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Oil Companies Report Generally Strong Quarter

October 25, 1994|From Times Wire Services

Big oil companies reported generally stronger quarterly results Monday, reflecting higher prices for crude oil but weaker refining profits and a sharp drop in natural gas prices.

Exxon Corp., the biggest U.S. oil company, reported a 15% drop in earnings compared to last year's results, which were inflated by one-time gains. Without those, Exxon would have shown a 10% earnings increase this year.

Atlantic Richfield Co. said results were boosted by $273 million in after-tax income from a stock sale by Arco subsidiary Vastar Resources Inc. Even without that boost, earnings would have been higher, with oil and gas profits increasing more than sevenfold.

Amoco's profit dropped 14% because of one-time costs recorded this year for cleanups of old refineries and a special gain last year. Amoco's profit would have risen 7% without the special items.

Exxon said it earned $1.16 billion, or 92 cents a share. In 1993's third quarter, profit was $1.36 billion, or $1.09 per share. Exxon's results last year were elevated by $306 million worth of tax credits and asset sales.

Revenue rose nearly 6%, to $29.6 billion from $27.9 billion in the year-ago period.

Los Angeles-based Arco earned $435 million, or $2.67 a share, on revenue of $4.42 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30. A year ago, the company earned $68 million, or 42 cents a share, on revenue of $4.69 billion.

Chicago-based Amoco said it earned $445 million, or 89 cents a share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared to $520 million, or $1.05 a share, for the same period a year ago, when the results included $70 million in special gains.

Revenue rose 10%, to $7.8 billion from $7.1 billion.

USAir Group Inc.'s losses widened slightly in the third quarter as revenue languished.

The quarter was marred by two fatal crashes. A Boeing 737 crashed near Pittsburgh last month and a DC-9 crashed in heavy rain near the Charlotte, N.C., airport in July.

The Pittsburgh crash hurt bookings for at least a month and revenue was lower than the company expected.

The Arlington, Va.-based carrier lost $180.1 million, or $3.32 per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30., compared to a loss of $177.6 million, or $3.33 per share, in the same period a year earlier. The company had fewer shares outstanding last year, skewing the per-share results.

Revenue was flat in the quarter at $1.75 billion.

Citing continuing improvement in its workers' compensation lines, Fremont General Corp. said its quarterly earnings increased 24%. The Santa Monica-based company reported third-quarter net income of $14.1 million, or 90 cents a share, compared to $11.4 million, or 78 cents a share, for the corresponding period of 1993. Quarterly revenue was up 4% to $173.8 million.

Fremont General Corp. is a holding company, engaged through subsidiaries in select insurance and financial service businesses.

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