Newfield Profits Climb

Higher prices offset lower production.
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Newfield Exploration

(NFX)

said fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled from a year ago, helped by an unrealized gain on derivative contracts.

The Houston, Texas-based oil and gas exploration and production company earned $184 million, or $1.43 a share, compared with $90 million, or 72 cents, a year ago. Adjusted earnings were $99 million, or 77 cents a share, in the most recent quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $1.12 a share.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose marginally from a year ago to $443 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $450.98 million.

For 2006, Newfield expects total production of 250 billion to 265 billion cubic feet equivalent of gas, an increase of 3% to 10% over 2005 production. For 2007, the company expects an increase of 20% to 25% in production.

Newfield's production in the fourth quarter declined 27.6% to 50.3 billion cubic feet equivalent, hurt by hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. However, a 40% rise in average price to $8.78 per million cubic feet equivalent offset the production loss.

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