Hess Corp. (HES: Quote) reported Wednesday a sharp decline in first-quarter profit reflecting lower one-time gains as well as revenue decline due to lower production, despite oil and gas price increases.
Over the past three quarters, The New York-based oil and gas company has reported weaker earnings due to production disruptions and heavy charges, despite the benefit of higher oil prices.
Hess' net income for the first quarter was $545 million or $1.60 per share, sharply lower than last year's $929 million or $2.74 per share. The latest quarter results included a gain of $36 million related to the sale of its interest in the Snohvit Field, offshore Norway, while prior year's gain was $310 million.
Adjusted net income, which excluded items, fell to $509 million from $619 million in 2011.
On average, 18 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $1.51 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Exploration and Production earnings plunged in the quarter. Marketing earnings declined reflecting the impact of a mild winter on energy marketing operations. Refining operations, however, incurred a narrower loss.
Total revenues and non-operating income for the quarter fell to $9.75 billion from $10.52 billion in the prior year. Five analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $8.46 billion for the quarter.
The company noted that exploration and production revenues declined from last year mainly due to lower international results, while revenues from the United States increased.
Oil and gas production was 397,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, compared with 399,000 in the first quarter of 2011
First-quarter oil and gas production was 397 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day, lower than last year's 399 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Average worldwide crude oil selling price, including the effect of hedging, grew to $89.92 per barrel from $87.22 per barrel a year ago. The average worldwide natural gas selling price also increased to $6.23 per mcf from prior year's $5.84 per mcf.
In pre-market activity, Hess share are currently trading at $55.71, up $0.67 or 1.22 percent.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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