First Quarter Energy Sector Earnings: Chevron, ExxonMobil, Kinder Morgan, Valero and ConocoPhillips

First quarter earnings are rolling in, and the energy sector is broadly exceeding expectations.

Unlike Chevron, ExxonMobil reported lower earnings in its U.S. upstream business. During Q1, ExxonMobil earned $96 million for this segment, versus $429 million a year ago.

ExxonMobil took an even bigger hit to the bottom line than Chevron from its downstream businesses. For Q1, ExxonMobil reported a downstream loss of $256 million versus a profit of $940 million a year ago. This was due to lower margins and significant scheduled maintenance, which caused ExxonMobil’s refinery throughput to decline to 3.9 million barrels per day versus the year-earlier level of 4.3 million barrels per day.

Kinder Morgan

Most midstream companies have yet to report earnings. However, Kinder Morgan, one of the biggest of the midstream corporations, reported first quarter earnings in line with consensus estimates.

For the first quarter, Kinder Morgan reported net income of $556 million, compared to $485 million in the first quarter of 2018. Kinder Morgan’s Q1 revenues increased year-over-year by 0.3% to $3.429 billion.

Distributable cash flow (DCF) — an important measure for midstream companies — rose by 10% year-over-year to $1.371 billion.

Almost every measure of financial performance increased for Kinder Morgan year-over-year, but the biggest story is the performance of the Natural Gas Pipelines segment. Natural gas transport volumes were up 4.5 billion cubic feet per day, or 14%, compared to the first quarter of 2018. This marked the fifth straight quarter that year-over-year volumes had grown by at least 10%, and is being driven primarily by higher volumes from the Permian Basin and Denver-Julesburg Basin.

Kinder Morgan also announced a 25% increase in its dividend over the previous quarter. The company expects to pay $1.00 per share for all of 2019, which would represent a forward dividend yield of 4.94%.