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Big Oil In The Earnings Spotlight

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Big Oil In The Earnings Spotlight
  • Three petroleum giants are on deck to share their latest earnings results this week.
  • Consensus forecasts indicate that analysts' expectations for all three are low.
  • Net losses are predicted for many others in the oil patch as well.

Among the many earnings reports due this week, highlights will include those from oil giants Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM). As the price of oil appeared to reach a bottom during the first quarter, it comes as little surprise that the expectations of Wall Street analysts are so low for earnings in the period.

Below is a quick look at what is expected from the reports of these three oil companies, as well as a peek at some of the other companies on tap to post quarterly results this week.

Chevron

In its report first thing Friday morning, this San Francisco area based supermajor is expected to report that first-quarter earnings per share (EPS) came to −$0.15, according to 17 Wall Street analysts. That compares to a profit of $0.26 per share in the previous period and EPS of $1.07 in the first quarter of 2015. Yet, the consensus of 52 Estimize estimates pegs the net loss at just $0.06 per share.

The consensus Wall Street forecast sees revenue totaling $21.43 billion for the quarter, a drop of about 38 percent year-over-year. Estimize is a little more optimistic here too, with expectations for revenue to total $23.83 billion. But, either figure would be the lowest quarterly top line in the past two years.

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ConocoPhillips

The Wall Street forecast calls for the world's largest independent pure-play exploration and production company to post a first-quarter net loss of $1.05 and revenue of $7.99 billion. That compares to last year's −$0.18 per share and $8.00 billion for the same period. Note that 60 days ago, the net loss was expected to be only $0.82 per share.

Some 14 Estimize respondents see things a little differently: a net loss of $1.02 per share and revenue of $5.92 billion for the three months that ended in March. Note that the fourth-quarter net loss was deeper than Estimize expected, and both Estimize and Wall Street have overestimated revenue in the past few periods. Conoco is scheduled to share its latest results before Thursday's opening bell.

Exxon

If the consensus of 51 Estimize estimates is correct, this Texas-based supermajor will post $0.42 per share earnings for its first quarter. That compares to EPS of $1.17 in the year-ago period and a current Wall Street estimate of $0.31. Note that the Wall Street forecast has slipped by four cents in the past 60 days. Either of the Estimize or Wall Street figures would be the lowest quarterly EPS in two years.

Both Estimize and Wall Street underestimated revenue in the previous quarter. For the three months that ended in March, they are looking for $50.78 billion and $45.31 billion, respectively, when Exxon reports before trading starts on Friday. Here too, either forecast represents the lowest revenue in two years.

And Others

The sector overall has been hurting, and Wall Street expects to see a lot of red in the earnings columns of this week's reports from the oil patch. Net losses are also in the cards for Baker Hughes, BP, Cabot Oil & Gas, EQT, Helmerich & Payne, Hess, National Oilwell Varco, Oil States International, Patterson-UTI Energy, QEP, Range Resources, Statoil ASA, Superior Energy Services, Targa Resources and Whiting Petroleum, if expectations are on target.

Earnings are expected from Antero Resources, Ensco, Marathon Petroleum, MPLX, Noble, Phillips 66, Total and TransCanada, but they will be smaller than a year ago, according to the consensus forecasts.

And analysts see Enterprise Products Partners hanging on, with EPS that are the same as in the year-ago period.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.

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