Los Angeles Business Journal

Oxy’s Profit Soars in Quarter

By Deborah Crowe Originally published January 25, 2012 at 10 a.m., updated January 25, 2012 at 2 p.m.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. said that its net income jumped nearly 35 percent in the fourth quarter as the company boosted its U.S. operations and saw strong growth in its chemicals business.

The Los Angeles oil and gas developer on Wednesday reported net income of $1.63 billion ($2.01 a share), compared with $1.21 billion ($1.49) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 19 percent to $6.03 billion.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet on average expected earnings of $1.94 a share on revenue of $5.47 billion.

The company increased average daily worldwide oil and gas production by 4.8 percent in the quarter to a company record of 748,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Higher U.S. volume partially offset lower volume in the Middle East, North Africa and Colombia. Average prices rose 25 percent for oil, and 12 percent for natural-gas liquids.

Occidental said its chemicals business increased operating profit by 30 percent to $144 million, but its midstream and marketing business fell 65 percent to $70 million, which the company blamed on lower marketing and trading results.

For the full year, Occidental earned $6.77 billion ($8.32 a share), up 50 percent from 2010. Revenue rose nearly 26 percent to $23.9 billion.

Shares closed up $2.54, or 2.5 percent, to $103.46 on the New York Stock Exchange.