[Editor’s note: This story was updated at 9:55 a.m. CST Feb. 1.]
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) on Feb. 1 reported quarterly earnings that topped analysts’ estimates on higher prices and production, sending shares higher in morning trading.
Results for the San Ramon, Calif.-based company reflected a 12.5% increase in oil and gas production as net output rose to 3.08 million barrels per day (bbl/d). Prices paid for its crude were $59 a barrel in the quarter, up from $57 a year earlier, the company said.
It was “a good beat overall,” said Muhammed Ghulam, an analyst at Raymond James. “Permian production growth remained strong, up 12% compared to the prior quarter and 84% year-over-year,” he said.
The Trump administration last month added new sanctions against imports from Venezuela, where Chevron is the last major U.S. oil company with production operations. Fourth-quarter results show net production by its affiliate rose slightly to 24,000 bbl/d, from 23,000 bbl/d a year earlier.
Chevron’s cash flow from operations rose nearly 51% to $30.6 billion, reflecting the higher output and expense reduction. Investors have been pushing oil companies to restrain spending and increase returns to shareholders.
CEO Michael Wirth forecast oil-equivalent production this year to grow between 4% and 7%, excluding asset sales, compared with 2018.
Chevron reported a profit of $3.7 billion, or $1.95 per share, compared with $3.11 billion, or $1.64 a share a year earlier. Analysts’ mean forecast was $1.87 a share, according to Refinitiv.
Business unit results compared to the year-ago period were lower because of the impact of U.S. tax reform a year ago. Profit from oil and gas exploration was $3.29 billion compared with $5.29 billion a year earlier; refining profit fell to $256 million compared with $1.2 billion a year ago.
The company this week announced it would raise its dividend to $1.19 a share from $1.12 per share. It also agreed to pay $350 million to buy a refinery in Pasadena, Texas, from Brazilian state oil company Petrobras, confirming a Reuters report from Monday. The acquisition is intended to process oil flowing from its West Texas shale fields in the Permian Basin.
Shares were up 3.2% at $118.30, helping lift the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Chevron officials are expected to discuss results on a conference call on Feb. 1.