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Newfield Exploration Declines on 2013 Production Forecast

Newfield Exploration Co., the oil and natural gas producer that’s shifting its focus to U.S. operations, fell the most in three months after saying production may not grow this year.

The shares declined 5.6 percent to $28.11 at the close in New York, the most since Oct. 24.

Newfield, based in The Woodlands, Texas, expects 2013 production of 44 million to 47 million barrels of oil equivalent, according to a statement released yesterday after the close of regular trading. The company estimated 2012 production at 47 million barrels equivalent, excluding assets that have been sold.

The company also said it’s hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to evaluate alternatives for its offshore oil and gas fields in Malaysia and China. About 22 percent of Newfield’s production last year -- the equivalent of 10.1 million barrels of oil -- came from the assets, and output is expected to drop 29 percent to 7.2 million barrels equivalent in 2013.

That decline may hinder efforts to sell the units, according to Leo Mariani, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets in Austin, Texas.

“The company may struggle to find a buyer given these aren’t popular assets,” Mariani wrote in a note to clients. “We do think this is a good strategic idea.”

Under Chief Executive Officer Lee Boothby, Newfield has sought to concentrate on domestic oil production since 2009. The company’s U.S. production was 36.8 million barrels equivalent in 2012, and may grow to 57 million barrels equivalent in 2015.

Newfield has oil property in the Uinta Basin in Utah, the Williston Basin in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas.

Newfield expects to report a net loss of about $1.2 billion, or $8.80 a share, for 2012, Steve Campbell, a company spokesman, said yesterday in a telephone interview.

Newfield has fallen 29 percent in the past year.

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