The Houston-based company reported adjusted earnings of $1.15 billion, or $1 a share, in the quarter ended March 31, up from $1.14 billion, or 96 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts were calling for earnings of 91 cents a share.
Total production excluding Libya rose by 94 thousand barrels of oil equivalent a day to 1,318 MBOED. ConocoPhillips said it expects second-quarter production of 1,240 MBOED to 1,280 MBOED, as a result of seasonal turnarounds planned in Alaska, Canada and Europe.
Earnings were higher compared with the first quarter of 2018 primarily due to an unrealized gain on Cenovus Energy equity, higher volumes and recognition of deferred revenue, the company said. Excluding special items, adjusted earnings improved from the first quarter of 2018 primarily due to higher volumes, partially offset by depreciation expense and production and operating expenses associated with the higher volumes.
"We continue to execute and deliver on a plan that's resilient to lower prices, while offering investors upside to higher prices," said Ryan Lance, chairman and CEO. "We approach the business with an aim to level-load our investment and distribution programs, rather than chase cycles up or down, because we believe that is the best way to create sustained value in the energy sector."