ConocoPhillips profit misses on lower crude prices, higher spending

(Reuters) - ConocoPhillips COP.N missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Tuesday as it spent more than expected and took a hit from lower crude prices due to fears of a slowing global economy.

FILE PHOTO: Logos of ConocoPhillips are seen in its booth at Gastech, the world's biggest expo for the gas industry, in Chiba, Japan, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

The OPEC and Russia have put a lid on production, but that has not translated into higher prices due to surging shale oil output from the United States.

Shares of Conoco fell 2% as the Houston, Texas-based company reported $1.73 billion in capital expenditure during the quarter, above average estimates of $1.53 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company also raised its capital spending for 2019 by $200 million to $6.3 billion, citing more drilling in Alaska and the Eagle Ford shale of Texas.

Raymond James analyst Muhammed Ghulam called the results “mixed” and said the share price movement was in line with recent market reactions to other oil companies raising capital budgets.

Investors have been pressing oil producers to cut spending on expansion and increase returns with share buybacks or dividends. The company said it would increase full-year buyback target by $500 million to $3.5 billion and could spend up to $300 million on acquisitions.

U.S. light crude CLc1 prices averaged $59.91 per barrel in the second quarter, 11.8% lower than a year earlier, while Brent crude LCoc1 averaged $68.47 per barrel, 8.7% lower than a year earlier.

That led to a drop in realized prices per barrel for the company, which earned $50.50 for each barrel sold in the latest quarter, compared with $54.32 a year earlier.

ConocoPhillips, the world’s largest independent oil and gas producer, said production, excluding Libya, rose to 1.29 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), an increase of 79,000 boepd from a year earlier.

For the full-year, Conoco tightened its production outlook to a range of between 1.31 million boepd and 1.34 million boepd compared with a previous forecast of between 1.30 million boepd and 1.35 million boepd.

Adjusted earnings fell to $1.14 billion, or $1.01 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30 from $1.29 billion, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected the company to post a profit of $1.03 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Arun Koyyur