Shares of Chevron Corp. plunge on 3Q forecast

NEW YORK -- Shares of Chevron Corp. plunged Wednesday after the oil giant said its third-quarter earnings are expected to be "substantially lower" than in the second quarter.

THE SPARK: The San Ramon, Calif., company provided an interim update Tuesday based on a portion of the third quarter. It said oil production fell in the first two months of the quarter and it received a lower price for the oil it sold.

In addition, results from refining and marketing dropped after a fire damaged Chevron's refinery in Richmond, Calif., and Hurricane Isaac disrupted production at a refinery in Mississippi. Chevron also expects foreign currency losses to hurt results.

Chevron will report third-quarter results Nov. 2. In the second quarter, Chevron earned $7.2 billion, or $3.66 per share.

THE ANALYSIS: UBS analyst William A. Featherston said the third-quarter outlook was disappointing "across the board."

In a research note, the analyst lowered his third-quarter earnings per share estimate to $2.83 from $3.22. He noted Chevron's expectations for currency losses and its lower liquids estimate, among other issues.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet have predicted, on average, third-quarter earnings of $3.01 per share.

THE SHARES: Shares of Chevron fell $5, or 4.3 percent, to $112.38 in afternoon trading. The price has ranged from $92.29 to $118.53 per share in the past 52 weeks.