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Newfield Falls on Earnings, Timing on Asset Sale: Dallas Mover

Newfield Exploration Co. tumbled the most in three months after reporting fourth-quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates and saying efforts to sell international holdings will go into the third quarter.

Newfield, based in The Woodlands, Texas, dropped 9.3 percent to $24.75 at the close in New York, the most since Oct. 24. The shares have declined 7.6 percent this year.

According to calculations by Simmons & Co. International, Newfield’s per-share earnings excluding one-time items was 28 cents in the fourth quarter. That was 15 cents less than the average of 26 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Newfield said on Feb. 13 it was exploring strategic alternatives for its international assets, which include offshore oil and natural gas holdings in Malaysia and China. The company said on a conference call today the sales process may go into the third quarter.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today it’s revising its credit outlook on Newfield to negative from stable, citing in part “uncertainties regarding the timing and proceeds from planned asset sales.”

The company will be patient in looking to sell international assets, and it will seek “top dollar” for the holdings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lee Boothby said today in a telephone interview.

The company plans to focus on oil and liquids production onshore in the U.S., such as at the Uinta, Cana Woodford, Williston and Eagle Ford areas, Boothby said.

Newfield had a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.4 billion, or $10.39 a share, compared with net income of $68 million, or 51 cents, a year earlier, according to a statement yesterday. The company has said the quarterly results were affected by a non-cash $1.5 billion writedown related to the value of proved reserves and a $550 million charge mostly related to the repatriation of international profits.

Newfield has estimated domestic production may rise from a range of 37 million to 40 million barrels of oil equivalent this year to as much as 57 million barrels in 2015.

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