Chevron defends buybacks as it posts $35.5bln in 2022 profit
Chevron defended its new $75 billion share repurchase program from White House criticism Friday, as it reported record profits of $35.5 billion in 2022.
The oil giant, which also raised its dividend in Wednesday’s buyback announcement, aims for stock purchases in a “steady, consistent way” through the ups and downs on the commodity price cycle, Chief Executive Mike Wirth said on a conference call with analysts.
US President Joe Biden has repeatedly criticized Chevron and fellow petroleum behemoth ExxonMobil over share buybacks, arguing the companies should steer extra cash into new oil and gas investments, in an effort to lower prices for consumers.
On Wednesday, White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan blasted the announcement as a $75 billion giveaway “to executives and wealthy shareholders” at a time when the company has “claimed” to be working to boost output, he said on Twitter.
Asked about political backlash to the announcement, Wirth said the issue has been “a touch overblown.”
“We weren’t trying to be splashy,” Wirth said. “We’re just trying to indicate the confidence we have in our cash generation.”
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