ConocoPhillips Reports First-Quarter 2019 Results; Operating Plan Continues to Deliver Strong Free Cash Flow and Returns to Shareholders
ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) today reported first-quarter 2019 earnings of $1.8 billion, or $1.60 per share, compared with first-quarter 2018 earnings of $0.9 billion, or $0.75 per share. Excluding special items, first-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings were $1.1 billion, or $1.00 per share, compared with first-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of $1.1 billion, or $0.96 per share. Special items for the current quarter included an unrealized gain on Cenovus Energy equity, recognition of deferred revenue, and amounts recognized from the PDVSA International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) settlement.
First-Quarter Highlights and Recent Announcements
- Cash provided by operating activities was $2.9 billion. Excluding working capital, cash from operations (CFO) of $2.9 billion exceeded capital expenditures and investments, generating free cash flow of $1.3 billion.
- Repurchased $0.8 billion of shares and paid $0.3 billion in dividends funded entirely from free cash flow, representing a return of CFO to shareholders of 37 percent.
- First-quarter production excluding Libya of 1,318 MBOED; year-over-year underlying production grew 5 percent overall and 13 percent on a per debt-adjusted share basis.
- Grew production from the Lower 48 Big 3 unconventionals by 30 percent year-over-year.
- Ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash totaling $6.5 billion and short-term investments of $0.2 billion, equating to $6.7 billion of ending cash and short-term investments.
- Received a ruling from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ordering Venezuela to pay $8.7 billion for unlawful expropriation.
- Closed the sale of the Greater Sunrise Fields in April for $350 million before customary adjustments.
- Announced $2.7 billion United Kingdom divestiture agreement in April, plus interest and customary adjustments, subject to regulatory and other approvals.
“ConocoPhillips’ value proposition, priorities and portfolio are designed for the volatile environment that we believe has become the norm,” said Ryan Lance, chairman and chief executive officer. “We continue to execute and deliver on a plan that’s resilient to lower prices, while offering investors upside to higher prices. 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. By focusing on free cash flow generation and distributing a significant portion of cash flows to shareholders, we offer the market a path to value creation in this cyclical business.”