Chevron (NYSE:CVX) disclosed on Friday a 3.2% decline in fourth-quarter profits as the No. 2 U.S. energy company posted a loss in its downstream segment.
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The news sent shares of San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron slipping more than 1% in premarket action.
Chevron, which warned earlier this month its earnings would slip, said it earned $5.12 billion, or $2.58 a share, compared with a profit of $5.32 billion, or $2.64 a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been calling for EPS of $2.84.
Revenue rose 11% to $60 billion, widely missing the Street’s view of $70.96 billion.
“Chevron had an outstanding year financially,” CEO John Watson said in a statement, “with record earnings and cash flow. This reflects our exceptionally strong upstream portfolio, as well as higher 2011 crude prices.”
Chevron’s downstream division suffered a loss of $61 million last quarter, compared with a profit of $742 million a year before. Chevron blamed weaker margins on refined product sales as well as the absence of a one-time gain from the year-before period. The losses were highlighted by a $204 million loss in U.S. operations.
On the other hand, global upstream earnings increased to $5.74 billion from $4.85 billion amid higher crude oil realizations that offset slipping production.
Shares of Chevron, which have rallied more than 12% over the past year, dropped 1.77% to $104.70 ahead of Friday’s open.
Rival ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), the largest U.S. energy company, is scheduled to report results next week.