TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Williams Cos., which owns a refinery in North Pole and sells gasoline across Alaska, beat analysts' expectations Monday even though its net income for the second quarter declined by nearly 4 percent after the spinoff of its telecommunications unit.
The Tulsa-based company reported a net profit of $339.5 million, or 69 cents a share, compared with $351.8 million, or 78 cents a share a year earlier.
Analysts surveyed by Thom-son Financial's First Call had forecast earnings of 54 cents a share.
Discounting the telecommunications unit, earnings in the second quarter of 2000 were $286.4 million, or 63 cents per share, meaning the company had a 19 percent gain in operating profits on a year-to-year basis.
Higher natural gas prices and the sale of 198 convenience stores contributed to the quarterly gains, as did equity earnings from its acquisition of natural gas producer Barrett Resources, the company said. Williams' energy services profits rose 27 percent to $524.8 million, adding to an overall revenue increase of 20 percent.
Revenue for the quarter was $2.82 billion, compared with $2.35 billion last year.
Keith Bailey, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the company's growth opportunities remain robust.
''We have growth projects in active development in nearly half the states in the country, including a project to more than double our capacity to supply natural gas to California and Nevada,'' he said.
Shares of Williams rose 6 cents Monday to close at $33.15 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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