Chevron Corp. said third-quarter profit surpassed expectations, with earnings more than doubling on the back of surging oil and natural gas prices. The oil company, which earlier this month unveiled a takeover bid for rival Texaco Inc.
, said third-quarter earnings excluding special items rose to $1.65 billion, or $2.53 a diluted share. In the corresponding period a year ago, it earned $702 million, or $1.07 per diluted share. Revenues rose to $13.6 billion from $10.2 billion in a quarter in which the company posted sharply higher results than analysts had expected.
On average analysts had forecast earnings of $1.99 a share for the company, according to First Call/Thomson Financial, which tracks estimates.
For the moment, like other energy companies, Chevron is getting a lift from red-hot commodity prices, with crude oil hitting a 10-year high during the quarter. Indeed, crude oil prices averaged in the third-quarter averaged $31.63 a barrel, about $10 a barrel higher than the same period a year ago. U.S. natural gas prices were
just as red hot, averaging $4.48 per million British thermal units compared to $2.55 a year ago.