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Chevron Profit Rises On High Oil Prices

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SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Chevron Corp. said Friday its first-quarter net income rose 36 percent, the latest in a string of strong earnings from the major oil companies.

Chevron sold its oil for an average price of $89 per barrel in the last quarter, compared with $71 a year ago. That led to a $1.25 billion increase in profit from exploring for and producing oil. Refining profits also improved.

Net income rose to $6.21 billion, or $3.09 per share, from $4.55 billion, or $2.27 per share a year ago. The results topped Wall Street expectations and marked Chevron’s best three months since it earned $7.9 billion in the third quarter of 2008.

Gasoline prices have topped $4 per gallon in some states. As oil company profits approach levels of three years ago, when gas prices last spiked in the United States, the industry is fighting a renewed push from President Barack Obama and Democrats to end its $4 billion a year in taxpayer subsidies.

On Thursday, Exxon Mobil reported net income of almost $11 billion, its best quarter since it made $14.83 billion in the July-September period of 2008. That’s the record for a publicly traded company. Also, Shell’s profit rose 60 percent to about $9 billion in the first quarter. France’s Total SA made about $5.8 billion, up 50 percent. ConocoPhillips’ earnings rose 43 percent.

Chevron’s revenue rose 25 percent to $60.34 billion in the quarter.

In early trading, Chevron shares lost 63 cents to $108.18.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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