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Marathon Oil posts biggest beat, Apache the biggest miss for independents in Q2

Second-quarter earnings were a very mixed bag for the larger independent oil and gas producers, with a roughly even split between those that beat earnings expectations and those that came up short.

Marathon Oil Corp. easily led the pack of winners, with its $189 million of adjusted net income leading to a profit of 23 cents per share. That was well above the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus earnings estimate of 14 cents per share, or a beat of 64%.

Encana Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. tied for the second-highest beats, topping estimates by 16.7%. Encana reported a profit of 21 cents per share, beating estimates of 18 cents. Noble did not report a profit — it reported a net loss of 10 cents per share — but it still beat estimates of a 12-cent loss.

After cutting its staff by 25% and reporting improved efficiencies, Pioneer Natural Resources Co. reported a net income of $340 million, or $2.01 per share. That exceeds the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus estimate of $1.86 per share by more than 8%.

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In spite of the negative publicity surrounding its $55 billion takeover of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. during the second quarter, Occidental Petroleum Corp. was still able to beat earnings projections by more than 3%. The company reported earnings of 97 cents per share, topping estimates calling for a 94-cent profit.

Other independents were not as fortunate. EOG Resources Inc. reported a strong quarter in terms of production and budget restraint, but its earnings of $1.31 per share missed by a single cent. ConocoPhillips missed by two cents, reporting earnings of $1.01 per share as opposed to the consensus estimate of $1.03.

Concho Resources Inc., which had its stock battered after a second-quarter earnings call filled with disappointing news, missed profit estimates to boot. The Permian Basin power reported earnings of 69 cents, a miss of approximately 3%. On its way into oblivion, Anadarko missed earnings estimates by 4 cents with its profit of 51 cents per share, a miss of 7.3%.

Apache Corp. had the biggest miss of the quarter, with a profit of 11 cents per share as opposed to the consensus estimate of 13 cents. That constituted a miss of 15.4%.