U.S. oil and gas producers Marathon Oil Corp. and APA Corp. beat Wall Street estimates for first-quarter profits on May 5, as COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and easing travel restrictions powered a rebound in oil prices.
Crude prices are up at least a third this year, after the pandemic hammered fuel demand at the start of 2020. Marathon and peers have also benefited from cost and production cuts last year.
Marathon said first-quarter U.S. average realized price for crude rose to $55.38/bbl from $39.71/bbl in the last three months of 2020. Total production fell to 345,000 boe/d from 352,000 boe/d in the fourth quarter.
The company last week became the latest oil producer to raise its quarterly dividend, increasing it to 4 cents per share from 3 cents per share while also redeeming $500 million in debt.
Meanwhile, APA, an affiliate of Apache Corp., said its total average oil price rose to $59.62/bbl, a nearly 38% jump from the prior quarter. The company expects second-quarter total adjusted production to come at 340,000 boe/d.
Its first-quarter reported production fell to 382,000 boe/d from 411,000 boe/d, sequentially.
The company warned last month its international output was hit because of production sharing contracts associated with higher realized oil prices in Egypt and extended maintenance downtime in the North Sea.
Marathon said first-quarter adjusted income stood at $166 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a loss of $98 million, or 12 cents per share, in the fourth.
This beat the average analyst estimate of 11 cents profit per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.
APA posted an adjusted profit of 91 cents per share, topping estimate of 66 cents.
Smaller rivals Whiting Petroleum and Callon Petroleum both posted smaller losses, sequentially.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 9:07 p.m. May 5.
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