November 1, 2016 / 8:56 PM / in a year

Noble Energy posts smaller-than-expected loss as costs fall

(Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Noble Energy Inc posted a much smaller-than-expected loss in the third quarter as lower expenses helped offset the impact of weak oil prices.

Noble, which said in May it expects to spend less the $1.5 billion it had budgeted for the year, said total operating expenses fell 9.8 percent to $1.16 billion in the quarter.

The company’s sales volumes rose 12 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30, while lease operating expenses fell 14 percent to average $3.37 per barrel of oil equivalent.

The net loss attributable to Noble narrowed to $144 million, or 33 cents per share, in the quarter, from $283 million, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Noble’s loss was 7 cents per share.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 23 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Noble’s total revenue rose 11.1 percent to $910 million, but fell short of analysts’ expectations of $980.6 million.

Noble’s shares closed up nearly 2 percent at $35.15 in regular trading on Tuesday. They were unchanged after the bell.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair and Swetha Gopinath in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza

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