Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chevron's (CVX) Downstream Business Unimpressive

The fact that Chevron (NYSE:CVX) had its "Buy" rating from Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) reiterated on them today isn't because of its downstream refinery business, as margins are anemic in comparison to its upstream oil and natural gas production business.

That's not to say there isn't substantial revenue in the refined products business of Chevron, as the company could have sold as much as $100 billion in refined products in 2010, although it doesn't release those figures.

Among refinded products sold are gasoline, jet fuel, gas oil and kerosene, among other products.

Estimates are refined products make up about 8 percent of the overall stock value of Chevron, mostly because of the low margin business it is. Margins have been at about 2.33 percent in the refined business for the energy giant for 2010.

In contrast, the oil and natural gas production generates margins of 53 percent.

The leading refined product sold by far was gasoline, which accounted for close to $39 billion in revenue in the segment.

Among Chevron's major competitors are BP (NYSE:BP), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP).

Chevron was trading at $103.57, up $0.32, or 0.31 percent, as of 2:05 PM EDT.

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