News Column

Laredo Profit Sputters on Lower Commodity Prices

May 10, 2013

Robert Evatt

Laredo Petroleum Holdings Inc. reported higher first-quarter revenue Thursday, although its profit fell significantly from a year ago.

Tulsa-based Laredo said it brought in $163.7 million in revenue, up from $149 million in the first quarter of 2012. First-quarter net income fell to $1.41 million, or 1 cent per diluted share, from $26.2 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.

Lower commodity prices caused the sharp drop in profit, said Rick Buterbaugh, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

"Depending on how commodities move, it can cause unrealized gains or losses we're required to report," he said. "We had an unrealized loss from where we were at the end of 2012."

Shares of Laredo plunged more than 7 percent Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, finishing the day at $16.55. They have traded in a 52-week range of $15.78 to $24.10.

Laredo said it increased its crude oil production 8 percent from the fourth quarter and 35 percent from a year ago, reaching 15,798 barrels per day.

The company also said it boosted total production volumes to a record 34,722 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up 4 percent from the fourth quarter and 24 percent from the first three months of last year.

Laredo continues to expand its exploration efforts, saying it completed eight horizontal wells on the Permian-Garden City acreage east of Midland, Texas.

The company reduced its horizontal drilling and completion costs by 5 percent to 10 percent per zone due to moving from a period of delineation in 2012 to active development of localized sites, Buterbaugh said.

Laredo Petroleum Holdings earnings

2013

1Q 2012

1Q

Revenue $163.7M $149M

Net income $1.4M $26.2M

Net per share 1 cent 20 cents

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(c)2013 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.)

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