First quarter earnings are starting to roll in, giving us a handle on the health of the oil and gas industry. Today, I will review earnings from several different segments of the energy sector.
For the first quarter, Chevron reported a decline in earnings of 27% from the previous year to $2.65 billion. But analysts were expecting worse, as earnings per share of $1.39 still beat consensus estimates of $1.30 per share.
Hardest hit was Chevron’s downstream business, which declined from $728 million a year ago to $252 million in Q1. During times of rising oil prices — which was the case in Q1 — refining margins tend to erode as gasoline prices usually lag the rise in oil prices. Chevron was also hit by a decline in refinery output of 7%, primarily due to weather-related impacts at the El Segundo and Richmond, California refineries.
The bright spot in Chevron’s earnings was domestic oil and gas production, where earnings rose to $748 million in first quarter 2019, compared with $648 million a year earlier. Net oil-equivalent production of 884,000 barrels per day was up 151,000 barrels per day from a year earlier. Production increases were driven by shale and tight properties in the Permian Basin, and in the Gulf of Mexico.
For the first quarter of 2019, ExxonMobil reported net income of $2.35 billion versus $4.65 billion a year ago.
This translated to earnings of $0.55 per share versus $1.09 per share a year ago. The company fell well short of consensus estimates of $0.70 per share. Revenue fell 6.7% from a year ago, but the $63.6 billion in revenues slightly beat expectations of $63 billion.