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Exxon, Mobil, Arco, Occidental, Unocal, Ashland : 6 Major Big Oil Firms Enjoy Higher Profits in Quarter

July 26, 1988

Exxon Corp., the nation's biggest oil company, said Monday its that net income rose 4% in the second quarter from a year ago, while Mobil Corp., the No. 2 company, reported a 60% surge in earnings.

Atlantic Richfield Co., Occidental Petroleum Corp., Unocal Corp., all based in Los Angeles, and Ashland Oil Inc. also reported gains.

Exxon said higher earnings in its refining and chemical operations offset lower results from crude oil exploration and production. Mobil also cited refining and chemical operations for its gains as well as improvements in efficiency.

Exxon, with headquarters in New York, had a net profit of $1.2 billion in the April-June period, up from $1.15 billion in the same period of 1987. Revenue rose 7% to $21.63 billion from $20.16 billion.

For the first half of the year, Exxon reported earnings of $2.66 billion, up 20% from $2.22 billion in 1987. Revenue increased 10% to $43.63 billion from $39.6 billion.

Exxon Chairman L. G. Rawl said profit "margins were stronger as supply costs dropped and product prices firmed" during the second quarter. He also said increased demand for petroleum products boosted sales volume in both the United States and abroad.

Mobil, also based in New York, said its second-quarter profit jumped to $487 million from $304 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 16% to $14.2 billion from $12.3 billion.

In the first six months, Mobil's profit jumped 78% to $992 million from $556 million. Revenue rose 17% to $28.1 billion from $24.0 billion.

Mobil Chairman Allen E. Murray noted the strong earnings were achieved during a period of relatively low crude oil prices, which he said showed the "balanced diversity" of the company's business.

On June 23, Mobil completed the sale of its Montgomery Ward subsidiary for about $1.6 billion to an investor group including senior management of the retailer.

Atlantic Richfield, the sixth biggest U.S. oil company, attributed a 21% rise in its earnings to the recent reorganization of its refining and marketing operations.

Arco's second-quarter profit rose to $400 million from $330 million in 1987. Revenue rose 12.2% to $4.6 billion from $4.1 billion.

In the first half of the year, the company earned $801 million, up from $569 million. Revenue increased to $9.2 billion from $7.9 billion.

Occidental, ranked ninth, said its profit in the quarter rose 30.5% to $77 million from $59 million a year ago. Revenue gained 9.3% to $4.7 billion from $4.3 billion.

Occidental's first-half earnings increased to $190 million from $156 million. Revenue advanced to $9.2 billion from $8.5 billion.

Unocal, the nation's 13th-largest oil company, reported a 3% rise in second-quarter profit to $64 million from $62 million. Revenue rose 6% to $2.55 billion from $2.42 billion.

In the first six months, Unocal earned $242 million, up from $123 million. Revenue rose to $4.85 billion from $4.48 billion.

Ashland, an Ashland, Ky.-based concern that is the No. 14 oil company, said its net income jumped 42.5% in the third quarter of its fiscal year, rising to $57 million from $40 million a year earlier. Revenue increased 15.8% to $2.2 billion from $1.9 billion.

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