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Talisman Energy shares fall on surprise 3Q loss

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Talisman Energy Inc. fell Wednesday after the Canadian oil and gas company posted a surprise third-quarter loss, hurt by a slew of one-time charges and lower natural gas prices.

THE SPARK: The Canadian oil and gas company posted a loss of $731 million, or 71 cents per share, compared with a profit of $521 million, or 24 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items, Talisman posted an adjusted loss of 4 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 6 cents per share. Revenue fell 12 percent to $1.72 billion from $1.96 billion. Analysts expected $1.77 billion.

THE BIG PICTURE: Talisman said its underlying production rose 6 percent on strong results in Southeast Asia, Colombia and the Eagle Ford field in the U.S. The company also expects to meet its full-year production target.

But Talisman said those gains are offset by low natural gas prices in North America and lower production in the North Sea. Natural gas prices have fallen to record lows in recent months, hurt by a glut of gas on the market and lower demand stemming from mild winter weather earlier this year.

THE SHARES: Down 93 cents, or 7.7 percent, to $11.23 in very heavy afternoon trading, after dropping as low as $10.72 earlier in the day. Over the past 52 weeks, the company's shares have traded between $9.46 and $15.21.