The oil and gas producer announced plans to cut its 2015 capital budget by 20% from a year ago to $13.5 billion. The company said the reduction in capital reflects its decision to lower spending on major projects, as global crude oil prices continue to decline.
Brent crude plunged to a five-year low of $58.50 per barrel earlier this week, as Brent futures for January delivery are falling 1.83% to $60.06 as of 12:07 p.m. today, while WTI crude is down 1.77% to $55.47 per barrel.
The Energy Information Administration released its report yesterday that showed crude inventories declined by 800,000 barrels to 379.9 million in the week ended December 12.
The bid is the largest-ever for a license in Canada's Newfoundland and Labrador province, where Statoil (STO) announced the huge Bay du Nord find last year.
Bay du Nord is estimated to contain up to 600 million barrels of light, sweet crude.
Houston-based ConocoPhillips is an independent exploration and production company, working on proved reserves and production of liquids and natural gas. The company manages its operations through six segments.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CONOCOPHILLIPS as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate CONOCOPHILLIPS (COP) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 9.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $2,480.00 million to $2,704.00 million.
- 40.09% is the gross profit margin for CONOCOPHILLIPS which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 22.38% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $4,180.00 million or 12.82% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -1.58%.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.38, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.94 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: COP Ratings Report