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ConocoPhillips earnings preview: Price wars and virus slowdowns slash profits

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is scheduled to announce first-quarter earnings results on Thursday, April 30th, before the market open. The majority of market analysts have downgraded their forecasts for the first quarter in the wake of a historic oil price collapse. The consensus earnings per share estimate stand at $0.31 per share, down from earnings of $1 per share in the year-ago quarter. The consensus estimate for revenue is $6.5bn.

The largest US exploration and production company has topped consensus earnings estimates twice in the last four quarters; its fourth-quarter earnings per share exceeded the consensus for $0.90 per share. Meanwhile, ConocoPhillips has beaten earnings per share estimates 75% of the time in the last two years and has topped revenue consensus estimate by 50% of the time.

ConocoPhillips Earnings Preview

Its earnings per share estimates have seen downward revisions from 20 analysts over the last three months, according to Yahoo data.

The consensus estimates for full-year has also seen downward revisions from the 25 analysts covering ConocoPhillips. The analysts expect its full-year loss per share to stand around $0.68, reflecting a massive drop compared to earnings of $6.40 per share in fiscal 2019.

The group recently announced it will slash its capital expenditure by 35% compared to the original guidance and has suspended share buybacks and plans to make massive cost cuts to save cash in a sluggish pricing environment. The company says these moves will help survive during the historic oil trading downcycle.

“These actions reflect our view that near-term oil prices will remain weak, largely due to demand impacts from COVID-19 and continued oil oversupply,”  Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips chief executive, said earlier this week.

If you are interested in trading oil stocks, our commodities trading guide offers a lot of educational material for new and advanced investors.

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Based in Saudi Arabia, Siraj has a strong understanding of and passion for accounting and finance. He has worked for international clients for many years on several projects related to the stock market, equity research and other business, accounting and finance related projects. Siraj is a published financial analyst on the world's leading websites including SeekingAlpha, TheStreet, MSN, and others.