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May 7 (Reuters) - Canada’s No.5 independent oil and gas producer Talisman Energy Inc posted a first-quarter profit, compared with a year-earlier loss, as oil and natural gas liquids production in North America soared 45 percent.
The company’s cash flow, a key indicator of its ability to fund projects, rose 19 percent to $616 million, or 60 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31.
Talisman has been slimming its operations and cutting debt in a effort to boost its share price to satisfy disgruntled and activist investors such as Carl Icahn.
The company completed the C$1.5 billion ($1.38 billion) sale of part of its western Canadian shale properties to a unit of Malaysia’s Petronas in March and used the proceeds to cut net debt by about $1 billion.
Talisman has said it expects to sell C$2 billion more in assets over the next 18 months.
The company on Wednesday reported net income of $491 million, or 47 cents per share, for the first quarter compared with a loss of $213 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier.
Oil and natural gas liquids production in North America jumped to an average of 42,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) from 29,000 boe/d.
Total production, including oil, gas and liquids, rose 6 percent to average 360,000 boe/d in the quarter. ($1 = 1.0893 Canadian Dollars) (Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh; Editing by Jason Neely and Savio D’Souza)