Occidental beats earnings estimates on higher oil prices and volumes


Occidental Petroleum’s logo is displayed on a floor screen at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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HOUSTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Oil and gas producer Occidental Petroleum Corp posted a fourth-quarter profit after a loss a year ago on higher-than-expected U.S. production and crude prices.

The Houston-based company, a leading producer in the prolific Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, posted stronger-than-expected oil and gas production. Overall, shale companies beat expectations for soaring energy prices.

Adjusted earnings of $1.48 per share beat analysts’ consensus forecast of $1.10 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES. The company increased its quarterly ordinary dividend to 13 cents per share. The shares rose less than 1% to $38.90 in afternoon trading.

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“As we continue to reduce our net debt and strengthen our balance sheet, our focus has extended to returning additional capital to shareholders,” Chief Executive Vicki Hollub said.

Its U.S. production from the Permian Basin, Rocky Mountains and Gulf of Mexico producing areas each exceeded the high end of the company’s earlier forecasts. Its chemical unit posted operating profit of $574 million, up from $407 million a year ago.

Overall, Occidental pumped 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil and gas last quarter, about 49,000 bpd above the midpoint of its guidance range and above the level of the previous year.

The company sold its oil last quarter at an average price of $75.39 a barrel, up about 85% from a year earlier.

Shares were temporarily halted on Thursday when results emerged during trading hours, ahead of schedule. Occidental did not immediately comment on the timing.

Occidental plans to hold a conference call on Friday to discuss the results.

It beat Wall Street expectations with a net $1.34 billion, or $1.37 per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $1.31 billion, or $1.41 per share, a year earlier.

Global crude prices jumped more than 50% last year, rebounding from a pandemic-induced drop in demand. They averaged $80 a barrel in the last three months of 2021, almost double from a year earlier.

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Reporting by Sabrina Valle in Houston, Ruhi Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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