Noble Energy (NBL) Leads Oil & Gas Independents Higher on Q3 Earnings

Michael Teague |

Oilfield services companies have been having a rough week, as investors have reacted negatively to underwhelming earnings reports from Halliburton (HAL) and FMC Technologies (FTI) , but such is not the case for independent oil & gas producers.

Noble Energy (NBL) , one of the largest US independents, was trading substantially higher in early Thursday action after the company reported third-quarter earnings that came in just ahead of expectations.

For the recently ended period, Noble posted adjusted earnings of $351 million, or $0.97 per share on revenue of $1.39 billion, compared to the prior-year period where the company netted $164 million, or $0.45 per share on revenue of $1.09 billion. The fairly sizeable yearly jump on top and bottom lines was sweetened by the company’s surpassing expectations of $0.96 per share and revenue of $1.38 billion.

The better numbers are the result of increased production from its US wells in the Marcellus and Denver shales, with sales volume up about 26 percent from the prior-year period to 293 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day

Perhaps even more significantly, Noble benefitted from the addition of sales from Israel’s off-shore Tamar gas field, of which it owns a 36 percent stake. Tamar is thought to contain some 10 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, and just went online in April. The driller also holds a 40 percent stake in Israel’s Leviathan field, which is thought to contain even more gas, as well as a significant amount of oil.

Other overseas operations in Equatorial New Guinea also boosted sales, and higher oil and gas prices throughout the quarter overall played in the company’s favor.

The good news sent shares for Noble Energy higher, up nearly 5 percent in midday trading to an all-time high of $75.

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Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
NBL Noble Energy Inc. 39.50 0.68 1.75 3,804,468
HAL Halliburton Company 53.90 -0.09 -0.17 9,235,259
FTI FMC Technologies Inc. 36.31 0.71 1.99 3,516,448
MTRAF Metro Inc 30.45 -0.32 -1.03 288

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