* Q1 EPS $0.41 vs EPS $0.13 year ago
* Q1 revenue $62.2 mln vs $29.8 mln year ago
* Raises exploration budget for India, Indonesia (Recasts, adds details, analysts’ comments, share movement)
By Ashutosh Joshi
BANGALORE, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Canada’s Niko Resources Ltd NKO.TO said its quarterly profit more than tripled as start-up of production at its major Indian gas field and a short-term investment gain boosted its revenue.
The company, which owns a 10 percent working interest in D6 block in India’s Krishna-Godavari basin, said production from the gas field began in April, increasing its second-quarter production by 65 percent and contributing more than one third of its revenue.
“Production from D6 will be growing over next 12 months and growing pretty spectacularly,” Peter & Co analyst Andrew Boland said by phone.
Boland, who has a “sector outperform” rating on the stock, said production from D6 would form a significant part of Niko’s cash flow growth over the next 12 months and fund its portfolio in India and other countries.
Niko also raised its exploration expenditure plans for India and Indonesia. It now plans to spend about $72 million on exploration in India, out of its total exploration budget of $134 million for the year.
FirstEnergy Capital analyst Martin Molyneaux said the D6 block currently has 8 wells on production, with a daily production below 1.3 billion cubic feet (BCF) of gas and it could reach up to 2.8 BCF a day by December, which would be “absolutely mind boggling numbers”.
For the first quarter, the company reported net income of $20.4 million, or 41 cents a share, up from $6.3 million, or 13 cents a share, a year ago.
The company said it recorded a $18 million gain on short-term investment.
Revenue was up to $62.2 million from $29.8 million.
It said the natural gas production from its Dhirubhai 1 and 3 gas fields in the D6 Block resulted in a $23.9 million increase in revenue.
Shares of the company were down 20 Canadian cents at C$75.30 in afternoon trade Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy, Pradeep Kurup)