Income at Chevron hits an all-time high. Due to the rise in oil prices, Chevron announced a record annual profit of $36.5 billion.
More than double from $15.6 billion in 2021, Chevron’s adjusted earnings for the year were up 36% over the company’s previous high profit achieved in 2011.
Profits for the oil business in the fourth quarter totaled $7.9 billion, up 61% from the same period a year ago but lower than the record quarterly profit of $11.4 billion recorded in the second quarter.
Fourth-quarter earnings per share of $4.09 fell short of the $4.38 per share predicted by analysts polled by Refinitiv. However, quarterly sales of $56.5 billion were over $2 billion higher than expected and up 17% year over year.
Yearly sales of $246.30 billion were up 52% from $201.1 billion in 2021.
In the hours before the market opened, Chevron’s (CVX) stock fell by more than 1 percent.
Chevron, the United States’ second largest oil firm behind ExxonMobil, announced a 6% dividend increase and a hefty $75 billion share repurchase plan on Thursday, ahead of Friday’s report. Those who believe oil firms should put their money towards producing more oil and gasoline to improve supply and bring down costs for inflation-weary drivers have voiced their disapproval of the decision.
As White House press secretary Abdullah Hasan tweeted Wednesday night, “handing out $75 billion to executives and affluent shareholders sure is a funny way to demonstrate it,” given the company’s recent claims that it was “working hard” to raise oil production.
On Friday, Chevron announced a 75 percent increase in operational investments and a rise in annual US output to 1.2 million barrels per day.
Up 43% from the $8.6 billion spent in 2021, the $12.3 billion spent on capital expenditures and exploration in 2022 was slightly more than the $11 billion paid out in dividends and the $11.3 billion spent on share repurchases.
The skyrocketing oil prices during the year, rather than increased output, were principally responsible for the record profit.
After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, oil and gasoline prices skyrocketed, benefiting Chevron and other big oil businesses. Russia is a leading oil exporter, but sanctions imposed on the country after the invasion jacked up commodity prices worldwide, including the cost of oil.
In early June, futures for a barrel of Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, closed at a record high of $123.58, up more than 50% from six months before the war. A week later, the average price of a gallon of regular gas in the United States broke the $5 mark, reaching a record high of $5.03.
In contrast, oil and gas prices have dropped dramatically since then. Brent finished Thursday at $87.47, down a little from the same time last year, while the national average price of a gallon of regular gas is $3.51, up a little from $3.35.
Lifting the Chinese government’s Covid lockout limits has contributed to a recent cost increase. Market participants see that as a positive indicator of global demand for oil and gasoline. Winter weather-related issues at refineries are also contributing to pricing increases.
In the United States, the average price of a gallon of standard gasoline has increased by about 12 cents in the past week and by 41 cents, or 13%, in the past month. In just three weeks, the price of Brent oil has risen by 12 percent.