November 4, 2019 / 9:59 PM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 1-Shale producer Pioneer Natural Resources net income drops, meets expectations

(New throughout, adds details and background)

HOUSTON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Pioneer Natural Resources, one of the largest U.S. shale producers, reported a 44% drop in quarterly profit on Monday, as weaker oil and gas prices offset higher production.

Shale companies have been reporting weaker year-over-year returns and cutting spending as they face investor and financial pressures. U.S. crude futures dropped 7.5% in the third quarter on worries about global trade tensions, and investors have fled the sector as returns in recent years have lagged those of market indexes.

Pioneer said it would trim capital spending for the year by $150 million to between $3.05 billion to $3.10 billion.

Irving, Texas-based Pioneer reported net income of $231 million in the third quarter, down from $411 million during the same period last year.

Excluding one-time items, Pioneer met analysts expectations of earnings of $1.99 per share, according to Refinitiv.

Third-quarter oil and gas production averaged 351,000 barrels per day (bpd), up from 321,000 bpd during the same period last year.

But Pioneer received $53.93 per barrel for its oil, down 6% from last year. It was paid 30% less for its natural gas and 53%less for its natural gas liquids, according to its securities filing.

The company plans to hold a conference call with analysts on Tuesday to discuss the results. Pioneer shares closed at $136.03 Monday, up 6.6%. (Reporting by Jennifer Hiller in Houston Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)

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