Antrim Energy recognizes $50.4-million writedown in Q4, stock plunges

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CALGARY - Antrim Energy Inc. (TSX:AEN) shares were down about 45 per cent Wednesday after the company announced larger quarterly and annual losses compared with the year-earlier comparables.

Antrim shares traded as low as 19 cents Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the lowest on record going back at least five years.

They recovered slightly later in the day but were still down 18 cents or 46.15 per cent at 21 cents, with more than 4.3 million traded by 3 p.m.

The company reported a $67.1 million net loss or 37 cents per share from continuing operations in the quarter, compared with the year-earlier loss of $14.9 million or nine cents per share.

For the full year, Antrim had a $134.8 million net loss or 73 cents per share from continuing operations in 2012, an increase from $52.97 million or 32 cents per share in 2011.

Antrim chief executive Stephen Greer said the company continues to add value to its North Sea producing properties but with a cautious approach to any new investment in small fields.

"As part of this strategy, the company recently took the decision to opt out of the continuing oil development at the Fionn Field and the planned development of the Fyne Field because costs had begun to rise dramatically," Greer said.

The Calgary-based company reported that its fourth quarter included a $50.4-million impairment charge as a result of its previously announced decision to opt out of participating in the Fionn Field in the North Sea.

It previously had a 35.5 per cent working interest in the block.

Antrim also said it had discontinued planning for development of the Fyne Field this week, following first production from the Causeway Field during the fourth quarter and first production from the Cormorant East Field in January.

Organizations: Antrim Energy Inc., TSX, Toronto Stock Exchange

Geographic location: CALGARY, North Sea

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