ConocoPhillips Posts 4Q Income of $2.432B

Wednesday, January 26th 2005, 12:21 pm
By: News On 6

HOUSTON (AP) _ ConocoPhillips, the nation's third biggest oil company, said it more than doubled its fourth-quarter income due to high prices for crude and natural gas prices and better refining margins.

Houston-based ConocoPhillips reported fourth-quarter net income of $2.432 billion, or $3.44 per share, for the October-December period, up from $1.021 billion, or $1.48 per share, a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected fourth-quarter earnings of $3.07 per share.

In trading Wednesday morning, ConocoPhillips shares rose $1.20, or 1.4 percent, to $90.10 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $64.62 to $91.22.

Revenues for the quarter were $40.1 billion compared to $26 billion in the fourth quarter of 2003.

For the year, ConocoPhillips reported net income of $8.129 billion, or $11.60 per share, up from $4.735 billion, or $6.91 per share, in 2003. Revenue in 2004 rose to $136.9 billion from $105.1 billion a year ago.

``Overall, our upstream operations ran well, enabling us to benefit from the strong commodity price environment,'' Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The quarter's net income included $74 million, or 10 cents a share, from the company's 10 percent equity investment in Russian oil company Lukoil.

The company produced 1.75 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, including 1.6 million from its exploration and production unit and 150,000 barrels per day from the Lukoil investment. Refining and marketing operations benefited from improved heavy-light crude oil differentials and refineries ran at 94 percent of capacity, excluding Lukoil's impact.

The company's total debt at the close of the fourth quarter was $15 billion, down from $17.8 billion a year ago. Mulva said he expected 2005 production to reach 1.62 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, excluding Lukoil.