How Higher Prices and Production Lifted Chevron Earnings

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) reported first-quarter results before markets opened Friday. The oil and gas supermajor posted a diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.90 on total revenues of $37.76 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.41 on total revenues of $31.52 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.49 and $40.07 billion in revenues.

Net income for the quarter totaled $3.64 billion, compared to net earnings of $2.68 billion in the year-ago quarter. Upstream earnings doubled to $3.35 billion, while downstream earnings fell by 21% to $728 million. Higher realized prices and increased production boosted upstream earnings, while downstream earnings were lower on reduced margins.

The U.S. upstream segment posted earnings of $648 million, compared with net earnings of $80 million in the year-ago quarter. International upstream posted a profit of $2.7 billion, compared with a profit of $1.44 billion last year.

Net oil-equivalent production in the first quarter totaled 2.85 million barrels a day, up by about 176,000 compared with the year-ago quarter. Net oil-equivalent production in the United States totaled 733,000 barrels a day, up by 61,000year over year. Average U.S. price realizations per barrel of oil rose from $45.00 a year ago to $56.00.

Internationally, liquids prices rose from $49.00 a barrel a year ago to $61.00, and net oil-equivalent production rose by 115,000 barrels a day to 2.12 million.

U.S. natural gas realizations fell from $2.39 per thousand cubic feet to $2.02 while international prices rose from $4.36 to $5.85 per thousand cubic feet.

CEO Michael Wirth said:

Our cash flow continues to increase with the powerful combination of expanding upstream margins and volumes. Oil and gas production is increasing, most notably in our Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG Projects in Australia, and our shale developments in the Permian Basin where production grew 65 percent from a year ago. Upstream volumes are expected to continue to increase in future quarters.

The earnings announcement did not include guidance, but consensus estimates for the second quarter of 2018 call for earnings per share of $1.68 on revenues of $42.2 billion. For the full year, earnings per share and revenues are estimated at $6.27 and $162.77 billion, respectively.

Chevrons shares traded up about 1.5% at $126.12 shortly after Friday’s opening bell, in a 52-week range of $102.55 to $133.88. The consensus 12-month price target was $135.88 before this morning’s report.

24/7 Wall St.
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