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Apache 4Q profit falls 45 pct. on lower prices

HOUSTON (AP) -- Apache Corp. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income fell 45 percent, hurt by charges related to a drop in the value of its Canadian natural gas and oil properties and tax adjustments.

The Houston-based energy company earned $649 million, or $1.64 per share, down from $1.17 billion, or $2.98 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Excluding write-down charges, which stemmed from Canadian natural gas prices, tax adjustments and other one-time items, adjusted profit was $2.27 per share in the recent quarter.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $4.39 billion.

The results fell short of Wall Street predictions. Analysts, on average, expected $2.30 per share on $4.36 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Production rose 5 percent to 800,005 barrels of oil equivalent per day, as volumes of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids increased.

The company's average oil price fell 4 percent to $98.93 per barrel, while natural gas prices edged down about 1 percent to $4.14 per 1,000 cubic feet. The average natural gas liquids price dropped 26 percent to $30.88 per barrel.

For the full year, Apache made $1.93 billion, or $4.92 per share, down from $4.51 billion, or $11.47 per share, in 2011. Revenue rose to $17.08 billion from $16.89 billion.

Apache shares fell $1.12 to $83.21 in midday trading.