Anadarko Posts Third-Quarter Loss After Spill in Gulf of Mexico

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the Texas oil company that owns a stake in BP Plc’s damaged Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, posted a third-quarter loss and missed analysts’ estimates as costs increased. The shares fell 1.3 percent in after-hours trading.

The net loss was $26 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with a profit of $200 million, or 40 cents, a year earlier, The Woodlands, Texas-based company said today in a statement. Excluding such expenses such as the drop in value of contracts, profit was 21 cents a share, 8 cents lower than the average of 26 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Oil futures in New York averaged $76.21 a barrel in the third quarter, a 12 percent increase from a year earlier. The average natural-gas price rose 23 percent. Anadarko boosted the midpoint of its oil and gas sales forecast for 2010 and reduced its capital-spending midpoint. The company said costs rose 12 percent in the quarter from a year earlier, including increases related to exploration and general and administrative expenses.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had a buy rating on this stock, Macondo notwithstanding, because I always worried about their cost structure,” said Philip Weiss, an analyst at Argus Research in New York who has a “hold” rating on Anadarko shares and owns none.

Anadarko has a 25 percent stake in BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf that exploded April 20 and caused the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. BP has a 65 percent interest in the project and is the operator. A unit of Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., which is 70 percent-owned by Japan’s Mitsui & Co., has the other 10 percent.

Withholding Reimbursement

Anadarko said in a June 18 statement that the explosion was preventable and that BP’s actions “likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct.” Anadarko has said it’s withholding reimbursement to BP for spill-related costs, citing that company’s behavior. Anadarko said BP has billed it $2.6 billion for what BP considers to be its share of costs through Sept. 30, according to a regulatory filing today.

The U.S. in October lifted a moratorium on deep-water drilling that was put in place after the accident. Companies will have to deal with higher costs and slower project development in the Gulf of Mexico, said Philip Dodge, an analyst at Tuohy Brothers in New York.

“Whatever happens in the Gulf is not going to be as good as it would have been before,” Dodge said.

Anadarko said third-quarter revenue declined 11 percent from a year earlier to $2.55 billion.

Today’s earnings report was issued after the close of regular trading on U.S. stock markets. Anadarko fell 81 cents in after-hours trading to $62.35. The stock, which has 16 buy recommendations from analysts and 13 holds, had gained 1.2 percent this year as of today’s closing price.

(Anadarko will hold an earnings conference call for investors and analysts tomorrow at 10 a.m. New York time. To listen, go to http://www.anadarko.com.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Edward Klump in Houston at eklump@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net.

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