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HOUSTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - U.S. shale oil producer Pioneer Natural Resources Co on Tuesday posted a better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit helped by cost cuts and rising crude prices.
The results reflect the slow-but-steady improvement across the energy sector due to improving commodity prices. Pioneer said it would spend about $2.8 billion this year due to that improvement, about 8 percent above last year's levels.
The company posted a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $44 million, or 26 cents per share, compared to a loss of $623 million, or $4.17 per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding one-time items, Pioneer earned 49 cents per share.
By that measure, analysts expected earnings of 33 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Production rose 13 percent to 241,833 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Shares of Pioneer fell 0.3 percent to $174.50 in after-hours trading. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Andrew Hay)