Occidental Profit Rises Amid Breakup Plan as U.S. Output Surges

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY), the U.S. crude producer and chemicals company weighing a breakup to boost shareholder value, said third-quarter profit rose as output surged in Texas and California.

Net income increased to $1.58 billion, or $1.96 a share, from $1.38 billion, or $1.69, a year earlier, Los Angeles-based Occidental said in a statement on Business Wire today. Per-share profit excluding one-time items exceeded the $1.90 average of 24 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Stephen I. Chazen, who has embraced asset sales from the Middle East to North Dakota to turn around a two-year slump, should embrace bigger changes, Fadel Gheit, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co., said in an interview before earnings were released.

“They need to give investors options and choices to achieve the full value of their assets,” said Gheit, who rates Occidental the equivalent of a buy and doesn’t own the shares.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, averaged $109.65 a barrel in the July to September period, just 22 cents more than the same period last year, and the average price of natural gas futures traded in New York rose 23 percent from the year-earlier quarter to $3.555 per million British thermal units.

Earnings were announced before regular trading began in U.S. markets. Occidental rose 0.7 percent to $97.54 yesterday in New York. The shares, which have 22 buy ratings and seven holds from analysts, have risen 27 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bradley Olson in Houston at bradleyolson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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