NEW YORK SandRidge Energy Inc, the U.S. oil and gas company whose board and executives are under fire from activist investors, posted a narrower fourth-quarter loss on Thursday as it produced more oil and gas.
The Oklahoma company reported a quarterly net loss of $301.8 million, or 63 cents per share, compared with a loss of $388.6 million, or 97 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.
Excluding items, the company said it earned $35.3 million, or 6 cents a share. That beat analysts' average expectations for a break-even quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company's production in the quarter rose more than 60 percent to 9.8 million barrels of oil equivalent. It expects to produce around 34.3 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2013, factoring in its recent sale of assets in the Permian basin, which closed earlier this week.
SandRidge and its chief executive, Tom Ward, have been targeted by two of the company's largest investors, hedge funds TPG-Axon Capital Partners and Mount Kellett Capital Management, which want the company to overhaul its board and management.
TPG-Axon has launched campaign to replace the board and oust Ward - a matter on which SandRidge shareholders have until March 15 to vote.
The fund has criticized the company's stock performance and made allegations of self-dealing by Ward and his family in land deals with the company.
SandRidge has given Ward wide latitude to profit from personal oil-and-gas deals in ways that pose potential conflicts of interest with the company, according to a Reuters review of employment contracts and recent transactions.
Shares of SandRidge closed at $5.70 on the New York Stock Exchange. After the company released results, the shares fell about 2 percent to $5.58 in after-the-bell trading.
(Reporting by Michael Erman in New York; editing by Leslie Adler and Matthew Lewis)