Following the environmental trend on tackling fossil fuels, American energy giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. are following a totally different path as they try to weather the storm, as Bloomberg reports.
On the one hand, Exxon is taking advantage of the decline in its oil, gas and chemical prices as an opportunity to take part and fund a slew of mega-projects around the world. On the other hand, Chevron is following austerity.
Both companies published negative results, including weak performance across most business lines, which is commented to be the result of America’s shale revolution, which in little over a decade ended a domestic shortage of oil and gas and created a seemingly limitless source of supply, pushing energy prices lower.
Mark Stoeckle, a Boston-based fund manager at Adams Funds commented that both companies are competing in a sector that has ‘systematically destroyed value for investors over the past decade.‘ Investors are seen abandoning the sector as the two companies are receiving all the backlash against fossil fuels following the industry’s environmental concerns.
Exxon slumped 4.1% Friday after fourth-quarter earnings trailed analysts’ estimates. Low natural gas and petrochemical prices meant it failed to generate enough cash to over its dividend for the period.
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Exxon’s Chief Executive Officer, Darren Woods, is focused on his goal on pursuing a $35 billion-a-year capital investment plan that aims to build oil and gas projects from Guyana to Mozambique.
In the meantime, Fernando Valle, Bloomberg’s analyst commented that
Chevron has a better balance sheet than Exxon Mobil, but its growth portfolio is limited to the Permian and Tengiz. It will likely have to address the lack of low-cost opportunities over the next 12-18 months through an acquisition of exploration or development projects.
Chevron reported its biggest quarterly loss in a decade after writing down the value of North American gas fields. Chevron’s Mike Wirth stated that they conditioned themselves and their investors that the only path to the future was by doing these projects. Also, he committed to cutting costs, increasing capital efficiency and churning out cash to buy back shares through commodity cycles.
Bloomberg adds that although Chevron turned down its decision on a $32 billion agreement to buy Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in 2019, there’s a possibility that the company will look for a deal to ‘bulk up for growth‘, according to Stoeckle. The oil major saw a 3.8% stock decline on Friday, the most in nine months.