ChevronTexaco posted an 88% rise in fourth-quarter earnings, thanks in part to rising prices and improvements in its downstream business.

Meanwhile, the San Ramon, Calif.-based company didn't make any grand announcements

restating its oil reserves -- something industry watchers have been jittery about among the majors after Shell admitted Jan. 9 that it overstated reserves by a whopping 20%.

ChevronTexaco said its net income for the quarter totaled $1.73 billion, or $1.63 cents a share, well above the year-earlier quarter's $904 billion, or 85 cents a share. The results included a net gain of $89 million from special items. Wall Street had expected the company to earn $1.59 a share, according to Thomson First Call. Sales rose 12% to $30 billion.

"Our fourth-quarter performance capped an excellent year for the company," said Chairman and CEO Dave O'Reilly. "On the strength of our upstream operations and much-improved results from our downstream businesses, we achieved near-record profits in 2003."

In early morning trading, ChevronTexaco's shares were off 47 cents to $86.84.

The company holds a conference call at 11:00 a.m. EST to discuss earnings.