Oil well pump jack operated by Chevron Corp. in San Ardo, California, USA, on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Chevron said Friday that it generated the highest free cash flow ever in the third quarter as rising raw material prices and lower operating costs fueled operations.
The oil giant surpassed sales and earnings estimates for the period, earned $ 2.96 per share on an adjusted basis, and reported sales of $ 44.71 billion.
Wall Street analysts expected the company to make $ 2.21 per share on sales of $ 40.52 billion, according to Refinitiv estimates.
“Third quarter earnings were the highest since Q1 2013, largely due to improved market conditions, strong operational performance and a lower cost structure,” said Mike Wirth, Chevron’s chairman and CEO, in a statement.
Chevron paid $ 2.6 billion in dividends during the reporting period, repurchased $ 625 million in shares, and reduced debt by $ 5.6 billion.
Friday’s results mark a continuing turnaround for Chevron and energy companies in general after the pandemic and global economic stalemate weakened demand for petroleum products.
In the second quarter of 2021, the oil giant made $ 1.71 per share on an adjusted basis on sales of $ 37.6 billion. Chevron posted a loss of $ 207 million and sales of $ 24.45 billion in the third quarter of 2020.
Chevron said it continues to exercise capital discipline and that spending this year is down 22% year over year.
The company’s upstream operations grossed $ 5.135 billion in the last quarter as oil and gas prices rebounded from their pandemic lows. In the same period last year, the unit raised just $ 235 million.
During the last quarter, the company’s average selling price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids for US operations rose nearly 90% year over year to $ 58. The average price per barrel for international deals was $ 68, down from $ 39 in 2020.
Chevron’s shares rose 2% during Friday’s pre-trading session.
Exxon will announce the results later on Friday. Refinitiv estimates the company is expected to earn $ 1.56 per share on sales of $ 76.34 billion. For the last quarter, the company earned $ 1.10 per share on sales of $ 67.74 billion.
In the third quarter of 2020, Exxon lost 18 cents per share on an adjusted basis and had revenue of $ 46.2 billion.