Chevron posts worst profit in nearly 13 years

Chevron earnings plummet
Chevron earnings plummet
Chevron, Exxon dividends safe: Analyst
Chevron, Exxon dividends safe: Analyst
Profit falls for oil majors
Profit falls for oil majors

Chevron delivered quarterly earnings that fell short of analysts' expectations on Friday.

Chevron shares fell in premarket trading following the announcement. (Click here to track its shares.)

The company posted net income of $571 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with $5.67 billion, or $2.98 per share, in the year-ago period. It was the worst quarterly profit in nearly 13 years.

Excluding one-time items, Chevron earned 97 cents a share.

Revenue fell to $40.36 billion from $57.94 billion a year ago.

Wall Street expected Chevron to deliver quarterly earnings per share of $1.16 on $30.91 billion in revenue, according to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters.

Production rose 2 percent to 2.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

Chief Executive John Watson bluntly said the results were "weak" and that he was working to slash costs by renegotiating supply contracts. Earlier this week, he laid off 2 percent of the company's staff.

"Multiple efforts to improve future earnings and cash flows are underway," Watson said in a statement on Friday.

Deep cuts for Chevron
Deep cuts for Chevron

Chevron would have posted a loss had it not been for its downstream unit, which makes gasoline, lubricants and other refined products, where profit quadrupled to $2.96 billion.

Refining units tend to be far more profitable when oil prices are low, a key advantage for Chevron and other large energy companies as an internal hedge for times when core operations, such as oil production, is weighed down by weak prices.

Chevron's upstream unit, responsible for the company's oil and natural gas output, lost $2.22 billion, after earning more than $5 billion in the same quarter last year.

In all, production rose 2 percent to 2.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), largely due to Chevron's Permian shale operations in Texas and output from Bangladesh.

Lower oil prices have hurt oil giants like Chevron and Exxon Mobil. Many analysts have predicted prices could fall further still throughout the end of the year.

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Earlier this week, the energy giant announced it will cut about 1,500 jobs to cut costs. The eliminated positions are across 24 business groups in its corporate center and will result in cost reductions of about $1 billion.

"In light of the current market environment, Chevron is taking action to reduce internal costs in multiple operating units and the corporate center," Chevron said, in the statement. "These initiatives, which are currently underway, are focused on increasing efficiency, reducing costs and focusing on work that directly supports business priorities."

Shares of Chevron have sunk about 29 percent over the last 12 months.

Reuters contributed to this report.