February 12, 2010 / 12:02 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 2-Niko Resources posts Q3 profit

* Q3 EPS $0.29 vs loss $0.04/shr year ago

* Q3 rev more than triples at $91.8 mln

* Says D6 block avg production up 37 pct sequentially (Adds details, analyst comments, updates share movement)

By Ashutosh Joshi

BANGALORE, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Canada’s Niko Resources Ltd (NKO.TO) posted a quarterly profit on lower costs and continued production ramp-up at its major properties in India.

The company, which owns a 10 percent working interest in D6 block in India’s Krishna-Godavari basin with Reliance Industries (RELI.BO) owning the rest, said production from the block averaged 161 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day, up 37 percent sequentially.

Niko said current D6 production stood at 210 MMcf per day and was increasing towards full capacity of 280 MMcf per day, as additional contracts are expected to be signed with customers approved by the Indian government.

“For the next quarter they will not average 280 (MMcf/d). Its going to be somewhere between 210 and 280,” Canaccord Adams analyst Terry Peters said by phone.

The analyst, who has a “buy” rating on the stock, said the company has field capacity to sell gas in India to the extent of its designated limit, but it needs to finalize future contracts.

“They have reasonable chance that by end of March, they could be approaching that number,” he said.

Besides India, Niko owns properties in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Trinidad, and is eyeing assets in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

For the third quarter ended Dec. 31, the company earned $14.6 million, or 29 cents a share, compared with a loss of $2.1 million, or 4 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose to $91.8 million from $28 million, a year ago.

Total production more than doubled to 257,929 Mcfe per day, from 89,986 Mcfe per day, a year ago.

Niko shares, which have gained about 10 percent in last three months, were up C$1.05 at C$99.05 Friday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan, Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

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