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ConocoPhillips Q4 Profit Blows Away Expectations

From ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) early Thursday posted much better than expected fourth quarter profits, but didn’t report its revenue numbers and failed to provide any specific 2017 earnings guidance.

The Houston-based integrated oil giant reported an adjusted Q4 net loss of ($0.26) per share, which was $0.17 better than the Wall Street consensus estimate of ($0.43). COP noted that earnings improved from the year-ago period due to higher oil prices and lower exploration expenses.

For unknown reasons, ConocoPhillips did not provide a revenue total for Q4 in its release, but analysts were looking for $7.3 billion.

Illustrating the energy market’s massive recovery from a year ago, COP’s total realized price per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) jumped to $32.93 in the latest period, up from $28.54 in the previous year’s fourth quarter.

ConocoPhillips didn’t provide specific earnings guidance for 2017, but did say its guidance for capital expenditures is $5.0 billion, while corporate segment net expense is expected at $1.3 billion. Its depreciation, depletion and amortization forecast is $8.0 billion, and exploration dry hole and leasehold impairment expense will be $0.2 billion.

The company commented via press release:

“Our recent performance highlights the significant changes we’ve made as a company to respond to a world of lower and more volatile commodity prices,” said Ryan Lance, chairman and chief executive officer. “For the second quarter in a row our cash from operating activities exceeded capital expenditures and dividends paid. Our capital intensity and cost structure are dramatically lower, we’ve increased our dividend, and our debt reduction and share buyback programs are underway. We are delivering our operational milestones and our 18 BBOE of resources with an average cost of supply less than $40 per barrel Brent represents a deep source of high-return future investments. Our disciplined, returns-focused value proposition will enable us to deliver predictable performance to shareholders through the cycles.”

ConocoPhillips shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Thursday. Year-to-date, COP has declined -3.27%, versus a 1.83% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

COP currently has a POWR Rating of B (Buy), and is ranked #16 of 97 stocks in the Energy – Oil & Gas category.

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