Chevron's Earnings Miss Market Expectations

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On Friday morning, Chevron (CVX) announced its fourth-quarter net income came in at $3.07 billion or $1.53 per share, down from $4.9 billion or $2.44 per share a year ago. This missed Wall Street analysts' expectations that Chevron would report earnings of $1.66 per share. Quarterly revenue came in at $48 billion, up from $43 billion a year ago, thanks to higher oil prices and production increases, and net oil-equivalent production was more than 9% higher than a year ago as well. Full-year earnings for 2009 totaled $5.24 per diluted share ($10.48 billion) compared to $11.67 per diluted share ($23.93 billion) in 2008."Earnings decreased in 2009 as a result of lower crude oil and natural gas prices and a decline in refined product sales margins, driven by a weak global economy" said Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson in the report. "In this challenging environment, Chevron's successes in operational reliability and cost management made valuable contributions to our bottom line. Our financial strength enabled continued investment in our excellent portfolio of capital and exploratory projects and an increase in the annual dividend on our common shares for the 22nd consecutive year."

Watson added that ongoing aggressive cost-management efforts company-wide led to a roughly 15% decrease in operating, selling, general, and administrative expenses in 2009 compared to 2008.
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