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BHP Billiton's Petrohawk Swings to Loss as Prices Fall

By Robb M. Stewart MELBOURNE--BHP Billiton Ltd.'s (BHP) recently acquired U.S. shale operation Petrohawk Energy Corp. has swung sharply to a loss in the first six months of the year, further pain for the resources giant after it last week said it would write down the value of another shale purchase by US$2.84 billion to reflect a slump in U.S. natural gas prices. Petrohawk in a statement released Thursday by BHP reported a first-half net loss of US$101.8 million in the period ended June 30, from a year-earlier profit of US$42.9 million, despite a jump in oil and gas revenue to US$965.3 million from US$793.9 million. BHP bought Petrohawk a year ago for US$12.1 billion, its second foray into the booming U.S. shale industry after it earlier in the year paid US$4.75 billion for Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s (CHK) Fayetteville shale assets and a pipeline system in Arkansas. BHP said Friday it was taking the impairment charge against the Fayetteville assets, but didn't need to write down any of the Petrohawk assets due to the potential to pump liquids rather than dry gas in Texas and Louisiana. Petrohawk said production of oil and gas rose 37% on year to 59,950 million cubic feet of gas equivalent in the six months through June thanks to drilling successes, although this was partially offset by a US$0.58 fall in the average realized price to US$4.36 per 1,000 cubic feet equivalent. Petrohawk's earnings were also dented by a US$28.3 million loss on derivative contracts, compared with a profit a year earlier. BHP in a statement accompanying Petrohawk's results said the figures aren't any indication of the contribution the business made to BHP's own results since it was acquired. BHP's profit is expected to have fallen 22% to almost US$16.88 billion before one-time items in the year to June 30 as prices for iron ore and other commodities have fallen, according to the consensus of 25 analysts' forecasts. The company is due to report its results Aug. 22. Write to Robb M. Stewart at robb.stewart@wsj.com Order free Annual Report for BHP Billiton Plc Visit http://djnweurope.ar.wilink.com/?ticker=GB0000566504 or call +44 (0)208 391 6028 Order free Annual Report for BHP Billiton Plc Visit http://djnweurope.ar.wilink.com/?ticker=US05545E2090 or call +44 (0)208 391 6028 Order free Annual Report for Chesapeake Energy Corp. Visit http://djnweurope.ar.wilink.com/?ticker=US1651671075 or call +44 (0)208 391 6028 Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

Stock News for Chesapeake (CHK)
DateTimeHeadline
09/30/201603:03:00Gas Firm Gets Data Request -- WSJ
09/29/201618:50:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Announces Pricing And Upsizing...
09/29/201617:28:00INVESTOR ALERT: Goldberg Law PC Announces an Investigation of...
09/29/201617:13:00SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Announces an Investigation...
09/29/201615:57:00SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC Announces...
09/29/201615:33:00SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Investigates Claims On...
09/29/201615:30:00Chesapeake Energy Reveals Subpoena
09/29/201615:09:00Chesapeake Energy Gets Subpoena Seeking Accounting Information
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09/29/201607:33:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Announces Private Placement Of...
09/28/201619:20:00Carl Icahn Cuts Stake in Transocean
09/27/201607:00:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Announces Final Results Of Cash...
09/19/201618:49:00Carl Icahn Sells More Than Half of Chesapeake Stake -- Update
09/19/201618:10:00Carl Icahn Sells More Than Half of Chesapeake Stake
09/19/201618:03:00Carl Icahn Sells More Than Half of Chesapeake Stake
09/18/201621:00:00Oklahomans Turn Out for Auction of McClendon's Wines
09/18/201616:49:00Oklahomans Turn Out for Auction of Aubrey McClendon's Wines
09/13/201607:00:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Announces Final Results Of Cash...
09/13/201607:00:00Chesapeake Energy Corporation Announces Extension Of Expiration...
09/10/201603:02:00France's Total Expands in Texas -- WSJ

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