The Oklahoma City, Okla.-based driller made $705 million, or $1.57 a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, down from the year-ago $744 million, or $1.63 a share. Revenue rose to $2.72 billion from $2.70 billion a year earlier. Excluding certain items, earnings in the latest quarter were $1.66 a share.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a $1.54-a-share profit on sales of $2.65 billion.
"Our third-quarter exploration results were highlighted by the successful test of the deepwater Jack No. 2 well and drilling our fourth significant discovery in the lower Tertiary trend," said CEO J. Larry Nichols. "Our producing properties are also performing well. Oil and gas production in the third quarter was up both year-over-year and sequentially as we produced more than 600,000 equivalent barrels per day."