October 23, 2021
Shareholders prioritized as big oil’s first quarter earnings slump, says GlobalData

Shareholders Prioritized as Big Oil’s First Quarter Earnings Slump

Earnings of major international oil and gas producing companies have suffered in the first quarter of 2020 resulting from weaker product demand and lower realized oil and gas prices. Despite a depressed outlook for 2020, big oil remains committed to dividend payments as shareholders are prioritized, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Daniel Rogers, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Even with weakened earnings announced in Q1 2020, a consistent trend among major oil and gas producers was emphasis on protecting dividend payments to shareholders. The oil majors are well known to the public markets for their attractive dividend yields, and prioritizing these may be the only way to continue attracting investment as public sentiment wains in the wake of greener energy and share prices underperform.”

Royal Dutch Shell was the only company in the group to cut its dividend and is opting to prioritize ongoing investments and balance sheet strength instead. This risky approach could have negative implications for its share price going forward.

Shareholders prioritized as big oil’s first quarter earnings slump, says GlobalDataEven though overall earnings were lower in the first quarter of 2020, Chevron stood out among the group, increasing its year-on-year earnings despite poor market conditions. The company saw strong downstream margins and growth in Permian production as well as benefitting from foreign currency effects and asset sales.

Rogers continues: “Generally, big oil’s U.S. based production increased year-on-year, confirming the commitment and portfolio shift to the area of late. However, going forward U.S. based production in Q2 will drop as production curtailments by the group in the coming months kick in. Whilst this highlights the relative flexibility of producing assets in the U.S., the production cuts also demonstrate the risk associated with exposure to Lower 48 market volatility.”

Big oil’s Q1 earnings were somewhat safeguarded from the full force of the COVID-19 related volatility as the full impact was only felt from March. Going into Q2, the continuation of distressed commodity prices, company production curtailments, and suffering product demand will mean further earnings pressure for the group.

3 Ways Technology is Going to Shape the Oil and Gas Industry Free to Download Today

Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.

Newsletter Sign-up

Subscribe to OILMAN Today, our industry newsletter covering oil and gas business news, events, information and trends shaping the market, delivered to your inbox.

Related posts

Subscribe to OILMAN TodayDelivered to your inbox

Subscribe to OILMAN Today, a biweekly newsletter delivered to your inbox covering oil and gas business news, current events and industry information you need to know about.