Story updated at 10 a.m. to reflect market activity.
Rice Energy fell -0.1% to $30.91 in morning trading.
The firm reiterated its "overweight" rating for the stock. Barclays analysts Jeffery W. Robertson and Oswald Cheung said the increase was driven by strong performance from new wells in Marcellus.
"Strong performance from new wells in the Marcellus drove better-than-expected 1Q14 production and puts RICE on track to deliver strong growth in 2Q14," the analysts wrote. "The production profile will continue to be impacted by the timing of pad well completions as well as some expected shut-ins during the summer related to mining operations beneath its acreage. However, all of the remaining planned Marcellus wells for 2014 are currently in some stage of drilling or completion, which will reduce the variability around the timing of first production. First quarter results also benefitted from strong gas price realizations."
"Rice Energy Inc. (Rice Energy) is an independent natural gas and oil company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of natural gas and oil properties in the Appalachian Basin. The Company focused on creating shareholder value by identifying and assembling a portfolio of low-risk assets with economic profiles and leveraging its technical and managerial expertise to deliver industry results. It holds approximately 43,351 pro forma net acres in the southwestern core of the Marcellus Shale, primarily in Washington County, Pennsylvania. The Appalachian Basin, which covers over 185,000 square miles in portions of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. As of December 1, 2013, The Company owned and operated 25 miles of high-pressure gathering pipelines on our Marcellus Shale acreage in Washington County, Pennsylvania."