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Canadian energy explorer, Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM - Analyst Report) reported weak first-quarter 2013 results due to lower oil and liquids price realizations. The company announced loss per share from continuing operations (excluding non-operating items) of 6 cents against the Zacks Consensus Estimate for a profit of 4 cents. In the year-ago quarter, Talisman had earned 16 cents per share.

Quarterly total revenue of $1,123.0 million deceased 45.4% from $2,056.0 million in the first quarter of 2012. The revenue also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,453.0 million due to decreased production.

Volume Analysis

The quarter’s total production of 372 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOE/d) was down 19.5% from the year-ago level, mainly due to the sale of a 49% equity interest in UK North Sea business and a decrease in North American gas output. Higher activity in Southeast Asia and Colombia was however encouraging.

Oil & liquids production was down 43.9% at 98,706 barrels per day (Bbl/d). Volumes were down due to lower production in the North Sea and Southeast Asia.

Talisman’s natural gas volumes were down 12.1% at 1,420 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), mainly due to the decrease in North America.

Realized Prices

During the quarter, Talisman’s realized commodity prices dropped 15.9% from the year-ago quarter to $54.01 per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) mainly on account of lower oil and liquids realizations from North America, Southeast Asia and North Sea.

Overall, natural gas prices increased 14.8% year over year to $5.96 per Mcf, while oil and liquids realizations averaged $97.72 per barrel, down 15.0% from the year-ago level.

Cash Flow and Capital Expenditure

Cash flow from continuing operations totaled $517.0 million, down 39.2% year over year. Talisman spent $775.0 million on exploration and development activities.

Balance Sheet

As of Mar 31, 2013, Talisman had cash and cash equivalents of approximately $319.0 million and long-term debt of $4,509.0 million (including current portion) with a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 31.8%.

Zacks Rating

Talisman currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

Meanwhile, there are certain other companies in the energy sector that are expected to perform better in the short term. These include Zacks Ranked #1 (Strong Buy) EPL Oil & Gas Inc. , Harvest Natural Resources Inc. (HNR - Snapshot Report) and Newpark Resources Inc. (NR - Snapshot Report).

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