Annuity fund managers who choose to include energy holdings as part of their investment portfolio strategy were closely following the recent development over the release of Noble Energy’s earnings report for the second quarter at the end of July. Noble Energy is a Houston-based oil and gas exploration enterprise that made news when it was awarded a new permit to explore the Gulf of Mexico for oil during a moratorium imposed by the US government after the ecological disaster caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.
Analysts had estimated lower profits for Noble Energy, but soaring oil prices contributed to the sharp increase in profits during the second quarter of 2011. High oil prices have been a deep economic concern for most of the year, especially due to the political turmoil in the Middle East which is widely believed to have curbed the oil production output of many countries in the troubled region. Noble Energy also profited from higher natural gas volumes in Israel, where the company is partnered with the Delek Group in its exploration endeavors.
Noble Energy’s revenue from crude oil rose by 30 percent, while revenues from natural gas climbed 14 percent. The company has has a string of oil and natural gas discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Mediterranean. An important oil discovery at Santiago, the name of Noble Energy’s exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, was made during the second quarter. Recent comments from CEO Charles Davidson to the financial news media explain that the company intends to test multiple exploration opportunities in different parts of the world before the end of the year.
A couple of days before its formal earnings announcement, Noble Energy had declared an increase in its quarterly cash dividend. As a result of the positive results of the second quarter, the company has updated its guidance accordingly.