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OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM 'BBB' DEBT, 'F-2' COMMERCIAL PAPER AFFIRMED BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s 'BBB' senior debt and medium-term notes and its 'F-2' commercial paper are affirmed by Fitch. This action follows the company's announcement of its exit from the coal business and $600 million of non-cash charges related to that action. The credit trend is stable.
 Occidental's decision to restructure and exit its marginally profitable coal business marks the virtual culmination of its business and financial restructuring. Over the past two years, management has performed on its commitment to refocus the enterprise on its energy and chemicals businesses and to reduce debt. Asset sales generated some $3 billion, of which the majority was used to reduce debt from its peak of $8.3 billion at year-end 1990. Occidental saved $450 million cash annually by substantially reducing its common dividend and lowered its operating and overhead costs as well.
 Over that interval, however, weak oil and volatile U.S. gas prices, together with eroding commodity chemicals margins, adversely affected recurring earnings and obscured the restructuring benefits. To improve near-term results, Occidental recently announced further actions to conserve cash until its markets recover: reducing 1993 discretionary capital expenditures by $150 million and removing another $150 million from operating and overhead costs. With its operations on a sounder footing, even small improvements in energy prices and chemicals margins should translate quickly to earnings and cash flow benefits.
 Although total debt remains unchanged, the $662 million of after-tax non-cash charges to 1992 results for the coal exit and accounting changes will cause debt leverage to rise to the low 60 percent range from the high 50 percent range. Management is committed to reducing this leverage over time. The disposal of its coal business will relieve the company of further capital spending on those operations, thus improving cash generation.
 Occidental Petroleum, based in Los Angeles, is a diversified energy and chemicals enterprise.
 -0- 1/28/93
 /CONTACT: Mary Anne Sudol, CFA of Fitch, 212-908-0562/
 (OXY)


CO: Occidental Petroleum Corp. ST: California IN: OIL SU: RTG

PS -- NY016 -- 0082 01/28/93 09:09 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 28, 1993
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