Houston Community News >> ConocoPhillips Profts Up 65 Percent

7/27/2006 Houston-- ConocoPhillips pumped more oil and gas and commanded sharply higher prices for its energy in the second quarter, boosting profits by nearly two-thirds to more than $5 billion.


Its acquisition of Burlington Resources in March appears to have paid off, too, accounting for more than a quarter of the earnings growth in its exploration and production business.

ConocoPhillips, which announced its results Wednesday, far surpassed Wall Street's expectations, and its shares climbed close to 2 percent.

The nation's third-largest oil company earned $5.18 billion in the April-June quarter -- a 65 percent increase from the $3.14 billion profit during the same period a year earlier.

Revenue only rose 12.6 percent, to $47.1 billion, highlighting how staggeringly high profit margins for oil, gasoline and other fuels accounted for the bulk of ConocoPhillips' -- and, for that matter, the entire industry's -- second-quarter bonanza.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial forecast profits of $36 billion for the world's six largest oil companies. But judging by the performances of ConocoPhillips and BP PLC, which reported a $7.3 billion profit on Tuesday, those estimates could be too low.

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC are scheduled to release their second quarter results today, followed by Chevron Corp. on Friday.

Analysts said the full potential of the Burlington Resources acquisition was not realized because natural gas prices, while higher than a year ago, have fallen significantly since the acquisition was announced in December. Stephen Leeb, president of Leeb Capital Management, said the Burlington acquisition hasn't received much applause on Wall Street because natural gas prices have declined. But he said the move makes sense for ConocoPhillips long-term because it will help increase output

``Other companies depend on rising energy prices,'' Leeb said. ``ConocoPhillips certainly will benefit from increasing energy prices, but has an added kicker because of its potential to increase production."

Shares of Houston-based ConocoPhillips jumped $1.15 to $68.60 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Contributed by AP)