Shares of ConocoPhillips climbed 1.8% in premarket trading Tuesday, after the oil and gas company reported first-quarter earnings that beat expectations, and announced the resumption of share repurchases and plans to start selling off its Cenovus Energy Inc. stake. The company swung to net income of $1.0 billion, or 75 cents a share, from a loss of $1.7 billion, or $1.60 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, such as unrealized gains on its Cenovus stake, adjusted earnings per share came to 69 cents, above the FactSet consensus of $54 cents. Production excluding Libya increased 16.4% to 1,488 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOED), just shy of the FactSet consensus of 1,491 MBOED. The company said it has resumed stock buybacks at an annualized rate of $1.5 billion. ConocoPhillips said it currently owns about 10% of Cenovus stock, which based on Monday’s stock closing prices could be valued at roughly $1.6 billion. The company plans to start selling off its Cenovus stake in the second quarter of 2021, and expects to complete the sales by the fourth quarter of 2022. The company plans to use the proceeds to fund share repurchases. Separately, ConocoPhillips said it plans to reduce debt by $5 billion over the next five years. ConocoPhillips stock has run up 31.9% year to date, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has climbed 33.9% and the S&P 500 has gained 11.6%.
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