U.S. oil and gas producers EOG Resources Inc., APA Corp. and Marathon Oil Corp. topped Wall Street estimate for second-quarter profit on Aug. 4, driven by higher crude prices.

WTI crude prices in the U.S. rose 24% in the June quarter and have climbed 45% since the start of 2021 on the back of a vaccine-fueled demand recovery and output cuts by OPEC+.

Marathon also raised its quarterly base dividend by 25% to 5 cents per share, the company’s second consecutive increase.

A clutch of U.S. oil and gas producers have either raised their dividends or announced share buybacks, underscoring the energy industry's focus on shareholder returns over spending even as crude prices trade at multi-year highs.

Early this week, Devon Energy Corp. announced a fixed-plus-variable dividend of 49 cents per share, 44% higher than last quarter's payout, and Diamondback Energy Inc. increased its annual divided by 12.5% to $1.80.


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Marathon said it is raising the midpoint of its 2021 full-year U.S. oil-equivalent production guidance by 5,000 net boe/d while maintaining its capital expenditure guidance of $1 billion.

EOG said its total production in the second quarter rose to 828,000 boe/d from the previous quarter's 778,900 boe/d.

Its average crude oil prices in the reported quarter climbed about 14% to $66.12 per barrel sequentially.

EOG’s adjusted net income stood at $1.73 per share in the quarter ended June 30, beating estimate of $1.56, according to Refinitiv IBES.

APA reported a profit of 70 cents per share, above estimates of 57 cents, while Marathon Oil’s adjusted profit of 22 cents topped estimate of 18 cents.