Last week, Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron all reported increased first quarter earnings.
Royal Dutch Shell last Thursday reported a 42% rise in profits in the first quarter of 2018, its highest in over three years. Net income attributable to shareholders in the first quarter, based on a current cost of supplies (CCS) and excluding identified items, rose to $5.322 billion compared with $3.754 billion a year ago. Shell posted revenue of $91.11 billion in the quarter. Upstream earnings in the first quarter were up at $1.551 billion compared with $540 million in the 2017 first quarter. Downstream earnings in the first quarter were down at $1.687 billion compared with $2.489 billion in the 2017 first quarter. Shell's cash flow from operations in the first three months of 2018 was $9.43 billion but that was still slightly weaker than $9.5 billion a year earlier. Free cash flow was little changed at $5.178 billion.
ExxonMobil last Friday announced estimated first quarter 2018 net income of $4.65 billion compared with $4.01 billion a year earlier. Cash flow from operations and asset sales was $10 billion, including proceeds associated with asset sales of $1.4 billion. ExxonMobil’s revenue reported in the first quarter of 2018 was $68.21 billion up 16% from revenue reported by the company in the first quarter of the prior year of $58.67 billion. Profit jumped more than 50 percent in the company's upstream division. Total upstream earnings for the first quarter of the year was $3.50 billion, up from its total upstream earnings of $2.52 billion reported in the first quarter of the previous year. However, profits in Exxon's downstream business slumped nearly 16 percent to $940 million from the $1,116 million it recorded during the same period last year. The company attributed the performance to its international business, where it saw higher expenses, lower profit margins and weaker gains from sales of assets. The company's chemicals business also slumped, with profits falling about 14 percent from last year.
Chevron last Friday reported earnings of $3.6 billion for first quarter 2018, compared with $2.7 billion in the first quarter of 2017. Foreign currency effects increased earnings in the 2018 first quarter by $129 million, compared with a decrease of $241 million a year earlier. Sales and other operating revenues in first quarter 2018 were $36 billion, compared to $32 billion in the year-ago period. U.S. upstream operations earned $648 million in first quarter 2018, compared with $80 million from a year earlier while International upstream operations earned $2.70 billion in first quarter 2018, compared with $1.44 billion a year ago. U.S. downstream operations earned $442 million in first quarter 2018, compared with earnings of $469 million a year earlier while International downstream operations earned $286 million in first quarter 2018, compared with $457 million a year earlier. Cash flow from operations in the first three months of 2018 was $5.0 billion, compared with $3.8 billion in the corresponding 2017 period. Excluding working capital effects, cash flow from operations in first quarter 2018 was $7.1 billion, compared with $4.8 billion in the corresponding 2017 period.
Refiner and marketer Phillips 66 announced first-quarter 2018 earnings of $524 million and adjusted earnings of $512 million compared with fourth-quarter 2017 earnings of $3.2 billion and adjusted earnings of $548 million. Fourth-quarter 2017 earnings included a $2.7 billion benefit from U.S. tax reform. Phillips 66 posted revenues of $24,046 million compared with the year-ago number of $23,712 million. The Chemicals segment, which reflects Phillips 66's equity investment in Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, first-quarter net income was $232 million compared with $27 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Chemicals net income in the fourth quarter of 2017 included hurricane-related costs of $75 million and an asset impairment of $19 million. Refining first-quarter net income was $91 million, compared with $371 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Refining results in the first quarter included biodiesel tax credits of $2 million. Prior-quarter net income included favorable U.K. tax credits of $23 million, partially offset by hurricane-related costs of $7 million and pension settlement expense of $3 million. Refining adjusted net income was $89 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared with $358 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Marketing and Specialties first-quarter net income was $184 million, compared with $123 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. M&S first-quarter net income included biodiesel tax credits of $10 million. Adjusted net income for Marketing and Other was $129 million in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of $42 million from the prior quarter. During the first quarter, Phillips 66 generated $488 million in cash from operations. Excluding working capital impacts, operating cash flow was $1.3 billion.
BP is scheduled to report its most recent quarterly results tomorrow.