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Southern Pacific Resources 1Q12 Results Indicate Production and Cash Flow Below Estimates

Junior oil sands exploration firm Southern Pacific Resources Corporation (STP:TSX) recently released 1Q12 results which showed that its production averaged 3,784 barrels per day (bbl/d) and cash flow of C$10.7 million or C$0.03 per share. These metrics were less than the estimates of investment bank Raymond James, which predicted production averaging 3,994 bbl/d and cash flow of C$13.3 million or C$0.04 per share. Raymond James reiterated its Strong Buy rating and $2.00 target price for Southern Pacific in spite of the below-average results.

The investment bank blamed Southern Pacific Resources' production missing estimates to the greater-than-expected impact of nine days of downtime. It is now clear that the production stemming from Senlac Hill is highly volatile as a result of constantly changing wells.

The geographical site, also known as Senlac Ridge, was the ridge where Harold Godwinson placed his army before the Battle of Hastings in England in 1066. The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate estimates that the country has between 734 and 4,287 million barrels of potential additional oil resources.

The junior oil sands exploration firm has averaged 4,064 bbl/d between the beginning of 2011 and November 15. The firm has predicted that its average daily production will remain between 4,000 bbl/d and 5,000 bbl/d "for the foreseeable future." Ever since Southern Pacific Resources acquired Senlac Oil Ltd. in 2009, daily production has been in this range.

Raymond James based its C$2.00 target share price on its risk-adjusted NAV of C$1.99 per share. Southern Pacific Resources Corporation closed at C$1.37 on November 14 and hit a 52-week high/low of C$1.95 and C$0.87, respectively.

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