In announcing the results, Dr. Ray R. Irani, chairman and chief executive officer, said, ``Earnings of $758 million, $1.91 per share, were 65 percent higher than the third quarter 2003. High oil prices and robust gas prices, plus improved chemical margins, contributed to the record high income for both the third quarter and the nine month period. Oil and gas production per day was up 3 percent for the quarter and 5 percent year-to-date over the comparable periods last year.''
Core earnings for the first nine months of 2004 were $1.81 billion ($4.60 per share), compared with $1.25 billion ($3.27 per share) for 2003. The debt-to-total capitalization at the end of the third quarter was 29 percent, compared with 37 percent at the end of last year. Interest expense of $187 million for the first nine months of 2004 was 31 percent lower than the comparable 2003 period.
Oil and Gas
Oil and gas segment earnings were $1.0 billion for the third quarter 2004, compared with $660 million for the third quarter 2003, an increase of 52 percent. The improvement in the third quarter 2004 earnings reflected higher worldwide crude oil and natural gas prices, partially offset by increased DD&A rates and higher operating costs.
Chemical segment earnings were $137 million for the third quarter 2004, compared with $61 million for the third quarter 2003, an increase of 125 percent. The improvement in the third quarter 2004 was primarily due to higher sales prices and margins in chlorine, ethylene dichloride, polyvinyl chloride and vinyl chloride monomer, partially offset by higher ethylene and energy costs. Chemical earnings of $272 million for the nine months were almost double that of 2003.
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