(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