BUSINESS

Occidental Petroleum earnings climb 2.5% in first quarter

Occidental Petroleum profit climbs in first quarter
Oxy profit climbs after company moves to Houston

This post has been corrected. See below for details.

Occidental Petroleum said its first-quarter earnings climbed 2.5%, bolstered by higher domestic production in the oil and gas segment.

The longtime Los Angeles company announced in February that it would move its headquarters to Houston and its California company will be spun into a separate publicly traded company. The split is expected to be completed by early 2015.

The changes come as the oil and gas giant revamps its strategy to boost its share price and profitability after falling behind competitors in recent years.

For the three months ended March 31, Occidental reported a profit of $1.39 billion, or $1.75 per share. That is up from $1.36 billion, or $1.68 per share, in the same period a year ago. Sales rose 3.7% to $6.1 billion.

Chief Executive Stephen Chazen said the company was focused on growing its domestic production and was "on track" with long-term projects.

Domestic oil production jumped 10,000 barrels a day to 274,000 barrels, while daily oil and gas production overall fell slightly to 745,000 barrels per day from 763,000 barrels in the same quarter last year.

Occidental said earlier this year that the newly spun off California company will employ about 8,000 people and will be the state's biggest natural gas producer. Occidental has not yet announced where the new company will be headquartered.

[For the record, May 5: The original version of this post reported that Occidental's first-quarter net income was $1.78 a share. It was actually $1.75 a share.]

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