NEW YORK -- Chevron's oil and gas production is rising, but weaker refinery results and foreign exchange losses are expected to offset those gains and keep earnings flat for the company in the third quarter.
Chevron, based in San Ramon, reports its third quarter earnings Friday.
Chevron is on track for higher production compared with last year, thanks in part to a quiet hurricane season this year in the Gulf of Mexico. Last year, production was curtailed because of Hurricane Isaac.
In its interim update for the quarter, issued in early October, Chevron said oil and gas production for the quarter was outpacing last year's quarter by 2.2 percent in the U.S. and by 3.1 percent internationally.
But the company told investors to expect a foreign exchange loss of about $300 million and that earnings from refineries and chemicals plants would be "significantly lower" than they were in the second quarter of this year because of maintenance at its El Segundo, refinery that slowed production there.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: It's hard for big oil companies such as Chevron to increase production because it takes extraordinary levels of investment to find and develop new oil and gas fields fast enough to replace declining production in older fields. Chevron is investing $36.7 billion in new projects this year, a record for the company. Investors will want to know the progress of these projects, and when they can be expected to begin producing oil and gas.
WHY IT MATTERS: Chevron is the nation's second largest oil and gas company and among the 10 largest investor-owned companies of any kind in the world by market capitalization. As a member of the Dow Jones industrial average and a major component of the S&P 500 index, Chevron's stock is widely held by private investors through mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. Also, Chevron's fuel sales around the world may provide a glimpse into the state of the global economy. Economies typically consume more energy during periods of growth.
WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts expect Chevron to earn $2.69 per share in the quarter, according to FactSet.
LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Chevron earned $2.69 per share in last year's third quarter on revenue of $55.66 billion.