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Amerada Hess

(AHC) - Get A.H. Belo Corporation Class A Report

reported third-quarter earnings that easily beat analysts' estimates on the strength of higher oil prices.

The company reported operating earnings of $257 million, or $2.86 a diluted share, in the latest third quarter. Analysts were looking for the company to earn $2.52 a share, according to a

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In the year-ago period, the company earned $158 million, or $1.75 a share, including gains on asset sales of $106 million, or $1.17 a share.

Sales and other operating revenue rose to $2.83 billion from $1.80 billion a year ago, mainly because of significantly higher crude oil and refined product selling prices.

The company's average worldwide crude oil selling price in the latest third quarter was about $26 a barrel, an increase of $6 from the same period a year ago.