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Business

Chevron’s second-quarter earnings beat outlook for record shale production




Chevron
corp.

issued a second-quarter earnings update Sunday that was better than expected ahead of the oil major’s earnings announcement this week.

Adjusted earnings of $3.08 per share beat the consensus of $2.97 per share tracked by FactSet
.

That’s down about 47% from the second quarter of last year and down from earnings of $3.55 per share in the first quarter of 2023.

The biggest reason Chevron’s earnings fell is that oil prices have fallen dramatically from this time last year, when they rose due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We deliver strong value to shareholders regardless of the commodity price environment,”[ads1]; CEO Mike Wirth said in an interview with Barron’s. “We have prices that are lower than a year ago, but higher than two and three years ago. We must be prepared for high and low prices.

“We have a company that was built to last through the cycles,” he added. “On [oil prices] lower than $50, we cover all dividends and all capital expenditures.”

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Chevron’s independent directors gave Wirth a vote of confidence, waiving the company’s mandatory retirement age of 65 for him. He turns 63 later this year.

The company also announced that CFO Pierre Breber is stepping down after 35 years with the company. Eimear Bonner, the Chief Technology Officer, will succeed him from March 2024.

In a statement, Wirth thanked Breber for his contributions and welcomed Bonner, a 24-year Chevron (ticker: CVX ) veteran, saying she can “build on Chevron’s strong foundation and drive additional shareholder value.”

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Chevron disclosed it had record quarterly production in the Permian Basin, a shale-producing region in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Production there was 11% higher than last year’s second quarter. It produced 772,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, adding that it is on track for the full year.

Quarterly shareholder distributions of $7.2 billion also set a record, Chevron said, including $4.4 billion in share buybacks and $2.8 billion in dividends.

Chevron expects to close the purchase of shale driller PDC Energy in August.

Write to Liz Moyer at liz.moyer@barrons.com



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