Earnings for the quarter were $383 million, or $1.04 per share ($1.03 diluted), compared with first quarter 2006 earnings of $467 million, or $1.28 per share ($1.26 diluted). First quarter 2007 earnings include the effects of a non-cash change in derivative fair value. Excluding this non-cash change, the Company's adjusted earnings were $406 million, or $1.11 per share ($1.09 diluted), compared to first quarter 2006 adjusted earnings of $467 million, or $1.28 per share ($1.26 diluted).
Operating income for the quarter was $647 million, a 16% decrease from first quarter 2006 operating income of $769 million. Operating cash flow, defined as cash provided by operations, before changes in operating assets and liabilities and exploration expense, was $795 million, down 1% from 2006 first quarter comparable operating cash flow of $803 million.
First quarter daily gas production averaged 1.264 billion cubic feet (Bcf), up 12% from first quarter 2006 daily production of 1.126 Bcf. Daily oil production for the first quarter was 45,649 barrels, a 2% increase from the first quarter 2006 level of 44,563 barrels. During the quarter, natural gas liquids production was 10,811 barrels per day, a 3% decrease from the prior year quarter rate of 11,126 barrels per day.
"We are proud to announce the Company's outstanding quarterly results as XTO embarks on another year of record operating performance," stated Bob R. Simpson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Our strategy has established XTO Energy as a top-tier growth company in the industry. With more than 7.3 Tcfe of captured, low-risk upsides, we can plan for long-term growth. Further, our low cost structure generates the free cash flow to enhance those growth opportunities. As always, we are focused on creating and growing value for our shareholders."
Keith A. Hutton, President, said: "With 73 drilling rigs active, our development teams continue to drive production upwards with natural gas volumes increasing by about 3% from last quarter. In the East Texas Region, production improved by almost 4%, as the Freestone Trend reached average daily gross production of 577 MMcf. In the Barnett Shale, production beat our projections again as volumes moved up 12% from the previous period to 249 MMcf per day net to XTO. In the Piceance Basin, testing is now underway on our first completed well with a sustained daily rate of 3 MMcf producing from two-thirds of the 900 feet pay section. Across the board, our activity is on pace to deliver another exceptional year of double-digit growth."
The average gas price for the first quarter decreased 19% to $7.37 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) from $9.08 per Mcf in first quarter 2006. The first quarter average oil price was $66.62 per barrel, a 17% increase from last year's first quarter average price of $56.98. Natural gas liquids prices averaged $35.97 per barrel for the quarter, 3% higher than the 2006 quarter average price of $34.76.
XTO Energy Inc. is a domestic natural gas producer engaged in the acquisition, exploitation and development of quality, long-lived oil and natural gas properties in the United States. Its properties are concentrated in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado, Alaska, Utah, Louisiana and Mississippi.
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