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Chevron Q1 Profit Rises; Cuts 2020 Capital Expenditure Guidance

Chevron Corp. (CVX) reported that its first quarter earnings were up from a year ago driven by downstream margins and increased Permian production. However, commodity prices fell significantly in March and the weakness continued into the second quarter,
primarily due to reduced demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The company anticipates its financial results in future periods to be depressed as long as current market conditions persist.

First quarter earnings was $3.6 billion or $1.93 per share, compared to earnings of $2.6 billion or $1.39 per share, a year ago. The company noted that its current quarter included a gain of $240 million associated with the sale of upstream assets in the Philippines and favorable tax items totaling $440 million attributable to international upstream. Foreign currency effects increased earnings in the first quarter 2020 by $514 million. On average, 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $0.68, for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

First quarter sales and other operating revenues were $30 billion, compared to $34 billion, previous year. Analysts expected revenue of $29.38 billion for the quarter. Worldwide net oil-equivalent production was 3.24 million barrels per day, an increase of over 6 percent from a year ago. Capital and exploratory expenditures in the first three months of 2020 were $4.4 billion, compared to $4.7 billion, prior year.

Chevron said it is further reducing 2020 capital expenditure guidance by up to $2 billion to $14 billion. The company estimates that 2020 operating costs will decrease by $1 billion.

"Together these actions are consistent with our longstanding financial priorities: to protect the dividend; to prioritize capital that drives long-term value; and to maintain a strong balance sheet," said Michael Wirth, CEO.

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