UPDATE 1-Ultra Petroleum profit up; sees higher 2010 production

Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:08am EST

* Q4 adj shr $0.51 vs estimates of $0.47

* Q4 revenue up 3 pct

* Sees FY 2010 production 209-216 bcfe

* Sees FY 2010 capex $1.45 bln

Feb 12 (Reuters) - Oil and natural gas company Ultra Petroleum Corp (UPL.N) reported fourth-quarter profit that beat estimates and forecast higher production for 2010.

For the quarter, the company's net income was $95.4 million, or 62 cents a share, compared with $65.1 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier. Adjusted net income was 51 cents a share.

Total operating revenue rose 3 percent to $213.4 million.

Analysts were expecting Ultra to earn 47 cents a share, on revenue of $237.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total oil and gas production rose 17 percent for the quarter to 47.6 billion cubic feet equivalent (bcfe), while 2009 production came in at 180.1 bcfe.

For 2010, Ultra sees production ranging between 209 bcfe and 216 bcfe, while first-quarter production is expected at 48 bcfe to 49 bcfe.

The company also said it expects capital spending of $1.45 billion, including a pending acquisition.

"In 2010, we again expect to increase our production in Wyoming by drilling approximately 110 net wells. Additionally, we will expand our Marcellus program as we plan to drill approximately 70 net wells," company CEO Michael Watford said.

Shares of Ultra closed at $46.98 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

For the alerts, please double click [ID:nWNAB6795] [ID:nWNAB6792] [ID:nWNAB6793] (Reporting by Arup Roychoudhury in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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