May 2, 2018 / 9:52 PM / in a year

UPDATE 1-Pioneer Natural 1st-qtr profit beats expectations

(Adds earnings comparison, stock movement)

HOUSTON, May 2 (Reuters) - U.S. shale oil producer Pioneer Natural Resources Co posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday on higher oil prices and production in the company’s Permian Basin operations.

The company posted net income of $178 million, or $1.04 per share, compared with a net loss of $42 million, or 25 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.66 per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of $1.50 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Production rose 25 percent to 312,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

For the second quarter, Pioneer expects to pump about 312,000 to 322,000 boe/d.

Shares of Pioneer rose less than 1 percent to $197.96 in trading after the market close.

Pioneer executives expect to host a conference call with investors on Thursday to discuss the quarterly results. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder Editing by Susan Thomas and James Dalgleish)

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