on today's call are Jeff Ventura, Chief Executive Officer; Dennis Degner, SVP of Operations; and Mark Scucchi, Chief Financial Officer.
Hopefully, you've had a chance to review the press release and updated investor presentation that we've posted on our website. We also filed our 10-Q with the SEC yesterday. It's available on our website under the investors tab, or you can access it using the SEC's EDGAR system.
Please note that we'll be referencing certain non-GAAP measures on today's call. Our press release provides reconciliations of these to the most comparable GAAP figures. For additional information, we've posted supplemental tables on our website to assist in the calculation of EBITDAX, cash margins and other non-GAAP measures.
With that, let me turn the call over to Jeff.
Jeffrey L. Ventura
Thanks, Laith, and thanks to everyone for joining us on this morning's call. Range is off to a great start in 2019, delivering on the operational and financial objectives to drive our five-year outlook. In the first quarter, Range generated $53 million of free cash flow and reduced debt by $48 million. We achieved this result though a commitment to capital discipline and a focus on driving higher margins through prudent cost management.
This strong start to 2019 builds upon 2018 results as Range transitioned to generating free cash flow in the second half of last year and completed our 2018 drilling program for $31 million less than our original budget. This compares favorably to our industry peers, as the majority of E&Ps outspend their original capital budgets in 2018.
Range's commitment to capital discipline is unwavering, so I'll reiterate, Range will not outspend our $756 million capital budget for 2019. I also want to reiterate Range's commitment to generating free cash flow as strip pricing improves over the course of the five-year outlook, we will not increase growth, but will instead look to generate additional free cash flow and reduce debt faster, which could position us to return cash to shareholders sooner in the form of buybacks and/or increased dividends.
Speaking of the balance sheet, our commitment to organic free cash flow and asset sales have strengthened our financial position considerably and allowed us to reduce debt by $419 million over the past three quarters, a reduction that represents approximately 10% of total debt.
We intend to build on this momentum
Vice President, Investor Relations
Jeffrey L. Ventura
Chief Executive Officer and President
Dennis L. Degner
Senior Vice President of Operations
Mark S. Scucchi
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Vice President of Liquids Marketing team
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