Anadarko posts $700 million loss — and that’s an improvement

Oil company Anadarko announced 1000 job cuts, or 17 percent of its workforce, are being laid off Thursday,March 10, 2016, in The Woodlands, Texas. ( Gary Coronado / Houston Chronicle )
( Gary Coronado / Houston Chronicle )

Things are looking up for Anadarko Petroleum, one of the country’s largest independent oil exploration and production companies, despite posting an almost $700 million loss in the second quarter.

The company, based in The Woodlands, said it lost $692 million, or $1.36 per share, largely because of declining sales. It was a sharp drop from the $61 million profit (12 cents per share) a year earlier, but better than the $1 billion loss in this year’s first quarter.

Revenue fell to $1.9 billion from $2.6 billion in the same period a year earlier, a dip of 27 percent.

Still, Anadarko may have ridden out the worst of its losses: This year, it has recorded $1.7 billion in losses. By this time last year, it had lost $3.2 billion.

The company posted $3.6 billion in revenue for the first six months this year — a drop of 28 percent over the same period last year. But at the same time it cut expenses by 47 percent, from $9.1 billion at this point last year to $4.8 billion so far this year.

That change came in part thanks to the 2015 fall in oil prices: In the first half of last year, Anadarko wrote down $2.8 billion in assets. In the first half of this year, Anadarko wrote down just $34 million in assets.

The company released its report after the market closed Tuesday with shares at $54.74, up 87 cents or 1.6 percent on the day.