Shares in Chesapeake Energy were up 5% on Thursday in pre-market trading after the US-based oil & gas producer swung into profit.
Chesapeake reported fourth-quarter profits of $309m compared with a loss of $740m in the year-ago period, with adjusted earnings per share well ahead of analysts´ expectations.
Revenue rose to $1.258bn from $678m, also beating analysts´ forecasts.
The shale oil producer saw average 2017 output of around 547,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day, a 3% increase compared with 2016.
Adjusted for asset sales, oil production rose 11% in the quarter compared to the same period of 2016.
The company also expects 2018 production adjusted for asset sales to grow by around 3% year on year.
Chesapeake also highlighted the benefit for its bottom line from higher oil prices, with its average sales price rising 20.2% to $24.41 per barrel of oil equivalent.
Production, general and administrative and gathering, processing and transportation expenses also fell by 18% versus the prior year.
"We are well-positioned to build on our 2017 accomplishments and progress our strategic goals, with our 2018 guidance highlighting improvements in our cost structure, increased oil production, adjusted for asset sales, and increased net cash and margins provided by operations. We expect to deliver production growth, adjusted for asset sales, of 1% to 5% on reduced capital expenditures. The expected improvements in our cost structure, as well as improved basis pricing differentials and higher NYMEX pricing, result in higher forecasted year-over-year cash flows,” said Chesapeake chief executive Doug Lawler.
Thursday´s results release appeared to mark a substantial turnaround for the group, which just a few years ago was close to bankruptcy as it struggled due to the slump in oil prices.
However, with debts of $9.9bn Chesapeake is still planning to sell assets worth up to $3bn to shore up its balance sheet.