Chevron Corp. (CVX), the second-largest U.S. energy producer by market value, reported third-quarter profit below estimates as weaker refining margins eroded gains from higher commodity prices and output from wells.
Net income was $4.95 billion, or $2.57 a share, compared with $5.25 billion, or $2.69, a year earlier, the San Ramon, California-based company said in a statement today. The per-share result was 13 cents lower than the $2.70 average of 21 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Chevron warned in an Oct. 9 statement that quarterly profit had been eroded by “significantly lower” earnings in its so-called downstream business, which includes refining and filling stations. Maintenance work at the company’s El Segundo, California, refinery mostly offset an increase in fuel production at a separate Chevron plant near San Francisco, according to the statement.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John S. Watson is spending $36.7 billion this year in a push to raise oil and natural gas production by 1.5 percent to the equivalent of 2.65 million barrels of oil a day. The capital spending budget represents a 7.3 percent increase from 2012.
Chevron’s stock has increased 11 percent this year, outperforming the company’s bigger U.S. rival, Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), which has gained less than 3 percent. Today’s statement was released before the opening of regular U.S. stock trading. Chevron fell 0.3 percent to $119.96 in New York yesterday.
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