El Paso Profits Up 16% on Higher Natural Gas Prices

Natural gas producer and pipeline company El Pasoposted a 16 percent rise in third-quarter profit on Tuesday, boosted by higher natural gas output and prices.

Net income rose to $146 million, or 20 per share, from $126 million, or 18 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue in the quarter rose to $1.17 billion from $942 million.

Earnings at the company's exploration and production arm grew to $232 million from $141 million last year, with volumes rising to 787 million cubic feet equivalent per day from 744 million cfed, not including output owned by affiliates.

The company's average price for gas it sold during the quarter rose to $7.12 per thousand cubic feet from $6.30.

El Paso's pipeline operations posted earnings of $275 million versus $253 million, helped by higher volumes from expansion projects that came on line over the past year.