ConocoPhillips Reports Fourth-Quarter Earnings of $2.0 Billion or $1.39 Per Share


ConocoPhillips quarterly conference call is scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern time today. To listen to the conference call and to view related presentation materials, click here. For detailed supplemental information, click here.

HOUSTON, January 26, 2011 --- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] today reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.0 billion, compared with fourth-quarter 2009 earnings of $1.3 billion. Excluding gains from asset dispositions, impairments and other items, fourth-quarter 2010 adjusted earnings were $1.9 billion, or $1.32 per share. For 2010, the company had earnings of $11.4 billion, compared with earnings of $4.4 billion in 2009. Excluding gains from asset dispositions, impairments and other items, 2010 adjusted earnings were $8.8 billion.

"We are pleased with our operating and financial performance, both for the fourth quarter and the full year," said Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer. "We improved our returns, reduced debt, and increased shareholder distributions. In addition to meeting our financial objectives, we improved our portfolio and exceeded our goal to replace our 2010 production with new organic reserves. Our upstream and downstream businesses delivered against their operating targets, and our midstream and chemicals joint ventures both had a successful year."

Production from the Exploration and Production (E&P) segment for the fourth quarter of 2010 was 1.73 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, compared with 1.83 million BOE per day in the same period in 2009. The decrease was due mainly to normal field decline, primarily in North America and Europe, and asset dispositions. Initial gas and liquids production from the company's Qatargas 3 (QG3) project, as well as production from major projects in China, North America and Australia, partially offset the decrease.

"Our E&P business met its production target while improving capital efficiency and returns," said Mulva. "The sale of certain non-strategic assets allows us to reallocate capital to higher margin projects such as Canadian oil sands, LNG and unconventional resource plays."

The company continued its appraisal and drilling programs in the Eagle Ford, Bakken and North Barnett shale plays. During the quarter, ConocoPhillips increased holdings in the North Barnett area and acquired new acreage positions in other emerging North American shale plays.

As previously announced, in late November the first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) was shipped from the QG3 joint venture. By the end of the quarter, train 6 was fully operational and performing well. Elsewhere, drilling was completed on the Rak More wildcat well in Kazakhstan, with additional assessment and further exploration planned to evaluate the discovery.

Refining & Marketing’s (R&M) fourth-quarter 2010 earnings were higher than the corresponding period of 2009, largely due to an increase in the global refining market crack spread. R&M safely completed turnarounds at five U.S. refineries during the quarter at a cost of approximately $200 million. This represents about 45 percent of full-year turnaround expense. The U.S. refining crude oil capacity utilization rate in the fourth quarter of 2010 was 83 percent. Excluding Wilhelmshaven, the international refining crude oil capacity utilization rate was 100 percent, and including Wilhelmshaven, the international crude oil capacity utilization rate was 61 percent.

The Chemicals segment posted its strongest year since the formation of the Chevron Phillips Chemical joint venture, with earnings of nearly $500 million. Ethylene margins in 2010 were significantly improved compared to 2009. The Midstream business generated full-year earnings of about $300 million, in line with 2009 results.

For the year, ConocoPhillips generated $15.4 billion in proceeds from dispositions, $8.3 billion from LUKOIL share sales and $7.1 billion from asset sales. The company funded a $10.7 billion capital program, with 86 percent directed to E&P, and spent $3.9 billion to repurchase 65 million of its own shares.

During 2010, the company reduced its ownership interest in OAO LUKOIL from 20 percent to approximately 2 percent at year end. Proceeds from LUKOIL share sales will continue to be used primarily for ConocoPhillips share repurchases. The company expects to dispose of its remaining interest in LUKOIL during the first quarter of 2011.

Full-year 2010 controllable costs normalized for market factors and portfolio changes were approximately $550 million lower, or 4 percent, compared with 2009. The improvement was equally split between the E&P and R&M segments. Unadjusted controllable costs for 2010 were $13.3 billion, compared with $12.7 billion in 2009.

"We made significant progress in 2010 on our two-year plan," said Mulva. "We look forward to providing additional information about our plans at our annual analyst meeting with the financial community in March."

Fourth-Quarter Financial Highlights

For the fourth quarter of 2010, ConocoPhillips reported earnings of $2.0 billion, or $1.39 per share, compared with earnings of $1.3 billion, or $0.86 per share, for the same period in 2009. Fourth-quarter 2010 earnings included $718 million in gains from North America E&P asset sales and LUKOIL share dispositions. These gains were partially offset by $638 million of non-cash impairments, primarily related to the company’s investment in the Naryanmarneftegaz joint venture.

Fourth-quarter 2010 adjusted earnings were $1.9 billion, or $1.32 per share, compared with adjusted earnings of $1.8 billion, or $1.20 per share, for the same period in 2009. Adjusted earnings for the quarter increased versus the prior year, primarily due to the impact of higher commodity prices and global refining margins. This increase was partially offset by the absence of equity earnings from the LUKOIL investment, lower production volumes and higher costs.

During the fourth quarter of 2010, the company generated $6.2 billion in cash from operations, including $2.1 billion of working capital improvements, and received $3.1 billion in proceeds from asset dispositions. This cash was used to fund a $3.6 billion capital program, repurchase $2.6 billion of ConocoPhillips common stock, pay $0.8 billion in dividends, and increase cash and short-term investments by $2.4 billion.

Full-Year Financial Highlights

ConocoPhillips’ full-year 2010 adjusted earnings were $8.8 billion, compared with full-year 2009 adjusted earnings of $4.9 billion. Adjusted earnings for 2010 were higher than 2009, primarily due to higher commodity prices and global refining margins, partially offset by lower production volumes. Full-year 2010 earnings were $11.4 billion, compared with $4.4 billion for 2009.

At year end, the company had $10.4 billion in cash and short-term investments. A significant portion of these funds are expected to be used for additional share repurchases. As of December 31, 2010, debt was $23.6 billion and the debt-to-capital ratio was 25 percent.

ConocoPhillips will host a conference call at 11 a.m. Eastern time today to discuss its quarterly results and provide a status update on operational and strategic plans. To listen to the conference call and view related presentation materials, go to and click on the "Investor Information" link. For detailed supplemental information, go to

ConocoPhillips is an integrated energy company with interests around the world. Headquartered in Houston, the company had approximately 29,700 employees, $156 billion of assets, and $189 billion of revenues as of December 31, 2010. For more information, go to


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Nancy Turner (media) 281-293-1430

Clayton Reasor (investors) 212-207-1996



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Use of Non-GAAP Financial Information

-- This press release includes the terms adjusted earnings, normalized controllable costs, and adjusted earnings per share. These are non-GAAP financial measures. Adjusted earnings, normalized controllable costs, and adjusted earnings per share are included to help facilitate comparisons of company operating performance across periods.  

References in the release to earnings refer to net income attributable to ConocoPhillips. Controllable costs include production and operating expenses; selling, general and administrative expenses; and exploration expenses excluding dry hole costs and leasehold impairments.