November 6, 2019 / 9:46 PM / 6 days ago

Marathon profit plunges as weak prices offset higher shale output

(Reuters) - Marathon Oil Corp (MRO.N) reported a 44.5% fall in quarterly adjusted profit on Wednesday, as weak crude and gas prices limited gains from higher output in its U.S. shale basins.

The results were similar to those from fellow shale producers that signaled the hit from weak commodity prices due to record output from the United States and pressure on demand from the global trade war.

U.S crude oil and condensate prices were down about 20% on average for Marathon, while internationally it fell 28%. The company’s realized prices for natural gas and natural gas liquids were also down.

Marathon, which also has operations in Equatorial Guinea, said total production rose 6.5% to an average of 425,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), excluding divestitures, in the third quarter. U.S. production jumped 12.7% to 338,000 boepd.

The Houston-based company said it now expects full-year oil production to rise 11%, with output from the United States increasing 13%. The company had previously forecast a rise of 10% and 12%, respectively.

It expects U.S. oil production of 190,000 to 200,000 net barrels of oil per day (bopd) and international oil production of 12,000 to 16,000 net bopd for the fourth quarter.

Net income fell to $165 million, or 21 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $254 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 14 cents per share, compared to 24 cents a year earlier.

Analysts on average had estimated profit of 6 cents per shares, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Shares of the company, down about 15% this year, were up 2.1% at $12.44 in extended trading.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sriraj Kalluvila

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