Tullow Oil Rallies on Results

LONDON -- The shares of Tullow Oil  (LSE: TLW  )  climbed 27 pence, or 2.3%, to 1,207 pence during early London trade this morning after the oil group reported its full-year results.

The FTSE 100 member revealed sales up 2% to $2.3bn and profit after tax down 3% to $666m. The standstill performance was due mostly to production levels advancing just 1% to 79,200 barrels a day and the price of oil sold staying at $108 a barrel.

Tullow's profit numbers included a $701m gain from a disposal as well as exploration write-offs that totalled $671m.

The dividend was held at 12 pence per share.

Aidan Heavey, Tullow's chief executive, said:

2012 was a year of major progress for Tullow. We materially enhanced the business with a basin-opening oil discovery in Kenya, by adding highly prospective new licences in Africa and the Atlantic Margins, refinancing our debt and partially monetising our Ugandan assets.

This focus on exploration-led growth, together with active portfolio management and Tullow's strong balance sheet, provides an excellent platform for growth in 2013 and beyond.

Going on today's figures, Tullow's shares trade on a P/E of 28 and a yield of 1%.

On the face of it, those ratings suggest a lot of Tullow's 11 billion-pound market value is based on the oil reserves that may be extracted in the future rather than on the firm's current production rate.

Still, Tullow's shares have surged 170-fold under the leadership of Aidan Heavey during the last 20 years or so. As such, it may pay to stick with one of the sector's most talented executives.

Of course, whether today's results, the current valuation and Mr Heavey's phenomenal share-price record combine to make Tullow a buy or a sell remains your decision.

Indeed, you may wish to consult this free Motley Fool report, which explains the factors you need to consider -- and the risks you might encounter -- when evaluating oil and gas explorers.

You never know, there could be another Tullow out there right now... ready to gush 170-fold. If such opportunities tempt you, please click here to read the Fool's exclusive oil and gas report before you hit the buy button.


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