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EOG Resources Reports Fourth-Quarter Profit on Production

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Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- EOG Resources Inc., the second-largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer by market value, reported a fourth-quarter profit and plans for a stock split as crude and liquids output increased 53 percent.

Net income was $580.2 million, or $2.12 a share, compared with a loss of $505 million, or $1.88, a year earlier, the Houston-based company said yesterday in a statement. Excluding one-time items, per-share profit exceeded the $1.93 average of 32 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Last year’s result included a reduction in the value of gas assets.

Chief Executive Officer William R. Thomas, who took over in December, plans to boost crude output by 27 percent in 2014. By focusing on increasing the flow from every well, EOG raised estimates for how much oil and gas it can recover from its flagship Eagle Ford development in South Texas to 3.2 billion barrels, a 45 percent increase, according to the statement.

“The market is seeking confirmation that they’ll be able to sustain their longer-term targets for growth,” James Sullivan, an analyst with Alembic Global Advisors in New York, said by phone before the release. “Is there another big North American play out there?’

EOG rose 1.2 percent to $182.51 at 6:48 p.m. in New York yesterday following the release of the report after the market closed. The company climbed 1.4 percent in regular trading. It raised its dividend by 33 percent and announced plans for a two-for-one stock split.

Sales Rise

Operating revenue rose 24 percent to $3.75 billion. The company, which specializes in new drilling techniques that have unlocked huge energy reserves, has shifted focus from gas to becoming the largest oil producer in the continental U.S., according to a Feb. 11 investor presentation.

Oil and condensate volumes averaged 235,400 barrels a day in the quarter, up from 154,100 a year earlier. Crude futures traded in New York climbed 11 percent from a year earlier to average $97.61 a barrel. Gas futures averaged $3.854 per million British thermal units, an 8.8 percent increase.

ConocoPhillips is the largest U.S. oil and gas producer that doesn’t own refineries or a chemical business, based on market value.

(EOG scheduled an earnings conference call today at 9 a.m. New York time, accessible at EVTS <GO>.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Bradley Olson in Houston at bradleyolson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net