07/29/2011 09:59 am ET Updated Sep 28, 2011

Chevron Posts 43 Percent Quarterly Profit, Helped By High Gas Prices

NEW YORK (Matt Daily) - Chevron Corp, the second-largest U.S. oil company, reported a 43 percent jump in quarterly profit on Friday, beating Wall Street forecasts as strong oil prices and fatter refinery margins offset a drop in oil output.

Second-quarter profit rose to $7.7 billion, or $3.85 per share, from $5.4 billion, or $2.70 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected the company to post earnings of $3.56 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Chevron reported 2.69 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil-equivalent production, compared with 2.75 million in the year-ago.

Chevron had targeted average 2011 output of 2.79 million bpd, or 1 percent growth, but that plan assumed lower oil prices. Higher crude prices mean Chevron must leave more production in the hands of its state-owned partners.

European benchmark Brent oil prices averaged $117 per barrel in the second quarter, up from $79 in the same quarter in 2010 and $11 higher than the first quarter. Chevron said in April that it switched to Brent from the U.S. benchmark when calculating production-sharing changes.

Revenue rose 30 percent to $69 billion.

On Thursday, Exxon Mobil reported a 41 percent increase in quarterly profit, but fell short of analysts' forecasts.

Shares of Chevron slipped 0.8 percent in premarket trading.

(Additional reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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