Exxon Corp. led a sharp rise in the quarterly profits of big oil companies Monday, posting record earnings as performance improved in all its businesses.
Mobil Corp. and Texaco Inc., the No. 2 and No. 3 companies after U.S. industry leader Exxon, also posted strong results.
But smaller independents, such as Los-Angeles based Atlantic Richfield Co., had weaker results, and Ashland Inc. reported a loss, hurt by charges and weakness at its Valvoline oil subsidiary.
Exxon's profit rose 30% to a record $1.5 billion, or $1.20 a share, in the third quarter, from $1.15 billion, or 92 cents a share, in the year-ago period.
Revenue grew to $30.9 billion from $29.56 billion, with gains in the company's liquids, natural gas, coal and copper production, petroleum products and chemical operations.
Mobil said its net income rose to an estimated $786 million, or $1.95 a share, from $503 million, or $1.23 a share, in the year-ago period.
The latest results include a $42-million gain from a lawsuit settlement and a charge to write down certain marketing assets in Australia. The 1994 profit included charges of $25 million for asset sales and restructuring.
Texaco's net income rose to $288 million, or $1.05 a share, in the third quarter, from $281 million, or 98 cents a share, in the year-ago period.
The latest results include $44 million in tax benefits through the sale of a stake in a unit and a net $27-million gain from the sale of Texaco's interest in Pekin Energy Co. It took charges of $56 million for job cuts and $13 million for restructuring certain Caltex Petroleum Corp. operations.
Arco said its earnings fell to $315 million, or $1.93 a share, from $435 million, or $2.67 a share, a year ago. Revenue climbed to $4.5 billion from $4.4 billion.
Arco said it would have had higher earnings before special net gains of $132 million last year from a spinoff and unusual charges.
Ashland reported a loss of $30 million, or 55 cents a share, contrasted with profit of $61 million, or 93 cents a share, a year ago.
The latest results included onetime charges of $49 million for unusual items and after-tax charges of $54 million for an accounting change and $25 million for restructuring.
Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. last week reported third-quarter profit of $139 million compared to $23 million for the year-ago period. Revenue was $2.6 billion compared to $2.4 billion for the same period last year.
* California Federal Bank reported profit of $31.9 million, or 50 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to $149.5 million, or $2.67 a share in the third quarter of 1994.
However, nearly 90% of last year's third-quarter earnings resulted from a $135-million gain on the sale of CalFed's Florida and Georgia branch network.
Los Angeles-based CalFed said its results in the latest quarter reflect a 15% decline in expenses and lower provisions for loan and real estate losses compared to the year-ago period. The results also reflect a one-time $6.8-million gain on the sale of U.S. Treasury securities and an improved interest rate spread compared to the second quarter of 1995.
* MCI Communications Corp.'s profit rose 25% in the third quarter before special charges for eliminating 3,000 jobs.
The charges resulted in a loss of $240 million, or 35 cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. Without the charge, MCI earned $275 million, or 40 cents a share. MCI earned $220 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago period.
Revenue was $3.86 billion, up from $3.41 billion in the third quarter of 1994.