Higher production lifts Marathon Oil 3Q profit

HOUSTON (AP) — Marathon Oil said Tuesday that higher U.S. gas production helped lift its third-quarter net income 11 percent.

The Houston company earned $450 million, or 63 cents per share, compared with $405 million, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier. Without one-time items, including a pension settlement, profit came to 64 cents per share, a penny shy of the expectation of analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $4.16 billion, topping Wall Street's projection of $3.32 billion.

Exploration and production income rose 47 percent as liquid hydrocarbon and natural gas sales volumes rose.

Marathon Oil spun off its refining and pipelines business last year into a separate public company, Marathon Petroleum Corp.

The company said it's still confident in its ability to grow production by 5 to 7 percent per year through 2017.