Anadarko Profit Surpasses Estimates as Output Beats Forecast

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the oil explorer that’s expanding production in Colorado and Texas, reported first-quarter profit that surpassed analysts’ estimates as the company raised the top end of its 2013 forecast.

Net income fell to $460 million, or 91 cents a share, from $2.16 billion, or $4.28, a year earlier, The Woodlands, Texas-based company said yesterday in a statement. The company had a $1.8 billion tax-settlement gain a year earlier. Profit in the recent quarter, excluding a loss on derivatives and other one-time items, was $1.08 a share, topping the 95-cent average of 28 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue increased 13 percent to $3.89 billion.

Sales volumes climbed 11 percent in the first quarter to the equivalent of 71 million barrels of oil, which beat a Feb. 20 forecast of as much as 69 million barrels. Anadarko also boosted its full-year forecast to a range of 279 million to 287 million barrels of oil equivalent, from as much as 285 million previously.

“It’s a positive report,” James Sullivan, a New York-based analyst at Alembic Global Advisors who has an overweight, or buy, rating on Anadarko shares and owns none, said by phone yesterday. He called it an “on track” quarter as the company moves ahead with major projects.

Rising Production

Anadarko has seen rising oil output from projects such as the Wattenberg field in Colorado and Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, as well as gas output from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. Anadarko’s exploration includes work in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Africa. It’s the U.S. oil and natural gas producer with the biggest market capitalization after ConocoPhillips among companies that don’t own refineries or a chemical unit.

The company’s output translated into record sales volumes of 793,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in the first quarter. Anadarko’s Wattenberg field averaged more than 113,000 barrels a day. In Algeria, Anadarko and its partners began producing oil from the El Merk project. Anadarko said it also has interests in six deep-water wells currently being drilled around the world.

Anadarko continues to pursue the sale of some interests around the world. The company expects a sale of a stake off the coast of Mozambique this year, Chief Financial Officer Bob Gwin said on a conference call with analysts and investors today. Chief Executive Officer Al Walker said the company doesn’t have an exclusivity agreement at this point.

Possible Sales

“We’re really pleased with the indications of interest that we received a few weeks ago,” Gwin said. “Obviously, we’re in discussions and working on the transaction.”

Anadarko continues to work on a possible sale of Brazilian assets, which has been a “bit of a challenge,” Gwin said. That process is in the early stages, with a transaction possible in 2013, he said. The company said it also may look to sell more stakes in the Gulf of Mexico.

Off the coast of Ghana, gross output of the Jubilee project is about 110,000 barrels of oil a day, Doug Lawler, a senior vice president at Anadarko, said on today’s conference call. That may climb to about 120,000 barrels a day later this year, he said.

Brent crude futures, a global benchmark, fell 4.9 percent from a year earlier to average $112.64 a barrel in the first quarter. Gas futures traded in New York averaged $3.48 per million British thermal units in the quarter, a 39 percent increase from a year earlier.

Anadarko fell 1 percent to $86.74 at the close in New York.

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