Why Exxon and Chevron Sank After Reporting Q2 Earnings

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The country’s two supermajor energy companies, Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), both announced preliminary second-quarter results before markets opened on Friday.

Exxon posted quarterly diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.73 on revenues of $69.1 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.92 on revenues of $73.5 billion. Second-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $0.66 on revenues of $65.2 billion.

Chevron reported diluted EPS of $2.27 on revenues of $38.85 billion, compared with year-ago second-quarter EPS of $1.78 and revenues of $42.24 billion. Analysts had been looking for EPS of $1.78 and revenues of $40.55 billion.

What sank these two giants Friday morning is overall investor concern about the global economy. The International Monetary Fund’s global gross domestic product forecast has been revised down and President Trump’s threat to slap tariffs on all Chinese imports are just two indications that the world’s economy is likely to remain in a slo-mo growth phase until the end of next year. Brent crude prices fell more than 7% on Thursday. A one-day drop of that size has occurred just 44 times in the past 30 years. The contract has regained about 3% so far Friday, but any hope for a big breakout in crude prices is probably just wishful thinking now.

Chevron’s net income rose by $896 million to $4.31 billion in the second quarter, boosted by a $1 billion termination fee ($0.12 per share) it received following Anadarko’s rejection of its takeover bid in favor of a higher offer from Occidental. Upstream profits rose by nearly $200 million while downstream profit dropped by nearly $1.1 billion.

At Exxon, net income slipped by $720 million year over year in the quarter, even including a $500 million boost from a tax rate change in Canada. Net income totaled $3.13 billion compared with $3.95 billion a year ago.

Both supermajors posted stronger sequential results thanks to higher prices for crude. Exxon’s sequential profit jumped 33% and Chevron’s rose by about 26%, including the Anadarko termination fee.

When higher crude prices boost upstream earnings, integrated companies like Exxon and Chevron typically feel a pinch in the downstream segment. Exxon’s U.S. downstream income fell by $385 million, which the company attributed to increased maintenance and downtime. Chevron’s U.S. downstream earnings fell by $192 million

Net income in the quarter dropped by 49% from $4.65 billion a year ago to $2.35 billion. Oil-equivalent production rose by 2.4% year over year in the first quarter from 3.89 million barrels a day last year to 3.98 million barrels a day.

Chevron CEO Mike Wirth noted, “Net oil-equivalent production was the highest in the company’s history, driven by continued growth in the Permian Basin and at Wheatstone [LNG} in Australia.” Permian Basin shale volume production rose by more than 50% year over year.

Darren Woods, Exxon’s CEO, also gave a nod to increased production: “Our upstream liquids production increased by 8 percent from last year, driven by growth in the Permian Basin … .” Exxon’s Permian Basin production rose by more than 20% sequentially and by nearly 90% year over year.

Neither company provided guidance in its press release, but analysts expect Exxon to post third-quarter EPS of $1.03 on revenues of $69.59 billion. They are also looking for Chevron EPS of $1.97 and revenues of $40.54 billion.

Exxon’s shares traded down about 1% about an hour after Friday’s opening bell at $71.72. The stock’s 52-week range is $64.65 to $87.36, and analysts had a 12-month price target of $83.92 before this morning’s report.

Chevron stock traded down about 2%, at $118.31 in a 52-week range of $100.22 to $127.60. The stock’s 12-month price target is $137.67.


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