WPX Falls Most Since Spinoff After Spending Boost

WPX Energy Inc., the oil and natural-gas producer spun off from Williams Cos., fell the most since trading began after boosting its 2012 spending plan.

The shares dropped 7.7 percent to $14.70 at 3:05 p.m. in New York, the biggest decline since it began trading publicly on Jan. 3.

WPX increased its planned spending 17 percent to about $1.4 billion from a prior estimate of $1.2 billion, according to a statement from the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company today. The additional funds will be used to buy land in oil-rich areas for costs associated with Bakken Shale drilling and completions.

“We are cautious on higher capex in weak price environment and think shares are reacting accordingly today,” Michael Kay, a New York-based analyst for Standard & Poor’s, said in a note. S&P, which rates WPX as a hold, cut its price target and widened the company’s estimated 2012 loss by 3 cents to 25 cents a share.

WPX drills in North Dakota and the Rocky Mountains and saw gas prices drop 32 percent from a year earlier to $3.01 per thousand cubic feet in the second quarter. Prices for natural gas liquids fell 33 percent to $27.96 a barrel, the company said.

WPX reported second-quarter net loss of $10 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with net income of $25 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier.