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Oil Surge Lifts ConocoPhillips

The energy company doubles its profit, driven by record-high oil prices in the fourth quarter.
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doubled its profit in the fourth quarter, thanks to high oil and gasoline prices.

The Houston-based energy company had net income of $2.43 billion, or $3.44 a share, compared with $1.02 billion, or $1,48 a share, for the same quarter in 2003. Revenue jumped to $40.1 billion from $26.0 billion in the year-ago period.

Income from continuing operations was $2.48 billion, or $3.51 a share, compared with $985 million, or $1.43 a share, in the year-ago period.

Analysts expected the company to earn $3.07 a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Crude oil prices hit record levels throughout October, before beginning a sizable correction in November. The benchmark crude futures contract peaked at $55 a barrel at the end of October.

Exploration and production income from continuing operations was $1.67 billion, up from $991 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

On that basis, refining and marketing income more than tripled to $753 million from $202 million in the year-ago period.

The quarter's net income included $74 million, or 10 cents a share, from the company's 10% equity stake in the Russian oil giant



Shares rose $1.10, or 1.2%, to $90.00 in premarket trading.