Chevron Corp Earnings: Profit Drop Breaks Four Consecutive Quarters of Growing Profits

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Chevron provides management and technology support to international subsidiaries that operate petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy services.

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Chevron Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for Chevron Corporation fell to $5.1 billion ($2.58 per share) vs. $5.29 billion ($2.64 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 3.7% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 11.5% to $58 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: CVX fell short of the mean analyst estimate of $2.86 per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $71.08 billion.

Quoting Management: “Chevron had an outstanding year financially,” said Chairman and CEO John Watson, “with record earnings and cash flow. This reflects our exceptionally strong upstream portfolio, as well as higher 2011 crude prices. Full-year earnings also benefited from improved downstream sales margins. Our financial strength enabled us to both invest in our development projects and to acquire several new resource opportunities. At the same time, we raised the annual dividend twice and increased outlays for our common stock repurchase program. Beyond our strong financial performance, we also had an outstanding year in terms of oil and gas reserves replacement.”

Key Stats:

Last quarter’s profit decrease breaks a streak of four consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. In the third quarter, net income rose more than twofold from the year earlier, while the figure increased 42.9% in the second quarter, 36.4% in the first quarter and 72.5% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company fell short of forecasts after beating estimates in the previous two quarters. In the third quarter, it topped the mark by 50 cents, and in the second quarter, it was ahead by 30 cents.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly negative about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has moved down from $3.17 a share to $3.10 over the last sixty days. In the past month, the average estimate for the fiscal year has fallen from $13.93 per share to $13.49 abs.

Competitors to Watch: Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), BP plc (NYSE:BP), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), TOTAL S.A. (NYSE:TOT), Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE:SU) and Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO).

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at