Chevron (NYSE:CVX), the second-largest U.S. oil producer, reported stronger-than-expected results in the fourth quarter, as asset sales and refining segment helped overpower falling crude prices.
Net income fell to $3.47 billion, or $1.85 per share, in the October-to-December quarter, compared with $4.93 billion, or $2.57 per share, a year earlier, the San Ramon, California-based company said in a statement today. Results included a net $570 million gain on asset sales.
Revenue fell 18 percent to $46.1 billion.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.63 per share and revenue of $30.65 billion, according to Capital IQ.
Chevron’s bottom line was helped by foreign-currency effects, which have been a drag on many U.S. companies’ results recently. Chevron said foreign currency helped its earnings by $432 million in the quarter, up from $202 million a year earlier.
Refining, marketing and chemical operations, or downstream, earnings surged to $1.52 billion in the fourth quarter from $390 million a year earlier.
Chevron’s profits are better insulated than most oil producers because it also makes money from refining the fuel into gasoline and diesel. The lower-cost crude has helped its refinery businesses improve profit margins.
Chevron said it plans to pare its capital spending by 13 percent this year to $35 billion, while it looks to cut costs through its supply chain.
Oil prices have crashed more than 60 percent since last summer. Brent oil futures were down 20 cents at $48.93 per barrel at 9:12, while benchmark U.S. WTI futures were down 10 cents at $44.43 a barrel.
Shares fell 0.9 percent to $102.11 at 10:37 a.m. in New York, extending losses in the past six months to 22 percent.
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