Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Newfield Exploration Co., the petroleum producer with properties from the U.S. Rocky Mountains to China, cut its 2011 production forecast as it reported third- quarter earnings 12 cents below analysts’ estimates.
Production was affected by increasing service costs that prompted the company to cut back its activities in North Dakota’s Williston Basin. Newfield, based in The Woodlands, Texas, has reduced its rig count in the basin and is delaying the completion of 13 wells until early 2012.
Asset sales, adverse weather in the Gulf of Mexico and reduced spending in some areas also contributed to the lower production forecast, the company said.
Newfield now sees production this year at the equivalent of 300 billion cubic feet of gas to 304 billion cubic feet, down from a previous range of 312 billion cubic feet to 316 billion cubic feet, the company said in a statement.
Third-quarter net income rose 67 percent to $269 million, or $1.99 a share, compared with $161 million, or $1.20 a share, from the same period a year ago. Profit included a $129 million after-tax gain related to energy contract gains that boosted earnings by 95 cents a share in the quarter.
Excluding the one-time gain, Newfield’s profit was $1.04 a share, 12 cents less than the $1.16 a share average of 26 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The company said sales of “non-strategic assets” totaled $200 million so far this year, and it plans additional sales for total proceeds of $400 million to $550 million by the end of the year.
Newfield fell 1.3 percent to $41.50 at 7:35 p.m. in after- hours trading in New York
--With assistance from Edward Klump in Houston. Editor: Susan Warren, Keith Gosman
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