Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) rode a ramp in crude oil prices, an oil concentration in its reserves and production, and an avoidance of hedges to surprisingly high oil price realizations in the September quarter. The result was a quarter that handily outstripped expectations.

For the quarter, Oxy's net income was $1.32 billion, or $1.58 a share, compared to $1.17 billion, or $1.36 a share, last year. Back out one-time items, and the company's EPS would have been $1.45 in the most recent quarter, apparently about $0.13 a share higher than had been anticipated. Revenues moved to $4.84 billion, from $4.40 billion a year earlier.

Unlike the University of Georgia football team, Oxy doesn't play between the hedges, preferring not to hedge its forward production. That philosophy clearly benefits the company meaningfully during times of increasing oil and natural gas prices. In the September-ended period, for instance, Oxy's average worldwide crude oil price was $67.81 per barrel, compared with $61.83 a year earlier. Oil and gas production also increased nearly 7% in the quarter. But while the oil and gas segment more than pulled its weight in the quarter, the company's chemical operation saw a dip in its contribution to earnings, as polyvinyl chloride margins shrank.

Occidental's results follow hard on the heels of BP (NYSE:BP) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), both of which were hindered by a refining and marketing pullback -- along with other ailments at BP. In Oxy's case, however, its chemicals operations are dwarfed by oil and gas, and so its weakness was less of a factor for the company's results.

As I write this, crude oil is trading at prices I thought only my children would witness. I'm therefore inclined to look favorably upon Oxy's "oiliness," its lack of integration distractions (aside, of course, from chemicals), and new projects it's initiated in Bahrain. Given those circumstances, I believe the company should be watched closely by energy-investing Fools.

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