Pioneer Natural Resources exceeds profit estimates on soaring crude prices

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Oct 27 (Reuters) – U.S. shale producer Pioneer Natural Resources Co (PXD.N) Thursday posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings as crude prices hovered near multi-year highs following sanctions on Russia, a top oil and gas producer.

Crude prices recently cooled from 14-year highs reached earlier in 2022, but were still more than 30% higher year-over-year in the quarter, benefiting producers such as Pioneer .

The company recorded average realized prices of $94.23 per barrel of oil in the quarter, up 36% from a year earlier.

Pioneer also said it plans to return $7.5 billion in cash flow to shareholders through dividends and buybacks. It declared a more variable basic quarterly cash dividend of $5.71, down from $8.57 in the prior quarter.

Separately, the company said it was working on the development of two renewable energy projects totaling 300 megawatts (MW) to supply electricity to its operations.

The projects, under development with a unit of NextEra Energy Inc. (BORN IN)will power a portion of Pioneer’s field operations, as well as its Midland Basin natural gas processing infrastructure, jointly owned with Targa Resources Corp (TRGP.N).

Pioneer’s total average production was 657,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) during the July-September quarter, of which 354,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd).

The Dallas, Texas-based company forecast fourth-quarter oil production of between 346,500 and 361,500 bopd, with the midpoint flat from the third quarter.

Net income attributable to common shareholders was $1.98 billion, or $7.93 per share, for the three months ended September 30, up 90% from $1.05 billion. dollars, or $4.07 per share, a year ago.

Excluding items, the company earned $7.48 per share, beating the Wall Street consensus of $7.44, according to Refinitiv data.

Shares of the company rose 1.9% to $270.50 in extended trading.

Reporting by Ruhi Soni in Bengaluru and Liz Hampton in Denver; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Devika Syamnath

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