* Q1 EPS $0.00 vs loss/shr $0.01 last year
* Q1 oil revenue up 169 pct to $35.1 mln
* Sees FY production up 50 percent
* Shares down 5 percent (Recasts; adds details, analyst comments and updates share movement)
By Arnika Thakur
May 14 (Reuters) - Oil and gas company Bankers Petroleum Ltd BNK.TO posted a first-quarter profit, helped by an increase in production and oil prices, and forecast a 50 percent rise in production rate by the end of the year.
Bankers Petroleum, focused on developing large oil and gas reserves in Albania, said a third rig was contracted to start drilling in July 2010 at its Patos-Marinza oilfield.
Bankers Petroleum operates and has the full rights to develop the Patos Marinza heavy oilfield and has a 100 percent interest in the Kucova oil field in Albania.
“They are not going to have a massive exploration success ... but this is a very robust development story,” Jennings Capital analyst Gregory Chornoboy said by phone.
The company also projected a year-end production target of 15,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). Its current production is in excess of 10,000 bopd.
The forecast is intact, and the third drilling in July will help ramp up production to meet the exit production rate, BMO Capital markets analyst Christopher Brown told Reuters.
The company’s shares, however, were down 5 percent at C$8.25 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, mirroring the fall in U.S. crude oil futures, which dropped more than 4 percent. [ID:nN14161714]
“Bankers sells nothing but oil, so it will move in conjunction with the oil price,”said Chornoboy, who has a “speculative buy” rating on the stock.
For the first quarter, the company posted net income of $470,000, or breakeven per share, compared with a net loss of $2.5 million, or 1 cent a share a year ago.
Oil revenue more than doubled to $35.1 million.
As on March 31, production averaged 8,282 bopd, a 15 percent increase from the year-ago period.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 2 cents a share on revenue of $35 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Arnika Thakur in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)