Chevron Joins the Oil Party as Cuts, Sales Spur Outsized Results

  • Net income beats estimates, following Exxon report earlier
  • Job cuts, project cancellations, asset sales pay off for CEO

Chevron Corp. joined the widening array of oil explorers trampling analysts’ profit forecasts with outsized results fed by climbing crude prices and uncharacteristic frugality.

Chevron posted third-quarter per-share net income that exceeded the 99-cent average of 19 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The outcome validated Chief Executive Officer John Watson’s sweeping job cuts, project cancellations and asset sales to protect cash flow during the three-year oil rout.

The global oil benchmark, Brent crude, rose 11 percent to average $52.17 a barrel during the third quarter, compared with a year earlier. About 70 percent of Chevron’s daily crude production comes from outside the U.S. Earlier Friday, both Exxon Mobil Corp. and Total SA reported soaring earnings.

Net income rose to $1.99 billion, or $1.03 a share, from $1.3 billion, or 68 cents, a year earlier, the San Ramon, California-based company said in a statement on Friday.

Watson, 61, last month announced plans to retire and hand the reins to Vice Chairman Mike Wirth, a former refining boss who purged Chevron’s portfolio of its weakest-performing assets. Wirth will become CEO on Feb. 1. The company pledged earlier this week to pay shareholders about $2 billion in dividends in December.

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