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10. General Electric
2011 1Q Profit: $3.43 billion
U.S. multinational conglomerate, General Electric (GE), has thrived since 1892 and was one of the first companies listed on the Dow Jones. GE features five segments: Energy, Technology Infrastructure, NBC Universal, Capital Finance, and Consumer & Industrial. The key to GE’s success is emphasis on individual performance within the company rather than teams or groups.
2011 1Q Profit: $3.5 billion
Formed in 2000 after a merger between energy companies VEBA and VIAG, German power company E.ON is the world’s largest investor-owned energy service provider. However, the company experienced a 23 percent slump in 1Q 2011 compared to last year, but this was due in large part to the sale of its British power network operator.
2011 1Q Profit: $5.86 billion
French multinational Total is among the oil companies boasting huge 1Q profits amidst sky-high oil prices. Turmoil in the Middle East has proven to be a blessing for oil multinationals, and Total’s 2011 1Q profits are 51 percent higher than 1Q 2010.
2011 1Q Estimated Profit: $6.2 billion
Petrobras is running late on reporting its 1Q earnings, but sources estimate a $6.2 billion profit for 1Q. Petrobras enjoyed a legal monopoly on oil production in Brazil until 1997, when private companies entered the market. Apparently this hasn’t hindered Petrobras’ profits too much, as the company consistently ranks amongst the highest profiteers in the energy industry.
6. Chevron Corp.
2011 1Q Profit: $6.2 billion
With an increase of $1.6 billion over 1Q 2010, Chevron CEO John Watson notes, "Current quarter earnings from upstream operations benefited from higher prices for crude oil, while downstream operations benefited from improved margins on refined petroleum products. We continue to operate safely, advance our major capital projects and restructure our downstream portfolio."
2010 3Q Profit: $6.9 billion
Malaysian state-owned Petronas oil and gas company’s most recent quarterly earnings report is for October through December 2010. Chances are Petronas ranks even higher now considering the oil price hike is not reflected in its 3Q earnings. However, when you’re the only oil and gas provider for an entire country, it’s easy to rake in huge profits.
4. Royal Dutch Shell
2011 1Q Profit: $6.9 billion
Shell is also raking in the profits this quarter, but is reinvesting $100 billion through 2014 in an effort to boost production to 3.7 million barrels per day. "We continue to make good progress in implementing our strategy; improving near-term performance, delivering a new wave of production growth, and maturing the next generation of growth options for shareholders," Shell CEO Peter Voser said.
2011 1Q Profit: $7.12 billion
No one expected BP to bounce back to number three after the oil spill disaster in 2010, but rising oil prices have come to the rescue. The company’s 1Q earnings are over $1 billion higher than reported in 1Q 2010, leaving some wondering if those profits should go to help the nearly 1 million people who lost jobs both directly and indirectly as a result of the BP spill.
2011 1Q Profit: $10.65 billion
ExxonMobil’s profits soared to 69 percent above last year’s 1Q. The company’s overall production rose 10 percent over 2010. “ExxonMobil’s earnings reflect continued leadership in operational performance during a period of strong commodity prices,” says CEO Rex Tillerson.
2011 4Q Profit: $11.2 billion
As the largest natural gas extractor in the world and Russia’s biggest company, government controlled Gazprom has ultimate authority over Russia’s energy sector. On a yearly basis, Gazprom produces roughly 500 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Russian gas demand has steadily risen in 2011 by over 10 percent. Coupled with export demand increase around 28 percent, the company is expected to report huge 2011 1Q profits, that is if taxes don’t hit them first! The Russian government is seeking to boost revenue, and has Gazprom in its sights. The company could face $8 billion in taxes when an eminent tax increase and gas tariff rise is implemented.
But not to worry, Gazprom’s profits are likely to rise despite tax hikes, especially as the world seeks natural gas as a substitute for the oil shortcoming. “Not only are our volumes growing, but the growth rates are increasing as well,” says Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller.