3. Chevron is an energy major specializing in both upstream and downstream operations. It reports its third-quarter earnings today.

The company resumed exploration and development drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico and acquired new upstream resource opportunities in Kazakhstan, Australia and the U.S. during the 2011 second quarter. Also, Chevron completed the sale of its fuels marketing and aviation businesses in three Central American countries as well as other assets in China and North America.

During the third quarter, lower crude oil realization is expected to reduce upstream gains. Downstream earnings could be higher, reflecting gains made from asset sales. Both the upstream and downstream operations could benefit from the dollar strengthening against major currencies during the quarter.

The company's capital and exploratory expenditure was higher during the first six months of 2011 at $13.4 billion, up from $9.4 billion in the corresponding period last year. Chevron's stock rose 25% in the last one-year and it is trading at 7.9 times its estimated value. The stock has an 81% buy rating and is likely to return 14% over the next year.

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