YPF Quarterly Profit Rises After Argentine Govt Nationalization

YPF SA said quarterly profit climbed 8 percent on higher oil prices in the first report since the Argentine company was nationalized by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Net income increased to 833 million pesos ($181 million), or 2.12 pesos a share, from 771 million pesos, or 1.96, a year earlier, Buenos Aires-based YPF said in a statement to the regulator after the market closed on Aug. 10.

YPF said oil production gained 24 percent in the quarter on higher local prices and also there wasn’t a repeat of reduced output in the southern provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz because of strikes a year ago. Local oil prices rose 24 percent to $70.4 a barrel, the company said. Investments climbed 25 percent to 3.4 billion pesos from a year ago, YPF said.

Fernandez seized a 51 percent stake from Spain’s Repsol SA in April. Miguel Galuccio was named as chief executive officer to halt declining output and stem fuel imports that doubled to $9.4 billion last year. Galuccio said Aug. 9 the Argentine producer cut fuel imports by 54 percent in the last three months.

The Argentine government wants to tap shale reserves that may hold at least 23 billion barrels of oil equivalent in southern Argentina’s Vaca Muerta fields. The government has said Madrid-based Repsol underinvested since it acquired YPF in 1999.

Shale-Oil Investments

YPF will invest $7 billion in 2013 as it plans to double exploration in five years and boost refining, Galuccio said June 6. The company targets investments of $1.2 billion in shale oil next year, he said.

Oil exports fell 14 percent in the period, while domestic sales gained 2 percent.

YPF’s refining unit operating profit dropped 27 percent. Refined exports slid 14 percent in the period.

The report was released after the close of regular trading today. YPF’s American depositary receipts gained 0.6 percent to $11.69 in New York on Aug. 10. The ADRs have plunged 66 percent this year.

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