Southwestern Energy Earnings: Bucked Natural Gas Pricing Trends

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Southwestern Energy Co. (NYSE:SWN) reported its results for the first quarter. Southwestern Energy Co. is an independent energy company, which through its subsidiaries, explores, develops and produces natural gas and crude oil.

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Southwestern Energy Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for the independent oil and gas company fell to $136.6 million (39 cents/share) vs. $171.8 million (49 cents/share) a year earlier. A decline of 20.5% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 1.2% to $676.3 million YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: SWN fell right in step with the street’s estimates of 39 cents/share.

Quoting Management: “Our first quarter financial and operating results have exceeded our expectations despite lower natural gas prices,” remarked Steve Mueller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southwestern Energy. “Our production continues to grow, and we increased our guidance for the rest of the year to take into account our first quarter results and the strong results we are continuing to see from both our Fayetteville and Marcellus drilling programs. Our all-in cash operating costs of $1.30 per Mcfe for the first quarter of 2011, which include lease operating expenses, general and administrative expenses, taxes other than income taxes and net interest expense, remain some of the lowest in our industry. As we look ahead, we are excited about moving to more development drilling in the Fayetteville Shale, increasing our activity in Pennsylvania and drilling our first wells on some new ideas we have been working on over the past two years.”

Competitors to Watch: Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE:WMB), Questar Corporation (NYSE:STR), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT), Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Double Eagle Petroleum Co. (NASDAQ:DBLE), and Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:OXY).

Today’s Performance: Shares of SWN are up 0.4% in after hours trading.

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