ig Oil emerged from first-quarter earnings battered and bruised, but things are only going to get uglier.
Major oil and gas producers from Norway to the US saw profit plunge in the opening three months of the year. Exxon Mobil Corp. reported its first loss in over 30 years, Royal Dutch Shell Plc cut its dividend for the first time since the Second World War, Bloomberg reported.
And that was only the result of the initial spread of the coronavirus. Things have got even worse since as the global pandemic caused an unprecedented oil-market slump.
There are some signs of recovery on the horizon, but companies were united in their warnings that the current quarter will be tougher than the first.
A few key takeaways show which companies can endure another three months of pain, and those that will struggle: Exxon and Chevron said they remain unwavering in their commitment to the dividend.
BP Plc CEO Bernard Looney was more equivocal, saying his board would review the payout on a quarterly basis.
Eni SpA boss Claudio Descalzi refused to give guidance on his dividend until July, when the company will be able to evaluate the impact of cost-cutting measures.
Big Oil’s generous dividends have long been its main attraction to investors. But thanks to Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden they are no longer sacrosanct, after he slashed his company’s payout by two thirds.