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Occidental Sales Rise

The third quarter hits estimates.

Occidental (OXY) - Get Occidental Petroleum Corporation Report posted a drop in third-quarter earnings but beat Wall Street's targets.

The Los Angeles-based petroleum company made $1.16 billion, or $1.35 a share, from continuing operations for the quarter ended Sept. 30, down from the year-ago $1.66 billion, or $2.01 a share. Sales rose to $4.52 billion from $3.86 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a $1.34-a-share profit on sales of $4.16 billion.

"Our continuing focus on expanding and strengthening operations in our core businesses was a key factor in the 15% increase in our core earnings compared to last year's third quarter results," CEO Ray Irani said. "Our success in growing combined oil and gas production by 14% compared to the same period a year ago, along with sharply higher crude oil prices and a strong performance from our chemicals business, were key drivers in our financial performance for the quarter. Oil and gas production averaged 587,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day for the quarter and an all-time high for nine months of 596,000 equivalent barrels per day. Strong production growth and robust energy prices helped propel Oil and Gas segment earnings to an historic nine month high. In addition, our Chemical segment's earnings were the highest for any nine month period in more than a decade."

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