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Swift Energy 1Q income slides on lower gas prices

HOUSTON (AP) -- Swift Energy Co.'s first-quarter net income tumbled 82 percent, stung by lower natural gas prices and higher expenses.

The energy company said Thursday that it earned $3.6 million, or 8 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31. That's down sharply from $20.2 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

The performance came in well below the 21 cents per share that analysts surveyed by FactSet expected. Revenue dropped 6 percent to $135.9 million from $144.1 million, falling short of Wall Street's estimate of $142.9 million.

Swift said average natural gas prices slid 43 percent to $2.18 per thousand cubic feet from $3.82 per thousand cubic feet during the quarter.

Swift's oil production rose 6 percent to 2.8 million barrels of oil equivalent, compared with 2.65 million BOE a year ago.

Total costs and expenses rose 17 percent to $130 million.

Swift's shares fell $2.56, or 8.6 percent, to $27.16 in afternoon trading.