Apache Corp Earnings: Snaps Strong Streak with Profit Drop

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) reported its results for the first quarter. Apache is an energy company that explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids in six countries.

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Apache Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for the oil-US export and production fell to $797 million ($2 per share) vs. $1.13 billion ($2.86 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 29.7% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 14.6% to $4.5 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Apache Corporation fell short of the mean analyst estimate of $3.09 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $4.51 billion.

Quoting Management: “Apache is off to a strong start with first-quarter daily production growth of seven percent, adjusted for 2011 asset sales,” said G. Steven Farris, chairman and chief executive officer. “We expect overall production to continue to grow on the strength of an active worldwide drilling program, including accelerated activity on the 312,000 newly acquired acres in the Anadarko Basin.”

Key Stats:

For the past five quarters, the company has seen double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 35.2%, with the biggest boost coming in the first quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 46.8% from the year earlier quarter.

Last quarter’s profit decrease breaks a streak of four consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 72.7% from the year earlier, while the figure increased 28.7% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, 46.4% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 60.9% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company fell short of forecasts after beating estimates in the previous two quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, it topped the mark by 7 cents, and in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, it was ahead by 13 cents.

Looking Forward: Over the past ninety days, the average estimate for the second quarter has fallen from $3.13 per share to $3.02, indicating that analysts are growing pessisimistic about the company’s performance next quarter. Over the past three months, the average estimate for the fiscal year has climbed from $12.18 per to share to $12.46.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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