It may be a bit of a stretch as metaphors go, but it appears that French oil company Total
Let's look first at Total's results for the December quarter, when earnings rose to 3.6 billion euro. That's $5.23 billion, and compares to 2.23 billion euro last year. If you do away with an array of special items, the recent quarter's net comes to 3.11 billion euro, a 14% increase from the same period in 2006. Expressed in dollars, the company's diluted EPS jumped by 29% to $1.99.
Upstream, Total managed to increase its daily output by 2.4%, putting it in the same smiley face category as BP
And beyond that, while other integrated companies like BP, Marathon
Total also made strides to benefit its future, with a deepwater discovery off Angola, and another find in the Congo. It inked a partnership agreement to study a heavy oil project in Venezuela and entered into another pact involving a nuclear power plant project in the U.A.E.
Of even more interest for those of us in the U.S. of A., the company will spend $2.2 billion on a major expansion of its refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. That's the same city where Shell is nearly doubling the size of its own refinery facility.
At a time when this cowboy believes that energy will be the most important sector overall for many years to come, Total's told us some good stuff. I therefore urge Fools with a taste for oil to include this well-managed integrated international player near the top of their sector watch list.
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Fool contributor David Lee Smith's investment isn't totally sound, since it doesn't include any of the companies mentioned above. He does welcome your questions or comments. The Fool has a totally solid disclosure policy.