* Q4 EPS $0.49 vs est $0.39
* Q4 rev up 10 pct at $308.8 mln vs est $312.1 mln
* Sees 2011 gas sales up 30 pct at 175 bcfe
* Shares up 2 pct (Adds details, analysts comments, updates shares)
By Swetha Gopinath
BANGALORE, Jan 27 (Reuters) - EQT Corp (EQT.N) remains bullish on its operations in the Marcellus shale, production from which fired up the natural gas producer’s quarterly profit, even as prices for the commodity refuses to lift.
The Marcellus shale, which straddles parts of the eastern United States, is a tight rock formation that has led to firms raising their production manifold, resulting in a supply glut.
Benchmark gas prices NGc1 have shed about 18 percent of their value since the begining of the last year.
Pittsburgh-based EQT, which realized lower gas prices for October-December, is nevertheless looking to raise its daily sales from the shale by 75 percent. Its 2010 proved reserves also rose 28 percent from 2009.
“Proved reserves increased in the Marcellus shale play as a result of wells drilled in 2010, continued improvement in the estimated ultimate recovery per well, and an increase in the projected number of wells to be drilled over the next five years,” the company said.
Analyst Neal Dingmann of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said EQT’s new drilling techniques should guarantee profit from the shale for the next three-five years, at least.
“It is clearly the largest unconventional shale play in the United States right now, acerage-wise, so (the company’s view) is justified,” he said.
Shares of the Appalachian natural gas producer were up 2 percent at $47.75 in morning trade on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. The broader Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gas Producers Index <.DJUSOG) was down 0.23 percent at 591.05. (Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)