UPDATE 1-Argentina's YPF in sharp swing to 4th quarter loss as currency hurts

jueves 3 de marzo de 2016 18:54 GYT

(Adds details on exchange rate losses, capital expenditure, share price)

BUENOS AIRES, March 3 (Reuters) - Argentine state-controlled energy company YPF on Thursday reported a sharp swing into the red in the fourth quarter, hammered by the depreciating peso currency and a cut in the price of domestically produced oil.

YPF's capital expenditure amounted to 61.2 billion pesos, an increase of just 4 percent from the previous year while inflation is running at an estimated 30 percent.

The company, Argentina's biggest oil producer, posted a quarterly net loss of 1.70 billion pesos ($131 million) compared with a $1.38 billion profit in the same period the previous year.

Argentina's government-fixed price for local oil was reduced to about $77 per barrel last year.

YPF said full-year profit almost halved on the previous year to 4.58 billion pesos.

Company data showed that losses from the exchange rate and interest payments ballooned to 14.80 billion pesos from 1.07 billion pesos in the October-December period of 2014.

YPF, which estimates that investments of $200 billion are required over the next decade to exploit some of the world's largest untapped shale resources in windswept Patagonia, released the results after the close of the local stock market.

YPF shares on the benchmark Merval index are up 30 percent in the past 12 months, Thomson Reuters data showed.

Oil output at YPF, which was nationalized in 2012 after the Argentine government seized the stake held by Spanish oil major Repsol, rose 2.1 percent in 2015 while gas production climbed 4.1 percent, the statement said.

($1 = 12.98 pesos on Dec. 31) (Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Leslie Adler)