Marathon Oil Profit Beats Wall Street On US Shale, Asset Sales


May 6 (Reuters) - Marathon Oil Corp's first-quarter profit easily beat Wall Street's expectations on Tuesday, helped by asset sales and a jump in North American shale production.

The company posted net income of $1.15 billion, or $1.65 per share, compared with $383 million, or 54 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Marathon closed on the sale of its Angola assets in the first quarter, posting an after-tax gain of $576 million.

Excluding the sale and other one-time items, Marathon posted net income of 88 cents per share.

By that measure, analysts expected earnings of 72 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company reported a 10 percent jump in its North American shale production, which primarily focuses on plays in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota.

Overseas, production dropped 14 percent due to a strike in Libya curtailing shipments from that country and aging fields in Norway and the United Kingdom.

Marathon said the sale of its North Sea assets was on schedule and that bids are due this quarter.

Shares of Marathon rose 1.7 percent to $36.80 in after-hours trading. As of Tuesday's close, the stock had gained 2.5 percent so far this year.

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Bernard Orr)


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