(By Balaseshan) Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX), the second-largest oil company in the United States, reported a 4.2% increase in first quarter earnings helped by a 12% growth in average benchmark oil prices despite a decline in oil and gas production. Though earnings came in above Street's expectations, revenue missed consensus, sending its shares down 0.21% in premarket.
Earnings for the first quarter were $6.47 billion or $3.27 per share, up from $6.21 million or $3.09 per share last year.
Total revenue and other income increased to $60.71 billion from $60.34 billion. Analysts had expected a profit of $3.26 per share on revenue of $72.42 billion.
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Sales and other operating revenue increased to $58.90 billion from $58.41 billion, while income from equity affiliates rose to $1.71 billion from $1.69 billion. Other income declined to $100 million from $242 million.
Worldwide net oil-equivalent production declined to 2.63 million barrels per day from 2.76 million barrels per day, as normal field declines, maintenance-related downtime and dispositions weighted more than the production increase from project ramp-ups in Thailand and the United States.
The company's average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids grew to $102 from $89. The average sales price of natural gas was $2.48 per thousand cubic feet, down from $4.04 in last year.
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Net oil-equivalent production in the United States declined 6% to 651,000 barrels per day, associated with normal field declines and an absence of volumes associated with the Cook Inlet, Alaska, asset sale in 2011. Partially offsetting this decrease was further ramp-up at the Perdido project in the Gulf of Mexico.
The net liquids component of oil-equivalent production in the U.S. decreased 5% to 456,000 barrels per day, while net natural gas production in U.S. decreased 8% to 1.17 billion cubic feet per day.
Refinery crude oil input increased 47,000 barrels per day to 926,000 barrels per day. Refined product sales decreased 41,000 barrels per day to 1.24 million barrels per day, mainly due to lower residual fuel oil and gasoline sales. Branded gasoline sales were essentially flat with a year ago.
CVX closed Thursday's regular session at $106.22. The stock has been trading between $86.68 and $112.28 for the past 52 weeks.