ConocoPhillips Management Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

ConocoPhillips (COP)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 23, 2012 11:00 am ET


Clayton C. Reasor - Vice President of Investor Relations, Strategy & Corporate Affairs

Jeffrey Wayne Sheets - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Finance


Douglas Terreson - ISI Group Inc., Research Division

Faisel Khan - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Edward Westlake - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Douglas George Blyth Leggate - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Arjun N. Murti - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Robert A. Kessler - Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., Research Division

Blake Fernandez - Howard Weil Incorporated, Research Division

Iain Reid - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Paul Y. Cheng - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Pavel Molchanov - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division



Welcome to the Q1 2012 ConocoPhillips Earnings Conference Call. My name is Kim, and I will be your operator for today's call. [Operator Instructions] Please note that this conference is being recorded. I will now turn the call over to Mr. Clayton Reasor, Vice President of Corporate and Investor Relations. Mr. Reasor, you may begin.

Clayton C. Reasor

Thank you, Kim. Well, good morning, and welcome to ConocoPhillips' First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call, our final conference call as an integrated company.

Today, we'll focus on key financial and operating results for the first quarter, as well as our outlook for the remainder of 2012. I'm joined by Jeff Sheets, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

As in the past, you can find our presentation material on the Investor Relations section of the ConocoPhillips website. And in addition, you can also find some presentation material that we've recently put out on each of the stand-alone companies, ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66.

Please read the Safe Harbor statement on the bottom of this slide. It's a reminder that we will be making forward-looking statements during the presentation and during the question-and-answer session. Actual results may differ materially from what we expect today. And factors that could cause actual results to differ are included here, as well as in our filings with the SEC.

So that said, I'll turn the call over to Jeff to take you through our first quarter results.

Jeffrey Wayne Sheets

Thanks, Clayton. I'll start with some highlights for the first quarter. During the quarter, we had adjusted earnings of $2.6 billion. That's $2.02 a share. This is flat with the prior quarter and up from $1.82 per share in the first quarter of 2011. If you look back, in the first quarter of 2011, we had the same level of earnings that we did in the last quarter, but we saw a $0.20 per share improvement, and that reflects the impact of our ongoing share repurchase program.

Our annualized return on capital employed was 12%. We generated $4.2 billion in cash from operations. That's $3.23 a share.

In E&P, our production was $1.64 million BOE per day, which is 3% higher than the fourth quarter of 2011. And if you compare that to the first quarter of 2011, our production per share increased by 9%.

So we had seasonally strong refining utilization of 91% globally. And during the quarter, we closed the sale of our interest in Vietnam, and we funded $1.9 billion in share repurchases, and that brings the total of share repurchases since we started the program in 2010 to around $17 billion. And as of today, we're about a week away from the distribution of the Phillips 66 shares to our shareholders, and we're executing the remaining steps of this transaction this week and right on target to complete on the 1st of May.

So let's turn to Slide 3 and look at our earnings in more detail. Reported earnings for the quarter were $2.9 billion. This includes gains on asset sales of $987 million, offset by $562 million of impairments and $95 million of repositioning costs. The gains were mostly related to the sale of Vietnam business, and the impairments were primarily related to the Mackenzie Gas Project and the associated leaseholds.

Adjusted earnings of $2.6 billion were flat with the first quarter last year. But as I mentioned, they were 10% higher on a per share basis as a result of our share repurchase program.

E&P adjusted earnings were $2.1 billion and R&M adjusted earnings were $444 million during the first quarter, and our other segments, together, provided an additional $32 million of earnings. But Chemicals had a record quarter, and we're going to provide more details about that later in the presentation.

So next, we'll look at some more detail on our segment earnings, and we'll start with E&P production, which is on Slide 4. Our first quarter production was 1.64 million BOE per day. That's down 65,000 BOE per day from the first quarter last year. If you exclude the impacts of dispositions and the suspension of our operations at the Peng Lai Field in Bohai Bay, production would have been 9,000 BOE per day more than a year ago.

Our growth opportunities are performing well, and we continue to execute on our plans to exploit the unconventional resources in the Eagle Ford, Bakken, Permian and oil sands. Our unconventional plays have contributed 85,000 BOE per day compared to a year ago. These growth opportunities are part of the 47,000 BOE increase shown on the slide. We also had less downtime and a slightly increased production from Libya, which improved production. And these improvements more than offset our normal field declines.

The suspended operations at Peng Lai, combined with asset dispositions and the decline in our Russia and Naryanmarneftegaz production, reduced production by about 94,000 BOE per day. And on the natural gas side, compared to the first quarter of 2011, North American natural gas production was 18,000 BOE per day lower, with about half of that coming from curtailments.

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