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How Encana Generated an 192% Increase in First-Quarter Profits

Oil and gas producer Encana had a stellar first quarter, posting a 192% year-over-year increase in profits. Net income of 70 cents a share was up from 24 cents a year earlier and exceeded analysts' estimates of 53 cents. The increase in profits boiled down to a surge in demand and prices for natural gas. NYMEX natural gas prices climbed 37% from the fourth quarter last year, while newly-opened Deep Panuke pulled in big returns as unusually harsh winter weather kept demand high along the northeastern region of the U.S. At that property, the average realized price was around $19 per thousand cubic feet, more than three times the average price of $5.82 across all Encana properties.