Shares of Chevron gave up about 2 percent of their value in pre-market trading Friday as the oil giant turned in quarterly results that badly missed estimates.
Chevron executives pointed to lower margins in its refining business and tax charges as drags on earnings during a conference call. They also said layoffs were largely behind them, but the company would continue looking for ways to drive down costs.
The company also said it will be able to fund spending and dividends in 2017 with cash generated from operations, following a downturn that forced oil giants and smaller drillers alike to tap debt and other to sources to pay for normal business operations.
"Our 2016 earnings reflect the low oil and gas prices we saw during the year," Chairman and CEO John Watson said in a statement. "We responded aggressively to those conditions, cutting capital and operating expenses by $14 billion."
Chief Financial Officer Patricia Yarrington said on the conference call Chevron is considering more assets sales. "Additional opportunities are in progress and many will close in 2017," she said.
Last month, the company said it would lower its capital spending for a fourth consecutive year. Chevron's $19.8 billion program for 2017 will focus on projects with shorter cycles and higher returns aimed at producing oil and gas within two years.
That includes more drilling in the the U.S. Permian basin, located in Texas and New Mexico, which is leading the nation's shale oil recovery, Watson said. The company said it was operating 10 oil rigs in the region and planning to add another about every eight weeks, he said on Friday.