Chevron Says 1Q Profit Will Dip Below 4Q

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) —

Chevron Corp. said Wednesday that profit in the first quarter will slip below the fourth-quarter earnings on lower oil and gas production.

Chevron said production was hurt by weather-related interruptions in Kazakhstan, Canada and the United States. The company said it was also affected by currency fluctuations and charges for writing down assets.

Without the charges, the first-quarter earnings are expected to be similar to the fourth quarter, it said. In the fourth quarter, the company earned $4.93 billion, or $2.57 per share. Analysts expect $2.74 per share in the first quarter, according to a FactSet survey.

The shares rose $1.30 in regular trading to close at $119.10, but they were down 64 cents to $118.46 during late trading after the update.

Chevron, the second-biggest U.S. oil company, behind Exxon Mobil Corp., said production in January and February was the equivalent of 2.58 million barrels of oil per day, down 2.5 percent from the full first quarter of 2013.

Daily production in the U.S. during the first two months of 2014 was 4.1 percent lower than in the first quarter a year ago, while international production slipped 2 percent from a year earlier.

In the U.S., Chevron said it was paid lower prices for oil but higher prices for natural gas, than a year ago. Its international prices fell for both oil and gas.

Chevron said U.S. refineries handled slightly less crude oil than in the fourth quarter, and volume overseas fell due to increased maintenance work at several refineries.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based company is scheduled to release first-quarter results on May 2.

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