Chevron Settles on Record Profit

Chevron (NYSE:CVX) on Friday posted a record $36.5 billion profit for 2022 that was more than double year-earlier earnings, but the bottom line fell shy of Wall Street estimates, undercut by asset writedowns and rising costs.

The second-largest U.S. oil producer’s adjusted net profit for 2022 exceeded its previous record set in 2011 by about $10 billion. Still, higher expenses and weaker oil and fuel profits left fourth-quarter earnings 6.6% below Wall Street’s forecast, according to Refinitiv data.

Its results kick off what promises to be nosebleed-level earnings for global energy suppliers. High prices from strong demand and shortages since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine position Western energy firms to show a combined $200-billion profit for the year, according to analysts.

This season’s earnings have already put energy stocks at the top of industry returns as more companies lift their payouts to shareholders. The record shareholder payouts could stir fresh calls for windfall taxes.

The White House on Wednesday protested Chevron’s decision to triple its spending on share repurchases, now at $75 billion over five years at current guidance. The Biden administration wants companies to lower prices for consumers.

Shareholder rewards will continue to be the top priority for cash, Chevron officials said.

Despite the furor over the buyback target, Chevron’s spending on its own shares will be “unchanged at $5 billion to $15 billion per year”, Breber said.

CVX shares lost $3.56, or 1.9%, to $184.23.