McMoran: Exploration Isn’t Paying Off (MMR)

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McMoran Exploration Company (NYSE:MMR) reported full-year 2008 and fourth quarter results yesterday, and it definitely wasn’t pretty. The company’s full-year EPS was -$3.79, and for the fourth quarter the EPS loss totaled -$4.39.

McMoran can’t even blame mark-to-market accounting for the loss. Thecompany had a cash gain of $8.7 million and a non-cash gain of $43.2million in the fourth quarter on its derivative contracts.

The company is still suffering from the effects of the 2008 Gulfhurricanes, which caused production to be cut nearly in half. Thecompany sees near-normal production rates by mid-2009.

McMoran reported $93.5 million in cash and total debt of $375 million,which it says is a reduction of $426 million from one year ago.

Shares opened about $0.30 lower this morning and have continued to fallin early trading, now down about $0.60, or 7%. The 52-week low is$7.39/share, so that’s within range today.

Paul Ausick
January 22, 2009