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A Unique Oil And Gas Earnings Season

COVID Market Update

The oil and gas market’s appetite is now shifting. As dismal Q2 financials flood in, lowered market expectations is seeing disastrous quarterlies as bad, and bad quarterlies as okay. Okay financials are met with resounding cheers.

And investors are voting with their precious dollars amid the pandemic and rewarding fiscal responsibility with enthusiasm.

The best evidence of this is BP, who reported a $17 billion loss for the quarter. Of course, this was to be expected. The oil behemoth also slashed its precious dividend by half, committed to cutting spending, and promised to stop exploration in new countries within the next 10 years. It is also planning to reduce its production by 40% within that time frame. The market cheered these prudent changes, sending BP’s share price higher.

Other oil and gas companies who took a different path suffered a different fate. The markets were less pleased with Exxon, who maintained its dividend in these tough times. After its earnings were reported last week, Exxon’s stock fell. Now, Exxon is warning investors that it could lose up to 20% of the value of its oil and gas reserves if low prices continue through 2020. It’s also cutting its drilling budget by $10B and has already taken one billion barrels off its books from shale fields for the most part.

It is just one example of the market’s expectations. Fiscal responsibility--even at painful levels--will be rewarded. Meanwhile, hanging onto…

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