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Ultra Petroleum moves to profit for 2Q

HOUSTON (AP) -- Ultra Petroleum Corp. moved to a profit for its second quarter on improved revenue and the absence of major ceiling test write-downs.

The Houston-based natural gas company reported net income of $116.4 million, or 75 cents per share, for the period that ended June 30. That is compared with a loss of $1.19 billion, or $7.76 per share, last year. On an adjusted basis, it earned 47 cents per share versus 51 cents per share last year.

Its total operating revenue increased to $261.4 million from $170.3 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet were anticipating adjusted earnings of 43 cents per share on revenue of $236.1 million.

Ultra Petroleum produced 58.4 billion cubic feet equivalent of natural gas and crude oil during the second quarter. Its average price was $3.80 per thousand cubic feet, including the effect of commodity hedges. The realized condensate price in the second quarter was $88.90 per barrel.

The company said that for the third quarter its realized natural gas price is expected to average 7 to 9 percent below market prices due to regional differentials, before consideration of any hedging activity. Realized pricing for condensate is expected to be about $7.00 less than the average New York Mercantile Exchange crude oil price.

Ultra Petroleum's shares added 21 cents to reach $22.16 by early afternoon.