Chevron’s second-quarter profit of $6 billion beats analysts’ forecasts

By Sabrina Vallee

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Chevron Corp’s second-quarter profits beat Wall Street estimates, the company said on Sunday, and chief executive Michael Wirth also signaled that the second-largest U.S. oil company remains open to more acquisitions and increased shareholder payouts this year.

In a rare preview of its results that coincided with the announced retirement of its chief financial officer, Chevron reported net income of $6 billion in the quarter ended June 30. Full results will be released on Friday.

While that profit is nearly half of the record profit from the same period last year, adjusted earnings of $3.08 per share beat Wall Street’s consensus estimate of $2.97 per share.

“The macro-pricing environment has softened a bit from the first quarter,” Wirth said in an interview describing changes to the company’s financial and operational leadership team. “It’s always been a good quarter.”

“We’ve had high levels of operational performance (and) very, very little unplanned downtime in our portfolio,” Wirth said.

Chevron’s oil and gas production in the Permian Basin, America’s premier shale field, reached 772,000 barrels per day. Volume was “the highest quarter we’ve ever had in the Permian and 10% from the same quarter last year,” Wirth said.

The company’s expansion project in Kazakhstan “continues to be on schedule and on budget”, he added.

Wirth said the company is still open to M&A deals and increased distributions to shareholders.

“We have the ability to do both,” Wirth said. “We don’t have to trade one for the other.”

Earlier this year, the company agreed to acquire PDC Energy for $7.6 billion in cash and acquired debt. The deal is expected to close next month.

“We’re going to go up to about 400,000 barrels per day in the DJ pool, about double what it is now, when the deal closes,” Wirth said.

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle in Houston; Editing by Chris Reese)

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