Berry Petroleum Corp (NASDAQ:BRY) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 07, 2019 • 05:00 pm ET

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Berry Petroleum Corp (NASDAQ:BRY) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Q & A
Operator
Operator

[Operator Instructions] Your first question is from Leo Mariani from KeyBanc.

Analyst
Leo Mariani

Yeah. Hey guys, just a question here on free cash flow. So obviously, you're expecting significant free cash flow in the fourth quarter. How do you think about sort of deploying that? You talked about paying down small revolver balance. Obviously, there will be more cash as well, would you want with it. Are you thinking about getting more aggressive with the buyback or thinking about kind of boosting the dividend? How do you think about free cash flow in the fourth quarter going forward?

Executive
Cary Baetz

Yeah. I think, we'll talk about excess free cash flow, not only in the -- this is Cary by the way -- not only in the fourth quarter, but actually talking in 2020 and beyond. I think the opportunities for us to do with that excess levered free cash flow will include various things, special dividends, increasing the dividend, bond repurchases, and continuing to grow our assets. And it's all going to be based on the return and what gives the best return and creates the greatest value for our investors. So, it's probably a more generic answer than what you want, Leo. But I think it's hard to put ourselves in the box until we actually get to the point to understand which one is going to give the greatest amount of value back to us and to our investors.

Analyst
Leo Mariani

Okay, understood. I guess, I know you didn't mention buybacks of shares on that list. Is that something that's on pause for now?

Executive
Cary Baetz

Yeah, I missed that, but yeah, that's still an option out there for us and we have that. And that will also still be, as Trem would like to say, one of the tools in our toolbox.

Analyst
Leo Mariani

Okay, that's helpful. And I guess, perhaps you could talk a little bit more about the regulatory environment in California. It seems like the new Head of DOGGR has been a little bit more aggressive than the previous head. And I know he is levered some fines on some companies, and I guess there were some trading over some frac permits that were issued as well. How do you think about what the administration from DOGGR's perspective feels about fracking out there these days in California? And how do you think the new head kind of feels about some of the proposed set-backs that were talked about this past spring?

Executive
Trem Smith

Hi, Leo, this is Trem. I'm going to start, and then Gary can bring in some more detail. First of all, the new Head of DOGGR is just or maybe hasn't yet taken his seat, okay. So the fines that were levied against Chevron were in the works and are related directly to the activities there. And that's all I'm going to say about that. That wasn't necessarily unusual. There have been a lots of calls and meetings with DOGGR and the Department of Conservation about the well stimulation permits, which are the --