Profits Pop at Pioneer

Fourth-quarter revenue rises 35.2%.
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Pioneer Natural Resources

(PXD) - Get Report

, a gas and oil exploration and production company, said fourth-quarter earnings surpassed analysts' estimates and total revenue jumped 35.2% from a year ago.

The company earned $141 million, or $1.08 a share, compared with $102 million, or 69 cents a share, the previous year. Income from continuing operations was $140 million, or $1.07 a share, compared with $98 million, or 66 cents a share, last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were estimating earnings of 97 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Fourth-quarter total revenue was $691.3 million, well above the consensus Wall Street forecast of $591.5 million.

Pioneer repurchased 20 million shares during 2005 and plans to initiate a $350 million share-buyback program if the divestitures of assets in Argentina and the Gulf of Mexico are successful.

Shares of Pioneer were trading at $49.21, down 99 cents, or 2%.

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