Pioneer Natural swings to fourth-quarter profit; boosts dividend fourfold

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HOUSTON (Reuters) – U.S. shale oil producer Pioneer Natural Resources Co said on Tuesday it swung to a fourth-quarter profit helped by rising crude prices and production.

The company posted net income of $655 million, or $3.87 per share, compared to a net loss of $44 million, or 26 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Production rose 26 percent to 304,989 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Pioneer also increased its dividend, which is pays twice a year, to 16 cents from 4 cents. The dividend is payable April 12 to shareholders of record on March 29. Pioneer also approved a $100 million stock buyback to offset dilution.

Reporting by Ernest Scheyder

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