CORRECTED-McMoRan posts loss as failed well tests add to costs

Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:55am EST

(Corrects second paragraph to say Freeport-McMoRan cut its bid for McMoRan before announcing the deal on Dec. 5, not on Dec. 28 as mentioned)

Jan 18 (Reuters) - McMoRan Exploration Co reported its fourth straight quarterly loss on higher costs resulting from repeated failures to launch a key gas well, a delay that has prompted bidder Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc to lower its offer.

Freeport-McMoRan cut its bid for McMoRan by about 5 percent to $14.75 days before announcing plans to buy the oil and gas company on Dec. 5, prompted by poor test results at McMoRan's Davy Jones No.1 well, according to a regulatory filing.

McMoRan reported net loss of $1.2 million, or 1 cent per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of $28.4 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 31 percent to $84.2 million. (Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore)

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