* 1st-qtr adjusted EPS $1.38 vs. Street $1.04
* 2nd-qtr production forecast at least 295,000 boed
* Shares up about 1 pct at midday
(Adds financial details, updates stock price)
April 30 Oil and natural gas producer Hess Corp
reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on
Wednesday, helped in part by a jump in Norwegian production.
The company, which is also a major operator in North
Dakota's Bakken shale formation and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico,
posted first-quarter net income of $386 million, or $1.20 per
share, compared with $1.28 billion, or $3.72 per share, a year
Excluding one-time items, the company posted a profit of
$1.38 per share.
By that measure, analysts on average expected earnings of
$1.04 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Hess produced 318,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day
(boed) in the first quarter, down from 389,000 boed a year
earlier. For the second quarter, the company expects to produce
295,000 to 300,000 boed, excluding its weakened Libya
The New York-based company sold some acreage as well as its
refining and retail gasoline businesses in the first quarter of
last year, artificially boosting that period's results.
Production during the quarter jumped in the company's
Valhall field in Norway to 37,000 boed from 5,000 boed in the
same period last year due to a redevelopment project.
While North Dakota production fell in the first quarter as
the company completed the expansion of its Tioga gas plant, the
project is now finished, and Bakken production is currently in
excess of 80,000 boed, Hess said.
The company expects to produce about 80,000 to 90,000 boed
of North Dakota oil in the second quarter.
Executives said they are moving forward on a planned master
limited partnership for their North Dakota pipeline assets, and
expect the transaction to be completed by 2015. Hess would keep
a majority stake in the MLP, executives said.
Shares of Hess were up 0.9 percent at $88.85 on the New York
Stock Exchange at midday on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder in New York; editing by Franklin
Paul, Lisa Von Ahn and Matthew Lewis)