Devon 4Q Profit Grows on Higher Prices

Wednesday, February 2nd 2005, 9:47 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oil and gas producer Devon Energy Corp. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit jumped 24 percent as sharply higher prices offset a slowdown in average production during the period.

Devon shares rose $1.43, or 3.4 percent, to $42.95 during premarket activity on the New York Stock Exchange.

In the latest quarter, earnings rose to $673 million, or $1.35 per share, from $543 million, or $1.16 per share, in the year-ago period. One-time items boosted quarterly results by $18 million, or 4 cents per share, the company said.

Total revenue was $2.47 billion, an increase of 28 percent from $1.92 billion a year earlier as sales of oil, gas and natural-gas liquids gained during the period.

Devon's results beat the average forecast of $1.20 per share on $2.17 billion in revenue from analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

The company said fourth-quarter production slipped 3.3 percent to 672,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day, led by lower natural gas and oil production. Natural-gas liquid volume remained nearly flat.

Average prices, however, rose sharply, with the price of natural gas up 38 percent to $5.76 per thousand cubic feet, oil up 11 percent to $27.72 per barrel and natural-gas liquids adding 42 percent to $27.06 per barrel.

Yearly earnings grew to $2.18 billion, or $4.38 per share, from $1.73 billion, or $4.04 per share, in 2003. Revenue surged 25 percent to $9.19 billion on higher commodity prices.

Analysts expected income of $4.27 per share on revenue of $9 billion.