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    High Pump Prices Boost ChevronTexaco Profit

    "Company on the right track," according to analyst.

    SAN RAMON, Calif. -- The summer's spike in oil and gasoline prices helped generate ChevronTexaco Corp.'s largest quarterly profit since the merger than formed the company two years ago, according to Associated Press reports.

    The company earned $1.98 billion, or $2.02 per share in its third quarter, in contrast to a loss of $904 million, or 85 cents a share, at the same time last year, the news reports stated.

    ChevronTexaco chairman David O'Reilly said the strong performance was due mainly to higher prices for oil and gasoline during the summer, the news source reported.

    The division that sells gasoline I the United States registered a $148 million profit in the quarter, reversing a $79 million loss last year. The profit would have been even higher, according to news reports, if not for a $146 million charge that was absorbed to pay for a previously announced reorganization of the division, according to Associated Press reports.

    Analyst Fadel Gheit of Fahnestock & Co. said ChevronTexaco did a better job than its competition in cashing in on favorable industry conditions. "All in all, this is a company that looks to be on the right track," news sources quoted Gheit.

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