Hess Corp., which sold off fueling stations and refineries to focus on production, reported its second consecutive quarterly loss as higher oil output failed to compensate for lower prices. The second-quarter loss was $567 million, or $1.99 a share, compared with net income of $931 million, or $2.96, a year earlier, New York-based Hess said in a statement Wednesday.
Excluding one-time items, the loss was 52 cents a share, less than the 71 cent average of 21 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The loss came as the company pumped more oil to make up for crude prices that fell 44 percent from a year earlier. Output rose 23 percent, led by North Dakota’s Bakken Shale where production was up a 49 percent to the equivalent of 119,000 barrels of oil a day.
Total production rose to 391,000 barrels a day, beating the highest analyst estimate of 361,600 barrels a day. Hess also sold a half interest in operations that include a gas-processing plant, a crude rail terminal and rail cars to Global Infrastructure Partners for $3 billion in a deal that closed July 1. One-time items for the quarter included a $385 million writedown on the value of onshore U.S. assets.
Capital and exploratory spending fell 15 percent from a year earlier to $1.07 billion as the company reduced drilling. “We achieved strong operating performance in the quarter and delivered significant and immediate value to our shareholders with the sale of a 50 percent interest in our Bakken midstream assets,” Chief Executive Officer John Hess said in the statement.