Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I suppose this shouldn't be much of a surprise:

Oil companies awash in profits after storms

...Although hurricanes Katrina and Rita created compounding headaches for energy companies since late August, the storms ultimately benefited them because as supplies tightened, prices for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel soared. Exactly how much money was made will become clearer next week when the industry begins to detail its third-quarter performance. Analysts are expecting huge profits.

"They are just printing money right now," said oil analyst Fadel Gheit at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York. "They are making so many trips to the bank because they can't take all the money there at one time."

Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., BP PLC, ConocoPhillips Co., and Royal Dutch Shell PLC are expected to report a $9 billion, or 46 percent, increase in their combined third-quarter profits, according to analysts' estimates compiled by Thomson Financial....

...And ... the fourth quarter is already shaping up to be another good one for the industry -- in part because production of oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico remains hindered.

... Gheit said that because most energy producers "are covered by insurance for physical damage as well as business interruption, the negative impact on earnings is expected to be minimal."...

Pro-gouging bootlickers like John Stossel never want to talk about the big increases in gougers' profits in times of shortage. If price increases were just a way for honorable tradesmen to tough out unexpected setbacks, as Stossel would have you believe, the firms' profits would stay roughly the same in bad times. But as everyone with a lick of sense knows, that's not how it works in the real world, which is not to be confused with Stossel's dreamland.

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