Chevron Corp's second-quarter earnings topped Wall Street estimates, the company said on Sunday, and Chief Executive Michael Wirth also signaled the number two U.S. oil company remains open to more acquisitions and to increasing shareholder distributions this year.
In a rare preview of its results that coincided with the announced retirement of its finance chief, Chevron disclosed a $6 billion net profit in the quarter ended June 30. Full results will be disclosed on Friday. While that profit is almost half of the record profit in the same period last year, the $3.08 a share adjusted profit beat Wall Street's $2.97-a-share consensus estimate.
"The macro price environment has softened a little bit versus the first quarter," Wirth said in an interview outlining changes to the company's financial and operating executive team. "It is still a strong quarter." "We had high levels of operating performance (and) very, very little unplanned downtime across our portfolio," Wirth said.
Chevron's oil and gas production in the Permian Basin, the top U.S. shale field, hit 772,000 barrels a day. The volume was "the highest quarter we've ever had in the Permian and 10% over the same quarter last year," Wirth said.
The company's expansion project in Kazakhstan "continues to be on schedule and on budget," he added. Wirth signaled the company is still open to M&A deals and to increasing shareholder distributions.
"We've got the ability to do both," Wirth said. "We don't have to trade off one against the other." The company earlier this year agreed to acquire PDC EnergyPDCE.O for $7.6 billion in cash and acquired debt. The deal is set to close next month.
"We will go up to about 400,000 barrels a day in DJ basin, which is roughly twice what it is today, when the deal closes," Wirth said.
(Reuters/Reporting by Sabrina Valle in Houston/Editing by Chris Reese)