Major U.S. oil and gas producer


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said Thursday that it lost nearly $3 billion in the fourth quarter.

Apache lost $2.9 billion, or $8.80 per share, compared with net income of $1.07 billion, or $3.19 per share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding extraordinary items, Apache's EPS was 82 cents.

An analyst poll by Thomson Reuters had forecast Apache's adjusted earnings to be $1.26 per share.

Apache's results included a $3.6 billion non-cash writedown on the mark-to-market adjusted value of the energy commodities in its inventory. Net-positive tax-related adjustments worth approximately $400 million were also included.

The company reported quarterly revenue of $1.94 billion, down from $3.02 billion a year earlier. Analysts were expecting $2.22 billion in revenue.

"Certainly, the magnitude of the writedowns is large; however, considering oil prices have collapsed from a peak of more than $140 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate at mid-year to less than $45 per barrel at year-end, it was not unexpected," said G. Steven Farris, chairman and CEO of Apache.

Shares of Apache were recently sliding 1.1% at $67.42 per share.