Great New Hess Discovery: Its Earnings (HES)

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Now that refining margins are once again improving, integrated oil companies like Hess (NYSE:HES) are starting to get well. Today Hess reported EPS of $2.37 for the third quarter of 2008, a nickel short of analysts’ estimates. Revenues of $11.39 billion topped estimates of $10.16, but were about $350 million lower sequentially.

Income from E&P activities rose nearly 70% compared with the sameperiod a year ago, while income from refining and marketing more thantripled, to $161 million from $46 million. Year to date, refining andmarketing income remains more than 50% below last year’s total.

The company lowered its debt-to-cap ratio to 24.3%, and raised its cashand equivalents total to $1.38 billion, more than double its cash onhand at the end of 2007.

Hess’s share price is up more than 9% in early trading today to $54.73, down 60% from it’s 52-week high of $137.00.

Paul Ausick
October 29, 2008