Occidental Ails on Q2 Earnings

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) reported weaker-than-expected earnings for its second quarter after recording $6.6 billion in impairment charges.

The company posted a GAAP loss of $8.35 billion, compared with a profit of $635 million for the same period last year, making it the latest large oil company to either take or warn of massive writedowns after energy markets collapsed in the quarter.

Occidental also booked $1.58 billion from tax refunds during the quarter, which helped reduce its operating loss.

Occidental says its Q2 average realized domestic gas price fell 24% Q/Q to $0.90/Mcf, average realized natural gas liquids price fell 39% to $7.79/bbl, and its realized oil price plunged 51% to $23.17/bbl.

Q2 total revenues fell by more than a third from the year-earlier period to $2.93B, well short of consensus estimates.

Experts are saying July was a relatively quiet month for Occidental, which wasn't what the market wanted to see from the deeply indebted oil company. Ideally, investors would have liked a continuation of June's progress on shoring up its balance sheet. Instead, there were only reports that it was getting close to selling more assets to pay off debt.

But on a more positive note, the oil company did make some progress on its debt and cost reduction plans, which is helping relieve some of the pressure on its balance sheet.

OXY demurred seven cents to $16.41 early Tuesday.