Kerr-McGee reports substantial first-quarter losses

Wednesday, April 24th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Kerr-McGee Corp. reported substantial losses for the first quarter of 2002, due in part to the volatility of commodity prices.

The Oklahoma City-based energy and chemical company reported net income of $5.5 million, or 5 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $335 million, or $3.21 per share, for the first quarter of 2001.

Kerr-McGee's 2002 first-quarter income from continuing operations was $900,000 _ 1 cent per share _ compared with $353 _ $3.38 per share _ for the 2001 first quarter.

``During the first quarter, results were severely impacted by the volatility of commodity prices; however, we stayed committed to our strategic plan,'' said company chairman and chief executive Luke R. Corbett.

``In order to achieve our long-term goals, we took advantage of a strategic opportunity to lock in an additional 40 percent of our remaining 2002 production volumes at prices significantly above our expectations, which allowed us to increase our capital expenditures on proven, identified projects.''

First quarter 2002 operating profit, excluding special items, was $122 million, down 73 percent from the $449 million reported during the same period last year, the company said.

Exploration and production operating profit was down 69 percent from 2001 due to lower average crude oil and natural gas prices.

The company's chemical operations reported an operating loss of $4 million in the first quarter, due primarily to lower pigment sales prices.

The company said net interest expense was higher in the 2002 first quarter compared with the same period last year, due to higher average debt balances.

Other expenses and net losses from equity affiliates were $41 million higher than in the 2001 quarter, due in most part, to increased losses from equity affiliates.

Those include, Avestor Corp., net losses from derivatives and Devon Energy Corp. stock revaluations.