The earnings were much stronger than analysts had expected and prompted National Fuel to boost its profit forecast for the full fiscal year by 2 percent as earnings increased in all of the company's five main business units.
Much of the earnings growth came from the two businesses that National Fuel operates to transport natural gas. Earnings from its higher-capacity pipelines and natural gas storage business grew by 13 percent, while operating profits from the lower-capacity gathering systems in the fast-growing
The company's oil and natural gas drilling business boosted its profits by 17 percent, as a 51 percent jump in production that came entirely from its wells in the
Earnings from the company's utility business grew by 6 percent, mainly because of the impact of colder temperatures in its
National Fuel's overall profits strengthened to
That prompted National Fuel to inch its profit forecast for the entire fiscal year, which ends in September, up to between
National Fuel also said it is sticking with its earlier forecast that its overall oil and gas production this year would rise by between 20 percent and 37 percent to the equivalent of 145 billion to 165 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
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