Chevron's a Worldwide Wonder

California-based Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) , the second-largest of the U.S.-based Big Oil contingent -- behind only ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) -- put the lid on reporting by the major integrated companies with solid results that nevertheless failed to boost its share price.

For the second quarter, Chevron reported earnings of $7.7 billion, or $3.85 per share, compared with $5.41 billion, or $2.70 per share, for the same quarter of 2010. The earnings line represented a full 43% year-over-year improvement, while the per-share figure came in $0.23 above analysts' consensus expectations. Sales increased 31% to $66.7 billion.

Nevertheless, the company's shares were essentially flat yesterday.

For the sake of comparison, Exxon's earnings increased by 41%, while Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-B  ) hoisted its profits by 56% year over year. Earnings for ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP  ) , which is in the process of downsizing and being carved into two separate parts, experienced a 19% reduction.

Looking at Chevron's world production, the company averaged 2.69 million barrels per day in the quarter, a decline of 2% from a year ago. That was still smaller than forlorn BP's (NYSE: BP  ) 11% drop. Despite increases from projects in North America and new contributions from Atlas Energy, a combination of normal field declines and price-related factors lowered Chevron's output on some contracts, more than offsetting the higher production on our continent. From a price perspective, the average tag on U.S. crude oil and natural gas liquids jumped 46%, versus 51% internationally.

Downstream, Chevron increased its earnings by 30% in the U.S. amid stronger margins and results from jointly owned Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. Conversely, much of the 11% international earnings slippage related to foreign currency effects.

Beyond a recitation of the company's metrics, during the quarter Chevron began construction on the Caspian Pipeline Consortium line, which will span nearly 940 miles from Kazakhstan to a Black Sea terminal. In Australia, the company received initial approval for the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas project and inked a sales contract for Wheatstone gas with Tokyo Electric.

Furthermore, the company received an exploration permit for potential shale gas on a million-acre block in Bulgaria. In the U.S., it again has three rigs working in the deepwater and is testing an ultra-deepwater Gulf shelf gas play. At the same time, it bought 228,000 additional Marcellus acres in Pennsylvania from a pair of private companies.

Chevron has added 45% to its common shares' lowest price during the past year, and the company is expected to have more room to roam. We can help you keep tabs on Chevron with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock-tracking service.

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Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chevron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies named in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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