HOUSTON (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Chevron Corp (CVX.N) on Friday posted an adjusted profit that fell short of Wall Street's expectations, as its cost cuts failed to fully offset low crude prices CLc1 and weak refining margins.
Like many of its peers, Chevron slashed spending during the quarter in response to low crude prices CLc1, but the reductions were not as dramatic as analysts would have liked.
Chevron's stock fell 1 percent to $101.50 in premarket Friday trading.
John Watson, Chevron's chief executive, said the focus of the San Ramon, California-based company's is boosting cash flow, which dropped more than 50 percent in the first quarter.
"We are controlling our spend and getting key projects under construction online, which will boost revenue," Watson said in a press release.
Chevron reported a net loss of $725 million, or 39 cents per share, compared with a net profit of $2.57 billion, or $1.37 per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding one-time items, Chevron earned 11 cents per share.
By that measure, analysts, on average, expected 20 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Rival Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) reported a 63 percent drop in quarterly profit on Friday.
Chevron's production fell slightly to 2.68 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).
The company's oil and gas production arm swung to a loss of $1.46 billion because of losses in and outside the United States.
As at Exxon, profit plunged at Chevron's refining division because of lower margins.
Chevron's $54 billion Gorgon LNG project in Australia shut down earlier this month after mechanical problems, just weeks after it first came online. Gorgon is expected to resume production by June at the latest.
Chevron said earlier this month it would sell its Hawaii refinery, long considered by the company a noncore business, to a private equity firm for an undisclosed amount.
Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Steve Orlofsky