May 8, 2018 / 8:44 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Occidental 1st-qtr profit spikes, tops estimates on oil price rise

(Adds earnings comparison, stock market reaction)

HOUSTON, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. oil producer Occidental Petroleum Corp posted better-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday, with profit jumping more than six-fold on rising crude prices, cost cuts and improving chemical sales.

Oxy, the largest oil producer in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, posted net income of $708 million, or 92 cents per share, compared to $117 million, or 15 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts expected earnings of 70 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Oxy's U.S. oil operations swung to a profit in the quarter, largely due to rising crude prices. In the company's chemical division, which makes plastics used in pipes and siding, profit more than doubled to $230 million.

Overall production jumped 4 percent in the quarter to 609,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The Houston-based company plans a conference call with reports to discuss the quarterly results early on Wednesday.

Oxy shares rose less than 1 percent to $78.26 in after-hours trading. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder, editing by G Crosse)

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