SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Chevron Corp.'s fourth-quarter earnings surged higher on a jump in oil prices and beat analysts' estimates.

The second-largest U.S. oil firm said Tuesday it earned $809 million, or $1.23 a share, for the October-December period compared with a loss of $206 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier.

Operating earnings, which exclude special items, were $819 million, or $1.24 per share, up from $503 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier. The performance was a penny above the $1.23 estimate from analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial.

Revenue, boosted by a doubling of crude oil prices, totaled $10.98 billion in the fourth quarter, up more than 50 percent from $7.28 billion a year earlier.

On the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Chevron fell 25 cents to $88.56.

``Earnings for the fourth quarter ... benefited from a rebound in crude oil prices that began last spring,'' Chevron chairman and chief executive officer Dave O'Reilly said. ``Earnings were given a further boost by higher crude oil and natural gas production and lower unit operating expenses.''

O'Reilly took over managing the San Francisco-based company late last year.

While higher crude prices boosted income from exploration and production, it resulted in lower margins for refining and marketing divisions as the costs could not all be passed on to consumers. The company said output also was affected by a March fire at its Richmond, Calif., refinery.

For all of 1999, net income was $2.07 billion, or $3.14 a share, compared with $1.34 billion, or $2.04 a share in 1998. Excluding one-time items, earnings were $2.29 billion, or $3.47 a share, in 1999, compared with $1.95 billion, or $2.96 a share in 1998.

Revenue was $35.45 billion, up 16 percent from $30.56 billion in 1998.