Is Chevron Getting Enough Credit for Its Q4 Earnings?

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Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Friday. It posted $2.06 in earnings per share (EPS) and $42.35 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates of $1.87 in EPS and revenue of $46.13 billion. In the same period of last year, the oil giant said it had EPS of $0.72 on $37.62 billion in revenue.

During the latest quarter, Chevron’s worldwide net oil-equivalent production was 3.08 million barrels per day, compared with 2.74 million barrels per day a year ago. Net oil-equivalent production for the full year 2018 was 2.93 million barrels per day, compared with 2.73 million in the prior year.

Earnings from the Upstream segment totaled $964 million in the fourth quarter, versus $3.69 billion in the same quarter of 2017.

U.S. Downstream operations earned $256 million in fourth-quarter 2018, compared with earnings of $1.20 billion a year earlier. The decrease was primarily due to the absence of the prior year benefit of $1.16 billion from U.S. tax reform and higher operating expenses, partially offset by higher margins on refined product sales.

Chevron did not offer any guidance in the report. However, the consensus estimates call for $1.50 in EPS and $39.49 billion in revenue for the first quarter.

Michael K. Wirth, Chevron’s board chair and chief executive, commented:

Financial and operational results were strong in 2018. Earnings and cash flow continued to grow, and we delivered on all of our financial priorities. We increased the dividend, funded an attractive capital program, strengthened the balance sheet and returned surplus cash to our shareholders. During the second half of the year we repurchased $1.75 billion of the company’s stock, and earlier this week we announced a quarterly dividend increase of $0.07 per share.

Shares of Chevron were last seen up about 2.5% at $117.53, in a 52-week range of $100.22 to $131.08. The consensus price target is $138.54.