Kerr-McGee 4Q profit surges on gain

Wednesday, January 18th 2006, 9:55 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oil and gas exploration firm Kerr-McGee Corp. on Wednesday said its fourth-quarter profit skyrocketed on a gain from selling its North Sea energy business.

Quarterly income surged to $2.16 billion, or $18.46 per share, from $133.8 million, or 86 cents per share, the year before. Before the gain and other items, income was $125.7 million, or $1.07 per share.

The company's adjusted profit compares with the average estimate for income of $1.61 per share from analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Total revenue amounted to $1.76 billion, up 27 percent from $1.39 billion a year earlier, and beating the consensus target of $1.26 billion.

Kerr-McGee said revenue from its exploration and production operations advanced 38 percent to reach $1.42 billion. Meanwhile, pigment chemical sales were off slightly at $322.8 million.

Daily oil production averaged 99,400 barrels from continuing operations last quarter, down from 121,900 barrels per day in the year-ago period, but the average price gained 46 percent to $44.57 a barrel. Its natural gas sales declined 15 percent to an average of 883 million cubic feet per day from continuing operations, the company said.

For the year, profit grew to $3.24 billion, or $24.12 per share, from $404 million, or $3.18 per share, in 2004. On an adjusted basis, annual earnings were $999.8 million, or $7.46 per share. Revenue climbed to 5.92 billion from $4.4 billion.