Occidental's 3Q results hurt by lower prices

LOS ANGELES -- Occidental Petroleum saw third-quarter profit fall 22 percent as an increase in production was offset by lower oil and natural gas prices.

Yet sales more than doubled in the processing, transportation and marketing segment and the Los Angeles company topped Wall Street expectations all around.

Occidental reported net income of $1.38 billion, or $1.69 per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That compared with net income of $1.77 billion, or $2.17 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue declined to $5.97 billion from $6 billion.

Analysts had predicted earnings of $1.63 per share on revenue of $5.6 billion, according to FactSet.

Occidental's overall oil and gas production increased 3.7 percent to 766,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Domestic production rose 8 percent to a record 469,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, which offset a slight drop in international production.

The company sold oil for an average price of $96.62 per barrel during the quarter compared with $97.24 per barrel in the third quarter of 2011. The average price for domestic natural gas dropped 41 percent to $2.48 per 1,000 cubic feet from $4.23 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The results included $162 million in earnings from the chemicals business compared with $245 million a year ago. At the same time, midstream and marketing earnings more than doubled to $156 million.

Shares of Occidental Petroleum Corp. fell 4 cents to $80.64 in early trading. The price has ranged from $76.59 to $106.68 per share in the past 52 weeks.