What happened 

The oil and gas business continues to be incredibly profitable as companies focus more on churning out cash rather than growing revenue. Earnings reports that have come out in the last 24 hours have confirmed that trend. 

In trading on Thursday, Permian Resources (PR -0.92%) shares jumped as much as 18%, Teekay Tankers (TNK -2.97%) was up 15.2% at its peak, and TechnipFMC (FTI -0.94%) rose 15.2%. The stocks were up 17.4%, 14.6%, and 5.8% respectively at 3 p.m. ET. 

So what 

At Permian Resources, oil production was 81,400 barrels per day, 9% above the midpoint of outlook. Cash provided by operating activities was $528 million and adjusted free cash flow was $256 million for the quarter.

Management expects around 10% growth by the end of 2023 with a total capital budget of just $1.25 billion to $1.45 billion. 

Teekay Tankers' results were significantly better than a year ago with revenue more than doubling to $367.3 million, and net income was $146.4 million, or $4.30 per share. Analysts' estimates were for revenue of just $198.9 million and earnings per share of $3.33 per share.

TechnipFMC's revenue was up 11.2% from a year ago to $1.69 billion and loss was $26.7 million, or $0.06 per share. But backlog did jump 22.1% from a year ago to $9.35 billion. 

Now what 

Oil prices aren't nearly what they were a year ago, but oil and gas companies are still churning out incredible profits because they aren't making the same mistakes of the last decade. Just because there are areas that could be profitably drilled for oil doesn't mean they have to extract those resources, because they may not be an attractive margin. 

Even tankers are starting to get in on the action, moving much more oil around the world now that the pandemic lull in demand is coming to an end. With China's economy picking up following the zero-COVID policy of the last three years, there may be even more upside ahead. 

The downside for a company like TechnipFMC is there's less spending on its services, which is why this is the one company here losing money. If oil and gas explorers keep from overspending, it will continue to feel the pinch. 

Over the last few years, there's been a big shift in the way oil and gas companies behave. They're no longer chasing questionable projects in pursuit of growth and are now cutting capital expenses and letting cash flow roll in. That's been great for shareholders and that should continue. I would expect to see dividends and buybacks increase across the industry and today's earnings reports show exactly why. Oil and gas companies are now flush with cash.