Natural Gas Prices Boosting Colorado Companies Profits

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Higher natural gas prices have boosted the profits of several Colorado energy companies. First-quarter financial results show five local energy firms turned last year's losses into this year's gains.

Another nine companies reported sharply higher income after marginal profits in 2002. Denver-based Saint Mary Land and Exploration Company was among the biggest winners.

Record earnings soared from eight cents a share last year to $1.08 this year. The company's chairman called it the most profitable quarter in the Saint Mary's 95-year history.