(Reuters) – Chesapeake Energy Corp’s quarterly profit beat analysts’ estimates on Wednesday and the company said it expects to produce more crude oil in 2019, boosted by its acquisition of WildHorse Resource in October.
Chesapeake’s shares rose 10 percent before the opening bell.
The company, which agreed to buy Texas oil producer WildHorse in a $4 billion deal, has been focusing on producing more oil over natural gas to benefit from improved prices.
Chesapeake said it expects to pump out 116,000 to 122,000 barrels per day of oil bbls in 2019. The company produced about 90,000 bbls in 2018.
The company – which operates in the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas and the Anadarko Basin in northwestern Oklahoma – said daily production averaged about 464,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the fourth quarter, down 22 percent from a year earlier.
Chesapeake said it expects crude oil to constitute about 24 percent of total volumes in 2019, compared to just 17 percent in 2018.
The Oklahoma-based natural gas and oil producer said net income available to shareholders rose to $486 million, or 49 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $309 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned 21 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 19 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel