May 1, 2017 / 8:29 PM / 3 months ago

Noble Energy's loss smaller than expected as oil prices climb

2 Min Read

(Reuters) - Noble Energy Inc (NBL.N) on Monday reported a smaller-than-expected adjusted quarterly loss as oil prices ticked up after a more than two-year slump, offsetting a decline in production.

Brent crude prices LCOc1 averaged $54.57 per barrel in the first three months of the year, up 55 percent from a year earlier.

Noble's total operating expenses fell 12.7 percent to $1 billion.

Net income attributable to Noble was $36 million, or 8 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31. The company posted a loss of $287 million, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company posted a loss of 5 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected a loss of 14 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Houston, Texas-based company's total revenue rose 43.1 percent to $1.04 billion, beating analysts' average estimate of $955.1 million.

Total volumes fell 8.2 percent to 382,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

However, the company raised the low-end of its second-quarter sales volume forecast to 405,000 boed from 395,000 boed, keeping the top-end unchanged at 415,000 boed.

The company's shares were up 1.9 percent at $32.9 in after-hours trading.

Last month, Noble closed its acquisition of smaller rival Clayton Williams Energy CWEI.N, a move which boosts its presence in the top U.S. shale field, the Permian basin of Texas.

Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha and Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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