Chesapeake Energy (CHK) released its latest earnings report before opening bell, posting adjusted earnings of 23 cents per share on $2.75 billion in revenue, compared to the Wall Street consensus estimates of 18 cents per share and $1.1 billion in revenue. In last year’s first quarter, the oil and natural gas giant reported $1.95 billion in revenue and adjusted losses of 10 cents per share.

Chesapeake Energy earnings

Chesapeake Energy (CHK) swings to profit

Chesapeake Energy’s (CHK) GAAP earnings amounted to 8 cents per share, compared to the year-ago quarter’s loss of $1.66 per share. EBITDA amounted to $455 million, while adjusted EBITDA was $525 million, compared to $282 million in the year-ago quarter.

Oil and natural gas revenue rose to $1.47 billion from $993 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had been expecting $1.11 billion. Marketing revenue rose to $1.28 billion from $960 million a year ago. Analysts had been expecting $1.3 billion.

The company said higher average realized commodity prices and unrealized hedging gains drove the 41% year over year increase in revenue, although a decline in production volumes sold partially offset those gains.

Chesapeake Energy (CHK) guides for significant growth in production

The company produced 528,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day during the first quarter, which was higher than the midpoint of its guidance of 515,000 to 535,000 barrels of oil equivalent. During the first quarter, Chesapeake produced 83,700 barrels a day, which was also greater than the midpoint of guidance, which was 80,000 to 85,000 barrels.

Chesapeake Energy (CHK) also produced 2.342 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 53,900 barrels of natural gas liquids per day during the first quarter, on average.

Chesapeake management expects production to increase “significantly” in the second half of the year as the company puts more wells to sales. As a result, they boosted the low end of their full-year production guidance. The company expects oil production to reach 100,000 barrels a day by the end of this year.

Chesapeake continues paying down debt

Chesapeake Energy’s (CHK) principal debt balance stood at about $9.1 billion at the end of the quarter with $249 million in cash on hand. At the end of the fourth quarter, the company had $10 billion in debt with $882 million in cash on hand.

“We remain focused on improving our balance sheet and decreasing our cash costs, while improving the capital efficiency from our operations,” Chesapeake Energy CEO Doug Lawler said in a statement. “We look forward to reporting our results as the year progresses.”

Shares of Chesapeake Energy (CHK) ticked lower in premarket trades, falling by as much as 0.72% to $5.50.