McMoRan Posts 3Q Profit, Raises 2011 Production Target

(Dow Jones Newswires), Oct. 17, 2011

McMoRan Exploration reported a third-quarter profit, its first in nearly three years, on a windfall in insurance proceeds and daily production that beat the company's July guidance.

The quarterly earnings came after 11 straight quarters of losses. McMoRan operates some of the deepest wells in the world and has said there is potential for significant oil reserves at those deeper depths. The company has been pinning its hopes recently on its Davy Jones project, a deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico that the company has said could be one of the largest on the Gulf's shelf in decades.

For the period ended Sept. 30, McMoRan reported a profit of $922,000, compared with a year-earlier loss of $20.7 million. On a per-share basis, which includes preferred dividend and stock-related payments, the company posted a loss of 6 cents a share, compared with a loss of 26 cents a year earlier. There were 67% more shares outstanding in the latest quarter.

The latest results included $11.3 million in impairment charges and other items, with $22.6 million in insurance proceeds. The year-earlier quarter had $11.3 million in impairment charges, offset by $5.6 million in insurance proceeds.

Revenue increased 46% to $138.2 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently expected a loss of 16 cents a share on revenue of $125 million.

Daily production of natural gas equivalents rose 28% to 187 million cubic feet, higher than its July guidance of 180 million. Looking ahead, the company forecast daily production for the fourth quarter at 170 million cubic feet and raised its daily target for the year to 187 million from 185 million, which was set in July.

Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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