W&T Offshore said its quarterly profit has surpassed market estimates aided by higher prices and lower expenses.

For the last quarter of 2009, net income was posted $64m, 84 cents a share as against a net loss of $851.4m, or $11.21 a share in 2008.

The company’s adjusted earnings in the latest quarter were 36 cents a share against the market estimates of 20 cents while the revenue for the quarter was up by 63% to $176.1m but fell short of estimates of $178m.

The growth in revenue was encouraged by higher production volumes, after hurricanes disrupted production a year earlier, and an increase in the average realised unhedged price.

The company said its fourth-quarter prices rose by 15% at $7.67 per thousand cubic feet equivalent while its total costs and expenses fell about 90%.

In a statement, chairman and CEO Tracy W Krohn said the company has identified over 160 prospects for possible future exploration.

“We enter 2010 as a leaner, more efficient company with internally identified opportunities, the ability to capitalise on acquisitions and/or joint ventures”, said Krohn.