Energy group BP, one of the world's largest oil companies, reported a 34 percent rise in quarterly profit Tuesday as record energy prices...

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Energy group BP, one of the world’s largest oil companies, reported a 34 percent rise in quarterly profit Tuesday as record energy prices more than outweighed hurricane damage to its rigs and refineries.

BP said net profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose to $6.53 billion, up from $4.87 billion in the same period of 2004. Revenue jumped to $97.73 billion from $66.73 billion.

Production fell 2 percent from a year ago, primarily because of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Katrina hit in late August, temporarily shutting down at least 80 percent of Gulf crude-oil and natural-gas production and crippling many refineries. Hurricane Rita then followed, delaying a return to usual production.

KBC Peel Hunt analyst Antoine Leurent said BP ultimately benefited from the hurricanes — and the spike in oil prices they caused — more than it suffered from the shutdowns.

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BP is the first major oil company to report results since the hurricanes, ahead of Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil later this week.

BP shares fell 1.2 percent to $10.77 on the London Stock Exchange.

Lockheed Martin

Company beats profit expectations

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, said third-quarter earnings climbed 39 percent, lifted by higher sales of government computer services and deliveries of C-130J transport aircraft.

Net income rose to $427 million, or 96 cents a share, from $307 million, or 69 cents, a year earlier, Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed said in a statement Tuesday. Profit topped analysts’ expectations and the company boosted its annual forecast. Sales rose 9 percent to $9.2 billion.

“The information technology they’re providing to civil and local governments and homeland security services is definitely a real growth area,” said Paul Nisbet, president of JSA Research in Newport, R.I. “With the concern in the industry related to defense cuts, you can see how they’d be compelled to point out that the defense department is less than 60 percent of their business.”

Lockheed was expected to earn 90 cents a share, according to the average estimate of at least 12 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Sales were expected to rise to $9.34 billion from $8.57 billion a year earlier. It was the third straight quarter that net income rose by more than 25 percent.

Shares of Lockheed fell $1.12 to $61.23 Tuesday. They have risen 10 percent this year.


Company records $82 million loss

DuPont, the third-biggest U.S. chemical maker, reported its first quarterly loss in two years after hurricanes disrupted production. The company said it will buy back $5 billion in stock, boosting the shares.

The net loss was $82 million, or 9 cents a share, and profit in the fourth quarter will be below analysts’ estimates, DuPont said Tuesday in a statement. In the third quarter last year, the company’s net income was $331 million, or 33 cents a share.

Expenses from storm damages were $146 million, and tax costs for bringing in $9.4 billion in overseas earnings were $320 million, the company said. Chief Executive Charles Holliday Jr. elected to repurchase shares as investors pressured him to be more aggressive with the company’s $5 billion in cash reserves, which jumped 43 percent in the first half of the year.

Shares of DuPont, a Dow industrial, rose $1.18, or 3 percent, to $40.80 Tuesday. The shares have fallen 3.3 percent in the past year.

Compiled from The Associated Press