High prices fuel 3Q earnings surge for US companies

Click here to enlarge imageHigher commodity prices, more production, and increased drilling activity improved third quarter profits for many oil and gas companies based in the US.But increased costs for oil and gas reduced margins for some downstream operations, analysts said."It was an outstanding third quarter for E&P results, with oil prices up about 10% and gas prices up about 20% from the second quarter of this year," said Stephen A. Smith, who tracks both independent and major integrated companies for Dain Rauscher Wessels, a division of Dain Rauscher Inc.It generally was a good quarter, too, for refining and marketing, Smith said. "[US] refining and marketing pulled back some, wh...

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