Second-quarter earnings rose 4% at oil company

Amerada Hess

(AHC) - Get Report

, as solidly higher returns in its exploration and production operations were offset by weaker resuls in refining and marketing.

The company earned $299 million, or $2.89 a share, in the quarter, compared with $288 million, or $2.84 a share, last year. Revenue rose 29% from a year ago to $5.08 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $2.95 a share in the latest quarter.

Earnings in Amerada's second quarter were $263 million, up from $182 million a year ago. While volume was roughly flat the price received for the average barrel of oil rose $6.71 from a year ago to $32.47, including the impact of hedging.

Refining and marketing earnings were $98 million in the second quarter, down from $160 million a year ago. The company cited lower refining results and reduced income from trading.

The stock closed at $118.42 Tuesday, up 45% for the year. The price is 11.3 times the 2005 Thomson First Call earnings consensus of $10.48 a share.