InterOil Corp.'s (IOC) first-quarter earnings surged as the oil and gas company posted a jump in revenue from its refining and downstream businesses and benefited from foreign exchange gains.
InterOil's operations target the oil and gas resources of Papua New Guinea. The country's reserves of liquid natural gas have lately attracted the interest of several other multinational energy companies, and their presence has not always been welcome. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) recently resumed work at a $15.7 billion project for liquid-gas export after protesting landowners disrupted operations.
InterOil has run into obstacles in its plans for a major new liquid-gas project in the area, facing criticism last year from national government officials, as well as difficulty pinning down partners and investors.
The company has received bids from potential partners in the liquid-gas project, as well as for the sale of its interest in the Elk and Antelope fields, Chief Executive Phil Mulacek said Monday, adding that the company expects to enter an agreement for the LNG project this quarter.
The company recently inked a deal, worth as much as $345 million, that gives Canadian oil producer Pacific Rubiales Corp. (PEGFF, PRE.T) a 10% net participating interest in a prospecting license in Papua New Guinea.
For the first quarter, InterOil posted a profit of $9.45 million, or 19 cents a share, up from a year-earlier profit of $695,549, or a penny a share. The most-recent quarter included $10.1 million from foreign exchange gains while the year earlier included $2.82 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently projected per-share earnings of 5 cents.
Revenue jumped 39% to $338.2 million. The midstream refining business posted a 39% increase in revenue, while revenue from the downstream business also grew 39%, driven by growth in the aviation and retail business segments.
Shares closed at $57.61 on Friday and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 13% so far this year.
-By Kristin Jones; Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2208; firstname.lastname@example.org