By Kevin Crowley
- Conoco Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance is selling assets and fattening dividend payouts in a bid to turn around a stock that has underperformed the S&P 500 Energy Index. The stock is on track for its worst annual showing since 2015 after posting an index-leading result last year.
- During the conference call with analysts scheduled for later on Tuesday, Lance probably will defer questions about long-term strategy and drilling objectives until Nov. 19, when the company unveils its 10-year operating plan. An update on Conoco’s efforts to collect $8.5 billion from Venezuela as compensation for the seizure of oil fields more than a decade ago may a topic of interest during the call.
- After years of cost-cutting, during which Lance and his team eliminated more than one-third of Conoco’s workforce, areas ripe for trimming may be getting harder to find. Investors will be listening for details on how the company intends to pay for rising dividends and share buybacks that are consuming almost $10 million a day.
- Conoco rose 1.1 percent to $56.30 in pre-market trading in New York.