Chevron Earnings Not a Pretty Picture

Offshore drill rig
Offshore drill rig

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) reported first-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The oil and gas supermajor posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $3.18 on revenues of $54 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $3.27 on revenues of $59 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $3.07 and $67.73 billion in revenues.

Total U.S. production on a barrel of oil equivalent basis declined sequentially for the quarter by 10,000 barrels a day. International production dropped by 13,000 barrels a day sequentially. The U.S. decline was attributed to increased maintenance in the Gulf of Mexico during the quarter, and the international decline was down to timing issues on some production sharing contracts and bad weather. There is the explanation for the missed revenue estimate.

Throughput at U.S. refineries fell by 126,000 barrels a day and by 100,000 barrels a day at international refineries. The declines were attributed to planned maintenance at the company's Pascagoula, Miss., refinery and increased maintenance at international refineries. In reality, the increased maintenance likely was due to decreased demand for gasoline.

Upstream earnings fell $942 million sequentially and downstream revenues fell by $224 million. The company's international downstream earnings rose by $121 million year-over-year as a result of higher refining margins. Sequentially, however, international refining earnings were down $28 million.

The company's CEO said:

Our first quarter earnings were strong. Our consistent financial performance has enabled us to significantly increase the dividend again, and fund major development projects that are the foundation of the company's future growth in production, earnings and cash flows.

Earlier this week both Chevron and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) announced dividend increases. Chevron will pay a quarterly dividend of $1.00 a share, for a dividend yield of 3.38%. We noted at the time that Chevron's hike might have been larger than it needed to be. Today's results may explain the thinking behind Chevron's big boost.

The earnings announcement did not include guidance, but the consensus estimate for the second quarter calls for EPS of $3.10 on revenues of $69.12 billion. For the full year, EPS and revenues are estimated at $12.43 and $252.8 billion, respectively.

Chevron's shares are up 0.4% in premarket trading at $118.51 in a 52-week range of $95.73 to $121.56. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $128.75 before today's report.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Commodities, Earnings, Oil & Gas Tagged: CVX, featured, XOM