Chevron's latest quarterly profit was huge - $5.37 billion - but down 26 percent from last year due to lower oil prices and maintenance work at some refineries. (File photo: Smoke pours from a fire at the Chevron Richmond Refinery, seen behind Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012).
Chevron's latest quarterly profit was huge — $5.37 billion — but down 26 percent from last year due to lower oil prices and maintenance work at some refineries.
The results mirrored lower profit at Exxon Mobil and Shell, and they also lagged Wall Street expectations. In premarket trading, Chevron shares fell $1.44 to $125.
San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron Corp. said Friday that it earned $2.77 per share in the second quarter, down from $3.66 per share. Year-ago net income was $7.21 billion.
Analysts were expecting earnings of $2.97 per share. Revenue was down 8 percent to $57.37 billion but came in higher than the $56.01 billion that analysts expected .
Chairman and CEO John Watson said earnings fell "largely due to softer market conditions for crude oil and refined products." He said repair and maintenance work on U.S. refineries was also a factor.
In percentage terms, Chevron's profit decline was only half as steep as those reported by Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday. But the causes were similar - lower oil prices and declining production.
The average price that Chevron got for a barrel of oil or natural gas liquids was $92 in the United States and $94 overseas; both were down $5 a barrel from last year's second quarter. Natural gas prices in the U.S. jumped 74 percent, but that was up from 10-year lows in 2012.
Chevron's production of oil and gas fell 1.6 percent, midway between Shell's 1.3 percent decline and Exxon's 1.9 percent decrease.
Chevron sold more natural gas in the U.S., but sales of refined products such as gasoline dipped both at home and overseas.
Chevron is California's largest producer in net oil-equivalent, at 178,000 barrels per day in 2012. Net daily production in 2012 averaged 163,000 barrels of crude oil, 70 million cubic feet of natural gas and 4,000 barrels of NGLs, according to information on Chevron's website.
The majority of the production is from Chevron-operated leases that are part of three major crude oil fields in the San Joaquin Valley — Kern River, Midway Sunset and Cymric.