Oil, gas prices help
pump up Barnwell net

Barnwell Industries Inc. yesterday reported a profit of $500,000, or 36 cents a share, for the final quarter of its fiscal year, up 56.3 percent from a net of $320,000, or 24 cents a share, for the last fiscal quarter of 2002.


Increases in oil and natural gas prices from the year-earlier period significantly augmented net earnings, said Morton H. Kinzler, chairman and chief executive officer of Barnwell.

For the full year ended Sept. 30, the Honolulu-headquartered drilling and exploration business reported a profit of $2.3 million, or $1.69 cents a share, compared to a year-earlier profit of $40,000, or 3 cents a share.

The results reflect the first-quarter sale of land development rights by Kaupulehu Developments, a North Kona resort business in which Barnwell is the 77.6 percent majority owner.

The company recently announced that Kaupulehu Developments has made "significant progress" in negotiations with an independent third party interested in developing the partnership's leasehold land.

The leasehold interests held by Kaupulehu are for approximately 870 acres of land zoned for resort/residential development and approximately 1,000 acres of land zoned conservation. The land is adjacent to and north of the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Dramatic moves in the company's stock recently could reflect optimism surrounding development opportunities.

The shares have jumped nearly 30 percent in the last five trading sessions, including a 10 percent jump on heavy volume of 8,400 shares yesterday that elevated the shares to $33. The stock hadn't reached that level since closing at $33 on March 16, 1990. The company's all-time closing high was $37.38 on Dec. 12, 1989.

Barnwell, whose six-month daily average volume is 284 shares, closed at $25.40 on Monday of last week before beginning its run.

Kinzler said management cannot predict the outcome of the Kaupulehu negotiations.

Quarterly revenues of $5.6 million were up 33.6 percent from $4.2 million a year earlier.

The company said its natural gas production increased 8 percent over the same quarter last year due to new production from the company's recent drilling programs.

Barnwell's oil and gas exploration division, which primarily operates in Alberta, Canada, invested $11.1 million in exploration this year, Kinzler said.

The company participated in the drilling of 65 gross wells, of which 53 were successful. Thirty-two of the wells were on prospects developed by Barnwell, Kinzler said.

Meanwhile, Barnwell's board of directors declared its first dividend in two years. The dividend of 20 cents a share is payable Jan. 6 to stockholders of record as of Dec. 22. Barnwell last paid a dividend of 15 cents a share on Jan. 2, 2002.


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