Chevron and Exxon post record quarterly profits as commodity prices soar

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A floorhand operates a Chevron oil rig near Taft, California.

Chip Chipman | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Exxon and Chevron posted record profits in the second quarter of 2022 as high commodity prices boost operations and oil giants control spending.

Chevron reported profits of $11.62 billion over the three-month period, up from $3.08 billion in the second quarter of 2021.

Exxon, meanwhile, posted a profit of $17.9 billion in the second quarter of 2022, compared to $4.7 billion in the second quarter of 2021.

Chevron shares gained 6% in morning trading on Wall Street, while Exxon rose 3%.

Chevron’s results exceed analyst estimates, both on the top and bottom lines. Chevron earned $5.82 per share excluding items on $68.76 billion in revenue in the second quarter. Analysts expected the company to earn $5.10 per share on revenue of $59.29 billion, according to estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

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Exxon beat estimates, earning $4.14 per share excluding items versus the projected $3.74 per share, according to Refinitiv estimates. But the company’s revenue, at $115.68 billion, fell short of the $132.7 billion analysts had expected.

The gain comes from energy stocks faltering in recent months. Fears of a recession – and what that means for the demand for oil and petroleum products – has weighed on the group. The energy sector reached a multi-year high in June, but has since fallen by 18%.

Still, energy stocks are by far the best performing group this year, rising 35%. The second best sector is utilities, which gained only 2.4%.

The rise in energy stocks follows a rise in oil and gas prices, which have risen as Europe appears to be moving away from Russian fuel.

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The corporate record quarter is likely to draw even more anger out of Washington. President Joe Biden has called on companies to increase production and says they are keeping prices high at the expense of consumers. Rising energy costs have been a major contributor to decades-long inflation.

For their part, oil and gas companies say they are increasing production. They also note that they are dealing with the same macro issues – such as labor – that are occurring across the economy.

“We have more than doubled investments compared to last year to grow both traditional and new energy businesses,” Chevron Chairman and CEO Mike Wirth said in a statement.

The company’s production in the Permian Basin increased by 15% year over year. For its US operations, the average selling price per barrel of oil in the second quarter was $89, up from $54 in the same period last year.

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Average sales prices for natural gas rose to $6.22 per thousand cubic feet, from $2.16 in the second quarter of 2022.

The oil giant also increased guidance for its buyback program, raising the top of the range to $15 billion.

“Earnings and cash flow benefited from increased production, higher realizations and tight cost control,” Darren Woods, Exxon chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

“Strong second quarter results reflect our focus on the fundamentals and investments we initiated several years ago and sustained through the depths of the pandemic,” he added.

Exxon said its second-quarter oil equivalent production was 3.7 million barrels per day, up 4% from the first quarter.

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