Chevron ( CVX) said Thursday that it expects "sharply lower" earnings in the first quarter of 2009 from the fourth quarter of 2008.

In the interim update issued after the market close Thursday, the integrated oil giant said crude oil's price drop and lower margins on the sale of refined products will hurt the bottom line. Chevron will formally announce its quarterly earnings on May 1.

Chevron shares were recently down 2.35% to $67.60 in after-hours trading. Chevron had closed up 75 cents during regular NYSE trading Thursday.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based company said "upstream earnings are expected to decline substantially, in part due to lower prices for crude oil and natural gas.

"Downstream earnings are also anticipated to be much lower than in the previous period, with average margins on the sale of refined products off significantly," the company said in a release.

Chevron didn't provide any specific earnings numbers. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect 91 cents a share on average, which would be a decline of $1.47 per share from the year-ago quarter and 91 cents lower than the December 2008 quarter.

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