Chevron 4Q Net Falls 3.2%

by  Dow Jones Newswires

Melodie Warner

Friday, January 27, 2012


Chevron Corp.’s fourth-quarter earnings fell 3.2% as the oil-and-gas producer posted a loss in its downstream segment.

The results were well below expectations.

Chevron warned earlier this month its fourth-quarter earnings would be significantly lower than the prior quarter, which was buoyed by higher margins and the sale of a U.K. refinery and other assets to Valero Energy Corp. U.S. oil prices rose steadily during the quarter while fuel demand has been flat, a combination that has eroded refining margins.

Rival ConocoPhillips said Wednesday its fourth-quarter earnings rose 66% as higher oil prices helped boost revenue 17% despite a drop in production and weak refining profits.

Chevron reported a profit of $5.12 billion, or $2.58 a share, down from $5.32 billion, or $2.64, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 11% to $60 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of $2.84 on revenue of $70.96 billion.

Exploration-and-production earnings rose 18% to $5.74 billion on higher prices for crude oil, while the downstream segment swing to a loss of $61 million. Chevron had projected breakeven earnings from its refining, marketing and chemical operations, known as the downstream segment, due to the lower margins and refinery input volumes.

Shares were off 1.5% at $105.03 premarket. The stock has fallen 2.2% over the past three months through Thursday’s close.

Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc



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