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ConocoPhillips Profit Beats Estimates as Shale Oil Output Gains

By Kevin Crowley

(Bloomberg)ConocoPhillips followed BP Plc in posting higher-than-expected third-quarter profit as the U.S. oil producer continues to boost shale output.The Houston-based company on Tuesday reported production of 1.32 million barrels per day of oil equivalent, less than the median of analysts’ estimates of 1.34 million.

Key Takeaways

  • 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 is still trying to claw back its industry-leading dividend yield

Market Reaction

  • Conoco rose 1.1 percent to $56.30 in pre-market trading in New York.

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