Hindered by low refining margins, Chevron Corp. (CVX) on Friday, Jan. 27,  reported a relatively weak fourth quarter, according to Zacks.

The San Ramon, California-based energy company released earnings of 22 cents per share. The figure proved a vast improvement from last year but fell far below analysts’ prediction of 63 cents. Struggling with low prices and high overhead, Chevron listed a Q4 2015 earnings loss of 31 cents.

“Our 2016 earnings reflect the low oil and gas prices we saw during the year,” Chevron CEO John Watson said.

Chevron’s shares continued to slump Monday. At the time of writing they are off more than 5% from Thursday's close.

Crediting its revenue gains to increasing commodity prices and better fiscal management, Chevron's Q4 revenue of $31.5 million was an eight percent increase from the same period last year but was under Zacks’ estimate of $32.6 million. Chevron’s quarterly upstream production of 2,660 barrels per day of crude oil and natural gas remained nearly the same as last year. Still, the division benefited from cost-cutting strategies and turned a $1.4 million loss in Q4 2015 to a $930 million profit. The downstream division suffered from lower margins and produced $357 million in earnings, which was a 65 percent decline from the same timeframe last year.

The exploration segment also struggled through a tough period. After generating $191 million in Q4 2015, it produced just $1.4 million last quarter. Chevron’s balance sheet listed $6.9 million in cash on hand and $46.1 million of total debt, Zacks noted.

Looking ahead, Chevron is preparing to begin new initiatives and follow up on its two major moves in 2016, beginning the Chuandongbei Project in China and the Gorgon natural gas project in Australia, Zacks reported. (See also: Chevron's Rainforest Controversy Continues.)

Zacks rates Chevron’s stocks as a Hold.

 

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