OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Devon Energy Corp., the largest U.S.-based independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company, said Wednesday its first-quarter profit rose 15 percent as higher prices and production offset one-time charges and increased expenses.
After payment of preferred dividends, net income for the three months ended March 31 rose to $747 million, or $1.66 per share, compared with $649 million, or $1.44 per share, in the year-earlier quarter.
Excluding one-time charges -- including a $780 million loss on derivatives instruments due to rising natural gas prices -- the company posted earnings per share of $2.74.
Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected, on average, earnings per share of $2.33. Such estimates typically exclude one-time charges and gains.
Revenue climbed 20 percent to $2.98 billion, less than the $3.28 billion analysts were expecting.
Production rose 9 percent over the year-earlier quarter to 640,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The company's average price of natural gas rose to $8.03 per thousand cubic feet, from $6.77 per thousand cubic feet, and the average price of crude oil rose to $97.67 per 42-gallon barrel, from $58.33 per barrel.
Expenses rose 27 percent to $2.1 billion, from $1.6 billion last year.
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