May 06--Shares of Fort Worth-based Quicksilver Resources slid 13 percent Tuesday after the company said it lost $58.8 million in the first quarter.
After one-time adjustments, mostly from noncash losses on hedging contracts, it lost $14 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with Wall Street's consensus estimate of a loss of 6 cents. The natural gas producer's average daily production was down 31 percent from a year ago, to an average of 246 million cubic feet equivalent a day.
Quicksilver said the decline was mostly due to the sale of 25 percent of its Barnett Shale properties, reduced drilling in the field, and the sale of Montana assets in the past year. The Barnett accounts for about 60 percent of Quicksilver's production.
The company has struggled to recover from the slide in natural gas prices, having borrowed and spent heavily in 2008 just before prices tumbled. Its long-term debt remained at just under $2 billion as of March 31, and interest costs in the quarter amounted to nearly $41 million.
Quicksilver sold its Colorado properties during the quarter for cash proceeds of $93.5 million, but that won't show up on the books until the second quarter, it said.
The company also said it drilled five wells and completed 14 in the Barnett Shale in the quarter and expects to increase production in the field by more than 10 percent in the second quarter compared with the first quarter.
"Our Barnett operations are building volumes again," CEO Glenn Darden told financial analysts on a conference call. He said Quicksilver is reducing drilling costs and working to make its operations more efficient.
The stock (ticker: KWK) closed down 43 cents at $2.81 a share.
Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552 Twitter: @jimfuquay
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