Oil and Natural Gas Corp's March quarter profit declined 39 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 3388 crore on higher expense, write-offs and lower crude price. Total income went up marginally to Rs 21830 crore from Rs 21093 crore QoQ
The company said its subsidy burden stood at Rs 12310 crore against Rs 14170 crore YoY. Its oil production grew to 6.47 metric tonnes and gas production was at 6.22 billion cubic meters during the quarter.
The state-run firm currently has two gas processing plants at Hazira in Gujarat and the other one in Uran. While the gas processing complex Hazira Plant processes only gas, Uran plant can handle both gas and oil.
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ONGC shares closed the day marginally down to Rs 334 before earnings announcement.The stock is up around 32 percent since January against a 3.2 percent rise in Sensex.
Analysts seem to have mixed views on the stock. While IIFL is overweight, BRICS Research has assigned ‘reduce’ rating with a target price of Rs 299 on flattish realization along with volume decline in gas production (in a note released before earnings announcement).
A K Banerjee said an additional provision of Rs 1,698 crore was made for increased operating expenditure because of employee benefit scheme.
The government had last fiscal raised cess on crude oil to Rs 4,500 per ton from Rs 2,500 previously. Also, ONGC had to shell out more royalty on crude oil produced from Cairn India's Rajasthan block.
ONGC, which holds 30 per cent interest in the Rajasthan block, is the licence of the block and is liable to pay royalty on 100 per cent of crude oil.
Banerjee said the company had to make higher provision for dry wells and survey expenditure in the quarter. Payment of statutory levies increased from Rs 4,521 crore in January-March 2012 to Rs 5,561 crore in Q4 of 2012-13, he said.
ONGC had to shell out Rs 12,312 crore in March 2013 quarter so that diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene can be sold by retailers at subsided rates to public. The subsidy outgo was lower than Rs 14,170 crore in the same period last fiscal. Vasudeva said but for subsidy, ONGC profits should have been higher by Rs 6,900 crore in the quarter.
The company's March 2013 quarter sales were up 13.1 percent at Rs 21,460 crore. For the fiscal, net profit was down 16.7 per cent to Rs 20,926 crore on record subsidy payout. ONGC paid Rs 49,421 crore in 2012-13, up from Rs 44,466 crore in the previous year. But for this record subsidy outgo, net profit should have risen by Rs 28,413 crore, he said.
"Last year we had a one-time gain of Rs 3,141 crore after Cairn India agreed to reimbursement of cess and royalty ONGC pays on crude oil produced from its Rajasthan block," he said.
Vasudeva said ONGC plans to invest Rs 35,049 crore in 2013-14 up from Rs 29,503 crore in the previous fiscal. ONGC's turnover in 2012-13 fiscal rose by 8.4 percent to Rs 82,552 crore.
(With inputs from PTI)