Updated from 12:00 p.m. EST
, the world's third-largest integrated oil company, announced Tuesday that it nearly doubled its earnings in the third quarter, topping Wall Street estimates, on higher refining margins, strong sales of gas and refining products, and new cost-cutting measures.
London-based BP Amoco, the largest U.S. oil and gas producer and a top oil refiner, said it earned $3.8 billion in the third quarter, including special items, up sharply from earnings of $1.96 billion in the same year-ago period. The company earned $1.01 per American depository share, a jump of two-thirds from the 61 cents per ADS earned in the third quarter of 1999, and better than the consensus estimate among analysts surveyed by
First Call/ Thomson Financial
of 98 cents per share.
The results include $289 million in non-recurring credits related to the integration of
, the BP Amoco merger, as well as $449 million in depreciation and amortization related to the revaluation adjustment from the Arco and Burmah Castrol acquisitions.
Compared to the same period last year, oil production was down 7%, while gas production increased by 32%. Gas sales volumes increased by 64%, while sales of refining products jumped by one-quarter, benefiting from the company's recent acquisitions. The increases in sales of gas and refining products helped offset a 2.7% decline in crude oil sales.
BP Amoco said higher refining margins, continuing cost reductions and contributions from both Arco and Burmah Castrol helped boost revenue in the period. Marketing margins remained under strong competitive pressure from high product prices, exacerbated by fuel tax protests in England and other parts of Europe.
In a statement, BP Group Chief Executive Sir John Browne said the company's record results reflect "a very strong trading environment" as well as continued performance improvement. Browne added that the integration of Arco, whose acquisition was completed in April, is on track, with about three-quarters of its planned $2 billion in year-over-year cost-savings achieved in the third quarter.
BP Amoco ended Tuesday regular trading up 19 cents at $49.25.