Chesapeake Energy posts profit on higher production, prices

Feb 22 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp on Thursday posted a fourth-quarter profit, compared with a loss a year ago, due to higher oil and natgas production and prices.

The Oklahoma-based company said net income available to shareholders was $309 million, or 33 cents per share, in the quarter to Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $740 million, or 83 cents per share, a year earlier.

Chesapeake's production averaged 593,200 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the quarter, similar to its estimate earlier this month and up about 3.3 percent from a year ago. (Reporting by Anirban Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)