DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s (OXY) fourth-quarter earnings rose a better-than-expected 35% as higher selling prices for oil and natural-gas liquids continued to bolster revenue.
Occidental's earnings also have continued to improve on increased production in the U.S. and as the company has posted strong results in its chemicals business. The company in October took the first step toward restarting production at a Libyan oilfield it partially owns, making it the first U.S. company to get some Libyan crude production going again since Moammar Gadhafi's overthrow.
Average daily oil and natural-gas production grew 4.8% from a year earlier to 748,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day on higher domestic volume, partially offsetting lower volume in the Middle East, North Africa and Colombia. Average prices increased 25% for oil, while natural-gas liquids prices rose 12% worldwide.
Occidental reported a fourth-quarter profit of $1.63 billion, or $2.01 a share, up from $1.21 billion, or $1.49 a share, a year earlier. Per-share earnings from continuing operations rose to $2.02 from $1.47, as revenue improved 19% to $6.03 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a $1.95 per-share profit with revenue of $5.77 billion.
Revenue in the company's main oil and gas segment rose 27% as profit increased 52%. Chemical sales grew 9.8%, pushing profit up 30%.
Shares closed at $100.92 Tuesday and were inactive premarket. The stock has risen 19% over the past three months.
-By Ben Fox Rubin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3108; firstname.lastname@example.org