Chevron beats earnings estimates following “record” oil and gas production

Kevin Crowley, Bloomberg February 05, 2024

(Bloomberg) – Chevron Corp. beat earnings estimates and raised dividends after posting record oil and natural gas production, boosting Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth’s effort to rebound from a year of missed performance targets.

Adjusted earnings of $3.45 a share exceeded the Bloomberg Consensus estimate by 23 cents. Chevron raised its dividend by almost 8% to $1.63 a share, also ahead of forecasts.

The No. 2 U.S. oil and gas operator incurred $3.7 billion of charges stemming mostly from assets in its home state of California and the dismantling of decades-old infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico. Annual production climbed 4%, primarily boosted by rising output in the Permian basin and other U.S. fields.

Shell Plc was the first member of the oil and gas industry to post fourth-quarter results, announcing on Thursday $7.31 billion in adjusted net income that was more than $1 billion higher than the average forecast.

Chevron had a tough 2023 in some respects, when its stock underperformed rivals, dropping 17% amid production disappointments and cost overruns from the Permian basin to Kazakhstan. The company already has a challenged growth outlook compared to competitor Exxon Mobil Corp., and operational missteps only added to investor concerns.

CEO Wirth has raised share buybacks and orchestrated the Hess Corp. takeover to acquire, among other things, a 30% stake in Exxon’s offshore Guyana project, one of the world’s fastest-growing oil provinces.

Chevron urged employees late last year to step up their performance after internal safety, operating and financial targets were missed. Chief Financial Officer Pierre Breber encouraged them in an email to “do better” by being “consistent and disciplined” in following company protocols.

The company shocked analysts and investors last year by announcing yet another delay and cost increase to its Tengiz development in Kazakhstan, a key megaproject that’s been years in the making. Investors will be watching closely for updates on the project during a conference call with analysts scheduled for 11 a.m. New York time.

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