Chevron kicks off oil industry’s fourth quarter results with a miss

(Reuters) – Chevron Corp (CVX.N) on Friday reported a fourth quarter profit that missed Wall Street estimates despite sharply higher oil and gas prices.

The first of the major oil companies to report quarterly results posted adjusted earnings of $5.1 billion, or $2.65 a share, on profits from pumping oil that soared about five times the pandemic-depressed results of a year ago. Analysts had expected a $3.12 per share profit, according to Refinitiv.

Investors this week pushed Chevron shares to an all-time high on expectations high oil prices will continue to drive earnings. Shares traded up 2% on Thursday to $135.37, topping the previous high of $133.60 four years ago. read more

The company said its first quarter share buybacks would be at the higher end of the $3 billion to $5 billion annual range it had estimated last year. Chevron raised its dividend by 6% to $1.42 per share earlier this week.

Chevron sharply cut spending on new projects in 2020 as the pandemic descended, sending profits soaring as oil and gas prices rebounded. The benchmark price of oil last quarter averaged $79 per barrel compared with $43 a year earlier.

In its oil and gas producing business, Chevron reported operating profit of $5.2 billion, up from $501 million in the same period a year ago, but below analyst expectations for an about $6.6 billion operating profit.

Worldwide oil and gas production was 3.12 million barrels per day in fourth quarter 2021, 5% down from a year ago. Worldwide net oil and gas production for the full-year 2021 was 3.1 million barrels per day, a slight increase from a year ago.

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