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Volatile Crude Prices Bite Into Chevron Profits

Production problems, softer global demand for crude oil and foreign currency swings in the third quarter helped drive down Chevron's earnings by a third, missing analysts' expectations.

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The energy giant reported earnings of $5.3 billion, or $2.69 per diluted share, compared to $7.8 billion, or $3.92 per diluted share, from the comparable year-ago period. Revenues during the quarter fell to $56 billion, compared to $61 billion a year ago.

Those figures fell short of analysts' expectations of $2.83 a share on $63.9 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The company cited problems associated with Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as operational issues that affected production.

"This quarter's earnings were solid, but off from their near record level of a year ago," said Chairman and CEO John Watson, in a statement.

"Crude oil prices were down and we had a heavy period of planned oil field maintenance which temporarily reduced oil and gas production in several locations. Foreign currency movements also hurt our results this quarter, while they benefited the year-ago period."

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares tumbled by more than one percent in early New York Stock Exchange trading.

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