UPDATE 1-Occidental profit tops estimates, shares rise


Oct 25 (Reuters) - Occidental Petroleum Corp reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as growing output helped make up for lower oil and gas prices, and its shares rose 2 percent.

The fourth-largest U.S. oil company said net profit fell to $1.38 billion, or $1.69 per share, from $1.77 billion, or $2.17 per share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected $1.63 per share, according to the average on Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

``Earnings were strong across the board, driven by higher than expected U.S. oil production, lower unit costs and strong chemicals segment income,'' Sterne Agee analyst Tim Rezvan said.

Output rose 4 percent from a year ago to 766,000 barrels per day, including an average of 469,000 bpd of U.S. production.

The average Brent oil price of $110 per barrel over the quarter was down $2 from a year earlier and up just $1 from the second quarter. Natural gas prices were down sharply.

Occidental shares rose 1.8 percent to $82.21 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock is down 12 percent so far this year.