Australia's Woodside year profit falls, misses market forecasts

MELBOURNE Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:02pm EST

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MELBOURNE Feb 19 (Reuters) - Woodside Petroleum reported a 17 percent fall in annual underlying profit, missing market forecasts, as it sold more of its gas at cheaper prices than a year earlier.

Australia's top oil and gas producer, working on the early stages of new projects off Western Australia, Israel and Myanmar to drive long-term growth, reaffirmed it expects to produce 86-93 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) in 2014, compared with 87 mmboe last year.

Underlying profit in 2013 fell to $1.702 billion from $2.06 billion. Analysts had expected an underlying profit of $1.85 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net profit fell 41 percent to $1.749 billion, as the previous year's result was boosted by a one-off gain from the sale of a stake in the Browse LNG project. Woodside said its net profit was in line with market forecasts.

Woodside's shares last traded at A$38.50, up 5 percent over the past year against a nearly 7 percent rise in the broader market. (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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