FORT WORTH, Texas ( TheStreet) -- Oil and natural-gas producer XTO Energy ( XTO) picked the wrong day to post a positive announcement and to increase its outlook for the rest of the year. With the market dropping on greater-than-expected job losses -- and the oil sector, in general, weighed down by today's announcement that crude inventories rose by a more-than-expected 1.7 million barrels -- the good news of the company's announcement was generally lost to the markets today. Total revenues for the quarter were $2.27 billion, 17% greater than the $1.94 billion the company pulled during the prior year. XTO's earnings for the quarter were $496 million, or $0.85 per share, compared with second quarter 2008 earnings of $575 million, or $1.11 per share. The results beat Wall Street expectations of 82 cents per share, according to a Thomson Reuters survey. "Looking ahead to 2010, we anticipate a recovering economy, decreasing natural gas supply and increasing natural gas demand," said Bob Simpson, chairman and founder of XTO. "Through our hedging program, the company has already secured an equivalent price of $11.33 per thousand cubic feet on about 40 percent of expected production." Given these expectations, XTO raised its full-year production growth target to 20 percent, compared with an earlier estimate of 16 percent growth.
The company also boosted its 2009 budget for development and exploration spending to $3.1 billion, from $2.75 billion. Spending for construction of pipeline infrastructure, compression and processing facilities will rise to $500 million from $450 million. After jumping in pre-market trading immediately upon the release of the report, shares in the company shed their value throughout the morning, down 19 cents to $42.41, heading lower along with the rest of the oil sector. Competitors Occidental Pertoleum ( OXY), Exxon Mobil ( XOM), ConocoPhillips ( COP), Marathon Oil ( MRO), Noble Energy ( NBL) and Chevron ( CVX) were all down in mid-morning trading, by 1%, .8%, 1.1%, 2.8%, 3.0% and .8%, respectively. -- Reported by Ty Wenger from New York City.