Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC-Based Devon 4Q Profits Dip 9.8 Percent

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC-Based Devon 4Q Profits Dip 9.8 Percent

Article excerpt

Falling natural gas prices hit Devon Energy Corp. in the fourth quarter as the energy company reported on Wednesday that quarterly profits fell 9.8 percent.

The Oklahoma City-based energy company has been working to produce more crude oil, which rose in price last year and was more profitable to produce than natural gas, said John Richels, Devon president and CEO, during a presentation that was broadcast via the Internet.

Still, Devon's overall output is dominated by natural gas, said M. "Jake" Dollarhide, CEO of Tulsa-based Longbow Asset Management.

"Devon still has a large natural gas footprint," Dollarhide said. "And investors are looking for something to get excited about."

The results beat Wall Street estimates, however, and Devon shares rose 7.17 percent, or $4.80, to close at $71.70 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

"The Devon report was a solid one as the company's stock rose more than 7 percent when the overall market declined 1 percent," Dollarhide said.

The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 97.33 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 12,780.95 on Wednesday. Yet, that drop was the steepest fall of the year as concerns mounted over the latest Greek bailout news.

In the final three months of 2011, Devon said its net income fell to $507 million, or $1.25 per share, compared with $562 million, or $1.29 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue increased 21.1 percent to $2.59 billion from $2.14 billion the same period a year earlier.

Devon reported record profits for the full year. Net income for 2011 was $4.7 billion, or $11.29 per share. Those figures compared to 2010 profits of $4.6 billion, or $10.35 per share.

For the full year, revenue increased 15.2 percent to $11.5 billion from $9.94 billion a year earlier.

"Our strengths are focused on per-share growth and capital discipline," Richels said during the webcast.

Steady oil prices and increased demand for natural gas liquids has affected Devon's stock price for the last six months, said Greg Womack, president of Edmond-based Womack Investment Advisers. Womack's company does own Devon shares for its clients and in its fund, Womack said. …

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