Earnings season gets underway for the energy industry's giants on Friday when Chevron reports before the bell. With profits and revenue for so-called "Big Oil" expected to fall significantly from a year ago, investors will have an eye on a few critical factors.
In a field of battered drilling stocks, many analysts have advocated holding the big, integrated oil companies that have both upstream exploration and production and downstream refining operations. But that doesn't mean investors have treated the shares kindly.
Six of the biggest oil companies — Chevron, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, BP and Total — collectively shed more than $200 billion in market capitalization last year, according to CNBC analysis of FactSet data.