Occidental Petroleum said Wednesday that its net income was off 35.9% for the first quarter, primarily because it had a smaller gain from the sale of assets than in the year-earlier period.
For the three months ended March 31, Occidental posted a profit of $74.2 million, compared to the first quarter of 1985, when it earned $115.7 million.
Total revenue declined nearly 2% to $3.63 billion from $3.7 billion, primarily because of lower prices for crude oil and natural gas, the company said.
The company's net included an after-tax gain of $24 million from the sale of some Australian operations. In the year-earlier period, it had an extraordinary gain of $100 million from the sale of holdings in the North Sea and California and from tax-loss benefits.
The earnings included a $35.9-million operating profit from Midcon Corp., the natural gas pipeline concern in which Occidental acquired a 53% stake on Feb. 21. Occidental acquired the remainder of Midcon after the end of the quarter.
Occidental's worldwide oil and gas unit's operating earnings were up slightly to $176 million from $172.4 million. Lower oil and natural gas prices were more than offset by asset sales, a contract settlement with a gas pipeline company and retroactive fees received after completion of a contract agreement with Peru.
The company's coal unit posted a gain of $900,000, compared to a year-earlier loss of $9.8 million, because of cost cutting and higher sales, while its chemical subsidiary showed a slightly higher profit.
Occidental's agribusiness unit had a profit of $14.4 million, compared to $3.9 million a year earlier.