Conoco Q2 Profit Falls, But Tops Estimates

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ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, reported a second-quarter profit of $3.4 billion, or $2.41 a share, compared with $4.16 billion, or $2.77, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting a profit of $2.19. The company reported a profit of $2.5 billion from its exploration and production business, beating the $2.4 billion that was expected.

Texas-based ConocoPhillips (COP) said oil and natural gas output slid 5.4% 1.64 million barrels per day from 1.73 million barrels per day due to the asset sales program announced two years ago by the company and lost production at the hands of political unrest in Libya.

Earlier this month, ConocoPhillips said it will spin-off its refining business to shareholders next year, creating the largest U.S. independent oil and gas producer in the process. Earnings for Conoco's refining business rose to $740 million in the second quarter from $720 million. The company is still projecting $17 billion in asset sales by the end of next year.

Second-quarter revenue jumped 34% to $67 billion, but the company noted it does not expect production to increase until 2013. Conoco forecast 2011 production of 1.625-1.65 million barrels per day. Moody's noted the oil giant has $11.5 billion in cash and equivalent securities and put the company on its of 20 cash kings today.

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