Halcon Resources (NYSE:HK) reported first-quarter results after the closing bell today. The shale-focused driller announced adjusted net income of $11.9 million, or $0.03 per share. That beat analysts' estimates by a penny. 

Halcon Resources produced an average of 36,622 barrels of oil equivalent per day, or BOE/d. That was above the high end of the company's guidance, which helped it top earnings estimates. Production was also 41% higher than last year's first quarter, as the company's focus on technological innovation yielded strong well results.

The company also was able to push its total operating costs lower by 8% year over year. On top of that, Halcon Resources was able to realize a higher average prices per BOE than in last year's first quarter. The combination of higher production and energy prices along with lower costs had a noticeable impact on the company's bottom line. This was evidenced as net cash provided by operating activities surged from $45.7 million in last year's first quarter to $159.5 million this quarter.

In commenting on the quarter in the company's press release, CEO Floyd Wilson pointed out that "first-quarter results exceeded expectation." He further said the company is "firing on all cylinders from an operational standpoint," which is why the company is "excited about the opportunities that lie ahead."