UPDATE 1-Newfield Exploration 1st-qtr profit beats Street

Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:58pm EDT

* Q1 adj EPS $0.91 vs est $0.76

* Q1 rev up 24 pct to $678 mln

April 24 (Reuters) - Newfield Exploration Company's profit beat analysts' expectations for the first time in four quarters, helped by higher production, as the company increases its focus on oil-rich plays.

The independent oil and gas producer also backed its strong full-year outlook, with oil production forecast to rise 20 percent to 292-302 billion cubic feet equivalent (bcfe).

First-quarter net income was $116 million, or 86 cents per share, compared with a loss of $17 million, or 13 cents per share, last year.

Excluding items, it earned 91 cents per share.

Oil and gas revenue rose 24 percent to $678 million.

Analysts had expected the Houston-based company to report a profit of 76 cents per share on revenue of $686.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company, which have lost more than 11 percent of their value in the last six months, closed at $33.71 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.