Plains Exploration 4th-quarter net soars on higher oil revenue
BY BEN FOX RUBIN
HOUSTON -- Plains Exploration & Production Co.' s fourth-quarter profit soared as the oil-and-gas exploration company' s oil revenue surged.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold in December agreed to buy McMoRan Exploration and Plains Exploration -- two oil companies with which it shares close ties -- for roughly $9 billion in cash and stock. The deal marked a shift for the mining giant towards U.S. energy exploration. The transactions are expected to close in the second quarter.
Plains has been shifting to higher-priced crude and natural gas liquids as natural gas prices have been languishing near record lows. The company recently agreed to buy BP' s deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas properties for $5.55 billion, in line with a strategy to focus on mature oil fields with existing reserves.
Plains reported income of $218.6 million, or $1.65 a share, up from $97.7 million, or 69 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding unrealized gains on investment in McMoRan Exploration stock and other impacts, per-share earnings rose to 41 cents from 20 cents. Revenue was up 68% to $869.2 million.
Oil sales were up 91% at $798 million, while gas sales shrank 27% to $70.3 million.
Dow Jones Newswires