US companies post mixed results in third quarter

12/06/2004
Strong commodity prices propelled third-quarter earnings for most operators and service companies in the US and Canada, many of which reported that they are using increased cash flows to reduce debt, increase stock dividends, and buy back shares.Collectively, the 93 oil and gas producers in this sample of firms posted a 52% increase in earnings for the third quarter. But nearly one fourth of these companies reported net income down from a year earlier. The large earnings of the integrated operators, including ChevronTexaco Corp., skewed the group's combined results, as most of the independent oil and gas producers reported modest earnings gains.Meanwhile, a sample of US-based service ...
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