By Jennifer Hiller
HOUSTON (Reuters) – Chevron Corp (NYSE:) reported a larger-than-expected 36% drop in third-quarter profit on Friday, hit by lower oil and gas prices despite an overall increase in its output.
Results mirrored weaker earnings at BP (LON:) Plc and Royal Dutch Shell (LON:), which indicated they might delay dividend increases or a buyback program due to low prices. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:) earlier on Friday reported its profits fell by nearly half from a year ago, citing lower oil and gas prices.
“Lower and prices more than offset” production increases, Chevron Chief Executive Mike Wirth said in a statement.
Chevron’s profit fell to $2.58 billion, or $1.36 per share, in the quarter, from $4.05 billion, or $2.11 per share a year earlier. Excluding one-time charges and foreign currency gains, the company said it would have earned $1.55 per share. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.45 cents per share.
The company offered a tepid outlook for the fourth quarter, saying it expected full-year oil and gas production to fall in the middle of its targeted increase of 4% to 7%.
Chevron shares were down less than 1% on Friday in premarket trading at $115.25.
It also said it expects additional costs in the fourth quarter from “high” refinery maintenance and from a $430 million tax payment.
Chevron’s worldwide net oil equivalent production grew about 3% to 3.03 million barrels per day, but average sales prices fell both in the United States and internationally.
Production in the Permian Basin, the top U.S. shale field, rose 35% from the same period a year ago to 455,000 barrels of oil and gas daily, but its average U.S. liquids price was $47 per barrel, down from $62 a year ago.
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