Plains Exploration ( PXP), a developer of oil and gas properties, reported a rise of 168% in its fourth-quarter earnings, helped by one-time items.

The company earned $73.8 million, or 93 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $27.5 million, or 35 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding the effect of derivatives contracts, charges related to oil and gas hedges and stock options expenses, earnings were 43 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were estimating earnings of 50 cents a share.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 27.3% from a year-ago period to $274.4 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $280.10 million in the quarter.

For fiscal 2006, Plains Exploration expects an increase in depreciation, depletion and amortization rate of $8.40 to $8.50 per barrels of oil equivalent, with respect to its previously issued guidance. It reaffirmed all other 2006 estimates.

Oil sales were up 45.4% to $218.9 million. Revenue from sale of gas was down 15.9% at 54.1 million.

For the quarter, the production was 62,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day compared to 76,900 boepd for 2004. Production declined due to asset sales late in the fourth quarter of 2004 and in the second quarter of 2005, hurricane downtime and operational shut-ins, the company said.

The company added that proven reserves at the end of 2005 was at 401 million barrels of oil equivalent compared to 419 mmboe at the end of 2004.

This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.

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