Devon Energy Net Earnings Up 44 Percent to $744 Million in 3Q05

Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE: DVN) today reported net earnings for the quarter ended September 30, 2005, of $744 million, or a record $1.66 per common share ($1.63 per diluted common share). This is 44 percent above Devon's third quarter 2004 net earnings of $517 million, or $1.06 per common share ($1.03 per diluted common share). Per-share amounts reflect a two-for-one stock split completed in November 2004.

The $744 million of net earnings Devon reported in the third quarter of 2005 is after a net reduction for items that securities analysts typically exclude from their published estimates. Collectively, these items reduced Devon's reported net earnings in the third quarter of 2005 by $108 million, or 24 cents per diluted share. The most significant of these items, changes in the fair value of derivative financial instruments, reduced third quarter 2005 net earnings by $134 million pre-tax ($86 million after tax). Third quarter 2005 net earnings were also reduced by $51 million pre-tax ($34 million after tax) for additional interest costs associated with the early redemption of debt. These items and other excluded items are described more fully in the following pages of this release.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2005, Devon reported net earnings of $2.0 billion or $4.22 per common share ($4.15 per diluted common share). Net earnings for the nine months ended September 30, 2004, were $1.5 billion, or $3.13 per share ($3.04 per diluted common share).

"We had record earnings in the third quarter despite the disruptions caused by the Gulf hurricanes," said J. Larry Nichols, chairman and chief executive officer. "Devon's strong financial results are allowing us to expand our search for new oil and gas reserves in the United States, Canada and abroad. Through the first nine months of 2005 we have invested a record $2.6 billion, enabling us to drill 1,837 wells. This was 20 percent more wells than we drilled in the first nine months of 2004."

Operating Highlights Include 2,000th Barnett Shale Well

Devon drilled 644 productive wells in the third quarter of 2005 with an overall success rate of 98 percent. Operating highlights included:

  • In the third quarter, Devon began producing its 2,000th operated well in the Barnett Shale field in north Texas. Devon is the largest producer in the Barnett Shale, which is the largest natural gas field in Texas.
  • In south Texas, Devon completed its third successful well in Matagorda County. The well, in which Devon has a 100 percent working interest, is producing 22 million cubic feet of gas per day. An offset well is now drilling.
  • The company continued its drilling programs in two promising natural gas exploration areas onshore in the United States. Devon holds 200,000 net acres in the north Louisiana Bossier play and 70,000 net acres in the Arkoma shale play in eastern Oklahoma.
  • Devon continued successful delineation drilling on its Cascade and Jack lower Tertiary discoveries in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Production tests of both wells are planned in 2006.
  • In Canada, Devon drilled 125 wells in the Lloydminster area of Alberta, including 47 wells at Iron River. The company commenced oil production from its first new Iron River well in July. Devon acquired the Iron River acreage in the second quarter of 2005.
  • Offshore West Africa, Devon drilled two successful wells in its high impact exploration program.

Oil, Gas and NGL Sales Increase 24 Percent to $2.3 Billion

Sales of oil, gas and natural gas liquids climbed to $2.3 billion in the third quarter of 2005. This was a 24 percent increase over third quarter 2004 sales of $1.9 billion. Higher realized oil, gas and natural gas liquids prices more than offset the production impact of property divestitures completed in 2005.

Combined oil, gas and natural gas liquids production in the third quarter of 2005 was 598 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) per day. This compares to third quarter 2004 production of 679 thousand Boe per day. The decrease in 2005 is primarily attributable to property divestitures and, to a lesser extent, the recent hurricanes.

Devon's third quarter 2005 average realized natural gas price increased 38 percent to $7.13 per thousand cubic feet, compared with $5.17 per thousand cubic feet in the third quarter of 2004. The company's third quarter 2005 average realized oil price increased 49 percent to $43.45 per barrel compared with $29.19 per barrel in the third quarter of 2004. Devon's average realized price for natural gas liquids for the third quarter of 2005 was $32.23 per barrel, a 32 percent increase over the $24.36 per barrel realized in the comparable quarter of 2004.

Marketing and midstream operating margin increased 24 percent to $111 million compared with $89 million in the third quarter of 2004. Marketing and midstream revenues decreased one percent to $405 million while related expenses decreased eight percent to $294 million in the third quarter of 2005.

Higher Activity Levels Reflected in Higher Unit Costs

Lease operating expenses decreased one percent to $319 million in the third quarter of 2005 compared with the same quarter in 2004. On a unit of production basis, lease operating expenses increased 12 percent to $5.80 per Boe compared with the third quarter of 2004. The increase in per-unit expenses reflects higher transportation costs, higher ad valorem taxes and the foreign exchange effect of the weaker U.S. dollar on Devon's Canadian operations. Power, fuel and repairs and maintenance costs also increased.

Production taxes increased 67 percent to $81 million in the third quarter of 2005, compared with the third quarter of 2004. Higher oil and gas sales contributed to the increase in production taxes. In addition, third quarter 2004 production taxes were reduced by an $18 million adjustment related principally to previous accounting periods.

Depreciation, depletion and amortization (DD&A) of oil and gas properties decreased seven percent to $493 million from $532 million in the third quarter of 2004. This decrease follows the decrease in production resulting from oil and gas property divestitures in the first half of 2005. The DD&A rate was $8.96 per Boe in the third quarter of 2005.

General and administrative expenses increased to $70 million, a 20 percent increase over third quarter 2004. Higher costs relate to increased activity, a larger personnel base and increases in compensation and benefits.

Third quarter 2005 interest expense increased 50 percent to $164 million compared with the third quarter of 2004. The increase was attributable to a $51 million charge in the 2005 quarter resulting from early redemption of long-term debt.

Income tax expense was $395 million, or 35 percent of pre-tax earnings in the third quarter of 2005. Of total income tax expense, $203 million was current and $192 million was deferred. As a result of finalizing Devon's 2004 tax return in the third quarter of 2005, the company accelerated the utilization of certain deferred tax benefits. This resulted in a $76 million reclassification of deferred tax benefits to reduce current tax expense in the third quarter of 2005.

$1.2 Billion of Cash Applied to Debt Reduction and Share Repurchases

Devon retired $668 million of long-term debt with cash on hand in the third quarter of 2005. This included the early retirement of its 6.75 percent notes due in 2011 with a face value of $400 million. The company also repurchased 10.4 million shares of its common stock during the quarter for $567 million completing the 50 million share repurchase program announced in September 2004. A second 50 million share repurchase program is now under way.

Cash flow before balance sheet changes was $1.6 billion in the third quarter of 2005. This was a 26 percent increase over the same quarter in 2004. Following the debt retirements, stock repurchases and other uses of cash in the quarter, cash and short term investments were $1.9 billion as of September 30, 2005. At September 30, 2005, Devon's net debt to adjusted capitalization was 23 percent. Reconciliations of cash flow before balance sheet changes, net debt and adjusted capitalization, all of which are non-GAAP measures, are provided in this release.

Items Excluded from Published Earnings Estimates

Devon's reported net earnings include items of income and expense that are typically excluded by securities analysts in their published estimates for the company's financial results. These items and their effects upon third quarter 2005 reported earnings were as follows:

  • Effects of changes in foreign currency exchange rates increased earnings $15 million pre-tax ($12 million after tax).
  • A change in fair value of derivative financial instruments decreased earnings by $134 million pre-tax ($86 million after tax). Of the pre- tax amount, $90 million was related to long-term debt and the remainder was related to oil and gas hedges that no longer qualify for hedge accounting.
  • Additional interest expense attributable to early redemption of the $400 million 6.75 percent senior notes due 2011 decreased earnings by $51 million pre-tax ($34 million after tax).

The following table summarizes the effects of these items on earnings and income taxes. Included in the table are the tax effects of an income tax accrual adjustment and oil and gas property divestitures that did not affect net earnings.

Summary of Items Typically Excluded by Securities Analysts
     (in millions)
                                                                        Cash
                                                                        Flow
                                                                       Before
                                                                       Balance
                           Pretax                           After-tax   Sheet
                          Earnings    Income Tax Effect     Earnings   Changes
                           Effect  Current  Deferred  Total  Effect     Effect


    Change in fair
     value of financial
     instruments           $(134)     (4)     (44)     (48)     (86)      (8)
    Foreign exchange
     effect                   15     ---        3        3       12      ---
    Additional interest
     costs on debt
     retirement              (51)    (17)     ---      (17)     (34)     (34)
    Income tax accrual
     adjustment              ---     (76)      76      ---      ---       76
    Effects of oil and
     gas property
     divestitures            ---      42      (42)     ---      ---      (42)
      Totals               $(170)    (55)     (7)      (62)    (108)      (8)

In aggregate, these items decreased third quarter 2005 net earnings by $108 million, or 25 cents per common share (24 cents per diluted share). These items and their associated tax effects decreased cash flow before balance sheet changes by $8 million.

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