Pogo Producing ( PPP) said its second-quarter profits soared, helped by sale of Gulf of Mexico properties.

The Houston-based oil exploration company earned $361.9 million, or $6.31 a share, in the quarter, compared with $103.4 million, or $1.71 a share, a year ago. Excluding the gain from the Gulf of Mexico property sale, the company earned $166.1 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were estimating earnings of $1.01 a share.

Second-quarter revenue jumped 145.7% to $674.6 million. Revenue includes a gain of $308.4 million from sale of an undivided 50% interest in each of its Gulf of Mexico properties. Analysts were estimating revenue of $381.1 million in the most recent quarter.

Oil production averaged about 37,292 barrels a day in the quarter compared with an average of 30,450 barrels a day a year ago. Natural gas production averaged about 269.9 million cubic feet a day in the second quarter compared with 254.5 million cubic feet a day a year ago.

The company said oil and condensate prices rose 40.4% to an average of $65.47 a barrel, but natual gas prices slipped 7.1% to an average of $6.02 a thousand cubic feet.

The company's shares were trading at $44.08, down 72 cents, or 1.6% Tuesday.
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