Free cash flow and a dash to liquids characterised Continental's Q1 results. Excess cash flow allocated to debt repayment helped pull gearing down to 53% (from 55%); it is the company's lowest leverage ratio since Q2 2014. A sanguine free cash flow outlook at strip prices puts its near-term total debt target of US$6 billion firmly in its cross-hairs. Finch upgraded its credit rating to investment grade – following S&P's lead in February – underscoring the company's capital discipline and strong outlook. Quarterly volumes were flat, impacted by the loss of 5,000 boe/d due to weather. But full-year production guidance is unchanged.