A day after reporting better-than-expected second-quarter results, ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) rallied more than 3%, outpacing the S&P 500, which declined in the session. Other big integrated oil-and-gas companies, such as BP (NYSE: BP) also posted gains.
The Houston-based company, which is integrated in the areas of exploration, production and distribution, earned $3.91 per share in the quarter, a 208% gain over $1.27 per share a year ago. Revenue was $22 billion, up 115% over the quarter ended in June 2021.
The company topped analysts’ expectations for revenue of $19.71 billion.
As you may have guessed, higher oil prices in the quarter contributed to the strong revenue gains.
ConocoPhillips also announced a $5 billion increase to its existing return of capital, bringing the total to $15 billion.To implement this program, ConocoPhillips declared a third-quarter ordinary dividend of $0.46 per share, as well as a fourth-quarter variable return of cash (VROC) payment of $1.40 a share.
Highlights of the release included:
- Distribution of $3.3 billion to shareholders through a three-tier framework, including $1.0 billion in cash through an ordinary dividend and VROC payment, as well as $2.3 billion through share repurchases.
- Expansion of the firm’s global liquid natural gas (LNG) portfolio through participation in QatarEnergy’s North Field East LNG project. ConocoPhillips also announced a non-binding agreement with Sempra Infrastructure Partners with opportunities to participate in large-scale LNG projects, an LNG offtake of approximately 5 million tonnes per annum and related carbon capture activities.
- Cash from operating activities of $7.9 billion, and cash from operations of $7.8 billion.
- Continued progress toward the company’s $5 billion debt reduction target through $1.8 billion of debt retirements during the quarter, now totaling $3 billion since announcing the target.
- Completed $400 million of noncore asset sales during the quarter.
- Ended the quarter with cash and short-term investments totaling $8.5 billion.
“The second quarter delivered strong financial results and presented outstanding opportunities to accelerate progress on our triple mandate to reliably and responsibly deliver oil and gas production to meet energy transition pathway demand, deliver competitive returns on and of capital for our shareholders, and achieve our net-zero operational emissions ambition,” said Ryan Lance, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.
ConocoPhillips is still in correction mode, and along with the broader market, has struggled to gain enough traction to etch the right side of its current correction. However, its gains helped boost the entire energy sector Friday.
The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA: XLE), which counts ConocoPhillips as the third most heavily-weighted component, advanced 1.98% Friday. Other big names, such as Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), and Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) also notched gains, contributing to sector-wide strength on a day when the broader index ended the session down 0.18%.
Energy was one of five sectors advancing Friday, helping to stem losses in the S&P as a whole.
Year-to-date, the energy sector still leads the S&P by a wide margin, with a gain of 29.12%. The only other sector with a 2022 gain is utilities, which is up 4.08%.
BP, which reported earnings earlier in the week, climbed 1.06% Friday. Because the company is based in the U.K., it’s not part of the S&P 500, which only tracks U.S. stocks. It’s listed on the NYSE as an American Depositary Receipt, which is a mechanism that allows U.S. investors to easily purchase an overseas-based stock.
BP is followed closely by global investors and is considered a bellwether for the energy sector.
Its report marked the company’s largest profit in 14 years. MarketBeat earnings data show that BP topped analysts’ earnings expectations in each of the past six quarters.