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UPDATE 2-Pioneer Natural, Devon profits beat as oil prices rebound

(Adds Devon results, Pioneer’s outlook; compares with estimates)

May 4 (Reuters) - U.S. shale producers Pioneer Natural Resources and Devon Energy Corp beat Wall Street expectations for first-quarter profits on Tuesday, as COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and easing travel restrictions lifted crude prices.

U.S. energy companies have delivered strong profits this year on a rebound in oil prices and deep cost cuts implemented in 2020 at the peak of the pandemic-driven downturn in demand.

Pioneer’s total average realized price surged about 41% from the previous three months to $42.75 per barrel of oil equivalent in the quarter.

Gas producers have also benefited from a deep freeze in Texas in February that lifted demand for the fuel used in heating and power generation.

Permian-focused Pioneer Natural raised its annual output forecast to between 605,000 and 631,000 barrels of oil per day (boepd), from 528,000 to 554,000 boepd, following its recent acquisitions of smaller rivals DoublePoint Energy and Parsley Energy.

Its quarterly output jumped 30.2% sequentially to 474,000 boepd.

Pioneer also raised its full-year capital budget outlook to a range of $3.1 billion to $3.4 billion, from its prior forecast of $2.5 billion to $2.8 billion.

The company’s adjusted net income came in at $1.77 per share, beating a Refinitiv IBES estimate of $1.45 per share.

Rival Devon Energy Corp said in a separate statement its first-quarter adjusted profit was 45 cents per share, compared with expectations of 33 cents per share. (Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Aditya Soni)

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