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May 1, 2020updated 04 May 2020 10:06am

Social media reacts to American companies’ first quarter results

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Phillips 66 all posted their Q1 2020 results today, giving the industry a good idea of how it is coping.

By Matt Farmer

ExxonMobil, Chevron and Phillips 66 all posted their first quarter 2020 results today. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, these have given the industry a good idea of how it is coping with lower demand, an excess of supply, and health concerns for its workforces.

Phillips 66 – Earnings down $2.7bn

The midstream supplier gave results showing a $2.5bn loss in the first quarter of 2020, compared with $187m of earnings in Q1 2019. In a statement, a company spokesperson said this figure was affected by its investment in DCP Midstream and the loss of value of its assets. Without these, the company would have earned $450m.

This loss follows earnings of $736m in the previous quarter. Chairman and CEO Greg Garland said: “We suspended share repurchases and are reducing capital spending and operating costs. We also secured a new $2bn term loan facility and completed $1bn in bond issuances.

“Refining reduced production in response to lower product demand and weak margins. These prompt actions enhance liquidity, support the dividend and protect our strong investment-grade credit rating.”

ExxonMobil – earnings down $3bn

ExxonMobil reported a loss of $610m in the first three months of the year. The company’s report said $2.9bn of this worth was lost as its assets lost value.

Despite low prices, the company’s liquids production continued to build from 2016. Production increased by 2% from the previous quarter, with results showing a 15% increase in production in the Permian Basin. This equated to 352,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter, but ExxonMobil has since said it is likely to severely cut production in the area.

Chairman and CEO Darren Woods said: “We’ve never seen anything like what the world is experiencing today.”

“I know there are lots of different views on what the future holds, but I want to tell you how we see it: The fundamentals underpinning our business have not changed.”

Chevron – earnings up $1bn

Later, Chevron held its earnings call, where executives confirmed earnings of $3.6bn in the three months to March 2020.

Compared with the same period in 2019, its US upstream profits decreased by $507m, to $241m this year. Internationally, profits rose to $2.68bn, a $304m increase.

However, the company earned $240m from asset sales, and $954 from tax and currency effects.

Chairman and CEO Michael K Wirth said: “First quarter earnings were up from a year ago, driven by downstream margins and increased Permian production. However, commodity prices fell significantly in March and the weakness continued into the second quarter, primarily due to reduced demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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