Noble Energy Inc.'s (NBL) first-quarter profit surged as the oil-and-gas explorer reported stronger sales volume and realized prices for crude oil, as well as far fewer losses related to derivatives.
Noble Energy in December announced a major natural-gas discovery in the waters near Cyprus, building on a string of recent success in the area known as the greater Levant basin. The company and its partners have made several discoveries in the basin, which is off the coasts of Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon and Syria--which could help make the area a major natural-gas exporter.
Noble Energy in November said it plans to gradually increase its capital spending to $5 billion a year in 2016 from the $3 billion slated last year.
Noble reported income of $263 million, or $1.47 a share, up from $14 million, or 8 cents a share. The latest period included 40 cents a share in unrealized losses on derivatives instruments, while the year-ago period included $1.71 a share in similar losses. Excluding derivatives impacts and other items, earnings were up at $1.75 from $1.35. Revenue increased 30% to $1.17 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected earnings of $1.41 and revenue of $1.08 billion.
Sales volume from the Houston company, which has core operations are in the U.S., West Africa and Israel, grew 13% to 243 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Crude-oil and condensate sales volume jumped 34% as realized prices were up 14% to $110.80.
Shares closed Wednesday at $95.73 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 1.4% so far this year.
-By Ben Fox Rubin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3108; firstname.lastname@example.org