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Higher stock price triggers first-quarter loss for Barnwell

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A spike in the stock price of Honolulu-based Barnwell Industries Inc. helped produce a net loss at the real estate, drilling and energy company during the first three months of the year.

Second-quarter loss

$1.5 million

Year-earlier net

$1.5 million

Barnwell reported a $1.5 million net loss in the period, a reversal from a $1.5 million profit in the same quarter last year.

The company said the value of employee stock options, which soared after Barnwell’s stock price doubled during the quarter, had to be recorded as a liability because employees have the right to receive the value of options in cash.

Only a small amount of options were cashed in during the quarter, but the value of options that could be cashed in rose by $1.6 million and was recorded as a liability. Barnwell, which has about 45 employees, revalues employee stock options every quarter.

Shares of Barnwell stock closed yesterday at $6.47 on the American Stock Exchange. Shares started the year at $4.33 and surged as high as $8.94 before backing off to $7.24 on March 31.

Operationally, Barnwell earnings in the quarter were hurt by a decline in natural gas prices and production along with increased oil and natural gas operating costs due to repairs and maintenance. That was partially offset by increased oil prices and production along with a $1.3 million gain from drilling royalty credits.

Revenue, which is mostly derived from oil and natural gas operations in Canada, totaled $9.3 million in the quarter, down from $9.8 million a year earlier. The company also has real estate development interests on the Big Island, but reported no revenue from leasehold land payments in the quarter.

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