Occidental Petroleum's profit rises 74%

Monday, January 24th 2005, 9:30 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (Dow Jones/AP) _ Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s fourth-quarter profit improved 74 percent amid higher prices for crude oil, natural gas and chemicals.

The petroleum company said Monday its net income increased to $665 million, or $1.64 a share, from $382 million, or 97 cents a share, in the fourth quarter a year ago.

The latest period includes total charges of about $69 million, or 17 cents a basic share.

The Los Angeles-based company's profit before items totaled $1.85 a share, below Wall Street's earnings estimate of $1.92 a share, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson First Call.

Occidental calculated its fourth-quarter adjusted earnings by excluding charges from its core earnings of $670 million, or $1.68 a share. A year earlier, Occidental had core earnings of $383 million, or 99 cents a share.

Core earnings exclude the effects of a trust preferred redemption charge and the ``effects of significant transactions and events that vary widely and unpredictably in nature, timing, and amount,'' according to the company.

Fourth-quarter sales climbed 31 percent to $3.08 billion from $2.35 billion.

Sales growth in the oil and gas segment and the company's chemical business contributed to the improvement.

For the full year, Occidental earned $2.5 billion, or $6.21 a share, on revenue of $11.4 billion. Last year it earned $1.5 billion, or $3.93 a share, on sales of $9.2 billion.