ConocoPhillips reports 4Q loss. Reduces capex again

ConocoPhillips today reported a fourth-quarter 2014 net loss of $39 million, or $0.03 per share, compared with fourth-quarter 2013 earnings of $2.5 billion, or $2.00 per share.

Excluding special items, fourth-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings were $0.7 billion, or $0.60 per share, compared with fourth-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of $1.7 billion, or $1.40 per share. Special items for the current quarter primarily related to the Freeport LNG termination agreement and non-cash impairments.

Full-year 2014 earnings were $6.9 billion, or $5.51 per share, compared with full-year 2013 earnings of $9.2 billion, or $7.38 per share. Excluding special items, full-year 2014 adjusted earnings were $6.6 billion, or $5.30 per share, compared with full-year 2013 adjusted earnings of $7.1 billion, or $5.70 per share.

“We are responding decisively to a weak price outlook in 2015 by exercising our capital and balance sheet flexibility”

In anticipation of weak 2015 commodity prices, the company has further reduced its expected 2015 capital expenditures to $11.5 billion from the $13.5 billion previously announced.

ConocoPhillips has said that reductions since the December capital expenditure forecast will come primarily from the deferral of onshore drilling and exploration programs in the Lower 48, and deferral of major project spending. At this level of capital, the company expects to achieve 2 to 3 percent production growth in 2015 from continuing operations, excluding Libya.

“We are responding decisively to a weak price outlook in 2015 by exercising our capital and balance sheet flexibility,” said Ryan Lance, chairman and chief executive officer. “In this environment our priorities are to protect our dividend and base production, stay on track for cash flow neutrality in 2017, and preserve future opportunities.”

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