Chevron Corp.'s fourth-quarter earnings rose 41% as increased production helped drive a double-digit rise in upstream earnings.
Chevron earlier this month said its fourth-quarter profit would be "notably higher" than the previous quarter's as a $1.4 billion gain from an upstream asset exchange in Australia and West Texas oil field acquisitions would contribute to increased oil and gas production. But the company also warned it would pay up to $400 million in potential accruals related to income taxes, pension settlements and environmental matters during the quarter.
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company by market value after Exxon Mobil Corp., also said Thursday it will consolidate its supply and trading functions into a single group within its gas and midstream business, effective June 1. The downstream organization currently oversees the company's trading operations for crude oil and refined products, while the company's gas and midstream business was responsible for Chevron's natural gas and liquefied natural gas trading operations.
Chevron reported a profit of $7.25 billion, or $3.70 a share, up from $5.12 billion, or $2.58 a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 1% to $60.55 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of $3.03 a share on revenue of $68.64 billion.
Operating margin improved to 19.8% from 16.6%.
Exploration-and-production earnings rose 20% to $6.86 billion as total oil-equivalent production increased 1.1% to 2.67 million barrels per day.
The refining, marketing and chemical operations, known as the downstream segment, swung to a profit of $925 million from a year-earlier loss of $61 million.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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