Ultra Declines After $1.1 Billion Asset Writedown: Houston Mover

Ultra Petroleum Corp., the natural-gas producer with properties in Wyoming and Pennsylvania, plunged the most in more than three years after reporting a $1.1 billion writedown on the value of assets because of low gas prices.

Ultra, based in Houston, tumbled 9.6 percent to $21.47 at the close in New York, the biggest drop since June 2009.

The company had a second-quarter net loss of $1.19 billion, or $7.76 a share, compared with a profit of $103.5 million, or 67 cents, a year earlier, according to a statement today. Ultra said it recorded the one-time charge on certain properties after gas in the U.S. touched a 10-year low in 2012.

Investors also may be disappointed that a planned sale of some midstream properties wasn’t announced, while results from the Niobrara formation in the western U.S. may be some time off, Leo Mariani, an analyst a RBC Capital Markets in Austin, Texas, said in a telephone interview. Mariani has a sector perform rating on Ultra shares, meaning investors should hold them, and doesn’t own any.

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