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ConocoPhillips Increased its Profit

ConocoPhillips' Q3 profit inched higher but missed Wall Street's expectations

ConocoPhillips?s third-quarter profit inched higher but missed Wall Street?s expectations as increased output tied to its acquisition of Burlington Resources was offset by higher taxes and reduced earnings from refining.

ConocoPhillips, the second of five large oil companies to report this week, posted net income of $3.88 billion yesterday, a 2 percent increase from a year earlier.

Oil prices were higher than a year earlier, averaging $70 a barrel, but natural gas and gasoline prices were lower, moderating the industry?s profit growth prospects.

Per-share results for ConocoPhillips fell to $2.31 from $2.68 as the number of shares outstanding increased to 1.68 billion from 1.42 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected $2.38 a share.