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EOG shares rise after 1Q earnings top expectations

HOUSTON (AP) -- Shares of EOG Resources Inc. surged Tuesday after the oil and gas producer reported a 53 percent jump in first-quarter profit, easily beating analysts' expectations.

In afternoon trading, the shares were up $10.17, or 8.1 percent, to $136.21. The stock has gained about 13 percent this year.

EOG boosted crude oil production by one-third by tapping shale formations and taking advantage of stronger prices for oil than for natural gas. The company credited refinements in its technique for completing wells in the Eagle Ford oil field of south Texas.

Executives believe the company can expand oil production faster than rivals over the next five years.

EOG reported after the market closed Monday that first-quarter net income was $494.7 million, or $1.82 per share, compared with $324 million, or $1.20 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items such as gains on asset sales, it earned $1.80 per share. Analysts expected $1.17 per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose to $3.36 billion from $2.81 billion, topping analysts' forecast of $3.12 billion.

Citi analyst Robert Morris said that EOG beat analysts' forecasts with better-than-expected production and per-unit expenses below the company's guidance. He said that despite increasing the number of wells that it plans to drill in Eagle Ford, EOG left its full-year exploration and development budget unchanged and lowered cost expectations.

Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Duane Grubert called EOG "a very good company" that had "a strong quarter." Several projects — including Eagle Ford, the Bakken in North Dakota and Permian Basin in Texas — were performing very well.

Grubert kept a "Neutral" rating on the shares, saying that investors could be pricing in more undeveloped reserves than at other oil and gas companies.