By RTT News,
April 30, 2014, 06:26:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Oil and natural gas company Murphy Oil Corp. ( MUR ) said Wednesday after the markets closed that its first quarter net profit fell from last year, when results were boosted by income from discontinued operations.
Income from continuing operation for the company's exploration and production segment fell 5% to $210.6 million in the first quarter.
The company's worldwide production grew to 204,436 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter from 201,876 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter of last year.
The company reached a new single day production record in March of just over 226,000 boepd net, while averaging near 222,000 boepd net for the month of March.
Murphy Oil completed the spin-off of its U.S. retail marketing business into an independent public company called Murphy USA Inc. ( MUSA ) in late August 2013.
The company continues to progress the disposition of the U.K. downstream business. Exclusive talks with a potential buyer recently expired, allowing the company to negotiate with other interested parties.
The El Dorado, Arkansas-based company reported net income for the first quarter of $155.25 million or $0.85 per share, compared to $360.6 million or $1.88 per share for the year-ago quarter.
Income from continuing operations for the first quarter was $169.3 million or $0.93 per share, compared to $182.7 million or $0.95 per share in the prior year quarter.
Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the first quarter were $174.8 million or $0.96 per share, compared to $187.5 million or $0.98 per share in the first quarter of last year.
On average, 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $0.96 per share for the first quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Revenue for the first quarter was essentially flat with last year at $1.29 billion. Six analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $1.32 billion for the first quarter.
Looking forward, the company said it expects second quarter production volume to average about 217,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, but expects sales volumes of oil and natural gas to average only 216,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
The company currently forecasts its annual production to be in the range of 225,000 - 230,000 boepd.
Roger Jenkins, Murphy Oil President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "So far in 2014, we have placed SNP on production, progressed Dalmatian with first production on April 20, added wells in the EFS, ramped up the four new Sarawak oil fields, and tested the new 300 mmcfpd gross capacity for Sarawak gas. In fact, we are on track to establish record production this year, which will be the third consecutive year we have achieved record volumes.
Murphy Oil shares closed Wednesday's regular trading session at $63.43, down $1.10s or 1.70%.
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