Earnings Reports for July 31

Texaco Inc. said second-quarter income more than doubled thanks to sharply higher crude oil and natural gas prices. The White Plains, N.Y-based oil company said income before special items rose to $641 million, or $1.17 a share, from $286 million, or 52 cents, in the same period a year a year ago. Revenues rose to $12 billion from $8.3 billion.

Analysts on average were forecasting $1.18 a share. Texaco earned $614 million in its exploration and production business, which is closely tied to commodity prices. That was up from $226 million posted in the same period last year.

Rivals Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. posted similarly rosy profits in their exploration and production business thanks to high energy prices. Crude oil prices averaged about $28.75 a barrel in the quarter, up more than $10 from a year ago, as members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel largely honored an agreement to restrict supplies.

Natural gas prices were also red-hot during the quarter, averaging about $3.65 compared to $2.25 per million British thermal units in the same period a year ago.

But Texaco was largely unable to pass along the soaring costs of crude oil in its sales of gasoline and other fuels, which cut into profits in the company’s refining, marketing and transportation business.

While Exxon Mobil said earlier this week that its capital spending would continue to rise over the remainder of the year, taking advantage of the higher cash flow which has accompanied strong crude prices, Texaco gave little indication of future spending plans.

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Unocal Beats Street Estimates

Independent oil and natural gas company Unocal Corp. said sharply higher oil and gas prices lifted its second-quarter profits more than 10 times, easily beating Wall Street estimates. Unocal, based in El Segundo, Calif., said operating earnings rose to $170 million, or 69 cents per diluted share, from $16 million, or 6 cents, in last year’s second quarter.

The earnings topped Wall Street analysts’ expectations of 63 cents per share, as reported by First Call/Thomson Financial.

The company said total revenues hit $2.248 billion for the quarter compared with last year’s $1.441 billion, thanks in part to soaring oil and natural gas prices, which have helped companies perform better industrywide.

Roger C. Beach, Unocal’s chairman and chief executive officer, said he expects strong oil and natural gas prices will mean continued profit growth in the remainder of the year. BACK TO TOP

WorldCom Earns $1.33 Billion

WorldCom said second-quarter earnings rose 47 percent to 1.33 billion, from $865 million in the same period a year ago. The nation’s No. 2 provider of long-distance telephone service also said it may may create separate companies or tracking stocks for its voice telephone operations. Separating parts of the voice telephone business would allow WorldCom to focus on providing more lucrative data, Internet and international services to corporate customers.

On a per-share basis, WorldCom’s profits, excluding one-time items, came in at 46 cents, up from 31 cents a year ago.

The results matched Wall Street expectations of 46 cents a share, according to analysts surveyed by research firm First Call/Thomson Financial.

Clinton, Miss.-based WorldCom said net income, including one-time items, rose to $1.28 billion, or 44 cents share in the second quarter, ended June 30, 2000.

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