Chevron's stock rose 1.8% in premarket trade Friday, after the oil giant reported a third-quarter profit that rose well above expectations, offsetting a bigger-than-expected decline in sales. Earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30 came in at $5.6 billion, or $2.95 a share, up from $5 billion, or $2.57 a share, in the year-earlier period, and above the FactSet consensus analyst estimate of $2.53 a share. Revenue fell to $52 billion from $57 billion, as the average sales price for crude oil and natural gas liquids fell 11% to $93 a barrel. Analysts were expecting sales of $53 billion. "Overall downstream results improved, reflecting the benefits of lower feedstock costs and better refinery reliability, particularly in the U.S.," said Chief Executive John Watson. "In the downstream businesses, the completion of important reliability investments at several of our U.S. refineries is enabling us to benefit from the improved margin environment." The stock has lost 6.2% so far this year through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 7.9%.
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