ConocoPhillips Earnings: Streak of Two Straight Profit Declines Snapped

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. An international energy company, ConocoPhillips operates under six segments: exploration and production, midstream, refining and marketing, LUKOIL investment, chemicals, and emerging businesses.

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ConocoPhillips Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for ConocoPhillips rose to $3.39 billion ($2.56 per share) vs. $2.04 billion ($1.39 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 66.1% from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: COP reported adjusted net income of $2.02 per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of $1.83 per share.

Quoting Management: “We operated well during the fourth quarter,” said Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer. “Production and refinery utilization met expectations. For the year, we replaced 120 percent of our 2011 production with organic reserves across our asset base. We continued execution of our 2010-2012 repositioning plan, including $4.8 billion of asset sales and $11.1 billion of share repurchases during the year. We are also progressing plans to create two leading energy companies during the second quarter of 2012.”

Key Stats:

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last three quarters. It beat the mark by 36 cents in the third quarter and by 21 cents in the second quarter.

Last quarter’s profit increase breaks a streak of two consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit decreases. In the third quarter, net income fell 14.4% while the figure dropped in the second quarter.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the company’s next quarter results are lower than they have been. Over the past sixty days, the average estimate for first quarter of the next fiscal year has fallen from $2.07 per share to $1.95. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved up from $8.23 a share to $8.49 over the last ninety days.

Competitors to Watch: Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), BP plc (NYSE:BP), Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (NYSE:SNP), TOTAL S.A. (NYSE:TOT) and Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO).

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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 staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com