NEW DELHI (Dow Jones Newswires), Jan. 24, 2012
Cairn India Ltd. Tuesday beat market estimates with a 12.5% rise in third-quarter net profit, as higher prices helped offset a fall in oil and gas output.
Consolidated net profit for the October-December quarter rose to INR22.62 billion from INR20.10 billion a year earlier, the explorer said in a statement. Fourteen analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires expected Cairn to post a net profit of INR21.36 billion.
Net sales were INR30.97 billion, little changed from INR30.96 billion a year earlier.
Explorers globally are expected to post growth in their October-December quarter profit as Brent crude climbed 28% to an average $109.06 a barrel from the same quarter of 2010.
Cairn India also recorded net foreign-exchange gain of INR3.01 billion during the quarter due to a depreciation in the Indian rupee against the U.S. dollar, it said, without giving comparative figures.
Cairn India said it earned an average $98.4 on sale of a barrel of oil equivalent, compared with $74.3 per barrel a year earlier.
The company's share of production from its joint-venture fields fell 1.2% in the third quarter to 98,969 barrels of oil equivalent a day, from 100,270 barrels a year earlier.
Analysts expect Cairn India to now ramp up production at its main field in northwest India after the London-based miner Vedanta Group on Dec. 8 completed the acquisition of a 59% stake in the explorer for $8.67 billion from its shareholders including Cairn Energy PLC.
Cairn India said production at the Mangala field in the Rajasthan block was flat at 125,000 barrels a day in the third quarter. The company has started operating the Bhagyam field in the same block and plans to commence production from the third Rajasthan field, Aishwarya, this financial year.
Cairn India has planned a capital expenditure of $1.12 billion to $1.25 billion for the next financial year. The company said it had net cash of INR64.60 billion ($1.3 billion) as of Dec. 31.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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