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Barnwell Industries’ loss widens in final quarter of 2012

Honolulu-based Barnwell Industries Inc. said today a decline in the book value of its oil and natural gas properties in Canada was the main reason the company’s loss widened in the final quarter of 2012 compared with the same period a year earlier.

Barnwell lost $2.7 million, or 33 cents a share in its first fiscal quarter, compared with a loss of $282,000, or 3 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.

The loss in the most recent quarter included a $2.3 million write-down in the value of the oil and natural gas properties, according to Morton Kinzler, Barnwell’s chairman and chief executive officer. There was no such write-down in the year-earlier quarter.

“This reduction in carrying value had no effect on the company’s liquidity or compliance with our credit agreements,” Kinzler said in a news release.

Other factors contributing to Barnwell’s loss were declines in the price of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids, which fell by 12 percent, 15 percent and 23 percent respectively, the company reported.

“Due to these declines in product prices the company has decreased its investment in natural gas properties significantly, focusing on oil properties,” Kinzler said.

Barnwell invested $1.87 million in oil and gas exploration  and development in the latest quarter, according to the release.

The company also said it sold a lot in the Kaupulehu Development on the Kona Coast this month that will report as a $300,000 gain in its second fiscal quarter results.

Barnwell’s shares were up 3 cents at $3.47 in late trading today on the New York Stock Exchange.

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