By: Pippa Stevens – CNBC – Chevron said Friday that it generated the highest free cash flow on record during the third quarter as surging commodities prices and lower operational costs boosted operations.
The oil giant beat top- and bottom-line estimates for the period, earning $2.96 per share on an adjusted basis. Revenue jumped more than 80% year over year to $44.71 billion.
Wall Street analysts were expecting the company to earn $2.21 per share on sales of $40.52 billion, according to estimates from Refinitiv.
“Third quarter earnings were the highest since first quarter 2013 largely due to improved market conditions, strong operational performance and a lower cost structure,” Mike Wirth, Chevron’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Chevron paid $2.6 billion in dividends during the period, repurchased $625 million worth of stock, and reduced debt by $5.6 billion.
Friday’s results mark an ongoing turnaround for Chevron and energy companies more broadly, after the pandemic and worldwide economic shutdown sapped demand for petroleum products.
During the second quarter of 2021 the oil giant earned $1.71 per share on an adjusted basis, with revenue coming in at $37.6 billion. Chevron reported a loss of $207 million during the third quarter of 2020 and posted sales of $24.45 billion.
Chevron said it continues to exercise capital discipline, and 2021 spending is down 22% year over year.
The company’s upstream operations brought in $5.135 billion during the most recent quarter as oil and gas prices rebounded from their pandemic lows. In the same period last year the unit brought in just $235 million.
Chevron’s net oil-equivalent production rose 7% year over year to 3.03 million barrels per day.
During the third quarter the company’s average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids for U.S. operations jumped nearly 90% year over year to $58. The average sales price for natural gas surged to $3.25 per thousand cubic feet, up from 89 cents last year. The average per barrel price for international operations was $68, up from $39 in 2020.
Shares of Chevron jumped 2% during premarket trading on Friday. For the year, the stock is up 34% through Thursday’s close, lagging the S&P 500 energy sector’s 53% gain.
Exxon will report results later on Friday. The company is expected to earn $1.56 per share on $76.34 billion in revenue, according to estimates from Refinitiv. Last quarter the company earned $1.10 per share on revenue of $67.74 billion.
During the third quarter of 2020 Exxon lost 18 cents per share on an adjusted basis while generating $46.2 billion in revenue.