ConocoPhillips announced that it resumed its share repurchase program at an annualized level of $1.5 billion, a 50% increase compared to the level of repurchases underway in the fourth quarter of 2020 when the program was suspended due to the Concho transaction.
The company expects to execute the program ratably across all four quarters in 2021. Based on the company’s current outlook for 2021 commodity prices, this level of share repurchases, combined with the ordinary dividend, reflects its long-standing priority to return greater than 30% of cash from operations to shareholders annually.
“It’s still early in the new year, but commodity prices have strengthened such that our dividend alone may not be sufficient to meet our return of capital commitment,” said Ryan Lance, chairman and chief executive officer.
He said the repurchase efforts showed a more constructive outlook for the company in 2021 but the firm still will not increase its previously announced operating capital program of $5.5 billion.
“We believe this market will favor companies who demonstrate sustainable discipline and strong free cash flow generation with a track record of predictable returns of capital. At a time of reckoning for the sector, ConocoPhillips’ proven value proposition remains the right one for this volatile business,” said Lance.
In addition, the company confirmed that it expects to provide an update on certain guidance items by the end of March.
Source: press release