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Penn Virginia Q4 Loss Sharply Narrows, But Results Miss Estimates

Independent oil and gas company Penn Virginia Corp. (PVA) reported Wednesday a loss for the fourth quarter that sharply narrowed from last year, reflecting strong revenue growth amid higher production.

Adjusted loss per share came in wider than analysts' expectations, and quarterly revenues also missed their estimates. The company also provided production guidance for the full-year 2014.

"In the fourth quarter, our operating cash flows and margins remained strong. While our production during the fourth quarter was consistent with previous guidance, we had a number of wells brought on line later than anticipated and these wells did not contribute as much to the fourth quarter results as we had expected," President and CEO Baird Whitehead said in a statement.

The Radnor, Pennsylvania-based company reported a net loss of $4.07 million or $0.06 per share for the fourth quarter, sharply narrower than $56.13 million or $1.05 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, adjusted loss for the quarter was $6.72 million or $0.10 per share, compared to adjusted loss of $11.76 million or $0.22 per share in the year-ago quarter.

On average, 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss of $0.04 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total revenues for the quarter increased to $117.0 million from $78.19 million in the same quarter last year, but missed fourteen Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $128.59 million.

Crude oil revenues surged to $96.92 million from $55.47 million, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) revenues grew to $8.10 million from $7.75 million, while natural gas revenues declined to $12.07 million from $12.76 million in the ear-ago quarter.

Total crude oil, NGL and natural gas production grew to 1.84 MMBOE from last years 1.42 MMBOE.

The company noted that it has increased operated drilling rig count to six rigs and will remain there during 2014, subject to market conditions. To help fund this additional operated rig and capital program in general, the company has retained a financial adviser for the potential sale of its Mid-Continent and Mississippi properties. The process has now commenced and a deal is expected to be struck by the second quarter of 2014.

"During the fourth quarter, our well costs per stage decreased again, while our well productivity per stage increased as a result of pumping additional proppant and the continued use of multi-well pads and 'zipper fracs.' We will continue to implement advanced techniques to further optimize our well results and economics," Whitehead added.

For fiscal 2013, the company reported a net loss of $149.97 million or $2.41 per share, wider than $106.28 million or $2.22 per share in the prior year. Excluding items, adjusted loss for the year was $30.68 million or $0.49 per share, compared to adjusted loss of $36.55 million or $0.76 per ordinary share in the year ago.

Total revenues for the full year increased to $431.47 million from $317.15 million in the previous year.

Analysts expected the company to report full-year 2013 loss of $0.42 per share on annual revenues of $443.36 million.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2014, the company expects total crude oil, NGL and natural gas equivalent production in a range of 9.108 to 9.775 MMBOE, with daily production between 24,954 and 26,781 MBOE.

PVA closed Wednesday's regular trading session at $12.91, down $0.29 or 2.20% on a volume of 3.11 million shares. The stock lost a further $0.56 or 4.34% in after-hours trading.

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