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Miller Energy returns to a profit in 1st quarter

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Miller Energy Resources returned to a profit in its fiscal first quarter as it experienced a bigger gain on derivatives and average realized oil prices rose.

The oil and natural gas company earned $189,000, or breakeven on a per-share basis, for the period ended July 31. A year earlier, it lost $183,000, also breakeven on a per-share basis.

The per-share results were the same because the company had nearly 9 percent more shares outstanding in the recent quarter, meaning any profit is spread thinner.

Miller Energy Resources Inc. reported an $8.9 million derivatives gain during the quarter, compared with a $3.8 million gain a year ago.

Revenue for the three months ended July 31 dropped 7 percent to $8.3 million, from $8.9 million last year, hurt by lower production.

Average realized oil prices climbed 4.1 percent to $99.59 per barrel, compared with $95.69 per barrel in the prior-year period.

Shares of the Knoxville, Tenn., company added 22 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $4.98 in midday trading on Monday. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $2.14 to $5.59.