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Earnings: Chevron’s Q1 profit plunges as lower oil prices drag margins

Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) dropped modestly Friday after the energy exploration company reported a sharp decline in first-quarter earnings as low oil prices and weakness in the chemical and refining businesses weighed down on margins. While earnings topped the Street view, revenues missed.
Chevron Q1 revenue falls 7%

Net profit declined to $2.6 billion or $1.39 per share in the March quarter from $3.6 billion or $1.90 per share in the same period last year. Analysts were looking for a lower profit. The bottom-line was negatively impacted by a 12% fall in upstream income from international operations, which was partially offset by a 15% gain in the US. The weakening crude oil prices and an 8% increase in expenses added to the downturn.

The bottom-line was negatively impacted by a decline in upstream income from international operations, which was partially offset by a gain in the US

During the quarter, there was a 6.8% fall in revenues to $35.2 billion, which also came in below market expectations. Meanwhile, overall production improved from last year, aided by increased activity in the Permian Basin field in North America where the company has been investing aggressively. Total net oil-equivalent production rose 7% to 3,038 mb/d, reflecting improved output both in the US and overseas.

Michael Wirth, CEO of Chevron, said, “We continue to high-grade our portfolio. In the first quarter we sold our interests in the Rosebank field in the United Kingdom and the Frade field in Brazil. In early April we concluded the sale of our upstream interests in Denmark.”

Recently, the company agreed to acquire hydrocarbon exploration firm Anadarko Petroleum for $33 billion. However, Occidental Petroleum came up with a sweetened bid for Anadarko, casting uncertainty over the Chevron deal.

Also see: Chevron Corporation Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Earlier this week, the management declared a quarterly dividend of $1.19 per share, to be paid on June 10, 2019, to shareholders of record on May 17, 2019.

Chevron’s competitor ExxonMobil (XOM) posted a 50% plunge in first-quarter earnings to $0.55 per share on Friday, owing to a sharp fall in revenues. The results also missed Wall Street’s prediction.

Chevron’s shares have been on the recovery path after slipping to a one-year low towards the end of 2018. Though the stock moved up around 7% since the beginning of the year, it lost momentum in recent weeks. It closed Thursday’s trading session lower and lost further after the earnings report.

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