HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. oil producer Occidental Petroleum Corp posted a quarterly profit on Tuesday that met - but did not exceed - Wall Street’s expectations, sending shares down in extended trading.
U.S. oil producers were helped in the fourth quarter by rising crude prices and increasing global demand, fueling strong expectations for earnings, though several have fallen short. Like Occidental, Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp also failed to beat Wall Street’s quarterly expectations.
Occidental posted fourth-quarter net income of $497 million, or 65 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $272 million, or 36 cents, in the year-ago period.
Excluding one-time items, the company earned 41 cents per share, matching analyst’s expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Production rose about 7 percent to 621,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). For 2018, Oxy said it plans to spend $3.9 billion, about 7 percent higher from 2017 levels. Production should rise this year 8 percent to 12 percent, Occidental forecast.
Much of the production increase should come in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, the largest U.S. oilfield. Oxy, one of the largest acreage holders in the Permian, expects to pump 169,000 to 173,000 boe/d in its shale operations there during the first quarter.
“We remain committed to value-based production growth as we execute our returns-focused capital program in 2018,” Chief Executive Vicki Hollub said in a statement.
Houston-based Oxy also said on Tuesday it would release its first climate report before the end of next month. Oxy’s shareholders last May approved a proposal calling for more climate change reporting by the company, the first time such a measure succeeded at a major U.S. oil producer.
Shares of Oxy fell 2.5 percent to $68 in after-hours trading after closing slightly higher.
Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown