January 7, 2008
CONTACT: John M. Simpson, 310-392-0522, x317; or cell: 310-292-1902
ConocoPhillips Rides Oil Prices To Record Earnings As Consumers Face Soaring Costs at the Gas Pump
First of Big Oil Giants To Report 2007 Profits Had Best 4th Quarter Ever
Santa Monica, CA — ConocoPhillips reported a 37 percent increase in
earnings, the best fourth quarter profits in its history, by benefiting
from record crude oil prices at the expense of hard-pressed U.S.
consumers facing soaring gasoline prices at the pump, consumer
advocates said today.
The first of the Big Oil companies to report 2007 results, Conoco said
income in the last quarter was $4.4 billion, or $2.71 per share an
increase from $3.2 billion or $1.91 a share the in the comparable 2006
“These oil giants post obscene profits, regularly setting new records
and then stick it to the consumer at the gas pump,” said John M.
Simpson, consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and
Consumer Rights. “Then instead of using their gains to invest in
research or to reduce outrageous prices, they simply buy back their
Conoco, the third largest oil company in the United States, purchased
$2.5 billion of its own shares in the fourth quarter and $7 billion
worth over the last year. It has said it expects to buy back between $2
billion and $3 billion in the first quarter of 2008.
Financial results for the full year would also have set a record except
for Venezuela’s nationalizing Conoco’s operations in that country.
Conco posted net income of $11.9 billion or $7.22 a share compared with
$15.6 billion or 9.66 a share in 2006. Adjusting for the “second
quarter Venezuelan impairment” the oil giant said 2007 income would
have been $16.4 billion or $9.97 a share billion country.
“A responsible company would accept equitable profits and reduce prices
to consumers or perhaps take the long view and make substantial
investments in research and development,” said Simpson. “Unfortunately
Big Oil executives are blinded by dollar signs and their history of
ever soaring record profits.”
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is California’s leading
non-profit and non-partisan consumer watchdog group. For more
information visit us on the web at: www.ConsumerWatchdog.org and