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Occidental Profit Jumps Sharply; Asset Sales Cited

February 09, 1988|From Associated Press

Occidental Petroleum said Monday that its earnings rose 90% in the fourth quarter and 32.6% for the year, boosted by gains from asset sales.

The oil, natural gas, chemical and meat company netted $38 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared to $20 million a year earlier.

The latest period included a $147-million after-tax gain from asset sales, primarily a 49% stake in its IBP Inc. meat-processing operation, as well as $15 million in tax benefits from previous capital losses.

Revenue for the latest quarter rose 6.6% to $4.39 billion from $4.17 billion a year earlier.

For the full year, the company netted $240 million, up from $181 million. Revenue was up 11.8% to $17.1 billion from $15.3 billion.

The full-year results for 1987 included $387 million in after-tax gains on asset sales and tax benefits, compared to $231 million in 1986.

Operating profits in its oil and gas unit decreased to $64 million from $77 million in the fourth quarter and to $276 million from $348 million for the year.

Generally higher crude oil prices and increased domestic natural gas volumes were offset by declining natural gas prices. Improved results from Colombia and the North Sea were offset by an operating loss in Peru.

Profit from the company's natural gas transmission operations dropped to $19 million from $208 million for the quarter and to $245 million from $404 million for the year.

The decline reflected the absence of the United Gas Pipe Line Co., which Occidental sold last June, as well as provisions for disposition of assets and increased depreciation expenses.

Earnings of the chemical unit rose to $61 million from $56 million in the final period and to $322 million from $133 million for the year. The 1987 results included a $127-million after-tax gain on the sale of its process chemicals segment.

Agribusiness profits rose to $32 million from $6 million for the quarter, and to $85 million from $59 million for the year, reflecting higher beef and pork margins and volume.

Earnings from its coal segment rose to $4 million from $1 million for the final period, but were down to $11 million from $21 million for the year.

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