News of soaring oil prices -- and quarterly profits -- continues to flow from the energy sector. On Friday, ChevronTexaco ( CVX) became the latest in a string of supermajors to report gushing profits as a result of record-high energy prices. The company posted second-quarter operating profits of $3.09 a share -- up from $1.52 last year -- that blew past the consensus estimate of $2.72. Including special items, the company's quarterly earnings more than doubled to $4.1 billion, or $3.88 a share. ChevronTexaco celebrated its "back-to-back record quarterly earnings" as the price of oil broke Wednesday's 21-year high with a record of $43.34 a barrel on Friday. "I am very pleased with our performance in the second quarter both operationally and strategically," CEO Dave O'Reilly stated. "This performance has significantly improved our company's financial strength, and we are in an excellent position to continue creating value for our stockholders." In the latest quarter, ChevronTexaco's revenue surged 26% due to strong results across all of the company's major business lines. Upstream earnings more than doubled, approaching $3 billion in the quarter, as the company capitalized on high energy prices. Downstream earnings were also "markedly higher," the company said, because of strong demand for refined products. Even profits in the company's smaller chemical division rocketed past year-ago levels. To be sure, high energy prices helped ChevronTexaco's overall results. During the latest quarter, the company saw crude jump 30% above last year's average price. Natural gas liquids climbed an even higher 35%. And the price of natural gas itself increased 9%. Thus, ChevronTexaco was able to significantly boost sales and profits even as its production declined by 4% due, in part, to asset sales. Shareholders are already enjoying the fruits of that success. "Our financial strength and positive outlook for earnings and cash flows were among the primary drivers for the 10% increase in our quarterly common stock dividend announced earlier this week," O'Reilly reminded readers on Friday.
For the second quarter ended June 30, the San Ramon, Calif., energy giant posted a continuing operations profit of $4.08 billion, or $3.84 a share. That's up from the year-ago continuing operations profit of $1.58 billion, or $1.48 a share. The latest quarter included a gain of $585 million, or 55 cents a share, on the sale of upstream assets in western Canada, and a one-time benefit of $255 million, or 24 cents a share, associated with changes in income tax laws for certain international operations. Revenue surged to $38.3 billion from $29.3 billion a year earlier. Investors continued to celebrate following the company's upbeat report. Shares of ChevronTexaco were already up 1.1% to $96.50 before the market opened.