said its fourth-quarter profits rose 153% from a year ago due to higher daily production and realized prices.
The company earned $221.9 million, or $1.18 a share, for the quarter, compared with $87.4 million, or 73 cents a share, a year ago. Thomson First Call were estimating earnings of $1.23 a share in the most recent quarter.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 86% from a year ago to $701 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were estimating revenue of $661 million.
Fourth quarter 2005 production increased 56% to 165,186 barrels of oil equivalent per day compared with fourth quarter 2004 production of 105,996 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Realized liquids prices increased 24% to $47.78 per Bbl compared with $38.48 per Bbl for the same period last year. The company's average realized natural gas price increased 36% to $6.91 per Mcf from $5.08 per Mcf for the fourth quarter last year.
"This past year marked the beginning of an important new era at Noble Energy, " said CEO Charles Davidson. "In May, we completed our acquisition of Patina, bringing our domestic and international reserves into balance while adding a large, stable source of domestic production and resource growth for years to come. For the year, we set new records for cash flow, earnings and production, surpassing the records we established in 2004. "
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