Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ConocoPhillips Quietly Explores Record Quarterly Profits

High oil prices boosted ConocoPhillips' bottom line for the second quarter. They netted $5.44 billion, beating estimates by over $1 billion. Funny, their news release said nothing about the record quarter in terms of profit. It was full of pain over the negative impact of high oil prices on refining operations and problems the company has with production volumes. One might expect a New York Stock Exchange firm to crow loudly over record revenues and profits, but nary a cackle.

They did offer a peep on oil exploration expenses. Recall the big oil execs telling Congressional committees about the money they're pouring into exploration? ConocoPhillips spent $288 million on exploration, a mere 5.3% of profit and 0.4% of revenues. Instead, the company spent $2.5 billion to buy back shares and $700 million on dividends to shareholders.