YPF Quarterly Profit Falls 3% on Higher Costs, Fuel Imports

YPF SA (YPF), Argentina’s largest oil company that was nationalized more than a year ago, said quarterly profit slid 3 percent on higher costs and increased fuel imports.

Net income dropped to 1.25 billion pesos ($249 million), or 3.2 pesos a share, in the first quarter from 1.29 billion pesos, or 3.29 pesos, a year earlier, Buenos Aires-based YPF said in a statement to Argentina’s regulator late yesterday.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government seized a 51 percent YPF stake from Repsol SA in April 2012 to stem fuel imports that doubled to $9.4 billion in 2011 and are expected to rise to as much as $15 billion this year. YPF is trying to secure final accords with Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Bridas Corp. for a $37 billion expansion plan to develop the Vaca Muerta shale formation, a Connecticut-sized area in southern Argentina that contains at least 23 billion barrels of oil.

Crude output fell 1 percent in the quarter to 226,300 barrels of oil a day from a year earlier, while costs gained 34 percent in the period, primarily on higher fuel imports, the company said in the statement.

The earnings report was released after the close of regular market trading. YPF’s American depositary receipts fell 3.5 percent to $13.40 in New York yesterday. The ADRs have dropped 14 percent in the past year.

YPF will hold an earnings conference call with investors at 9 a.m. New York time today.

Argentina’s billionaire Eurnekian, the only ones who have signed preliminary memorandum of understanding with YPF to develop Vaca Muerta and hasn’t yet been sued by Repsol, may sign a final deal before year end, Hugo Eurnekian said on April 30.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pablo Gonzalez in Buenos Aires at pgonzalez49@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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