The oil and gas producer reported an adjusted loss of $136 million, or 15 cents per share, for the March quarter, compared with a loss of $467 million, or 52 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2020.
Analysts had expected a loss of 33 cents per share, according to Refinitiv.
Improved operating results in chemicals and marketing were overshadowed by costs relating to a dispute over Ecuador's seizure of an Occidental oil field in 2006. Occidental, which plans to appeal, recorded a $403 million after-tax loss contingency to cover an arbitration judgment against it.
Occidental has struggled to pay down debt amassed in its $38 billion acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum in 2019. It has sharply cut spending on production and put several assets on the market to generate cash.
"Occidental is well positioned to continue to use excess cash flows, coupled with asset sales proceeds, to reduce debt," Chief Executive Vicki Hollub said.
Its oil and gas business lost $62 million for the quarter compared with a pre-tax gain of $179 million the year before.
Chemicals posted income of $251 million, down from $186 million the year prior. Stronger pricing was partially offset by storm interruptions and cost rises, the company said.
Midstream and marketing income was $282 million, compared with last year's $1.3 billion loss on impairment charges. The business handles its crude oil exports.
The company will hold a call with analysts on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Jennifer Hiller in Houston and Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni, Sriraj Kalluvila and Cynthia Osterman)
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.