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Anadarko's Earnings Sink

First-quarter revenue rises.

Anadarko Petroleum

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said its first-quarter profits dropped 84% from a year ago after it recorded a number of one-time items, including a hefty charge and a loss on derivatives contracts.

The company earned $104 million, or 23 cents a share, down from $660 million and $1.42 a share during the same period a year ago.

Contributing to the decline was a $316 million unrealized loss on derivatives, a $189 million charge associated with Algeria's exceptional profits tax, a restructuring charge of $25 million and legal accruals totaling $22 million. Partly offsetting those costs were realized gains on derivatives of $160 million.

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Regarding the situation in Algeria, Anadarko executives had planned to pay the tax on revenue in excess of $30 a barrel. However, last week the Algerian government made the surprise decision to apply the tax to all of Anadarko's revenue there.

In a conference call, Anadarko executives said they are vigorously protesting Algeria's decision.

Total revenue in the first quarter grew 57% to $2.68 billion, up from $1.70 billion during the same period a year ago, owing to strong sales of crude oil and natural gas.

One project that's performing better than expected is Anadarko's natural gas development program in Wyoming's Powder River Basin.

Additionally, Anadarko is ramping up its operations at the Independence Hub in the Gulf of Mexico. The first well is expected to begin production in the third quarter. Anadarko estimates that the project will ultimately contain 12 wells producing 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

Anadarko was trading 1.2% lower at $46.11 Tuesday.