TotalEnergies profit falls on lower oil prices, details buybacks By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of TotalEnergies is seen at an electric vehicle fuelling station in the La Defense business district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, February 8, 2023. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier//File Photo

By Forrest Crellin and Benjamin Mallet

PARIS (Reuters) -TotalEnergies said on Wednesday its net adjusted income fell 31% in the fourth quarter, mainly due to lower oil prices and refining margins, and detailed plans to return excess capital to shareholders.

The French group’s net adjusted income dropped to $5.2 billion from $7.6 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. That compared with analysts’ average forecast of $5.4 billion, according to LSEG data.

The oil and gas group recorded quarterly adjusted core earnings (EBITDA) of $11.7 billion, down 27% year-on-year, and production of 2.483 million barrels per day (bpd), down 12% year-on-year.

For the whole of 2023, adjusted net income fell 36% to $23.2 billion as oil prices fell back from the peaks hit in 2022 at the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

TotalEnergies (EPA:) proposed a dividend of 3.01 euros per share for 2023, up 7.1% from 2022.

It expects net investments of $17 billion to $18 billion for 2024, of which $5 billion will be dedicated to its integrated power section.

In terms of shareholder rewards, TotalEnergies said it planned to increase interim dividends by 6.8% to 0.79 euros per share and to buy back $2 billion of shares in the first quarter of 2024.

The group said that would be the base level for quarterly buybacks “in the current environment”.

Liquefied (LNG) markets are expected to remain affected by limited capacity additions and growing demand as prices fall, the group said. It expects LNG sales of over 40 million tonnes in 2024.

First quarter hydrocarbon production should be above 2.4 million bpd, increasing due to several additional project startups including in Denmark and the United States, it said.

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