Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC:US), the second- biggest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer by market value, reported fourth-quarter output that exceeded its own forecast and profit that surpassed analysts’ estimates.
Net income was $203 million, or 40 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $358 million, or 72 cents a share, a year earlier, The Woodlands, Texas-based company said in a statement today. Excluding one-time items such as writing down the value of certain assets, per-share profit was 20 cents more than the 71-cent average of 28 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Fourth-quarter sales volumes rose 8.5 percent from a year earlier to the equivalent of 741,000 barrels of oil a day. That surpassed a forecast from Oct. 29, when Anadarko said it expected daily sales for the quarter to be 711,000 to 730,000 barrels. Output surged in the Wattenberg field of Colorado, Eagle Ford Shale in Texas and Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania.
“They’ve been surprising to the upside regularly now,” said James Sullivan, an analyst at Alembic Global Advisors in New York who has an overweight, or buy, rating on Anadarko shares and owns none. “It’s a good quarter, it’s kind of an on pace quarter.”
Anadarko also is exploring in locations including the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Africa. The company said it has drilled a development well at its Lucius project in the Gulf, finding 910 net feet of so-called oil pay, which Sullivan called a “pretty good result.”
The company’s proved reserves totaled the equivalent of an estimated 2.56 billion barrels of oil at the end of 2012, according to the statement. That’s up from 2.54 billion barrels at the close of 2011. The company said about 46 percent of its proved reserves were liquids at the end of 2012, with 54 percent being natural gas.
Anadarko remains on track to meet a goal of having 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent of proved reserves by the end of 2014, Chief Executive Officer Al Walker said in the statement.
The company’s average sales price for crude dropped to $97.74 a barrel in the quarter from $104.82 a year earlier, while its average gas price declined to $3.28 per thousand cubic feet from $3.43 a year earlier.
Anadarko’s revenue dropped 11 percent from a year earlier to $3.41 billion in the fourth quarter.
Today’s earnings report was issued after the close of regular trading on U.S. markets. Anadarko rose 0.9 percent to $81.20 at 4:59 p.m. in New York.
ConocoPhillips (COP:US) is the largest U.S. independent oil and gas producer by market value. Independent oil companies don’t own refineries or a chemical business.
(Anadarko is scheduled to hold an earnings conference call tomorrow at 10 a.m. New York time. To listen, go to http://www.anadarko.com.)
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