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Chevron (NYSE: CVX) reported on Friday its highest annual profit ever as its adjusted earnings for last year more than doubled from 2021 to hit $36.5 billion on the back of higher oil and gas prices and record U.S. production.
Chevron, the first of Big Oil to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 profits this earnings season, said that its 2022 adjusted earnings surged to $36.5 billion, from earnings of $15.6 billion for 2021.
Apart from record earnings, Chevron booked record annual cash flow from operations, at $49.6 billion, and free cash flow of $37.6 billion in 2022. The U.S. supermajor also saw its annual U.S. oil and gas production hit a record high.
Still, adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter of $7.9 billion, or $4.09 per share, fell short of Wall Street projections of $4.33 EPS. Included in the fourth quarter were $1.1 billion of international upstream write-off and impairment charges, Chevron said.
The earnings miss sent Chevron’s shares down by 1.75% in pre-market trade in New York.
Commenting on the 2022 earnings, Chevron’s chairman and CEO Mike Wirth said in a statement, “We delivered record earnings and cash flow in 2022, while increasing investments and growing U.S. production to a company record.”
Chevron increased investments by more than 75% from 2021, and annual U.S. production increased to 1.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, led by 16% growth in shale production in the Permian.
Chevron’s profit and other expected record earnings from Big Oil are set to draw renewed criticism from the Biden Administration now that gasoline prices in America have increased for four straight weeks.
Chevron is a case in point from yesterday: the company announced this week a $75 billion share buyback program without a fixed expiration date, which immediately drew criticism from the White House.
White House Assistant Press Secretary Abdullah Hasan said, commenting on the news, “For a company that claimed not too long ago that it was ‘working hard’ to increase oil production, handing out $75 billion to executives and wealthy shareholders sure is an odd way to show it.”
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,