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Higher oil prices give Chevron Corp. a 4.2% profit gain

April 27, 2012|By Ronald D. White
  • Chevron Corp., the world's third-largest publicly traded oil company, saw a first-quarter profit rise despite lower oil production and collapsing natural gas prices.
Chevron Corp., the world's third-largest publicly traded oil company,… (David Paul Morris / Bloomberg )

Chevron Corp. saw a first-quarter profit rise of 4.2% to $6.47 billion, or $3.27 per share. That compared with $6.21 billion, or $3.09 per share, a year earlier. Sales for the world's third-largest publicly traded oil company were up just slightly to $60.71 billion, compared with $60.34 billion in the first quarter last year.

San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron substantially increased capital and exploratory spending to $6.42 billion, up from $5.05 billion a year earlier.

Chevron oil and gas production declined to 2.63 million barrels per day in the first quarter, compared with 2.76 million barrels a day during the same period a year ago. The company's earnings were hurt by a sharp year-to-year decline in natural gas prices, but the decline and collapsing natural gas prices were more than offset by sharply higher oil prices.

The company’s average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids was $102 in the first quarter of 2012, up from $89 a year ago.

“In the first quarter, we continued to post strong earnings and healthy cash flows,” said John Watson, Chevron's chairman and chief executive. “This has enabled us to both reward our shareholders with a substantial dividend increase, our third in just over a year, and to reinvest in profitable growth projects to help meet rising global energy demand."

Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst for Oppenheimer & Co., said Chevron had a strong quarter despite production declines, achieving the oil industry's highest profits per barrel of oil ratio.


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