Chevron reported its second-highest quarterly profit on record last month.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images
energy giant Chevron announced on Wednesday evening a $75 billion share buyback program and an increase in dividends.
Shares of Chevron rose more than 2% in extended trading.
The buyback program will come into effect on April 1, with no expiry date, the company said in a press release. The dividend hike raises Chevron’s per-share payout to $1.51 from $1.42, which will be distributed on March 10.
Chevron’s market capitalization was around $350 billion as of Wednesday’s market close, meaning the buyout would represent more than 20% of the company’s stock at current prices.
This buyout plan follows a $25 billion plan enacted in 2019. The old plan will end at the end of March. For the third quarter of 2022 — the most recent quarter reported by Chevron — the company repurchased $3.75 billion in stock.
The new buyback plan comes after a massive year for energy stocks, as the reopening of the US economy and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine combined to drive up oil and gas prices in 2022. Chevron reported more than $12 billion in free cash flow and $11 billion in net income in the third quarter alone.
Shares of Chevron are up more than 50% in 2022 even as the broader stock market declines.
Chevron was a hot stock in 2022.
The financial success of energy companies has drawn criticism from politicians including US President Joe Biden, who last year threatened to raise taxes on energy companies for their “war profiteering”.
Chevron CEO Mike Wirth told CNBC in December that the company was “in touch” with the Biden administration on a variety of issues.
“Our goal of stable markets and affordable prices for the economy is something we share. How to get there, sometimes we have different ideas,” Wirth said on “Squawk Box.”