AP News

Andarko earnings hit by costs of legal dispute

HOUSTON (AP) — Andarko Petroleum said Monday that it swung to a fourth-quarter loss due to legal expenses from to its ongoing dispute with Tronox, which it spun-off in 2006.

Tronox, a paint materials company based in Oklahoma City, has been suing Anadarko for what it has called an illegal spinoff, which it says stripped the company of its most-valuable assets before the divesture. In December, a bankruptcy court judge said Anadarko may be liable for between $5 billion and more than $14 billion. Andarko has challenged that decision, but advised investors that it may have to eventually pay anywhere from $850 million to $5.15 billion.

Andarko reported that expenses from the legal battle decreased its quarterly income by $1.15 billion, or $2.27 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31.

The company reported a net loss of $770 million, or $1.53 per share, compared with net income of $203 million, or 40 cents per share, in the prior-year period. Excluding one-time expenses the company would have earned 74 cents per share. Revenue dipped 2 percent to $3.34 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted adjusted earnings per share of 89 cents per share on revenue of $3.92 billion.

Shares of Andarko Petroleum Corp. fell 12 cents to $78.05 in after-market trading following the release of the earnings report. They ended the regular session down $2.52, or 3 percent, at $78.17.

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