Chevron Pockets $26.9 Billion in Profits in 2011, Spends 16% — $4.35 billion — To Buy Back Stock

by Rebecca Leber

Chevron Corp. announced fourth-quarter earnings today of $5.1 billion, falling from $5.3 billion a year earlier. However, the second-largest U.S. energy company had a record year-end profit of $26.9 billion, a 23.3 percent jump since 2010. Here are a few other useful facts about Chevron:

Earlier this week, ConocoPhillips reported record fourth-quarter profits of $3.4 billion — a 66 percent gain, with a 2011 profit totaling $12.4 billion. Exxon releases its fourth-quarter results this coming Tuesday.


15 Responses to Chevron Pockets $26.9 Billion in Profits in 2011, Spends 16% — $4.35 billion — To Buy Back Stock

  1. Leif says:

    “They spent 16 percent — $4.35 billion — of annual profit to reinvest in their own stock. That enriches their shareholders, but it doesn’t add to oil supplies or investments in alternative fuels or other new technologies.”
    In essence buying votes for the status quot in my opinion.

  2. TomCat says:

    “Dang! If they could only invest $4.35 billion on self-enrichment, they must need more subsidies and tax cuts.”

    If you believe that InsaniTEA, you are a Republican.

  3. Mike Roddy says:

    It’s impossible to lose money in the oil business, since it’s a finite resource in high demand. The only exception was the Hunt brothers back in the 80’s, when they got so bored with all of that money that they decided to blow it by trying to corner the world silver market.

    Their guilty secret is that they are neither competent nor intelligent, but advance in their firms based on ruthlessness and bean counting. Even the drilling and exploration is mostly done by subcontractors. The guys in the executive offices would not succeed in a modern business where they actually had to compete and innovate. That’s why they are so frightened, bribe governments, and hire PR and media firms to sell their story, like those awful Chevron and Exxon ads. In their hearts, they are aware that they are just a bunch of mean hillbillies who got lucky.

    Education and culture atrophy in fossil fuel states, too. Texas has some of the worst public schools in the country, for example. Without oil, Mexican Americans will run the place, since they actually work for a living, and develop skills as needed. All kinds of good things will happen when we get off oil, gas, and coal.

  4. Kathleen S. Anderson says:

    I have been to Ecuador and I have seen some of the results of Chevron’s role there. The indigenous people, and others, whom they have harmed should be compensated, although how does one compensate for a culture and natural way of living on the land destroyed?

  5. Jay Turner says:

    $4.36 billion could have gotten them off to a great start buying up clean energy enterprises. Given that they know that their primary business is doomed to decline, it would be a smart move to branch out into related businesses that have a future.

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Corruption in the United States Congress

    A new Rasmussen report of likely voters has Congress’ approval rating (people believing they are doing an “excellent” or “good” job) at an unimaginably low 5%, with 68% of those responding thinking that Congress is doing a “poor” job. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee went on Fox and Friends Monday morning, and noted that it places Congress just barely above a pedophile.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    How would American taxpayers react if they knew how much of their money went to corporations that would’ve turned billions in profits anyway thanks to their ability to treat our atmosphere like an open sewer?

    The oil, gas and coal industries get as much as $49 billion in subsidies and tax giveaways every single year

  8. Leif says:

    And be a powerful incentive for others to invest in the ground floor of the Green Awakening Economy, GAE. Hell, it might even force the ecocidal fossil industry to start funding lobbyists to promote the GAE. After all now they would have an investment in the successful outcome of sustainability. It might be a good tactic to force all fossil industries to invest a few bucks.

  9. prokaryotes says:

    Chevron oil rig catches fire off Nigeria coast

    The company is still investigating the fire, which occurred near its North Apoi oil platform, where two workers are missing

  10. Clearly the oil companies need more pipeline! Otherwise they will be stuck with only the tens of billions in profits they have now.

    We will never get to the 99.9% vs 0.1% if we don’t crank out more pipelines, coal exports and everything else on the 0.1% wish list.

    Of course, more subsidies for them would help as a starting point.

  11. Your right it “could”. But they made a very clear and informed decision to maximize return on capital. And the truth under our current rules is that share buyback returns more money to oil company shareholders than investing in anything else…including developing more oil supply!

    These companies aren’t in the “oil production” biz. They are in the short-term profit maximization biz. If they could make more money creating green energy, they would. If they could make more money developing more oil than share buyback, they would.

    Oil is hyper-profitable and running out. A very ugly combo for the 99.9%.

  12. Joan Savage says:

    Like other oil companies, Chevron has thousands of shareholders who don’t want to see their investment decline. The buybacks prevent the price from diluting, and keep owners of 401K, pension funds and mutual funds happy. Chevron has nearly 2 billion shares out, trading at $103.96 a share today. The oil companies’ “ace in the hole” is their investors’ anxiety.

  13. Leif says:

    All good points gang: Here is something I have been toying with for a test flight. To that end…

    The Occupy Your Street has to point to solid, well thought out policies that can constitute an alternate universe that helps the masses and the financial system both. Start with removal of the tax subsidies from Fossil and use the money to open a medicare access program to low wage workers fixing and upgrading the banks bailout homes, (recent CP post), with a green energy positive foot print and then offer those homes at low interest to those workers first. Throw in a “COSTCO” price on a small generic EV to commute with…Fuel supplied from his own power system. (How much is that worth??? A whole lot more than $5800 that will just get pissed away on booz boards and studs etc., in the buying of GOP largess. Plus we will not have to donate a billion dollars fighting to win another close election in 2 years!) In return those workers agree to work a Minimum wage or so. Everything else builds equity in his/ her /there home and community. The Nation gets a good start on a green economy. Any that do now to play by those rules get to play their own game but cannot profit from our’s. (Even the banks build equity in their deteriorating losers.) In return the banks bring realistic earnings to CEOs etc. and low interest, bone cutting interest, to “retro fit workers” and the supply chain. The, now better trained, Green workers get to their next GREEN job fixing another home and gaining skills in their carbon neutral vehicle…. earning a home! shorter work week! perhaps even 15% tax rate or better like some I could name. Improved family life! Doing good for their environment! Knowing that their government and court system has got their back! The free or break even education system is there to train him to move into a higher skilled green job again at low pay but great benefits. Compete with the costs of Mexicans and China but make it up in the benefits. Cut out the middle men and let them get a life. They got plenty of money to coast for a day or three, I would think.. Reboot the economy and make it work for humanity and earth’s life support systems first and profits second. It is going to happen sooner or later or we are toast.

  14. Leif says:

    “Any that do [not want] to play by those rules…” correction to the garbled sentence above. (Senior Moment.)