SAN RAMON, Calif. – Chevron Corp. said Friday its first-quarter net income rose 36 percent, the latest in a string of strong earnings from the major oil companies.
Chevron sold its oil for an average price of $89 per barrel in the last quarter, compared with $71 a year ago. That led to a $1.25 billion increase in profit from exploring for and producing oil. Refining profits also improved.
Net income rose to $6.21 billion, or $3.09 per share, from $4.55 billion, or $2.27 per share a year ago. The results topped Wall Street expectations and marked Chevron's best three months since it earned $7.9 billion in the third quarter of 2008.
Gasoline prices have topped $4 per gallon in some states. As oil company profits approach levels of three years ago, when gas prices last spiked in the United States, the industry is fighting a renewed push from President Barack Obama and Democrats to end its $4 billion a year in taxpayer subsidies.
On Thursday, Exxon Mobil reported net income of almost $11 billion, its best quarter since it made $14.83 billion in the July-September period of 2008. That's the record for a publicly traded company. Also, Shell's profit rose 60 percent to about $9 billion in the first quarter. France's Total SA made about $5.8 billion, up 50 percent. ConocoPhillips' earnings rose 43 percent.
Chevron's revenue rose 25 percent to $60.34 billion in the quarter.
In early trading, Chevron shares lost 63 cents to $108.18.