Rice Energy Inc. reports first-quarter profit

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Rice Energy Inc. posted a profit of $129.5 million in the first quarter, up from a $6.8 million loss in the same quarter a year ago.

The Canonsburg-based Marcellus driller, which completed an initial public offering in January, this morning reported total revenue of $90.47 million in the three months ended March 31, as compared to $13.2 million last year, based on a consolidated financial statements. The numbers reflect that at the same time that Rice went public, it completed the acquisition of part of a Marcellus joint venture that it had been in with Alpha Natural Resources.

Rice reported a gain on the purchase of the joint venture of $203.6 million.

The company reported earnings per share of $1.03, as compared to a 5 cent lost during the same period a year ago.

CEO Daniel J. Rice IV said, in this morning’s announcement, that the company brought online 10 Marcellus wells in 2014 and recently completed its first well in the Utica shale. He also said the company was able to replace existing debt with lower rates, a move that will help fund 2014 capital expenditures.

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