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AMERICAN EXPLORATION ANNOUNCES 1991 RESULTS

 AMERICAN EXPLORATION ANNOUNCES 1991 RESULTS
 HOUSTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- American Exploration Company


(AMEX: AX) today announced a net loss for 1991 of $24.3 million ($0.45 loss per share) compared with net income of $4.0 million ($0.11 earnings per share) for 1990. Significantly lower oil and gas prices were primarily responsible for the loss. Despite these lower prices, cash flow before changes in working capital increased from $14.9 million in 1990 to $18.9 million in 1991. Total operating cash flow in 1991 was $21.5 million compared to $25.2 million in 1990.
 While oil and gas production increased 46 percent and 86 percent, respectively, when compared to 1990, oil and gas revenue increased by only 40 percent because of lower oil and gas prices. The company's average oil price for 1991 fell to $18.17 per barrel compared to $22.77 per barrel during the prior period while the company's average gas price for 1991 fell to $1.54 per Mcf compared to $1.71 per Mcf for 1990.
 Total revenues of $70.0 million in 1991 increased 13 percent from 1990. Included in total revenues was a loss of $6.2 million from the sale of approximately $23.0 million in non-strategic oil and gas properties as compared to $6.1 million in gains recorded in 1990. Proceeds from the 1991 sales were used primarily to reduce debt incurred to finance the Conquest acquisition. Additionally, program formation fees decreased to $1.3 million in 1991 from $4.2 million last year, reflecting the company's reduced reliance on investment programs to fund acquisitions.
 Despite an overall production increase of 72 percent on a barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) basis, production and operating expenses in 1991 were only 53 percent higher than 1990, reflecting a decline in operating costs per BOE from $3.84 in 1990 to $3.41 in 1991. Depreciation, depletion and amortization of $35.2 million increased from $17.0 million in 1990 primarily due to increased production and higher acquisition costs *related to the Conquest acquisition. General and administrative expense increased 23 percent to $15.0 million in 1991 from $12.2 million in 1990, but declined 28 percent on a BOE basis reflecting improved efficiency.
 Mark Andrews, American's chairman and CEO, said, "While 1991 was disappointing because of much lower than expected oil and gas prices, it saw accomplishments in several areas which are important for our future. We completed the acquisition of Conquest Exploration Company, improved our balance sheet by refinancing $35 million of our bank debt with long- term institutional lenders, implemented steps to further improve operating efficiency and reduce overhead, and made good progress in exploration. During 1992 we will test the first prospect on our Tunisian license as well as further delineate our discovery in West Texas."
 American Exploration Company is an independent oil and gas company with production in the United States and Canada and exploratory activities in North America, Tunisia, the Sultanate of Oman and New Zealand.
 AMERICAN EXPLORATION COMPANY
 (In thousands, except for per share amounts)
 SUMMARIZED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
 For the three months For the year
 ended Dec. 31, ended Dec. 31,
 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Revenues:
 Oil and gas sales $16,309 $14,221 $71,499 $51,130
 Program formation 157 452 1,326 4,202
 Gain (loss) on property
 sales (1,625) 1,887 (6,207) 6,090
 Other revenues 1,528 421 3,423 440
 Total revenues 16,369 16,981 70,041 61,862
 Costs and expenses:
 Production and operating 5,423 2,897 20,357 13,341
 Depreciation, depletion
 and amortization 9,026 4,144 35,163 16,970
 General and administrative 3,351 3,955 15,033 12,211
 Taxes other than income 1,724 1,497 6,873 4,585
 Exploration 2,865 1,217 6,027 1,217
 Total costs and expenses 22,389 13,710 83,453 48,324
 Income (loss) from operations (6,020) 3,271 (13,412) 13,538
 Interest expense and other,
 net (2,819) (2,006) (12,616) (9,489)
 Minority interest 493 -- 1,771 --
 Net income (loss) (8,346) 1,265 (24,257) 4,049
 Preferred stock expense (4) (47) (114) (551)
 Net income (loss) to
 common stock $(8,350) $1,218 $(24,371) $3,498
 Net income (loss) per
 common share $(0.15) $0.03 $(0.45) $0.11
 SUMMARIZED CASH FLOW INFORMATION
 For the year ended
 Dec. 31,
 1991 1990
 Operating cash flows:
 Before working capital $18,875 $14,887
 After working capital 21,505 25,161
 SUMMARIZED BALANCE SHEETS
 Dec. 31, Dec. 31,
 1991 1990
 Assets
 Current assets $ 35,025 $ 40,795
 Net property, plant & equipment 298,896 174,404
 Other assets 2,882 5,254
 Total $336,803 $220,453
 Liabilities and stockholders' equity
 Current liabilities $44,091 $40,899
 Long-term debt 153,226 77,467
 Other liabilities 12,053 10,150
 Stockholders' equity 127,433 91,937
 Total $336,803 $220,453
 -0- 2/26/92
 /CONTACT: Frank Murphy, Vice President-Investor Relations of American Exploration, 212-230-0344/
 (AX) CO: American Exploration Company ST: Texas IN: OIL SU: ERN


KD-OS -- NY004 -- 2894 02/26/92 14:51 EST
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Date:Feb 26, 1992
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