August 2, 2012 / 2:00 PM / 5 years ago

CORRECTED-Ultra Petroleum posts loss on higher operating costs

(Corrects year-earlier earnings figure in first bullet point and revenue in second bullet point)

* Ultra Petroleum second-quarter loss/shr $7.76/share vs EPS $0.67 last year

* Ultra Petroleum second-quarter revenue down 39 pct at $170.3 mln

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Natural gas producer Ultra Petroleum Corp reported a quarterly loss on higher operating costs, and forecast lower third-quarter output as realized natural gas prices remained low.

The company expects production of 60 billions of cubic feet equivalent (bcfe) to 62 bcfe for the third quarter, down from 63.4 bcfe it produced a year earlier.

Ultra Petroleum’s average realized natural gas price fell 22 percent to $4.04 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) for the April-June.

Production rose 10 percent to 65.1 bcfe.

Total operating revenue fell 39 percent to $170.3 million.

The company reported a net loss of $1.19 billion, or $7.76 per share, compared with a profit of $103.5 million, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 36 cents per share.

Operating costs rose more than ten-folds to $2.05 billion.

Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 33 cents per share on revenue of $266.2 million.

Oil and gas company Berry Petroleum Co also reported a second-quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates hurt by increased costs.

Ultra Petroleum shares were down 2 percent at $23.28 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday while shares of Berry Petroleum were down 5 percent at $35.52. (Reporting by Sunayan Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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