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Callon Petroleum Company (CPE - Free Report) is far and away the top-performing Zacks #1 Rank company on Wednesday with shares that have advanced approximately 11%.

Volume is also extraordinarily high with more than 1.7 million shares changing hands, compared to the daily average of around 670,000.

CPE is engaged in the acquisition, development, exploration and operation of oil and gas properties in Louisiana, Texas and the offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is part of the oil – US exploration & production industry. The only other company from this space on today's Zacks #1 Rank List is Warren Resources, Inc. (WRES).

Earnings estimates for 2010 have advanced since the company reported its fourth-quarter results last week.

Callon Petroleum Estimate Trends.

At the moment, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for this year is at 25 cents per share, marking an increase of around 47% in the past 7 days from 17 cents. Two months ago, analysts were expecting a loss for the year.

Fourth-Quarter Report for Callon Petroleum

On Mar 8, Callon Petroleum announced earnings per share for the fourth quarter that easily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company has now surpassed expectations for four straight quarters.

Callon Petroleum EPS Surprises.

The company reported oil & gas sales of $30.1 million from average production of 35.4 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent per day, compared to $15.5 million from 20.7 million a year earlier.

Other factors in the fourth quarter (year over year) include:

  • average price received per thousand cubic feet of natural gas down to $5.01 from $7.12

  • average price received per barrel of oil up to $77.94 from $55.23

  • discretionary cash flow at $64.3 million compared to $3.8 million

"Our focus in 2010 will be on growing through the drill bit and making selective acquisitions in our core areas to further expand our inventory of drilling opportunities and strengthening our visible, long-term growth potential," stated Callon Petroleum Chairman/CEO Fred Callon.

"Our strategy is supported by the strong cash flow from our deepwater Gulf of Mexico fields into our onshore conventional oil and shale gas projects," Mr. Callon continued.

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