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EQT Rises After First-Quarter Results Beat Estimates

EQT Corp., the Pittsburgh-based natural gas producer that’s selling its utility, rose to the highest in more than four years after beating quarterly estimates and predicting a rise in 2014 output.

EQT climbed 7.8 percent to $73.96 at the close in New York, the highest price since May 21, 2008.

First-quarter production sales rose 47 percent from a year earlier to the equivalent of 79.4 billion cubic feet of gas, beating expectations of 77 billion cubic feet, Hsulin Peng, a New York-based analyst for Robert W. Baird & Co., wrote today in a note to clients. The company’s forecast output for 2014 of at least 445 billion cubic feet equivalent also exceeded estimates, he wrote.

First-quarter profit rose 39 percent to $100.3 million, or 66 cents a share, from $72 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. Per-share profit beat the average of 15 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

EQT agreed in December to sell its Equitable Gas utility for $720 million in cash, completing its transformation into an exploration and production company.

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