Asset Sale Boosts Abraxas Petroleum Corporation

Abraxas Petroleum (NASDAQ: AXAS  ) reported fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results before the market opened this morning. For the latest quarter the company reported a net profit of $27 million, or $0.29 per share. However, on an adjusted basis the company reported a loss of $2.3 million, or $0.03 per share.

The company's earnings were lifted by a $33.4 million gain on the sale of its WyCross holding in the Eagle Ford.The $2.3 million loss comes from adjusting for that one-time gain, as well as for other noncash items that included derivative contracts and the impairment on its Canadian assets. However, the underlying business was much stronger as Abraxas Petroleum delivered adjusted discretionary cash flow of $7.3 million in the quarter.

Fueling the company's cash flow was production of 4,084 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the fourth quarter of 2013. While that represents a decline from the 4,137 barrels of oil per day produced in the year-ago fourth quarter, the drop was the result of asset sales. Abraxas has focused on reducing its natural gas production while at the same time increasing oil production. That focus meant oil production grew from 1,910 barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 2,375 barrels per day in the three-month period ending 2013. Natural gas production declined.

In a statement commenting on the results CEO Bob Watson noted that "2013 was clearly a tremendous year for Abraxas financially." He said the company this year would remain focused on "returns oriented growth and maintaining our pristine balance sheet," and that Abraxas is "well positioned to execute on both fronts." 


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