Chevron earnings fall but shareholders see record windfall in 2023, company raises dividend 8%

Chevron earnings fall but shareholders see record windfall in 2023, company raises dividend 8%

A Chevron gas station sign is shown on October 23, 2023 in Austin, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

Chevron said its fourth-quarter profits fell sharply from a year ago, weighed down by a number of impairment charges, but the second largest U.S. oil company still to managed to return a record amount of cash to its shareholders in 2023.

The oil major returned $23.6 billion to investors by paying out $11.3 billion in dividends and buying back $14.9 billion in shares last year. It did so even as its profit fell about 40% to $21.3 billion from $35.5 billion in 2022.

Chevron said its board approved an 8% increase in the quarterly dividend to $1.63 beginning in March. The company’s stock rose about 1.8% in early trading.

Here’s what Chevron reported for the fourth quarter compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $3.45 adjusted vs. $3.21 expected
  • Revenue: $47.18 billion vs $51.62 billion expected

Chevron’s net income fell 65% to $2.3 billion, or $1.22 per share, during the quarter, from $6.4 billion, or $3.33 per share, a year ago. 

In the latest period, Chevron’s U.S. oil and gas assets recorded a loss of $1.35 billion due to the impact of $1.8 billion in impairment charges and a hit of $1.9 billion associated with obligations to decommission previously sold assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

Excluding the impairment charges, Chevron reported an adjusted profit of $3.45 per share to beat Wall Street’s estimate of $3.21 per share for the quarter.

Chevron’s refining operation profits fall to $1.15 billion in the quarter, down 35% compared to the same period a year ago when downstream booked earnings of $1.77 billion. The segment sagged as U.S. refining profits fell due to lower margins on product sales.

Crude oil prices were volatile in 2023, with West Texas Intermediate and Brent falling more than 10% for the year on a weakening Chinese economy and a record oil production in the U.S.

Chevron produced a record 3.1 million oil-equivalent barrels per day in 2023, led by 14% growth in the U.S as the company boosted its capital expenditures.

Chevron’s capital expenditures for the quarter rose nearly 16% to $4.4 billion compared with $3.8 billion in the same period a year ago, as the company invested in recently acquired PDC Energy assets and bought a majority stake in the hydrogen fuel project developer ACES Delta. 

Read the full release here.